Over the years I have done hundreds of color consults. The basis of all my home designs — whether hanging art, furnishing a room, or doing a remodel — starts, and essentially ends, with color. Most people love color, but they are often overwhelmed by all the possibilities, and thus choose to do nothing. And then they are forever unhappy with their white walls. Let’s get out of that rut and add some color to your home with these simple tips.
- Get inspired!
What colors are you attracted to? What items in your home are you drawn to? Sometimes I ask clients to show me their closet, as we often wear colors we’re attracted to. I also ask to see their dishes as they can be another indicator of preferred colors.
- Get a little help.
Check out houzz.com for inspiration. When doing an interior design project I request that clients make us a file of their favorite inspiration images on this website, and you certainly could do the same for color as well.
- White paint costs the same as colored paint!
Take a chance on a color, you might like it! If not, it’s only paint. And remember: colored paint costs the same as white paint.
- Go bold in the bathroom.
Unsure about going with a darker color? I encourage clients to go with a bold color in the powder room. It’s usually a small room, but it can have great impact. Do the ceiling in the same, saturated color for a dramatic effect. Starting with this small room is a great indicator to see how well you like a deep, saturated, or bold color.
- Accentuate the positive.
A house needs to have a variety of values — not all light colors, not all dark colors. One way to achieve this contrast is to paint an accent wall that is different in color and value from the other walls. The accent wall in a room needs to be a focal point wall where your eye is naturally drawn, whether it is an architectural or environmental feature.
- Always use a neutral.
In every home in which I do full color consults, I always use a neutral. Neutrals are a must in some areas of the home. I recommend a neutral in hallways and stairwells. I always caution against doing a bold color in those areas, as our eye needs to rest, and often those areas call for neutrality to allow in some light.
- Separate the ceilings.
A crisp white ceiling is my preference on most ceilings. It helps to define the wall color, and down the road if the wall color is changed, the ceiling does not have to be repainted. However, sometimes in bedrooms, bathrooms, or dining rooms, I do play up the ceiling with color.
- Choose a good quality paint.
Use the best quality paint you can. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t mean it has to be the most expensive paint. A designer, painter, or paint store can help lead you to good quality paints.
- Double up!
Two coats of paint are best, and I always recommend two coats on my projects. Generally, the first coat goes on a little thicker, and the second coat is a lighter overcoat.
- Hire a good painter.
Designers and paint stores are great sources to ask for detail-oriented painters. It’s important for a painter to take care and time to be respectful of your home and furniture, and to do a fabulous job, one that will last for many years!