Tips For Choosing Paint Colors - Home Decorating & Painting Advice

Tips For Choosing Paint Colors

Bold or beige? DIY Blogger Nicole Balch of Making It Lovely gives Glidden® some tips on how to make each work. It all comes down to balance.

Sometimes choosing a paint color can seem a little overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be though! Let me share a few tricks with you for choosing colors you’ll love.

Photo Credit: Nicole Balch/Making It Lovely

Neutral Choices

First let’s talk about the neutral choices: whites and off-whites, tans, beiges, grays, and browns. Whites look best in rooms that receive a ton of natural light, and tans and beiges will work for any room. Grays actually tend to have a lot of blue in them (not always, but often), and browns can be dark, but beautiful. You can’t go too wrong when choosing a neutral color, but keep in mind that there are few true neutrals. Most colors tend to skew toward warm tones (red, oranges, yellows) or cool tones (blues, greens, purples).

So how do you tell? Gather a bunch of similar colors and when you look at them together, you’ll be able to see if some look warmer (pinkish, or yellow, for example) or cooler (bluish, perhaps). This way you won’t be surprised when that cream you chose looks a little bit buttery, or that gray has a touch of baby blue.

Photo Credit: Nicole Balch/Making It Lovely

Bold Color

Now let’s talk bold color! Maybe you love the idea of a rich red dining room, or a soothing blue bedroom, but how do you choose the right shade? This is where people start to panic. My best advice is to choose a shade that has a little gray or brown in it. They tone down the color so that it isn’t a bright, primary shade, but not so much that you don’t still get that great color you were going for. You should also keep in mind the elements that will go into the room. Are the floors dark or light? Are your furnishings wood, white, or some other finish?

Keep in mind a balance, so that the room doesn’t feel too dark, too light, or just too plain loud. 

Let me give you an example. I have chocolate brown walls in the landing area of my home’s second floor (which I lined with bookshelves to form a library). The walls were previously white, so going with such a dark color was a little scary! I knew it wouldn’t feel too overwhelming though because our carpet was light beige, I had painted our wood trim white, and there were white bookshelves along the walls.

We also get a lot of daylight, and we added extra lighting to illuminate the space at night. Yes, the brown walls were dark, but the lighting, flooring, and furniture were all light, so the space still felt airy and bright. It’s all about the balance.

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