Choosing Paint Colors

A certified interior designer shares her secrets

choosing interior paint colors

Choosing Paint Colors

A certified interior designer shares her secrets… 

The ever intimidating job of choosing paint colors can be overwhelming.  However, selecting paint for your home can be a stress free experience when you have confidence about your choices. Below are my tips I use when choosing the right paint for your home as well as your personality. 

LIGHTING: It is very important to know the type of lighting in the room you will be painting. Keep this in mind while shopping for colors.  A paint color will look very different in fluorescent lighting vs. natural lighting vs. incandescent lighting.  Make sure you take your paint chip options home with you and look at them in the space you are painting because the lights at the store will not be anything like the lights you have at home.

EMOTION: Color plays a huge part in our psychology and how we feel in a space.  Remember that the color you select will elicit different emotions.  Think about how you want to feel in that space once it is painted.  Want to feel relaxed and peaceful?  You should go with a cooler or a lighter color.  Or, if you want to feel energized and excited, you can go with a brighter color in a warm tone or a darker color.

color-psychology-selector

choosing interior paint colorsCONTINUITY: When selecting paint colors, think of the home as a whole.  If you are painting the dining room that is adjoining the kitchen, the color of the kitchen will affect how the color of the dining room appears.  When colors are placed next to each other, they make each look different than when alone.  In the image at right, the blue box in the center is the same color but it looks much brighter and more crisp when placed inside an orange box (its complimentary color) than inside a blue box.  

TRIM: What color to paint that pesky trim?  Typically, the best choice is white.  I know it sounds boring but it’s true. 

CEILING: So, you have picked your wall color but now what color do you paint the ceiling?  A good rule to follow is to take the wall color and add 50% white.  You will get a color that is much less dark and will compliment the wall color.  Colors on ceilings always appear darker than the walls. 

choosing outer banks paint colorsCOMBINING COLORS: You want to go with more than one color, as many people do, but how do you know what will look good together?  The best thing you can do is consult the color wheel.  Colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel will always complement each other and make the colors appear true to their hue and appear clean and crisp.

SMALL ROOMS: Small spaces can be made to look bigger with the use of light colors.  

PAINT vs. FURNISHINGS: Always pick your paint color LAST!  This may sound crazy if you are moving into a new house, BUT, there are a million and one paint colors out there but you may only find one sofa that you love.  Choose all the furnishings and accessories and then pick your paint color.  It will ensure that everything matches.

QUALIFYING COLORS: When you bring your paint chip home to see how it will look in the space, do not hold it up against the wall you want to paint.  This will only distort the color of the paint chip.  Instead, hold the paint chip against the sofa or cabinetry to get a better feel of how it will look in the space.

OWN IT: The most important tip that I have is to pick the color that you love and then as scary as this sounds, go one shade darker.  The natural tendency is to go lighter but this will look washed out if you go too light.  You are picking out a color and you want it to look like a color on the wall, not just a version of white.  Don’t be afraid!

Oh, and one last tip…Buy the expensive paint and the good paint brush and roller.  Just do it.  You will save yourself time and hassle and a possible trip back to the store.  You will thank me later.  

I’ve spilled all my secrets on selecting paint color.  Follow these guidelines and you will have a space that you love.  Now, go out into the world of home improvement stores with confidence that you will pick the perfect paint!


 –blog provided by Amy Hilliker Klebitz – Certified Interior Designer www.amyklebitz.com

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