Connie's Corner

Tips from Waypoint's award-winning designer
June 18, 2012

Choosing Colors for the Home


Selecting a paint color may be one of the most frustrating projects for a homeowner. Recently a painter told me that he had been painting the same room more than once for many of his customers. Thereason? Once the paint was on the wall, it just doesn’t look anything like the paint chip. We probably all know someone who ended up with a school bus yellow room instead of the soft buttery yellow they had imagined.

My favorite tip for selecting wall paint color is to start by looking at the top color on the strip. Usually, colors are arranged from lightest (tints) to darkest (shades) and there-in lays the issue. We are drawn to the darker colors but they fool us every time. I also tend to select colors that are grayer rather pure in color. I find them easier to live with.

Today nearly every paint manufacturer offers sample cans of paint to test before buying it by the gallon. If there is any doubt about the color, it is a good idea to buy the sample and try it on several walls. Look at it at different times of the day to see how the room’s light affects it. It will be well worth the extra time to get it right.

Color affects most people on an emotional level. We have all walked into a room and felt relaxed or uncomfortable. There might be many reasons for this, but color is often a key factor. Here are some some thoughts on colors:

Black: In interiors, black is considered a mark of sophistication. Surprisingly it looks terrific in small rooms like powder rooms where quirky design is welcome and the room is seldom used. One of my favorite master bedroom projects had black walls, crisp white trim and filmy white sheers at the windows. There was no other color in the room and it was breathtaking. I have also heard it said that no room is complete without a touch of black so that really makes a big statement of its importance.

Brown: These earthy tones are comforting and yet can be very sophisticated. It is also neutral and combines well with nearly all colors. My personal favorite is taupe, cream and black. Neutral but elegant.

Blue: Because it’s the color of sea and sky, blue often has a calming effect. It is, hands-down, the country’s favorite color. Men especially like it. Blue makes a great color for bathrooms where a spa-like environment is desired.

Green: The color of nature is refreshing and calming. Some even feel green reduces stress and so it might make a great choice for a home office. Greens look great with light wood tones.

Orange: A warm color often used for an accent rather than wall color. Orange frequently cycles in and out of favor in interiors and is currently enjoying a resurgence in the form of the popular Tangerine Tango.

Purple: The favorite bedroom color of every young girl I have ever met is purple but it is a controversial color. People either like it or hate it. Tints of this color can be relaxing in bedrooms and have a sophisticated look when combined with gray.

Red: Often used in restaurants because it is considered to increase appetites. An intense color that can be yellow-based or blue-based but in its clearest form it is the romantic color or love.

White: Often given a bad rap for being bland, white is the cleanest and freshest background for all colors. Often used in contemporary homes, there are untold tints of white both warm and cool. In cabinetry, painted white has been phenomenally popular in the past few years because of its classic look.

Have a colorful day!

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces