As an interior designer I get many calls from clients asking for my professional help on choosing color for their walls. Choosing the right color for your interior can make or break the look of your home. Some people are so afraid of choosing the wrong color that they live in a home with all white walls. I have always told my clients that white walls are a color, they are white, and you can put up beautiful draperies, fabulous furnishings and the room still will not look great because the walls are white. The walls have to compliment the furnishings or the room just does not work. Now that's not to say that I haven't done some dazzling rooms, with white walls. The difference is, is that we can choose a white to go with the style of the room, clean crisp and white, with some beige and black accents, even a splash of red. So now that we all can appreciate that white is a color, let's move on to the right way to choose a color for your home. The starting point: Color depends on many different factors.
When buying a new home, I try to tell my clients to spend as much time in the home as possible before choosing a color for the walls. Light is very important and can change the look of the color on the walls dramatically. You can have the same color in two separate rooms one that is bright and sunny and the other a dark hall, the color will appear to look different in the day light. The next step is to determine your style and what you like: going through magazines is a great way to help you get started. If you are working with a designer this is also a very helpful tool in getting your vision across. I keep stacks of magazines in my studio and find them very helpful. Sometimes it is difficult to articulate what you may like and a visual can really do the trick. Gather samples of items that you may be putting in the room: Sofa, rug, flooring, and window treatments. If you are starting from scratch, try to pick out those items first and then match paint, it is much easier to match the paint to the fabrics than the other way around. Now that you have those elements together it is time to get started. It is very important to have complementary colors throughout your home.
They can be different colors, but they must complement each other. Many paint stores now offer lists of complementary colors, for instance you can use a green tone, red tone and yellow tone throughout the house, but they all have to be in the same hue. A bright yellow wall will not complement an avocado color accent, the wall would then need to be more golden beige yellow, and the red tone would need to be more of a tomato red, when using an avocado green. There is also monochromatic color options, using tints and shades of the same color. This works great in big rooms leading to a darker hall way. The larger room would have a darker shade and the hall would have a lighter shade of the same color. For instance, if you are using a beige/gold color for a large family room and the hall breaks away from the family room, you can ask the paint store to decrease the color by one shade and now the hall will appear to be the same color as the den when it is painted. Monochromatic can also be used in a bed rooms, painting the walls a darker color and matching the bedding and pillows in a lighter shade of that color. Lastly it is always important to keep in mind what the mood of the room is supposed to be, warm, cool or neutral feel. For instance you may want to have a dining room be a warm color, creating intimacy.
You could achieve this by painting the walls a brick color and adding warm yellows and brown accents. A cool color can create a feel of a larger space and a more restful atmosphere. Some of these colors could be cool blue, silvery grey, misty green, ocean hues. Then there are neutral colors which can add balance to a home, connect rooms together, and be more of a backdrop for dramatic draperies or a kitchen that has colorful tile or granite. These colors can be buttery yellows, rich cream, or a barely beige. I have been working with paint for many years and my last piece of good advice is know what kind of paint you are putting on your walls. When purchasing paint you want to get good quality paint, especially when using darker colors. If you invest in good quality paint it will cost you less in time to paint the room. Most good quality paint can cover a room in one or two coats, less expensive paint, especially darker colors, may take four coats and that is a lot of wasted time you are paying someone to paint a room. The other important issue is tints or color bases. There are many choices, flat, mat, eggshell, pearl, satin, semi gloss and high gloss. Semi gloss and high gloss are good for doors, moldings, fires places and accents like that around home. Many people used to use them in bathrooms and kitchens because they clean easier, but in your better quality paint that is not necessary any more. The pearl, eggshell, and satin clean just as well and will not have the glare to it. Eggshell is a nice complement for most colors and is good with not showing smudges and is washable. Mat is good for rooms that you may want to touch up with paint often, like a childs room or play room.
It is very difficult to touch up paint that is not a mat finish, you can almost always see where the touch up mark is. Painting can be a challenge, but it is well worth doing it in the end. A beautifully painted house is a great investment. A home should be a sanctuary from the outside world, a place to rest, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy. A lovely decorated room can change your mood instantly. A well decorated room can last for years. I always tell my clients to wait until they have saved their money to do their room or home right the first time.