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Choosing a Paint Color: How Color Impacts Your Room

Posted by Bonnie B, LLC on May. 01, 2014

G&L and Sons helps you choose the right color for your home remodel project.

These palettes may simplify the process and give you insight into how to choose a paint color. Choose the paint color that feels right to you.

Remember the box of Crayola crayons you had as a child? If you were anything like me the delight of having 64 perfect colors lined up neatly with even points was a dream! I could choose my favorites easily and use them to create wonderful drawings, always coloring within the lines. The problem was that I found my favorites shrinking in size and height. Why? Because I used them all the time. They made me smile. They made my drawings pretty. Choosing a paint color for a room in your home should do the same thing. It should make you smile when you enter the room, enveloping you in the warmth of its glow.

Standing in your local paint store or home center can confuse the most focused person, without a doubt. Color psychology says that there are reasons that hospitals and doctor's waiting rooms are green, the color is relaxing. How many sports gyms have you seen using the color blue? 

Here is a bit of interesting information on basic color schemes.

  1. Red is a very intense color which is sometimes used as an accent color. It's vibrant, stimulating and powerful. Red is an emotional color that hearkens the romantic. It is said that red is not a color you want to wear when you're in business negotiations, and that car thieves look for this color automobile. Pink, a family "red" member, is a romantic color and can be used successfully on walls, ceilings, as a trim or all-over theme.

  2. The color Blue can be used in any décor scheme. Blue is a tranquil color...the sky...the ocean...blue has a softness to it in its many lighter shades and a grandness to its deeper, darker tones such as Royal Blue, Navy Blue and Midnight Blue. Blue denotes loyalty. (From a decorating standpoint, blue fades so be sure that you keep that in mind when using it as a fabric in a room with sunny exposure!)
  3. Nature is all around us and Green is in the spotlight here. TV studios have their guests wait in "Green Rooms" because the color is calming. Hospitals use the color because it's relaxing. Many fabrics are woven with multiple shades of green foliage. The serenity of the outdoors on a beautiful day doesn't get much more relaxing than that.
  4. Yellow is a cheery, optimistic color choice. It warms a room, imbues the strength of the sun and brightens your day. But, babies cry in yellow rooms (so the psychologists say) and can often be harsh if it's not used in a decorating scheme properly. A yellow ceiling is a great accent. (FYI: Yellow is thought to enhance your concentration which is why legal pads are yellow!)
  5. Royalty, wealth, luxury and sophisticated...that is how the color Purple is viewed. (Although Oprah Winfrey might disagree having starred in the movie bearing its name.) But, be careful how you use this color. Accents in artwork, pillows, and other small objects are great, but Lavender or Lilac might be a better choice for walls.
  6. Many men say that Brown  is their favorite color, perhaps because they played in mud as children. Leather and wood is typically brown, and it gives a richness to any room. Brown is authoritative, earthy and a reliable color. Look for the many shades of camel, beige, cream, ivory, khaki and other softer more subtle shades when choosing something from the brown group.
  7. The color Black stands for authority. It makes people look thinner. Black is a timeless color in that, in its absence of color goes well with almost any other color. Black can be use with great impact in a room that is contemporary in style or class in charm such as French Toile. A black accent wall can really give a punch to a room or your might consider shades of charcoal.
  8. Last, but certainly not least is the color White implies purity, simplicity, and also works with any color. Doctors and nurses wear white to imply a cleanliness and sterility. But, white tends to soil easily and therefore is often used for ceilings or accents. White also gives a larger appearance to rooms and is often a favorite for kitchen cabinetry. It "goes with everything."

Choose paint colors that you love. No matter what your color choice is, be sure to carry out a theme in the room. The overall look of the room will wrap you in comfort and design. 

Today, you can purchase a very small sampling of some stock paint colors and try it out. (I swear this was my idea more than 15 years ago when I would often visit my local paint store, having spent hours upon hours choosing a color and when he asked me how much I needed I would ask for a cup of paint...to try it out first. But she who hesitates is lost and and obviously my fame and fortune wasn't made by creating this program, but the Benjamin Moore Paint Co. did, and it was genius!)

It's always a good idea to paint a decent size square shape of the color and live with it at least a few days if you're patient enough to do that, as paint dries darker and oxidizes over time. A small paint "chip" looks great, but paint an 8 foot high (or higher) wall that is at least 8 floor wide (or wider) the same color and WOW does that color change, delivering a totally different look than you anticipated. TIP: perhaps your painter can provide a small piece of sheet-rock and prime and paint it for you in either the color (or colors) you're considering. Live with the sample board a few days. And...don't forget, there are several great finishes today. Ceilings are typically painted in Flat, Matte or Eggshell finish. Trim choices can be Pearl, Satin, Semi-Gloss or High-Gloss. The Benjamin Moore Paint Co. cautions that the higher the gloss of the finish, the more imperfections will be seen on the wall. (Personally I prefer Eggshell...but Matte is the perfect look for some colors and decor.) If your room is bathed in outside light, Flat or Matte might be the choice for you to hide any imperfections! 

I hope you've found this post helpful.
There's another post I've written that may be helpful when you're embarking on a remodel project. You can read it here.   

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Topics: Choosing a Paint Color