Are you thinking about painting a room in your house but struggling to find the right color? There are so many different shades and tones that just standing in front of the paint chip section can be overwhelming. But with a little refection the color selection process can be a lot of fun. Here are 10 tips to help you decide on the perfect color:

  1. Start with the colors you love. Rather than starting with the colors a room ‘should’ be, think about what colors you’ll love living with. Use your favorite color or colors as a base from which you can select complimentary or related colors. Which leads to Step 2…
  2. Create a color palette. Your favorite colors might be too bright or dark for your tastes in wall color. That’s where a color palette comes in handy. It will you help find colors related to your favorite that are more suitable for the walls or for accent colors. To create a color palette start with a base color and then select complementary colors and closely related colors. Online color palette generators will help you select the colors you want to look for in a paint store.
  3. Use pictures and magazines to get a sense of what you like. Just like bringing a picture of a celebrity to a hair stylist, arriving to a paint store with some pictures of rooms you think are gorgeous will help the employees understand what you’re looking for. This kind of visual brainstorming is also a great place to start if you don’t really know what you want.
  4. Start with what you already have. If you know what furniture or decoration you will put in the room, look for colors that will compliment these features. You don’t want to go to all the work of painting a room only to realize you can’t hang any of your posters on its walls. Similarly, if you’re having trouble deciding on a color, draw inspiration from prints or pieces of furniture you love.
  5. Consider how you want to feel inside the room. If you want your bedroom to be a space of comfort and relaxation while your kitchen is wakeful and bright, save the vibrant colors for the kitchen and put something calmer in the bedroom. Colors impact the way we feel, so consider the emotional purpose of a room before committing to a color.
  6. Pay attention to the paint’s sheen. The glossier the paint, the easier it is to clean. If you have small children or are painting a high-traffic room or a room that gets a lot of grease, opt for a high gloss or a semi-gloss sheen that’s easy to wipe down. But painting entire walls high gloss can make them unpleasantly shiny. Consider high gloss for doors and trim, semi-gloss for walls, and matte or flat for ceilings.
  7. Make your rooms feel bigger or smaller. The color of a room’s ceiling goes a long way toward defining that room’s feel: cozy or airy, spacious or tight. To ‘lower’ the ceiling, paint it a darker color; to ‘raise’ it, opt for something close to white. But don’t be afraid to paint your ceiling an off-white to add a tint of color or tie it into the walls.
  8. Use neutral colors creatively. If you don’t want to use strong colors but also don’t want plain beige walls, consider using neutral colors in creative ways. Stripes of light and dark neutrals bring variety and texture to a room but don’t overwhelm the space. A much lighter or darker neutral on a room’s trim also adds unexpected but subdued contrast.
  9. Consider a room’s light. The amount of light, both natural and artificial, that a room gets will change the way a color appears on its walls. Before picking a color notice how much light a room gets over the course of the day. If it’s a dim room consider colors that will lighten the space and reflect light back into the room.
  10. Sample your paint colors before you commit! No matter how well you plan, sometimes a color looks different when you get it inside your house. Paint samples of the color or colors you think you want on various spots around the room and live with them for a few days. This is especially good for testing how a color or a sheen interacts with your furniture and the room’s light.

Good luck and happy painting!

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