Choosing the Right Paint Colors

Mar 26, 2015

Choosing the right paint color is no easy feat, especially if you're choosing colours for several rooms, or an entire home. While going through the process of picking out the colours for our home, I did a lot of research - reading lots of articles online, pinning as many photos as possible and browsing through my home decor books - to make sure that I was choosing the perfect color. To save you some time (and protect your sanity!), I thought that I would share a few of the tips and tricks that I've learned along the way to help you choose your dream paint colours.

Problem #1: Where to Start?

My favourite place to find paint colour inspiration is on Pinterest. That site is dangerous...the images are endless and if you aren't careful, it can become completely overwhelming. My suggestion to avoid feeling frustrated and becoming discouraged is to create a Pinterest board for the room you're looking to re-paint, and pin any images that you are drawn to, to that board. After a week or so, go back and look at all of the images in the board and analyze them overall. More than likely you'll identify trends and similarities in the images and spaces you've pinned. By pinning the images you're spontaneously drawn to, without giving too much thought to colours, you'll see what type of mood, vibe and aesthetic that you're naturally drawn to. 

When I was imagining the colours for our home, my first thought was definitely not white - but the more I pinned and looked at my pins, the more I realized that I was drawn to neutral/white painted rooms with neutral coloured furniture and, that I liked small doses of colour added through accessories. 

Here are some of my pinned images for the Living Room.
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Problem #2: Choosing Coordinating Colours

The thought of choosing coordinating paint colours used to make me nervous. I was afraid they'd never really look harmonious together once the walls were painted - the undertones would be wrong or the hues too bright. Luckily, I discovered paint collections and the "this goes well with" feature - incredible life savers when it comes to coordinating your paints. 

Paint collections are just that, a collection of paint colours that are meant to go together. Basically all brands of paints offer some form of a paint collection. Sherwin Williams for example, has West Elm & Pottery Barn Collections; and Beauti-Tone paints has the Style at Home collection.  This is definitely a comfortable and stress free way to build a cohesive colour scheme for your home, without leaving your home feeling monotonous.

The West Elm Paint Paletter for Sherwin Williams

The second option is the "this goes well with" feature, one of my favourite tools to play around with. If you head on over to the Benjamin Moore color gallery for instance, and choose a colour, the site will automatically suggest other colours that would go well with your chosen colour, more shades of the same colour, and similar colours! I're welcome. :)

Other Tips & Tricks
  • Always go a shade lighter then the colour you've picked to really get the look you're going for.
  • Tape paint swatches to the wall of the room you're painting and size up how the colour looks  throughout the day. The natural lighting can really change the way the colour looks.
  • When in doubt, ask for help. I painted two sample areas on our foyer and had friends and family vote on which colour looked the best.
  • Don't cry over dried paint. Paint is the simplest thing to change up in your decor. It takes a fairly minimal amount of effort and isn't overly expensive. If you change up your colours a few times within a few years, it's really not a big deal.
  • Even though paint CAN easily be changed, if you don't think you'll want to be re-painting your home every other year, then choose colours that are more neutral over colours that are currently trending. Sticking with whites, creams and other lighter colours is probably your best bet. You can add trends through your home decor accessories.

I hope you'll find these helpful! If you have any questions or other suggestions I'd love to hear from you. Happy Painting!

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