Did you know that color has a significant influence over our perception of a place? In fact, color is often the reason we find one place uneasy and another appealing and inviting. Research shows that color accounts for roughly 60 percent of an individual’s response to a particular place. Therefore, it is important to use color wisely in your home, which starts with choosing paint colors. Here are five things that you should know when choosing paint colors for your home.
Never pick your paint color first. If you’re planning on redecorating a room, don’t choose your paint color first. Your best bet is to plan out the room and then consider the other textures and colors you want to use in the space. From there, you can choose a paint color. "It's one of the last things I pick, because I wait to see what all of the fabrics and other elements in the space are,” explains Tobi Fairley, an award-winning designer. “If you pick the paint color first, you can really pin yourself in a corner as far as finding the right things to match.”
Consider the mood of the room. Before you even look at a single color swatch, you need to consider how you want the room to feel. In other words, what kind of feel you want and what kind of mood you want the room to invoke. For example, let’s say you are painting your dining room. Consider whether you want the dining area to feel sociable and stimulating or whether you want to create a mood that is more formal and sophisticated. As a general rule of thumb, warmer colors and brighter colors tend to create a more social vibe, while, contrast, blues and greens, as well as neutral colors, tend to create a more formal ambience.
Pay attention to lighting. The same color may look slightly different in different lighting. For example, incandescent lighting will bring out warm tones and yellows in a color, while fluorescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone. Be sure to consider the kind of light in the room you are planning to paint, and how this light might affect the color.
Be careful with bright colors. Remember, bright colors appear even stronger when they are on an entire wall. "A bright cobalt blue, which is really trendy right now, can look great as a ceramic lamp, because it has a sheen to it, or as a silk pillow, because it has depth or interest, but when you put that same really bright color on the wall, it's a whole lot stronger,” explains Fairley. “Lighter, muddy colors (meaning they have more gray or black mixed in with them) work better than a really bright strong hue." And if you are going to paint your walls a bright color, balance them out with neutral furnishings and accents.
Don’t use more than three colors in a room. More than one paint color in a room can look great, but you don’t want to go overboard. As a general rule of thumb, try to keep things to a maximum of three colors. And if you are using two bold colors, make sure to balance things out with a neutral color.
Ultimately, choosing paint colors is an exciting process. Armed with this advice, you’re bound to find a great color for your space.