Color does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it. ~ Pierre Bonnard
The Best Paint Colors
The painter you’re paying by the hour is waiting impatiently at your home while you stand overwhelmed in front of a wall of paint store color swatches. The painter wants to begin painting, yet you have no idea what color to choose. The last time you selected paint colors was 2002, so what do you do?
You could select a shade of off-white that you know “will go with anything” (actually that’s a misnomer). Or, you could use the same secrets I utilize on a daily basis to ensure beautiful results every time. Learn how to select your own best paint colors.
Flooring is King. When selecting paint colors, always take your floor coverings into consideration first. Why? Because the floor and wall colors make up the bulk of color in any given room. If they aren’t compatible with one another, the entire room will feel “off”. Respect the undertones of your flooring and paint colors, and you’ll have a far better chance of being 100% pleased with your finished room.
** Bonus Tip ** Don’t make the mistake of guessing the color of your floor coverings while at the paint store. Color memory stinks! If you didn’t bring a floor sample with you, you’d be far better served to rent a color fan deck from the paint store to take home. That way you can check out the colors that interest you WITH your floor coverings.
Select your paint color LAST. Even if you know you’ll be purchasing a new couch, counter top, or any other big-ticket item in the next year or two, check those items out first. Having a good idea of what you’ll be purchasing will give you a direction to head toward in regards to paint colors. You’ll find there are far fewer couches and counter tops in the style and color range you desire, available when you need them, and in your preferred price range than there are paint colors. Nearly every major paint company produces 1000+ paint colors. This means you can tailor fit a paint color to meet the needs of your couch or counter top, rather than the other way around.
Think of paint color as your room’s “team captain” because of its ability to unify all of your architectural and decorative elements. Rather than make a wall color the star player, allow it to take on a supporting role. Far too often people treat paint colors like icing on a cake, when in reality icing enhances the beauty and flavor of the cake. Thus, I believe that the best paint colors enhance the design and feel of a room while pulling it all together. They shouldn’t take center stage.
Time is your friend. Giving yourself ample time to select a paint color is critical. You likely don’t make these sorts of decisions very often, and may feel nervous or uncomfortable. Allow yourself time to determine how you want your room to feel, and what colors create that feeling for you. Then start analyzing those colors along with each of the elements of your room (floors first please!). Fretting in front of a display of color chips when you know your painter will arrive in the next hour is not a recipe for success. The best paint color decisions are made with a level head, free from time constraints. Don’t throw all caution to the wind. Get the ball rolling NOW.
Sample, sample, sample. I can’t emphasize sampling enough. Only then will you know what the color truly looks like in your space. Make observations several times throughout the day, and on both sunny and gloomy days. I once painted a room at my house that looked great during the daylight hours, but it felt too dark during the evening. It bothered me so much that I quit spending time in the room. Don’t let that happen to you!
Selecting the best paint colors isn’t rocket science, but it does require you to put both your thinking and analytical caps on. Gift yourself the time to put these secrets into practice and, you too, will soon be selecting your own best paint colors.