Now that you’ve moved into your new home, you’re probably ready to start painting and decorating. However, deciding just what color to paint each room can be a tough decision. The moving professionals at E.E. Ward Moving & Storage have put together some tips to help navigate you through the color selection process.
Before committing to a paint color it is important to understand color. Here are some color terms you may want to know.
Hue. Hue refers to the color itself. Red is the hue; blue is the hue.
Value. The value of a hue is how light or dark it is.
Saturation. This describes the dominance of a hue. As you move from red to pink, the red hue becomes less dominant.
Intensity. The intensity of a hue is the brilliance of a hue. Pure colors, such as red or blue, are more intense than combined colors like yellow-green. A stronger, more intense color usually has a more dominant hue.
If you want a more active space, consider introducing stronger, more intense color. Even if you want a light-colored room, choose colors that are slightly more saturated than off-white or light pastel. Very light color can feel bright and stark when it appears on all surfaces in a room. However, two or more medium-light, closely related pastel colors can create a luminous effect when used in the same room.
If you’re hesitant when it comes to color you may want to start off in a small space, like a bathroom, an area between rooms, or an accent wall. Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to pick a paint color before doing anything else. Choosing the color of the wall seems like the logical first step, however it’s often much easier to draw inspiration from other things. Think about what will be in the room. For example, if you plan to have a nice chocolate brown bath mat and matching brown towels in your bathroom you may want to paint the walls with a soft blue.
Create a Mood
Color is a great way to convey mood. Take into consideration the mood of each room. In a bedroom for instance, do you want a restful and soothing feeling, or a more dramatic and intimate one? Soft, cool colors and neutrals usually create a quieter feeling while stronger colors are for drama. Ask yourself questions about each room. Do you want your dining area to feel sociable and stimulating or appear formal and quiet? For a sociable atmosphere you might consider warmer, contrasting and somewhat brighter colors, where a more formal ambiance can be achieved with deeper blue-greens and neutrals. Do you want a child’s room to create an active and exciting energy or an orderly and restful feeling? Be careful not to overstimulate your children with intensely bright hues. You may not know it, but some brighter colors can lead to unrest and irritability.
Don’t Forget About Lighting
Lighting is a big factor when choosing a color. The same hue will appear differently in different kinds of lighting.
Natural daylight shows the truest color;
Incandescent lighting brings out warm tones and yellows;
Fluorescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone.
Which means a strong, vibrant, color could be too bright and overpowering when applied to a wall next to a large window, but could be effective when used on an accent wall with indirect light.
Test It Out
Test your colors on poster board or a large area of a wall. Think about decorating as an adventure. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. Consider strong, vivid colors or soft, deep neutrals like chocolate brown or olive green as main or accent colors. Or add drama with a stronger color on the ceiling. Tinted ceilings can dramatically change the whole look of a room.
Add Depth with a Decorative Finish
A decorative finish is a great way to add depth to a room. Use subtle or dramatic visual texture and broken color to transform a flat, dull wall into an interesting and personal space. Burnished mineral/metal finishes and layered colored glazes add depth. Some examples of softly reflective metals are mica, copper, pewter, bronze and, of course, antiqued silver and gold.
Go From Room To Room
Walk into another room to see how colors interact when viewing one next to the other in adjacent rooms. Approach it like a composition: you’re in one room, but you’re going to see a piece of another room through it. So as you’re choosing colors, consider how they will flow from room to room to create your picture.
It wouldn’t hurt to have a small color wheel on hand. It’s a great reference tool for modifying and intensifying two or more colors. For example, red and green, which are complementary (opposite) colors, are most intense when used together. You may be surprised at how many combinations function beautifully together, and you may even become attracted to entirely new color palettes. The color wheel also illustrates the visual temperature of a color. Draw a line from the yellow-green mark on the color wheel all the way down to the red-violet; you’ll see that all the colors on the left are warm and the colors on the right are cool.
Consider Monochromatic Schemes
You can create variations, bold or subtle, within one color group with contrasting paint finishes. For example, use closely related colors, or try a single color in different finishes, for walls and trim in one space. For an accent color, select a warmer (more toward reds) or cooler (more toward blues) color to complement your main color group. For a quieter ambience, make sure your colors are not extremely bright. White or an off-white tint can be a striking accent when used as trim with a monochromatic color group.