-Why do we find one place appealing and are uneasy in another?
-Why are we attracted to one product over another?
Painting is the fastest and easiest way to transform your rooms.
A coat of fresh color on the walls breathes life into any space. Color is key to your room's personality, and combining new colors will make your home come alive!
The "buzz" about color is usually called "color psychology." But the effects of color are subtle and significant; physical and psychological. Color use is not something that results in a definitive equation between "color and our moods," as is a currently popular expression. Wherever we go we respond to color, but the importance of color is often under estimated. Color use is important to us personally in our homes and in the places where we work.
Creating that perfect color palette for your home can be simple, fun, and personally satisfying. A coordinated color palette unifies your space, creating an environment that is beautifully harmonious. However, with so many colors to choose from, finding and coordinating the perfect color palette may seem overwhelming.
Which of the existing colors in the room will remain the same; which will change? Is the carpet staying, or will you change it as part of your new color scheme?
Which furnishings and window coverings will stay? Keep in mind when redecorating that is far less expensive to change the color of a wall than to replace furnishings. Paint is your best decorating deal.
How much natural light enters the room during the day? Sunshine enters south windows much of the day. East or west receives direct sun only in morning or afternoon. North window receive indirect sunlight. The type of light affects how you perceive the color.
What is the main source of light at night: fluorescent or incandescent? Like daylight, the type of artificial light affects how people see color.
At what times of day will the room be used the most? Think about the lighting in a room during its peak activity, and select your colors accordingly.
What are the dominant colors in adjacent rooms? If another room is seen through a doorway, consider its color a part of the overall color scheme.
What mood are you trying to create? Is this a space for quiet reflection and reading, for unwinding after hard day at the office or for pampering yourself and preparing to face the world?
Decorate your space from dark to light, vertically.
A real "cookbook" way to make any space look good without much risk is to use darker color values for the floor, medium color values for the walls and light values for the ceiling.
"Any interior space replicates the outside world. The exterior environment is generally darker below our feet (the earth itself), medium-valued as you look straight ahead (buildings/trees) and lighter values skyward."
Study the color of your clothes.
Most people buy clothes in colors they like to wear and think they look good in. Similarly, you should decorate your rooms in colors you look good in. "If you don't wear yellow, don't get a yellow sofa."
Use the rule of 60-30-10. "When decorating a space, divide the colors in the space into components of 60 percent of a dominant color, 30 percent of a secondary color and 10 percent of an accent color. The walls will most likely be the majority, the upholstery would represent the secondary color and accessories such as a floral arrangement or throw pillows would make up the rest.
Go with the architecture.
Would you like to make the room appear larger or smaller? Color can make a low ceiling appear higher or a high ceiling appears lower.
If you have a small room in your house, don't paint it white to make it seem bigger. Instead, cozy up to its architecture with a rich, warm color scheme. Let your big rooms expand with light, and your small rooms wrap you up and nurture you.
Follow your personal style.
If you decorate honestly, other people will appreciate it because it's you, even if they'd never decorate their own house in the same way. That means if you want to make every room in your house red, white and blue, go for it. You can make any color look good as long as it's your taste.
The time and thought invested in answering these questions will be repaid many times in a home that reflects your personality and suits your needs.
1. START SMALL
If you're not sure where to begin with color, experiment in a powder room or bathroom, a small hall or area between rooms, or an accent wall. If you're doing your own painting, pick an area that's quick to do so you can see your results sooner, and be happy with it or change it. Look at the process as an adventure. To get started, select a favorite color drawn from artwork, a rug, dishes and an accessory or furniture piece as a main color or accent.
2. THINK ABOUT YOUR MOOD
When selecting a color, consider the mood of a room. In a bedroom do you want the feeling to be restful and soothing or dramatic and intimate? Soft, cool colors and neutrals usually create a quieter feeling while stronger colors are for drama. Do you want a dining area to feel sociable and stimulating or appear formal and quiet? Warmer, contrasting and somewhat brighter colors add to a sociable atmosphere; deeper blue-greens and neutrals will give a more formal ambiance.
3. PAY ATTENTION TO LIGHTING
The reason why paint stores have light boxes for you to test paint chips: • Natural daylight shows the truest color; • Incandescent lighting brings out warm tones and yellows; • Fluorescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone. So, a strong color might be too bright and overpowering when used on all walls or next to a large window, but it might be effective when used as an accent wall with indirect light.
