How to choose paint colours

 In Interior Design

With a shade card alone it can be a hit and miss affair.

Farrow and Ball paint colours

ow do you choose paint colours for your home?  With a shade card alone it can be a hit and miss affair. There are a number of key things to bear in mind when choosing paint colours for interiors:

  • The period of your property- will your colour scheme suit the style of the architecture? Ceilings with cornices are often best white or off white particularly in period homes.
  • Remember, with elaborate architectural features like cornicing, dado rails and stucco plaster, simple is best. A single, plain colour will help architectural features stand out well.
  • Do you want to do you want to modernise an older property? Consider that bright, modern colours often don’t compliment period features.
  • Is the room flooded with daylight, or is it shady? This will be affected by the size  of windows, and by the orientation of the room. North facing rooms are usually darkest, and south brightest, with East facing rooms bright in the morning and Western aspect rooms being flooded with light at sunset.
  • Does your colour scheme suit you as a person? Does it match your taste when it comes to the colour of your accessories, and even your own outfits? If not, you may grow tired of it.
  • In small rooms, using a very dark colour on the shorter walls can actually make a room seem larger. The eye is tricked into an uncertainty about how close the wall is.

Sample pots

Colours on a screen and on a paint card are never a truly accurate representation of how the colour will look on your walls and overall in your room. In order to find the shade that works best for you, try a range of favourites in sample pot sizes. The effect of ambient light can never be under-estimated. Painting patches of paint on your wall will never give you an accurate representation of how the colour will turn out in the end. Instead, paint up a 2ft sheet of lining paper with TWO coats of paint and allow it to dry. Move it around the room in different light, at night and in daylight. Only this way will you see with any accuracy how the colour will turn out in the room. Warm lighting will warm up the shade so if you want to achieve a cooler colour choose shades less yellow or sepia than you would normally be attracted to.

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