Instantly elevate your interior from drab to fab with a fresh coat of paint! Why do we find one space appealing and others unsettling or mundane? Why are we attracted to one color over another? Whether architectural or in products, color accounts for 60% of our response to an object or a place. Here are a few tips for painting your interior to create a warm and welcoming space everyone is sure to enjoy.
Wherever we go, we respond to color. It impacts our mood and whether or not we feel at ease in space. Often called “color psychology,” the effects of color range from subtle to significant and are also psychological and physical. Color use is important to us personally in our homes and in the places where we work.
Start Small & Think About Your Mood
If you’re not sure where to begin with color, experiment in a small space, such as a bathroom, small hall or with an accent wall. Instead of becoming overwhelmed with your interior painting process, think of it as an adventure. To get started, consider selecting a color inspired from your favorite artwork, a rug, dishes, or furniture piece to feature as an accent color or main color.
When choosing your color, think about the mood you wish to create for the room. Do you want your bedroom to feel soothing and restful or intimate and dramatic? Soft, pastel colors and cool neutrals create a relaxing atmosphere while powerful colors create a bold and dramatic impact. Be careful not to over stimulate your space with intense bright colors, as some bold colors can lead to unrest and irritability.
Pay Attention to Lighting
Have you ever wondered why paint stores have light boxes for you to test paint chips? Light changes the way a color presents itself. Natural daylight reveals color in its truest form. Incandescent lighting is best for yellows and warm tones and fluorescent lighting emits a sharp blue tone. Ultimately, a strong color might be too bright and overpowering when used on walls next to large windows. However, these bright colors may prove effective when used as an accent wall highlighted with indirect light. When choosing your paint color, it’s always best to consider the lighting of your room.
Learn the Color Terms
When painting your interior, it helps to understand the terminology used to describe a color.
• Hue is what we call a color. For example, blue is the hue; yellow is the hue.
• The value of the hue is how dark or light the color is.
• Saturation refers to how dominant the hue is. For example, as we go from pink to red, the red hue becomes more dominant.
• Intensity is the brilliance of the color. Pure colors such as red, blue and yellow are more intense than the combined colors such as yellow-green or pinkish-red. An intense stronger color usually has a more dominant hue.
If you want to create a more dynamic space, consider including more intense colors. If you want a light-colored room, choose colors that are slightly more saturated than light pastel or off-white. Very light color can feel bright and stark when it appears on all surfaces in a room. However, two or more medium-light, closely related pastel colors could create a glowing effect when added to the same room.
Play with Different Finishes
A single color used on trims and walls takes on new significance when applied in various finishes. For example, trim and wall colors can remain the same hue but use an eggshell (matte and less reflective) finish on walls and a satin or semi-gloss on the trim. The color will appear slightly altered on each surface. This is a perfect way to create a cohesive look in rooms with multiple doors and windows.
Test Your Color Choice
Whether you are painting an entire room or an accent wall, increase your confidence by testing colors on poster board or large areas of a wall. Don’t be afraid to move beyond your comfort zone. Consider strong, lively colors or soft, intense neutrals like chocolate brown or olive green as main or accent colors. You can also add a dramatic impact with a strong color on the ceiling. A painted ceiling can dramatically change the whole look of a room.
A few quick changes with paint can transform your space, revitalizing your environment and elevating your mood. What colors do you prefer in your living room or dining room? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
Not sure where to start? Contact the interior designers at Milestone for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!