Tag Archives: wall color

Interior Decorating 101 – Things to Consider when Selecting Wall Color

Selecting the right paint color for a room can be challenging.  Here are six easy tips to make your decision easier.

1. Understand that the paint chips you select from the store are just the first step to selecting the right wall color for your room.  They’re too small to give an accurate reading of how the color will look in your room.

2. It’s best to bring home samples of the paint chips you like best and paint them on at least three walls of your home.  Two things influence paint color: the amount of natural light you have and the color of the surrounding furniture, flooring and accessories.  For example, a cream wall can seem pink when combined with a red carpet.

Metamerism is a phenomenon in which colors seem to change when viewed under different light sources.  Some colors are particularly prone to metamerism including tans, taupes, grays, gray-blues, mauves, lilacs and grayed yellow-greens.

3. Plan on sampling three to six colors on your wall to get a good selection but not get overwhelmed. 

4. View the samples in morning, afternoon, and evening light. If you can sit with them a few days, you’ll also be able to see which color appeals to you as your mood changes.

5. Remember that although it’s an investment, paint can always be changed so paint with confidence.  Until you finish painting and move your things back into the room, you really won’t know the full effect.

6. And most importantly, have fun!

Feng Shui Tips for Decorating Large or Small Rooms.

Whether you’re decorating a large or small space, to create coziness and appeal the primary design principle to focus on is balance.  A room must exude the right energy to feel balanced.   By its nature, a large room exudes “yang” or expansive energy.  A small space room transmits “yin” or constrictive energy.  It follows that yang energy needs to be balanced with yin energy and yin energy with yang.  The correct furniture, colors, and accessories are the key to creating balance.  If you don’t feel comfort and relaxation in a space it’s because the yin/yang energy is out of balance.  When good Feng Shui is coupled with good design, an environment is naturally cozy, relaxing, and beautiful. 

Small Spaces.  If you’ve got a room that feels cramped or constrictive:

  1. Use the same wall color throughout the space.  A light color is best because it creates an open feeling.  Yellow, warm beige, or white works well.  Yellow is also the best color for illuminating dark areas.  
  2. Paint the ceilings white or the same color as the walls.
  3. Use European furniture which is smaller in proportion than “regular funiture-store” furniture.   (Look at IKEA’s selection for an example).
  4. Add mirrors to create the illusion of space.  A mirror reflects light from outside if placed opposite a window.  A whole wall of mirrors can open up the space in a dramatic way.  
  5. Don’t block natural light.  
  6. Hang drapes a few inches higher than the top of your windows to create a feeling of height.
  7. Avoid clutter, use decorative containers to stay organized and don’t display a lot of chotchkies (aka knickknacks).  A few well-placed items evidencing your style and flair are plenty.
  8. Choose pieces of art that relate to each other.  Use similar frames for each piece (or no frames).  The over-all feeling should be cohesive and light. Art containing fire colors (red, orange, purple-pink) or wavy lines transmits an energetic quality which counteracts feeling constricted in the space.  Landscape scenes and photographs open the space up.
  9. Use monotone, natural fiber, or non-fussy area rugs to add a finished quality to the room and to create separate areas.

Large Spaces.  If you’ve got a room that feels empty or like a mausoleum:

  1. Break the room up into several areas to fill up the space and create visual interest.  When you’re in a large empty space you’ll feel exposed making relaxation difficult.  Create several areas within the room that serve different functions.   For example in a living room the first area can be a conversation area with a couch, two chairs, a coffee table, and two or three small side tables with table lamps.  The second area can be a reading corner next to a window with an overstuffed chair, an ottoman, a table and good reading lamp.  And a third vignette can be a game area using a round table with chairs on either side and a  floor lamp nearby. 
  2. Use thick, earth and fire color (brown, yellow, beige, red, orange) rugs in each area in the room to further delineate each area.
  3. Use furniture proportionate with to size of the room. Generally, wood is best.  
  4. Hang artwork at eye level or a few inches above, especially if ceilings are high (above about 12 feet).  The art will pull your eye towards it and minimize the length of the wall.
  5. Paint the ceilings the same color as the walls or in a slightly darker shade. 
  6. Hang drapes even with the windows.
  7. If you have built-in bookshelves, arrange them to create visual interest.  Don’t simply line books up in a row.  Add framed photos, ceramics, and accessories.  You’ll create energy and soul.

Have fun and remember that if something intutively feels wrong, it can be corrected by applying principals of balance.  If you don’t know exactly how to remedy the problem experiment and see how changing things affects the way you feel.

Seven Tips for Selecting Wall Color

Don’t be intimidated by choosing a paint color for your walls!  Painting is relatively inexpensive and easy to change don’t worry about making a “mistake.”  Have fun with it!

1)  In small rooms, using a lighter color is best because it will make the room feel larger and open.  Your best bet is to choose one of the first two colors on a color sample swatch.

2)  If you want to lighten-up dark rooms, choose a pale shade of yellow – it’s the best color for reflecting light.

3)  A plan that consistently gives good results is to paint walls a neutral color (Barely Beige by Benjamin Moore is terrific) and add color with art work and accessories.

4)  Don’t over-paint.  If you want to paint different walls different colors keep in mind that if you simply use one color, it will look differently on each wall because of the light and direction the wall faces.

5)  Don’t know how to pull a color palette together?  An easy way is to use something that you really like as reference.  For example – a piece of art, a greeting card, or even something in your closet.  Use the colors as a basis for designing the room.  Use the most neutral color for the walls and the remaining colors for accessories.  It’s best to choose three to four colors depending on the size of the room.

6)  To create a cozy and balanced room, use the same color three or more times in the room in different ways. If you like red, you could use a red vase, an area rug with red in it, and artwork containing red.  And don’t worry about finding the exact match for a color for the different applications…different hues of the same color is fine and will add depth to the room.

7)  Before committing to a paint color, try out a minimum of three colors on different parts of the room, in at least 2 x 2 ft. swatches or use poster board and hang it in different areas of the room.  You want to see how the color looks in the morning, afternoon, and evening.