The Importance of Choosing the Right Paint Color

There are many ways to liven up your home during a remodel or redesign, and painting the walls is one of them. Unlike investing in a large furniture piece, paint is inexpensive and easily changed. Adding a bold backdrop to a room brings loads of charm and character. It’s a stunning transformation that costs only pennies compared to other renovations.

Finding the right paint color is a serious matter. Selecting a shade you love the first time around will save you the time and money it takes to redo an entire living space immediately. To ensure the success of your next home makeover, here are some tips from the experts on picking the right paint color. They cover the building blocks of color theory and color psychology, the steps you should take in choosing colors, and some examples of suitable colors for every room of the house.

The Basics of Color

Before we get into any actual painting, it's wise to learn a little more about color theory and color psychology. Color theory is something you may have discussed back in art class, and color psychology has more to do with your emotions and behavior. Both have their own role to play in your interior design.

A lot of color theory centers around the color wheel. Without diving too deep into terminology, the color wheel is composed of several hues. The word "hue" is used to identify color families. These are the primary and secondary colors you know : red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet and their combinations. The traditional color wheel contains twelve color families.

Colors close to each other on the wheel are known as analogous, while colors that are across from each other are called complementary. The distance between colors on the wheel determines how much they will contrast. For instance, pairing up red and orange is a low contrast color combination, but red and green together create a high contrast color scheme.

The lightness or darkness of a shade is called a color's value. Different tints of the same color — from light to mid-tone to dark — come together to produce a monochromatic scheme, which can be a sophisticated look for a room. Saturation is how dominant a hue is, and intensity is how brilliant a color is, with pure colors being more intense than combined colors.

Selecting the right paint color isn't an exact science. It also comes down to your personal connotations attached to colors, which is where color psychology comes in. While much of the evidence for color psychology is anecdotal, it is as significant as color theory when it comes to interior design. Far from being a modern invention, color psychology has been around since the ancient times when the Egyptians used colors in a healing practice referred to as chromotherapy.

Color psychology deals with the changes in your perception or mood when you view certain colors. The effects of color are subtle but noteworthy, causing reactions that are both physiological and emotional. Color is a language, with the power to alter your feelings or attract your attention.

One of the chief totems of color psychology is visual temperature, which groups colors into warm and cool. Warm includes red, orange, yellow, and cool includes green, blue, and purple. Warm colors tend to be more playful, increasing the energy in a room and encouraging conversation, while cool colors are peaceful, promoting relaxation and deep thought. For a living space that conveys both moods, try to strike a healthy balance between warm and cool colors. If you're looking for an accent color in a monochromatic room, select a color that's slightly warmer or cooler to complement the main color group.

Color is often one of the first things you notice when you walk into a room. It creates an opportunity to make a personal statement about yourself, emphasizing your home's decor as well as putting your personality on display.

How to Choose the Right Color

To select the right colors for your home, you should take inventory of the fixtures in each room that you would consider permanent. You rarely start with a totally blank canvas. You have existing carpet, hardwood floor, or tile, along with cabinets or maybe a fireplace.

Kitchen or bathroom cabinets may be painted over or refinished with little hassle, but installing new flooring would take a great deal of work. Be mindful of your home's features and draw inspiration from your current furnishings and accessories. You're probably attached to your furniture pieces at this point, and they'd be pricey to replace. Figure out which shades will complement what you already have. You could even pull a favorite color from artwork on your walls, area rugs, or other accents and splash it on the walls.

You then have to decide whether you want a variety of colors in a living space or if you'd prefer a monochromatic scheme with different shades of the same hue. You should also ask yourself if there's a certain mood you want to convey in the room you're designing. For instance, if it's an active space like the kitchen, feel free to pick intense, saturated colors. Tranquil rooms bathed in lighter shades shouldn't have walls that are too pale. Strive for quiet ambience over a plethora of pastels, which will make a room feel overly bright. However, if pale tints are well chosen, it translates into a lovely luminous effect, with white or off-white making for a striking trim.

Speaking of the brightness of a room, always remember to factor in your light sources. Natural lighting will make colors appear differently depending on the time of day, but interior lighting can also have an influence. Sunlight streaming in through your windows will show off the truest form of whatever color you select. When it gets dark outside and you rely on indoor lighting, incandescent bulbs will highlight yellows and other warm tones, while fluorescent lighting will pull blue tones from colors.

There are different finishes that affect the appearance of paint as well. Most brands of paint give you a choice when it comes to sheen, offering gloss, semi-gloss, satin, or matte. You can also mix together paints with different sheens for an in-between finish.

