What Color Should I Paint my Room?

Recently, I was asked the ongoing question, “What color should I paint my room?” Normally, this shouldn’t be a bad question. But, I’ve discovered, many people mave a real problem picking interior colors. They end up with the proviberial “Beige”. Good in some cases, but come on show some spunk. What colors do you REALLY like? Some of this comes from outside influences and some from ethic upbringing. Here in Florida beige is king. If you’re really daring, maybe two tones of beige. With white trim, of course. This may be fine for builders and those afraid of color, but may folks seem to think that they have to follow that rule. Don’t get me wrong, beige is fine for some things, but many people would like to push out of that and try new colors. Great! They go the the paint store and find a color they like. Buy a gallon or two of said color. Paint a wall and hate the color. First problem: NEVER pick the color at the store! Pick several shades and tints around the color you like and take the samples home. Paint stores probably hate me but, I’ll walk out with dozens of chips similar to the color I think I want. I then take them home and decide from there. Big thing is that color changes according to the room light. It might have been great in the store, but once home it might not be what you thought. I suggest, take the chips into the room to be painted. Go through all of them and find the ones that still appeal to you. I like to fold the chip to color I like and tape it to the wall. This way tou see it vertically. Colors change depending on whether you look at them vertically (on the wall) or horizontally (looking at them on the counter). Do this with ALL the colors you still seem to like. Walk away for a while (15 minutes is good). Go back and see what you still like. Pull down the ones that don’t quite work anymore. Something I was told MANY years ago was that whatever color you like for a wall, take and grey them a bit. Remember, your looking at a tiny spot of the color. Once you paint the wall that really nice red, you’ll end up feeling like your in a stop sign. Really stong colors are best for accents. And so if you dim them down (usually by lightening them and maybe not using them for a whole room) you’ll find that they look much better. For the wall, really dim them. Colors on walls get stronger once multiplied over a larger surface. My friend wanted her bathroom to be orange. Not my most favorite color, but she really likes orange. Instead of saying go with a lighter color like peach, I suggested a more terracotta type of color. This after she had already painted the room primary orange. We came up with a slightly darker, washed out terracotta that she thought she was going to hate from the small sample. Once on the wall, it multiplied to a rich, warm orangeish tone that she really liked afterall.
Something else.  Don’t be afraid to use a darkish color in a small room. I depends on the lighting. A bathroom with bright light and white walls is too bright. Try a deeper color, I’ve done beige (but a more coffee color), red (but washed down to a rich terracotta/pink) and a denim blue. None of which had white trim.
If your going with color, use color on the trim. Example, the beige bathroom has slightly lighter beige trim (the cabinets were off-white). Safe, yes. The red bath has natural oak trim and cream/terracotta/pale moss green accents. With the remaining trim a warm grey and an off-white tile floor. The denim bath is more daring when first thought about. It has denim blue walls, off-white tile and floor, but the ceiling is metallic silver as is the trim. Silver can be used as a neutral because it picks up the tone of the colors around it. The door was painted a very deep, rich royal purpleish blue. Very strong, but it’s just the door.
The ethnic choice of colors is a problem for many. Don’t use the main, primary, color. Ethnic yellow (French’s mustard yellow) or other strong yellows are popular, but painfull to live with. Dim or wash it out. The color most likely will be very overwhelming if you don’t back off from it a bit. Not to say, don’t use those colors. They make you happy. Just back off a bit on the strength and use them as accent walls or use an accent wall to relieve the strength from the primary color. Example: a soft blue room, jazzed up with a rich terracotta accent wall.
Don’t just figure white is the only color for trim. There are many others choices. In fact, if you do go with a deep color for the walls, don’t use white trim. It stands out too much and with give you a caged in feeling.
That’s all I have to say at the moment. Ask me your questions. I’m more than happy to help.

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2 Responses to What Color Should I Paint my Room?

  1. Christiana says:

    Saved as a favorite, I love your site! 🙂

  2. Your posts always have alot of really up to date info. Where do you come up with this? Just stating you are very inspiring. Thanks again

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