Selecting interior paint colors is an overwhelming and stressful event for many homeowners. This one area of decorating seems to give grief more than any other. After giving it some thought I narrowed it down to 3 main reasons why this is the case, and corresponding solutions to help you tackle this process.
Bold, saturated colors work well in smaller rooms with generous moldings.
1. Selecting paint colors for your walls is a big commitment. Walls and ceilings make up a huge amount of visual space in your home; if you choose the wrong color it’s very hard to ignore those 8 foot walls screaming at you every day!
Solution: Test strips! Narrow down your paint selections to 2-3 top choices. Purchase small sample bottles and paint 1 foot squares on various walls in the room. Live with these samples for a few days and see which one you gravitate towards. This is the easiest way to avoid partnering with the wrong color.
2. Paint is elusive. Colors change with every minute of the day depending on the lighting; one color can look completely different in another room or even another wall.
Solution: Take notice of how your paint strips look during different times of the day. If a color looks slightly too dark try using the next lightest paint in that color family.
3. Noticing color saturation and tones is a learned art. If you don’t select paint colors for a living chances are that you will be drawn to paint colors that are too saturated and bold to live with on a daily basis.
Solution: Start with the color that you initially are drawn to, then go down two squares to on the paint sample to a lighter version of this color. While you may like a very saturated color in general, it doesn’t always translate well to interior walls. You can use brighter and bolder versions of this color in accents such as pillows, artwork etc. For more on selecting colors for each room see Niche Interiors’ San Francisco interior design newsletter from February.
* Still need professional help? Niche Interiors offers color consulting services in the San Francisco Bay Area! *