Glossy finishes grab your attention, so they can be used strategically to make gorgeous architectural features pop or help brighten dark areas. High gloss paint also happens to be the most stain-resistant option. Semi-gloss, as you might have guessed, is the next step down from glossy paint. Satin finishes will bring warmth and depth to a space. Matte paints are non-reflective, making walls appear smooth and concealing surface blemishes. If there's any feature of your home you want to emphasize, surround it with a coat of glossy paint. Similarly, matte paints will minimize aspects of a room that you don't want to take center stage.

You already know what hues are most appealing to you. After considering your furnishings, mood, lighting, and paint sheens, collect your color inspiration. No matter if you're Pinterest-savvy or prefer to keep a scrapbook with magazine clippings, gather paint chips and interior designs you'd like to emulate. If you can, experiment with a paint color in your bathroom, as an accent wall, in a small hallway, or along an area between rooms. If it's as beautiful as you envisioned, go ahead and proceed with painting in larger living spaces.

Ideal Colors for Different Rooms of the House

It is important to consider the mood you want to achieve for each room. You can't paint all the walls in your home the same color and call it a day. The right paint colors for kitchens aren't necessarily shades you would want in your bathroom. While neutrals are always a safe choice, the living room would look better in black, white, and gray, while the dining room calls for brown, beige, and cream.

Here are a few specific suggestions for each room:

  • Living Room: For the space that facilitates the most socializing, choose a color that's happy and easy on the eyes, like green. This is also a room where you have the option to go bold, as long as the color isn't too bright and hard on your vision.
  • Kitchen: The kitchen should feel cheery and welcoming, while emitting productive and energetic vibes. Carefully chosen shades of yellow and orange work well, too.
  • Dining Room: The trick with your dining room is to make it look formal without coming off too stuffy or uninviting. Handsome colors with brown undertones, such as dark orange or olive green, could be the answer.
  • Bedroom: Bedrooms deserve colors that make the space feel cozy, intimate, and luxurious, like a true hideaway. Reds and violets are perfect, but many colors work well.
  • Kid's Room: Don't make the mistake of believing you have to choose blue and pink when designing your child's room. More often than not, it's the theme of the room — anything from jungle exploration to princesses — that determines the color scheme.
  • Bathroom: When it comes to paint colors for bathrooms, stick with something pale that won't be jarring when you visit in the morning or right before bed. Mint green would look nice, but if you don't want a repeat of the living room, blue is another calming color.
  • Home Office: In your home office, you want to evoke a feeling of focus. Mix vivid colors with neutrals to enhance your concentration and make them a little more understated. Grayish green or deep purple work well in home offices.
  • Basement: If you have a finished basement, think of it as a secondary living room. With windows to shed light on the space, you can select paint colors that are as bold as upstairs, but otherwise you should opt for pale versions of the colors you want, so it won't appear too gloomy.

Your painting efforts shouldn’t end with the rooms inside your home. There's also the interior and exterior of your garage to consider. Plus, your siding, roof shingles, porch or deck, and other architecture details are all part of the equation. When picking what color to paint your garage exterior, ask yourself whether you want it to blend in or stand out. If you want to downplay a protruding garage or if the door itself isn't that attractive, paint it the same color as your house. This has the added benefit of making your home look bigger.

Make a statement with a bright or unusual color if your heart desires, but avoid painting your garage door more than one color. Strive for harmony with the rest of your home's exterior. For your interior garage paint scheme, select a light color with a gloss or semi-gloss finish. This will make it feel more spacious and less spooky.

Finding the Right Paint Color

During the interior design process, consider how adjacent rooms interact with each other when viewing them. You could unify rooms by giving them accent colors in common, creating a subtle flow. Rooms can share a color palette to truly feel cohesive, but you can give them distinction by altering shades within the palette.

Color is a powerful tool. It can make your one-of-a-kind treasures and unique accent pieces look as though they belong together. It can create the illusion of spaciousness, make a room feel rejuvenating, and lend a tone of anything from whimsy to modernity. Color theory, color psychology, saturation, and shade all play a part.

There is no one right paint color to color your living room. Your lifestyle, preferences, existing design features, and budget should be considered. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone with bold colors or intriguing combinations. After all, it's your home. It should feel comfortable to you, and you know best what reflects your own personality.

If you're at a loss about what paint color to choose, call upon the experts at Specialty Coatings Painting Contractors, Inc.. We have experience with custom residential painting, completing jobs from walls, ceilings, and trim to mantels, cabinets, and railings. Your home makeover will be in competent hands with our team, and it'll be easier than ever to discover the color scheme of your dreams.

Contact Us Today!