Picking paint colours is tricky. Not only do you have to pick a colour you like but you have to ensure the undertone is right for the room and heaven forbid you pick a colour that's soooo last year (just kidding- but did you hear that beige is making a comeback?). I'm sure many of you have also learned that one colour may look good on the internet, but not so good in your own house. If the idea of going to a paint store on your own seems like a daunting task, I've got a few tricks up my sleeve to help you out.
Peek Inside Your Closet
My first and FAVOURITE piece of advice for picking a paint colour is to look in your closet. If you're someone who wears black and white everyday, you'll probably feel uneasy painting your house yellow. When I look at my wardrobe, the main colours that it is made up of are, black, grey, white, green and blue. So it's not shocking that those are also the paint colours in my house. Paint your house the colours that you feel most comfortable around. It's a sure way to make your house feel most like YOU.
Decide on a Feeling
Pinpoint how you want the space to make you feel. Inspired, relaxed, calm? I could go on and on about the psychology of colour but here are the basic facts. Every colour sparks specific feelings. I'm going to generalize colours into two categories- warm colours and cool colours. Warm colours (Reds, Oranges, Yellows, etc.) can make you feel energized, cheerful and optimistic. However, warm colours can also have negative effects. Red and yellow can increase your appetite (this is why fast food restaurants LOVE these colours). Red can also increase blood pressure, while yellow can make people lose their temper. Warm colours can be very intense for some, which is why they are best used sparingly or as accent colours. If you really do love warm tones but don't want the room to feel too overwhelming, pick the lightest shade possible!
Cool colours (Blues, Greens, Purples, Greys, Browns, etc.) can make a room feel serene, sophisticated and even safe. Blues and greens are great for creating relaxing and calming spaces. Purple is known as a very luxurious colour and when done in a lighter shades (like lavender) can also act as a peaceful neutral. Last but certainly not least, browns and greys are both great neutrals that can evoke feelings of comfort, security and warmth.
Understand Your Natural Lighting
Don't underestimate natural lighting, it can drastically change the colour of paint. I'm going to get a little technical on you here. If your room is northern facing, opt for a warmer colour to offset the cooler light tones. For southern facing rooms, opt for cooler tones if you want to make the room feel less hot. Basically, don't paint your southern facing room orange unless you want to make it feel like Winnipeg in the middle of the summer on plus 33 day. You know what I'm talking about. Also, if you've been wondering why your lovely all white room feels like a sterile insane asylum in the dead of the winter, it's quite possible that you have a northern facing room! If you really want to paint your northern facing room white, see if you can find a white with a warmer undertone (stay far away from anything in the blue family).
Don't Dismiss Artificial Light
After you take into consideration your natural light, it's now time to think about the artificial light that is in your space. If you have a blue light bulb, it may make your white look cold. The same goes for a yellow light bulb. It can bring out any purple undertones that are in your room. Undertones play a huge role in paint colours. The easiest way to get the purest paint colour possible is to switch out any bulbs that have undertones for pure white bulbs.
A Little Grey Advice
Grey is definitely one the most popular colours of this decade but picking the right grey isn't that easy. Because grey is a shade, it will pick up on any nearby tones. For instance, I have hardwood floors that have an orange undertone, so it was next to impossible to find a grey that didn't look blue next to them. Remember that handy dandy colour wheel from elementary? If so, then I'm sure that you remember that blue and orange are complimentary colours. This basically means that greys that have any blue undertones look SUPER blue and my floors looked SUPER orange (ick). The key to finding the perfect grey (or any paint colour really) is to find a colour with similar undertones or to pick something without any obvious complimentary colour. Finding a subtle green undertone is also a good way to mute orange floors.
I'm not saying paint your whole bedroom fuchsia, but don't be afraid to take risks. I struggled about painting my whole bedroom navy blue, but in the end taking that risk paid off and it's one of my favourite rooms. The easiest way to dip your toes into the wild world of colour is buy a tester pod (you can pick these up at Home Depot). Paint a square on your wall and live with it for a few days (you can also paint a square on a large piece of paper if you don't want to make a commitment right away). This is also a great way to test out a couple of colours. Last but not least, if you still don't have any idea on what paint colour to pick- shoot us an email, we'd love to help you out.
Until next time... Jen