Choosing Wall Colors
If you’ve been living with white walls because you love white walls, then you are living with surroundings that fit your personality. But, if you are living with white walls because you are uneasy about choosing a color, then you are doing yourself an injustice. The same goes true for a room painted in a color you don’t like. It’s always better to take a chance and try a color you would prefer.
If you have a few colors that you can’t decide between, there is a simple and inexpensive solution. Most home improvement stores will sell you a small can of paint in any color for just a few dollars. This allows you to try out your choices before investing in a gallon or more of paint.
Paint your colors choices on large pieces of poster board and tack to your walls. Live with them a few days and take note how the colors change with the morning, afternoon and evening light. Move them around from wall to wall to see how they look. You could also just paint large patches of color directly on each wall instead of moving poster board.
You may be surprised at how different your choices look depending where they are placed in the room and whether they are in shadow or not. Having the ability to see their affect on your space is a cheap and easy way to determine if you can live with them before you invest in painting an entire room.
Some things to keep in mind when choosing colors is that glossy colors reflect light whereas the more matte colors like flat or satin tend to absorb it. Light colors make a space feel larger and more spacious whereas dark colors can make a room feel cozier or overwhelming and dreary.
Also consider the direction your rooms face. Generally, lighter colors work nicely in northern rooms and darker or brighter colors will look great in rooms facing south.
When painting walls, it’s best to give them a fresh coat every five years or so. The more traffic a room receives, the more often it may need repainting. Even if you are only repainting in the same color, a fresh new coat will make a room feel rejuvenated. Especially when you paint the trim and ceiling, too.
You may want to accentuate certain architectural features in the room like a fireplace mantel or a bay window by painting them a different color than the walls. It’s fun to experiment and find out whether you like your ideas. Remember that you can always repaint if you don’t like it.
As for ceilings, try not to get stuck in the mindset that they need to be white. Experiment with painting them a shade or two lighter than your wall color for rooms with ceiling heights of 9’ or less and a shade or two darker for rooms with high ceilings.
There are many things to learn about color and how it affects your surroundings. Don’t let that intimidate you from picking a new color. Remember the first rule of decorating – create a space that you love and that reflects your personality. No matter what someone else has painted on the wall, if the design or color doesn’t resonate with you, then paint over it.
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