How to Choose a Paint Color Scheme
Thinking about repainting your home? Where do you start? Looking for a painting contractor and deciding on what colors you want to use are probably the 2 most important things to decide on. We wrote about how to find a good painting contractor before so let’s focus on choosing a color scheme in this post. To identify your perfect paint color scheme,
Always Start with a Color Wheel
No interior designer would be found without one. Having one is crucial when trying to choose a paint color scheme. You can pick one up at your favorite paint store and places like the Home Depot. It is a good starting point because it holds the key to the three types of color schemes: Monochromatic (shades of a single color), Analogous (colors that are adjacent on the wheel), and Complementary (colors that are directly opposite one another on the wheel).
Do you like to stick to a favorite color or keep things simple? Then a Monochromatic scheme is an answer for you because it uses shades and tints of a single color. Neutral monochromatic schemes, like shades of beige and mocha brown, are very much preferred and commonly used because they are easy to work with. Plus, they never seem to go out of style. You still can add color to a mono scheme; just imagine a room in tints and shades of sunny yellow with accents of denim blue – brightening a cool palette.
This is a fail-safe scheme that uses 2 or 3 colors that are adjacent on the color wheel. Usually, one color is dominant such as on a wall while the others are used for an added interest such as a trim or accents. Just imagine the yellow, orange and red color scheme: a yellow-painted kitchen with orange counter stools and drapes punched up with red countertop appliances and placemats.
Complementary color combinations are found everywhere, especially in nature: red poinsettias with green leaves. You don’t have to go bold, though. A complementary scheme can also use variations: for instance, pale pink walls in a girl’s room with grass green furnishings.
Become familiar with industry terms
To identify and choose your paint color scheme you should know about some industry terms.
Hue is the name used to identify a color, such as blue. Intensity describes how saturated the color is. Value refers to how light or dark it is. Most palettes use three values: light, medium, and dark. This can be an easy way to translate your palette to your room. A light color is often used as a background on walls and ceiling. Medium tones are popular for carpeting or large pieces of furniture. A dark floor will ground the space, while a light one can visually open up the room.
The truth is, color makes a space come alive. It can attract attention, set a mood, and even influence our emotions and perceptions.
Dark vs. Light
Give some thought to the space you want to be repainted. Is the room big or small? Does it get lots of sunlight or is it rather dark? The color of walls and ceilings can dramatically change the atmosphere. While dark colors can make spaces feel cozy and small, light colors can make a room seem larger. A room that has little natural light can turn colors grey or muddy, whereas a room that is flooded with sunlight will make the colors on the wall seem washed out.
Suggestion: If your floor plan is open and rooms flow into one another, choose your main color, and paint the adjacent room a shade or two lighter or deeper. For example, if the living room connects to the dining room, different shades of the same color will define each room as a separate space but keep them visually connected.
The 60/30/10 Rule
Try the 60/30/10 rule, used by designers. With this method, one color (often a light neutral) is used on about 60% of the room’s surfaces, a secondary color (usually a medium tone) is used on 30%, and the third color (often bold or bright) is used as an accent on 10% of the furnishings. Here’s an example: floors, walls, and a large sofa are pale grey (60%); a room-sized rug and two chairs are coral (30%); pillows and other accessories are bright blue (10%).
Lacking Imagination? Look for Inspiration
Browse home and garden magazines, watch your favorite decorating shows, and check out paint manufacturers and interior designer websites. Look around you: a favorite piece of art, patterned rug or colorful fabric can inspire your palette. Visit your local paint store and pick up color samples and brochures. You’ll find a wealth of friendly advice and color inspiration there!
Narrow It Down
Now it’s time to see how the colors you like will look in your space. Most paint stores now make small samples available to try out on your wall. Some even now supply stick paper you can paint and stick to your wall. Be sure to apply it on several places on your wall to see what the color will look like in a darker or sunnier spot, as well as how it changes throughout the day.
Picking the right color schemes for your home requires a little bit of homework but can be a lot of fun. If you are one of those rare people that suffer from colorblindness you can always avail yourself of color consulting services, such as here.
We hope this post was helpful to know on how to choose a paint color scheme for your painting project.