If you’ve got a remodeling or building project in your near future, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is choosing the right interior paint colors. There are many painting ideas out there and it can be hard to narrow down your options.
Why is this so important?
Color design expert Barbara Jacobs tells us that color accounts for 60% of our response to a place or an object. It affects us both physically and psychologically.
But with a seemingly infinite assortment of colors and finishes to choose from, choosing interior paint colors can be an overwhelming task and a major source of stress for many homeowners.
To help you simplify the process, we’ve put together a list of 5 easy steps for choosing the perfect interior paint color for your project.
#1: Analyze Your Space
Jessica Cumberbatch, site director for Elle Decor, says one of the biggest mistakes you can make is choosing paint colors first.
Instead, step back and take the time to examine your whole space.
- Consider adjoining rooms. Often two or more rooms are visible at the same time. Depending on your floor plan, someone in the living room may be able to see the kitchen or dining room. You want to choose color schemes that transition effectively from one space to the other.
- Size matters. Consumer Reports points out that colors generally appear more intense in large spaces, so lighter colors may work better in your bigger rooms. If you want to use a bold color in a large room, consider just painting a single wall or using it as an accent.
- Choose a focal point. Do you have a favorite work of art or photograph to show off? Or would you like your house to match your wardrobe? Interior design photographer Liana Hayles Newton suggests choosing a focal point and building your color choices around that.
#2: Consider Emotional Impact
Do you want the room to give off a dramatic vibe? Or do you want a restful, soothing oasis from the stress of a hectic day?
Your paint selection goes a long way toward creating the desired atmosphere. Here are a few examples:
- If you want a quiet, restful atmosphere, look for soft, cool colors.
- To create a sense of drama, stronger colors would be your choice.
- Warmer colors tend to create a more casual, sociable setting.
- Deeper colors and neutrals give the room a formal ambiance.
- Be careful when painting children’s rooms. Bright colors might be overstimulating and cause irritability.
#3: See the Light
Consider the amount and sources of light before painting interior walls.
Are there windows letting in abundant sunlight? Or does most of the illumination come from electric lights? What kind of bulbs are you using?
- Natural sunlight shows the truest color.
- Incandescent light brings out warm colors.
- Fluorescent light goes well with cool colors.
- LED lights are very flexible and look good with colors across the spectrum.
In rooms that get lots of natural sunlight, consider the time of day and direction the light tends to come from.
- Time of day: Sunlight has a warmer appearance in the morning, becomes bluer in the afternoon, and becomes warmer again as sundown approaches.
- Direction of light: North-facing windows get less direct sunlight, while south-facing rooms are often the sunniest locations in the home. East windows get the yellow glow of morning sunlight, while western rooms receive a warm glow in the afternoon.
When shopping for paint, you may notice that some stores have light boxes that let you test paint chips in different types of lighting to get a feel for what will look best in your home.
#4: Do a Color Audition
Once you’ve identified a few favorite color possibilities, try them out before the painting begins.
- Interactive tools. Look for a paint color app or other online tools that let you mix and match colors.
- In-store tools. Try before you buy with various tools available in many retail stores. Examples include paint color chips or paint swatches, along with light boxes that let you see how different colors look under different types of light.
- In-home tools. Try out different colors on walls with different levels of sunlight and electric lighting. Use sample paint colors on poster board to test colors at home.
- Start small! Who says you have to go “all in” all at once? Just paint a small room or find a small item in the color you like. If you’re not crazy about how it looks, it’s much easier to choose a different color for a small space than a large one.
When trying out different interior paint colors, consider both main colors that will take up large sections of a room, and accent colors that will be used for baseboards, chair rails, window frames, and fireplaces.
#5: The Color Wheel and Other Ways to Mix and Match
Chances are you’d like to have more than one color in a room.
A good place to start when matching paint colors is a color wheel. In general, opposite colors tend to work best together.
Here are a few other considerations when combining different paint colors.
- Use caution when picking colors that are too bright or saturated. Light muddy colors tend to work best on walls, while bright colors usually work best as accent pieces.
- Another option is to play up monochromatic schemes to create bold or subtle variations between your accent color and main color.
- Choose different paint finishes to create a pleasing, aesthetic variety. You can give the room a completely different feel simply by choosing a matte or gloss finish — even if the hue stays the same.
- You can add depth with decorative finishes. Burnished mineral, metal finishes or layered colored glazes are often a good choice. Consider softly, reflective materials for added visual appeal.
Do you need help choosing interior paint colors for your project?
Contact us at Amos Building Company. Our professionals will help you select the perfect paint colors and achieve the best results for your home!