The Ultimate Guide to Picking Paint Colours
Let's cut to the chase, picking paint colours is hard.
Where do you start?
Who do you listen to?
Do you pick paint colours based upon the direction of the sun in that room, your favourite colours, the undertones of your flooring, a white because that's trending, a gray because that's what's been trending for over a decade?
How do you make the perfect paint colour selection for your home? Let's break it down.
Where do you start?
There are two schools of thought when it comes to this one.
1. If you do not have any furniture picked or area rugs picked and ready to go for that room, pick a paint colour that you love, and then design an entire colour scheme around that paint colour.
If you love blue- go for it.
Pick a blue that is going make your heart sing, and then pick coordinating colours that work with that colour and tie the entire room together.
What is going to make the paint colour feel off in relationship to furniture once installed, is if you do not style the entire room. And that means picking coordinating colours in large, medium and small-scale coordinating patterns so that the entire space feels complete and flows.
By doing it this way, your eye is drawn to the styling you have created in the room through the colour integration rather than noticing that something feels off.
2. If you do have furniture and large-scale items picked is to analyze the undertones of these items.
Are they yellow-beige, blue-gray, a green undertone, a violet undertone, or are they a bold dramatic colour?….. which I highly doubt because let's be honest we are in a neutral landscape these days.....
So when analyzing neutrals you need to understand the undertones it is pulling so you are not placing a non-coordinating undertone colour on the wall.
Let's say your sofa is a blue-grey undertone and you put a light violet beige on the walls. You won't know why it doesn't work, but something will forever feel off because the undertones of the wall paint aren't the same as the undertones of your furniture.
Do you pay attention to the direction of the sun?
Yes, the lighting plays a part, but only if the undertones have not been correctly matched and if the room has not been styled.
Agonizing over how a colour looks on the 4 different walls in a room, at sunrise, daylight, or dusk will drive you crazy.
The importance is for the colour to pull everything in your space together, and the only way to do that is by above ⬆⬆ ---coordinating a room around a colour, or matching undertones.
That is the only way of doing it.
When you nail this, it doesn't matter what direction the sun faces. It doesn't matter how much light you have, because the room will read cohesively as one, and the small-time when the light is changing and the paint colour reads differently won't bother you because everything will cohesively change along with the light.
Do you pick colours based on the undertones in your flooring?
Only if you want to draw attention to your floors.
Yes, your flooring is the largest square footage in your home and visually ties rooms together, but if you are in a situation where the colour of your floor is not ideal and you cannot change it, pairing the undertones of your floor will only draw attention to it.
Same as picking a complementary colour to the tones on your floor. These tactics draw attention to your flooring.
If you want your flooring to reside in the distance, pair your wall colour with your furniture and accent pieces. This allows your floor to not become the focal and compete with the space OR pick a paint colour that you love and style your space around that colour.
What about whites, grays, and blacks?
Whites are trending, I get it.
But only paint your walls white if you love white. Otherwise, you run the risk of making your space feel cold and uninviting.
The only way to warm up a white room is to style it properly, so you will need to invest in furniture and accessories in warm tones like cognac, deep blues, wood tones, and rich colours.
Otherwise, your room will feel stark — NO👏 MATTER👏 WHICH 👏 WHITE 👏UNDERTONE 👏YOU 👏WORK 👏WITH.
You are far better off to pick a lightly pigmented greige, taupe or beige tone that as enough pigment to be ever so delicately noticed, coordinate with your furniture pieces and bring in some warmth to your space.
Gray, just don't do it.
Grays are always going to cast blue, green or violet undertones, that is how grays are made. And if you cannot read that undertone properly and pair the wrong tones, it will feel off.
Gray is still present in the material and building world because manufacturers have stock. NOT because it is a viable option for your space.
The only way to make black work is to make it a colour in your home. And that means adding large-scale furniture pieces, artwork, area rugs, and items in your home that are pure black as well – not hardware, lighting, and small trinkets. The size needs to make the colour feel intentional.
Otherwise black pulls focus in the wrong way.
Phew! That was a lot.
If you can't tell, picking paint gets me all riled up.
It is something so small in the grand scheme of an entire project, but the colour options available make it confusing and ooooohhh so daunting.
What paint tip did you not know? Let us know in the comments below ⬇️⬇️