How to pick the right paint color for your space like a professional

How to pick the right paint color for your space like a professional

Anyone whose been to a paint store knows there are literally thousands of paint colors.
Designers love the options. Paint is the most flexible aspect of creating an interior space. However, for most home owners, choosing a color can be daunting.

When a designer picks out a paint color, they already have the rest of their finishes selected for the project. Because of paints flexibility, it is the last item we specify. When a home owner picks a paint color, they usually have an idea in mind or a direction they want to take the space. They go to the store, grab a swatch or two, come home, and find the colors look completely different in their space. Frustrating!

Here are some tips for choosing a new paint color in your space the next time you feel inspired:

  • Pick up a full paint deck from your favorite paint store. I like Benjamin Moore. They have a great selection, good quality paint and samples of colors (very important!)
  • Look at the paint deck in the space you want to paint. Let’s say you want to go more grey. Look at the grey section of the color deck. Hold the deck next all of the finishes that are staying in the room. How do the colors you like look with the floor, your sofa fabric and chairs.
  • DO NOT hold the paint swatches up against the current paint color on the wall. The current color won’t be there when you paint and is influencing the color on the swatch.
  • You may discover that you current finishes and materials won’t work with the color direction you want to go. Is there one finish you can change with the paint that would make the biggest difference? A very yellow tile, perhaps? Refinish the floor?
  • Another option is to start with you current colors and work toward the grey swatches. It may be not as dramatic, but still fresh. Add some new accessories, throw pillows and maybe a rug to support the new color direction.
  • Pay attention to how dark the new color is. How is that going to effect your space? Can you add some light? Would a lamp do the job? Consider using a dark color on an accent wall.
  • Remember, a little green, blue or purple in you grey will translate to a lot once its on your walls.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choice to 3 or 4 swatches, go to your paint store and get paint samples. Paint the samples on a piece of white paper board from you local craft store. Cut the samples so that each is separate and there is not white around the sample.

Look at the samples again with your finishes. Is there one that look best with all of them? Look at them during different times of day and different lighting. Take your time. Take several days to look at them. Go back and get more samples if you
need to.

Finally, consider professional advice. Many interior designers will consult. Keep in mind a consulting fee is usually higher than a typical design fee, in order to make the trip feasible for the designer. Designer look at color all of the time and can spot subtle differences in paint that you may not. If your time is valuable or you would rather be doing something else, this is an important consideration.

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