Wall Color Selection
Are you tired of living with off-white, or white walls,
but are afraid to choose a color? Take heart! Here are some guidelines that will give you
the courage to break out of your vanilla box!
1. When looking at a "dinky" color chip on a paint fan or card,
a. A light color will be brighter and stronger when painted on a wall.
b. A dark color will appear deeper and darker.
c. With "a" and "b" above in mind, choose what "you think"
will be the "perfect color," and then choose one shade lighter.
2. Color Rules
a. Light, cool, colors recede from the eye, making a room look larger. These types of
colors can provide a wonderful illusion in small spaces or areas where the walls are
b. Dark or bright hues advance toward the eye. These work well in a large room, and/or a
room that lacks intimacy or definition.
c. If a large or empty room is already dark, due to lack of light, a bright, strong color
might be the best choice.
3. Colors Within a Color, or Undertones
a. Choose a color from a fabric pattern, rug, art piece or accessory.
b. Once you have decided on the base color, look for hints of other colors within. For
example, a color might be brownish yellow, with a hint of green, or blue with a tint of
purple. As you look at the original color, be sure to check the other colors in your space
which might need to subtly show up in the paint to tie things together. For example: You
may want the color to be blue but you also have green and yellow in the room. Start with
the blue paint cards or chips, then narrow it down to samples that lean towards a subtle
blue green, and then go even further to a chip that is blue with hints of greenish-yellow
c. You can also choose a base color, then identify every other color in the fabric, rug,
etc., you are using, and add a hint of each to the base paint mixed at the store. This will
provide the undertones the eye will pick up subconsciously.
4. Color selection takes patience.
The best way to be sure of a color is to purchase small quantities of two or three hues,
take them home, and paint swatches in different locations of the room. Live with the
swatches for a few days, go back to the paint store to make a make adjustments, if
necessary, then paint new swatches. Do this until you feel comfortable finalizing your
selection. Paint swatches in the following places.
a. Where the swatch will be hit with a lot of light.
b. In a dark corner.
Finally, be sure to check fabrics, accessories, etc. against the paint color, by holding
them up next to your swatches.
Now, go forth and courageously select color for your walls!
Catherine Foust McGivern, NCIDQ Certified
Permission is granted to reproduce e-zine material if the following is included:
Author: Catherine McGivern, NCIDQ Certified Designer