Know your taste and your home’s structure to find a palette that’s pleasing.

From serene and stately to bold and exotic, color has the power to transform a space, create an atmosphere and make you happy to be home. All you have to do is choose the color that's right for you and the specific space you're looking to create. Sounds simple, right?

The truth is that a seemingly endless wall of paint chips can make that task downright overwhelming. But there are a few things you can do before even looking at colors to make your choice easier and ultimately more successful.

To begin, consider the space and your personal preferences. Ask yourself:

  • What's the function of the space? Is it a relaxing space or a high energy one, like a kitchen?
  • How large is the space? If the idea is to make a space feel bigger, go light, not dark.
  • Is the lighting natural, artificial or a combination? Natural light can wash out even the deepest hues. Plus, it changes through the day, transforming a room's mood completely.
  • What's the overall design style of the room?
  • Are there elements, such as furniture or existing carpet, that the color must work with? Note specific colors in upholstery, large pieces of artwork or patterned rugs.
  • What color is the adjacent room and how visible is it in the space you're painting?
  • What mood are you looking to create?
  • What's your tolerance for color? While you may admire bold colors in other spaces, you may never feel at home surrounded by them. Be honest about what works for you.

The answers to these questions will immediately eliminate some colors from your potential palette. For example, if the mood should be relaxing, then vibrant yellows, oranges and other hot colors are instantly out. Others will come to the top of the list. This simple fact will boost your color confidence and make facing the “wall of color” a great deal easier.

To boost your confidence even further, test colors out before committing completely. Most paints can be purchased in sample sizes that you can apply to large poster boards and hang in the room. Leave the boards up for a few days to determine how the color really works for you and how natural light affects it at different times of day. If the room is principally lit by natural light, move the boards around the room to see how the colors change at different angles.

Don't get frustrated if your first picks simply don't work. Since the color you ultimately choose is one you'll live with for a while, it's more important to get it right than to get it right away.

Posted 12:08 PM

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