Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Interior Design: How to Choose the Right Paint Color

Let’s start with the basics! Paint is the easiest and cheapest way to update a room or to create visual impact. Color can transform a sterile stuffy room into a warm and inviting space. From color choices to texture and finish options – there are endless possibilities! Here are some tips on how to get the look you want:
1 – Pull inspiration from your favorites. Not sure where to start? Begin by pulling color tones from your favorite piece of furniture, art or rug. Your favorite painting can be the inspiration 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 more serene and soothing atmosphere while bright tones and dark pallets can bring drama and energy to a space.

3 – Lighting changes everything. Be sure to select colors under the same lighting as 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 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 monotone but chic 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 work great to camouflage 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 Tip: The more gloss, the easier to clean! High gloss paints create a shiny, almost plastic, look. Use high gloss to add drama and to create a more modern looking space, but beware because although it is very easy to clean, almost every imperfection shows! Experiment with high gloss on picture frames, furniture or even on contemporary kitchen cabinets. White or black high gloss can really make a bold statement!

Remember: You can always purchase a sample of your paint color to try out in your space. Don't be afraid to take a few colors home and experiment.
Here are a few of Marie Flanigan's favorite hues - both neutral and bold:


Happy Painting!