Sunday, March 7, 2010

Finding Paint Colors You Can Truly Live With

Ever feel like you want to step out of the box when it comes to color in your home? Taking the plunge from white or pleasantly neutral can feel overwhelming given all the paint choices. Choosing the “proper” color can also feel intimidating.

Although there are some basic rules to color as well various color trends, finding a color scheme that truly suits you is what is ultimately important. Often, the rules can be broken and the outcome will still be surprisingly pleasant if not striking. Therefore, here are some tips to finding colors that suite you personally.

A Color Journal

It is helpful to keep a color journal. The journal may include photos, magazine clippings, art or artifacts, paint or fabric swatches and even flowers, marbles, glass etc.

Look at a Color Palette or Color Swatches

Simply, what color or colors grab your attention or jump out at you. Keep or obtain some samples.


Pay attention to your surroundings such as restaurants, furniture stores, places you have traveled and friend’s homes. How do the colors make you feel? Do you like a warmer environment, brighter or lighter? Do you prefer elegant and simple spaces or more rustic? Do you enjoy patterns and textures or monochromatic (varying shades of one color) and elegant?

The Existing

Do you already love the colors in a rug, a pillow or a piece or art? Use that for inspiration. Do you like a fabric and pattern? Start with what you have and build around it. A colorful inspiration piece allows you to choose warm and cool tones to balance the room and create a pallete to work from in surrounding rooms.

The more you pay attention to some of these simple things, the more you will find you are probably attracted to one or a few of the same colors. Once you have the color or colors, then you can apply some color knowledge such as determining the tones you prefer (varying levels or light or dark, muted or bright) as well as the schemes you prefer such as monochromatic (various shades of the same color), contrasting or complimentary (going from light to dark or colors across from each other on the color wheel) etc. You may even build up naturally off of one piece of inspiration such as that rug or pillow.

If you still feel your a bit unsure, a quick consultation with an Interior Designer, Color Specialist or even your local paint store can help you take the final plunge.

Playing with color; try these websites:

Better Homes and Gardens – Color-A-Room

"White is a non-decision." Celeste Jackson