The Magic (and challenge) of Selecting Paint Colors

“This one clearly has way too much blue in it. Wait, look at it over here in the sun, don’t you see it? How can you not see that? It’s too cool for me. I’m looking for something warmer.” “Just a smidge more but not so much that it pulls toward purple.” I often rattle on about undertones and the lighting in the room relative to how the color will appear. Sometimes this happens out loud other times just in my head as I sort through endless paint samples looking for just the right ones for whatever project I am working on. I am confident this process makes others insane but for me it is just how I work. Maybe because for better or worse the undertones are obvious to me or maybe because I enjoy the creative process but certainly because I believe that your house should feel like your home and paint is a key player is this process.

So, I am curious do you find selecting paint colors to be fun or intimidating?

What I have found is that everyone has very different methodologies in selecting paint colors and honestly I find the variation of process fascinating too. Many of you are very pragmatic. You have the upholstery and drapery established and simply are looking to find a nice complementary color. Almost always the end result looks beautiful and you have saved yourself time and energy not overthinking it. How many of you are in this camp?

Others do not care at all about paint colors or the process and just go to Pinterest or the local paint store and select a nice neutral color and are done with it until the walls warrant a fresh coat a few years later. How many of your are of this camp?

I on the other hand have a serious love affair with selecting paint colors and even more so with the magic of how transformative it can be. The process is ultimately about how the completed space will make you feel, your family and your guest feel when they come to your home.  When it is just right you can feel it and when it is oh so wrong you can feel that too. How many of you can relate?

As I have been sharing more and more of our remodeling project many of you have asked me about paint colors and how to select them. I am always up for helping you  through the creative process however I recognize that not everyone enjoys the process as much as I do. For those of you that are looking for a few practical tips when selecting paint colors here a few that will yield success every time:

Open your closet and take a look around. Is there an obvious color story? What is it? We naturally gravitate towards clothing that we feel good in and that we believe looks good on us. The same is true of your home. You want to feel good in your home and believe it or not the color your walls will make you feel good in your space and will look good on you!

Consistency is comfortable and inviting. The interior of your home does not need to be monochromatic however consistency in tone, warm colors vs. cool colors, level of brightness or softness all plays into the energy of the space and also into how large it feels. An added benefit of consistency in tone and color is that furniture, decor, rugs, lighting all of it becomes easily transferable to various spaces in your home as needs change.

Take a cue from your holiday decor. Really? Yes, really. Dig out that box of holiday decorations and observe. All bright colors, soft neutrals, a mix? You want your home to feel like you year round including (and maybe most importantly) during the holidays. Use the colors you find here as way to gut check your wall color selection. Do they compliment each other?

Finally, give it the good bones test. This one is very much my own opinion however I believe that your main living spaces should be colors that pass the good bones test meaning that they allow for you to adapt your decor over time as trends and styles vary and as seasons and holidays change. Good bones does not mean it has to be bland. It just means go one step beyond the holiday check and think about the room in all seasons. Does the color you selected work for all seasons?

I hope these few practical tips help you find the right next paint color for your project.

Happy Painting!

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