Choosing paint colors can be an overwhelming task and a really big commitment if you end up not liking how the color turns out. In my time as a product designer and DIY-loving homeowner, I’ve learned a few things about color that can make a big difference when choosing the right color for a room.
When choosing a color hue, think about the furniture and accents that you currently have. Will they still look good with a new color or will you have to replace everything? Its also important to think about the other paint colors in your house. Will this color be a sharp contrast? The trick I use for my house is to keep all of the colors at a similar saturation level. Even though my rooms vary from mint green, to purple, to periwinkle, they all have a similar pastel level and gray tone to them which makes them feel consistent. I also balance out the different colors by having a gray living room and hallway that anchors it all.
Once you decide the type of color you want, I suggest going to the paint store and taking color swatches in a range of that color. I literally take every possible shade and even similar colors, even if I don’t think they are quite right. The way color reads is very dependent on light and what other colors are around it, so you shouldn’t make a choice based on the colors in the store.
Bring the swatches into the room you want to paint and see how they look against the floor and trim in the room. My house has a lot of oak wood that reads more yellow. The current peach that I have in my bedroom looked really pretty on a swatch, but looks so yellow in the room, so my goal is to go with a bluer pink to cool it down.
As I mentioned before, the way color reads is very dependent on light, and what is around it. The top color on this swatch looks super light when looking at it, but look how different it reads against my wall. If I just chose the color in the store, it would have looked way darker than I wanted when it was on my wall. This is why its helpful to grab a range of swatches, even if you don’t think they look right in the store.
After looking at swatches in the room lighting, I narrow to the few that I like best and then tape them individually to the wall. Color can look different when the room light is on vs. daylight or even at different times of the day, so I keep them up for a few days to note the changes in appearance. Some people even buy samples of paint colors and paint them on the wall to help make this choice because it is hard to visualize with a small swatch.
After looking at these swatches for a few days, I actually decided that they were reading too pink for what I wanted, so I’m going to do more of a gray tone with just a hint of pink. I’m going to custom make my color based on what I’m looking for because I always have to be super high maintenance! I’m also scraping the popcorn texture off the ceiling in this room, so I will be sure to update with before and after photos when I’m finished!
Hopefully this helps minimize any future color nightmares!