Choosing Paint Colors
When it comes to decorating, choosing paint color can really be a challenge. Visiting the paint store can be quite overwhelming. All those colors to choose from - where do you start? Make at least a couple of trips and get ideas but make the final decision after rugs, wallpaper and fabrics are finalized. Trends can get in the way of what we know we like and trying to fit colors in with existing furniture, cabinetry, floors or woodwork makes it even more difficult. Research has shown that colors can affect not just our frame of mind but our behavior and thought patterns.
The goal with wall color is finding the most neutral shade that goes with everything you love and that works as a background. Adding an accent wall in a different shade can bring that special look you want without having too much of a powerful color. For example, painting one wall red is more pleasing to the eye than a whole room.
If you're working with a print fabric, you'll probably be happier if you select the coordinating wall paint color from the background of the print. Use the deeper or brighter tones for accents throughout the room or adjacent spaces.
More often than not, you'll select a shade of white or off-white for the moldings, doors and windows. The very lightest color on your paint swatch can be used for the trim (moldings, doors, windows and built-ins) as well; use a semi gloss or eggshell. Unless your intention is to create a traditional Colonial look, keeping the trim color light is the best choice.
Light colors are usually most pleasing for a ceiling, because ceilings are seen in shadow. If you'd like the ceiling to match the wall color and the walls are nine feet or lower, paint the ceiling two shades lighter than your wall color in a flat finish. Another option is to dilute your wall color with white paint in a ratio of 25% color to 75% white. If your ceilings are higher, paint them one shade darker than the wall color. By using two shades of the same color for your walls and ceiling, the light will now reflect evenly throughout the room.
Wet paint color often looks different from dry paint. Don't panic when you first see the paint applied to the wall. Let it dry and then check it with your other samples (fabric, tiles and carpet) to decide if it looks right. Paint can also look out of place in an empty room. Bring in a few room elements (a chair, painting or window treatment) to see how it all works together. Most of the paint stores have samples or small cans available to try out colors before you make the big commitment.
Choose colors you love and your home will be a comfortable and relaxing retreat for you and your family. Don't ever be afraid to experiment. Paint is easily changeable. The right color combinations can reflect your personality and style.
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