4. LEARN THE COLOR TERMS
It helps to understand the terminology used to describe color. If you want a more active space, consider introducing stronger, more intense color. Even if you want a light-colored room, choose colors that are slightly more saturated than off-white or light pastel. Very light color can feel bright and stark when it appears on all surfaces in a room. However, two or more medium-light, closely related pastel colors can create a luminous effect when used in the same room.
5. TEST YOUR COLOR CHOICE
Boost your confidence by testing colors on poster board or large areas of a wall. Don't be afraid to go beyond your comfort zone. Consider strong, vivid colors or soft, deep neutrals like chocolate brown or olive green as main or accent colors. Or add drama with a stronger color on the ceiling. Tinted ceilings can dramatically change the whole look of a room.
6. ADD DEPTH WITH DECORATIVE FINISH
Transform flat, dull walls into interesting and personal spaces with subtle or dramatic visual texture and broken color. Burnished mineral/metal finishes and layered colored glazes add depth. Some examples of softly reflective metals are pearl, copper, bronze and, of course, silver and gold.
7. WALK INTO ANOTHER ROOM
Consider walls as planes of color, and see how they interact when viewing one next to the other in adjacent rooms. Approach it like a composition: You're in one room, but you're going to see a piece of another room through it. So as you're choosing colors, consider how they will flow from room to room to create your picture.
8. FOLLOW THE COLOR WHEEL
A small color wheel is a great reference tool for modifying & intensifying two or more colors. You may be surprised at how many combinations function beautifully together, & you may even become attracted to entirely new color palettes. The color wheel also illustrates the visual temperature of a color. Draw a line from the yellow-green mark on the color wheel all the way down to the red-violet; you'll see that all the colors on the left are warm & the colors on the right are cool.
9. PLAY UP MONOCHROMATIC SCHEMES
Create bold or subtle variations within one color group with contrasting paint finishes. For eg: use closely related colors, or try a single color in different finishes, for walls & trim in one space.For accent color, select a warmer (more toward reds) or cooler (more toward blues) color to complement your main color group. For a quieter ambience, make sure your colors are not extremely bright. White or an off-white tint can be a striking accent when used as trim with a monochromatic color group
10. CHOOSE DIFFERENT PAINT FINISHES
A single color used on walls and trim takes on new significance when applied in different finishes. For example, wall and trim colors can remain the same hue, but use a matte and less reflective finish on walls and a velvet or semigloss on trim. The color will appear slightly different on each surface. It's a good way to create a cohesive look in rooms with many windows and doors, and relatively little wall area.
View Swatches in Natural Light:
It's common to fall in love with a paint swatch in the store then find the color looks drastically different once it's painted on your walls. This is caused, in part, because paint looks different under artificial light versus natural light. For a better idea of the finished color, always look at paint chips near a window.
Compare Paint Chips to White:
Similar to using a quarter to show the scale of an object in a photograph, comparing any color against white will ensure its tonal values really clearly. When looking over paint chips at home, try laying them out on a white surface.
Live With the Colors:
With so many options to choose from, nailing down just the right hue can be tough. To make the selection process easier, it's smart to test out several paint colors along one wall and live with them for a few days, noting how they look both day and night. Label the painted swatches with painter's tape so you'll remember which color you liked best.
Consider Spraying Instead of Rolling: Sprayed finishes not only ensure a more professional end result, HVLP (high-volume, low-pressure) sprayers can be rented by the day through most home improvement stores. Spraying paint can be a messy business so always is sure to thoroughly cover all doors & windows with painter's plastic to ensure paint dust doesn't drift into other rooms.
Customize Your Colors:
Designers often create custom colors by having paint stores mix extra black or white into existing colors to darken or lighten them. While this is a great way to achieve a custom finish, custom tints make it difficult to match up the paint color for any future touchups.
While many paint stores offer a computerized service that can precisely match any color, designers often stay away from exact matches and instead choose a shade that's a bit lighter or darker. When using rugs or upholstery fabrics as inspiration, choose a hue that's very close in tone without matching exactly.
Color the Ceiling:
Rather than leave the ceilings white, designers often choose to paint them. The old rule of thumb that white ceilings make a room feel brighter and larger doesn't always hold true; just have the paint store mix paint for the ceiling which is 50 percent lighter than the wall color. Once applied to the ceiling, the walls and ceiling will feel cohesive rather than dark and cavernous.