How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color

Illustration for article titled How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color

There are certain elements of design that make a room unique. Whether it’s a vintage vanity in the bathroom, oversized lounge chair in the living room, or wall-hung bookshelf in the library, a room is brought to life but what it contains. Choosing the right paint colors for your space will have this same effect.


Did you know that a paint color can actually change the entire dynamic of a space? Certain colors elicit certain moods and can make small spaces appear much larger than they actually are. So how do you choose the right paint color for your space? Here are a few tips that might help!

1. Look Around You

Many times, you can choose a paint color based on other items in the room. Do you have a favorite patterned area rug in your family room? How about pillows or curtains? Look at your space and decide which patterns and colors you want to accent. Then, check these items for paint color inspiration.


Or, if your room contains a lot of colorful and bright pieces, you may want to choose a more neutral color that doesn’t take away from these items but instead compliments them. Different shades of beige and white can achieve this well.

2. Treat Your Indoor Space as an Outdoor Space

What does this mean, exactly? The colors of your room should mirror the same color scheme as the outdoors, which means darker colors for the floor, medium colors for the walls, and brighter colors reserved for the ceilings.


Take a look at the carpet or wood color in your home, then choose a paint color a few shades lighter than this. If you plan to paint your ceiling something other than white, you’ll want to take this into consideration when choosing a color for your walls.

3. Refer to the Color Wheel

Remember that color wheel you learned about in elementary school? The one you thought you’d never use again? Well, you may need to send your grammar school teacher a ‘thank you’ email because this color wheel can actually aid in your decision-making process when it comes to paint colors. The wheel provides different ideas for the use of hues, color theories, and helps expand your vision when it comes to paint choices.


4. Check Your Closet

That’s right, your wardrobe might also provide insight into what colors will work best in your home. If you tend to purchase clothing in neutral colors such as olive green, beige, and gray, these might suit your taste when it comes to paint. Are your clothes more colorful and vibrant? Try pairing a uniquely patterned rug or chair with a bright wall color that compliments both the pattern and your pallet.


And don’t count out black! If you tend to dress in mostly darker shades of black, you can still make this work for your paint color. I’m not suggesting painting an entire room this dark color, though one wall in a certain space might make just the statement you’re looking for! But, you can paint certain areas in the room black, like cabinets in your kitchen, a dresser in the bedroom or other furniture items. Then, work off this color when choosing paint for your walls.

5. The 60-30-10 Rule

No, this isn’t a sports team’s win, loss, tie record or the measurements of your next woodshop project - the rule of 60-30-10 refers to decorating your space and the colors you choose. Following this rule means that 60 percent of your space should be comprised of a dominant color, which would be the paint on the walls. 30 percent of your space is made up of a secondary color, usually found in the upholstery. And the other 10 percent is found in accessories.


If you’re starting from scratch when it comes to room design, choose a dominant color that you love for your walls, then work off this. You can purchase furniture, pillows, and rugs, that compliment this color. Then, have fun and get creative with the accessories!

Be Yourself

At the end of the day, your space should reflect who you are. Design it accordingly and choose colors that you enjoy and elicit feelings of relaxation, creativity, and warmth. Happy designing!

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