I figured it was time for a Designer Trick post! Hands down, the most common question I’m asked is, “what paint color is that?” and while it’s a totally valid question- just because a color looks great in your home, doesn’t mean it will in mine (and vice versa). Color takes on its surroundings. While choosing a paint color might seem daunting for some, it’s really not too difficult once you know what you’re doing. Click through for five designer hacks for choosing the perfect paint color!
#1 // PAINT LAST
Yes- you read that right. As tempting and convenient as it is to move into a new home or slap some paint on the walls of any empty room, step away from the brush and reconsider. For me, and 99% of my designer friends- painting is one of the last steps in completing a room. Why? You need to know a room really well to make an educated color choice… what type of light it gets, how it reflects, what lives within the room, etc. Read on for more clarity on this topic…
#2 // PULL COLOR FROM SOMETHING IN THE ROOM
Whether you have a gorgeous piece of artwork or an exceptionally beautiful textile (like the vintage rugs I love so much), use that statement piece as a jumping off point. I grab my swatches and pull color directly from an object, which ensures the room will look cohesive once it’s all said and done. For example, I love the gray green neutrals in the vintage rug in my entryway. If I were choosing a paint color for that space, I’d color match as closely as I could.
#3 // ORDER SWATCHES
Before painting our bathroom, I ordered multiple blue swatches. Once they arrived, I applied them to the wall and lived with them for a good week. Examine how the color changes throughout the day, if it takes on a warm or cool hue, and how it plays in the space. Choosing paint colors isn’t a super fast process.
#4 // DON’T BE AFRAID TO GO ROGUE
Some rules were meant to be broken… and paint is one of those. Just because you don’t see a swatch or it isn’t exactly perfect- change it. Did you know that you can customize a swatch? You can mix paint, have it desaturated by requesting a specific percentage, you can have them add more of a color (more blue for a cooler look, etc). Don’t be afraid to play around with it until you’re 100% satisfied. It’s also perfectly fine to mix and match. The easiest way to do this is by using colors of different shades on the same swatch. For example, in my guest bathroom– I used SW-6225 Sleepy Blue on the walls and SW-6226 Languid Blue on the door. Using a couple different shades adds depth while keeping things monochromatic and sophisticated.
#5 // BUY QUALITY PAINT
There are a bunch of brands out there. I’m partial to Sherwin-Williams, but find one you like, learn about the products, and make educated selections. There is always a specific paint for each project. I hate extra steps, priming, and prefer my paint to be highly cleanable- so I use Emerald Interior. I know exactly how the finishes look, I know it’s super durable, and I know one coat usually does the trick… no primer needed. Knowing what paint is best for your project will save you time and give you the best look.
Remember- paint isn’t permanent and it’s a relatively inexpensive way to transform a room. If for some reason you don’t land on the perfect color or you finish painting and realize it isn’t for you… THAT’S OK. I promise. We’ve all been there and done that. Laugh about it, paint again, and learn as you go. Any other paint picking questions? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Here’s to a great week!