Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Inspired Design: Selecting Paint Colors

Let’s start with the basics:
Paint is the fastest and least expensive way to update a room and it can fully transform a sterile, stuffy space into one that is warm and inviting.
Marie Flanigan Interiors
From color choices to textures and finishes, there are endless possibilities and we have some tips that will ensure you achieve the look you're dreaming of:
1 – Pull Inspiration from your Favorites: Not sure where to start? Begin by pulling color tones from your favorite piece of furniture, art or rugs. Your prized painting can often be all the inspiration you need for a total room transformation.

2 – Consider your Mood: Atmosphere affects mood. Consider how the space is used when choosing a wall color. Soft, cool colors and neutrals create a serene and soothing atmosphere, while bright tones and dark color palettes lend drama and a heightened sense of energy to a space.

3 – Lighting Changes Everything: Be sure to select colors under the same lighting that exists within your space. Natural light shows the truest color, incandescent lighting can wash warm yellows and browns over a hue, and typical fluorescent lighting cools down a space with whites and blues.

4 – Use the Color Wheel: Complementary colors (colors opposite one another on the color wheel) are most intense when used together in the same proportions. Spice up your color choice by adding small amounts of a complementary color to your space. Have a favorite color? Try using different shades or finishes of the same color in a room to create a chic, monotone space.

5 – Finish Strong: The finish (or reflective quality) of your paint selection is the final step.
Matte finishes have a soft, non-reflective quality and do a great job of camouflaging flaws.
Eggshell finishes create a low sheen and are easier to clean; consider this for powder rooms and hallways.
Satin finishes are glossier and are often used for trim and woodwork in residential spaces.

Expert Tips: The more gloss a paint possesses, the easier it is to clean. High gloss paints create a shiny, almost plastic look, and using them can add a dramatic, modernized vibe to your space, but beware, because although they are very easy to clean, they highlight nearly every imperfection that may exist on your walls or trim.
We suggest experimenting with high gloss on picture frames, furniture or even on contemporary kitchen cabinets, and we love the bold statement white or black high gloss paints can make in nearly any space!


Finally, don't forget to experiment with each color in your home before purchasing. What a color looks like on paper can look dramatically different from how it will eventually look on your walls.
Need inspiration?
Here are a few of Marie's favorite hues (neutral and bold):