If you’re stumped when it comes to selecting paint colors, read through these tips from Mary Lawlor, color stylist for Kelly-Moore Paints.
Use a color wheel.
If you haven’t used a color wheel since middle school art class, find one online. Color wheels are ideal for discovering shades you might not have thought of, says Lawlor. In a space with blue-hued art, furnishings, accessories or window treatments, for example, you can incorporate complementary orange, peach and terra-cotta tones.
Think about light reflection.
On the back of most paint swatches is a number indicating light reflectance value (zero being the darkest), the amount of light the color will absorb or reflect. If you’re working with a highly active space that doesn’t get a lot of light, you can increase the feeling of lightness by choosing a color with a high light reflectance value. In rooms with dark granite and wood tones, Lawlor says, you can provide balance with mid-tones, such as a yellow, teal or turquoise shade. If you’re trying to create a dim, restful environment, it’s usually best to stay on the lower end of the value scale.
Create a palette.
Once you’ve gathered paint swatches, place them throughout the room to be painted. Consider colors that will complement furniture and carpeting, but also think about pulling possibilities off the accessories – such as pillows, lamps or artwork. Lawlor says the most successful spaces often have a great balance of warm and cool colors (pictured), and convey the appropriate mood (bright kitchens, tranquil work spaces).
Make the right splash.
Right now, turquoise is all the rage, Lawlor says. But heavily saturated colors are better for accents and used in small quantities. Because colors can seem more intense once they are applied to the walls, think about selecting a color one shade lighter than your original choice. (A good rule of thumb, she says, is if you want a yellow room, think about a neutral with yellow undertones.)
Check your lighting.
Before a final selection, see how the swatch looks in the daylight and in the evening, when lights are switched on. Lawlor says that warm, incandescent lights make paint colors appear more natural, while fluorescent lights wash out colors.
[via SF Gate]
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