Problems Picking Paint Colors?

Do you have problems picking paint colors? This seems to be a frustrating issue for most people. The frustration begins with the number of color choices. So, where do you begin?

Color guide for interior design projects
  1. First, don’t start with the paint! That’s right, actually, the paint color is the LAST thing that should be selected in designing a room. Before you pick a paint color, have all other selections for the room made.
  2. You need to decide where to begin. Is everything in the room staying the same, or are you starting from scratch? What is inspiring you for the room you are working on? Start with a piece of art, fabric for bedding or upholstery and go from there.

    Interior Design room elements

    source: dwellings and decor

  3. Know how the room will be arranged (the floor plan). Identify what you have that will be in the room (weather remaining as is, or being refinished or reupholstered), and what you will be adding (such as drapery, bedding, upholstery, carpeting, rugs, etc.).
  4. Once all selection have been made, and you are happy how all the items relate to each other , it is time to pick your paint colors!

    Interior design color example

    source: living color with sonu

  5. Look at your plan for the room. How do you want to feel in the room? What color would harmonize all the finishes and colors of the objects that will be in the room to achieve that feeling? Should the color be light or dark, simple or complex, cool or warm, clear or grayed? A lot to think about.

    Wall color example for Nashville interior design blog

    A cozy feel is achieved with grayed-green walls by Jeff Andrews

  6. Don’t make the mistake of picking a color to match something exactly. It will be boring, and lack sophistication.
  7. The object is to pick a color that will be a great back drop to highlight the furniture, fabrics, art, and decorative items in the room. It is like the women wearing the dress vs. the dress wearing the women.

    Wall color example for Nashville interior design blog

    See how great this soft yellow is the perfect backdrop to this design by Tobi Fairley

  8. You MUST look at paint samples in your room. The light in the paint store is not the same as your home. The source of light has a tremendous effect on color.
  9. Once you have narrowed you color selections down to a few choices, buy samples of each color and paint 2′ x 2′ samples of each color on sample boards or directly on your walls, and live with them for a day or so to see them at different times of the day and in different areas of the room. If none of your samples seem to be feeling the way you would like, make new selections and sample until you find the best one.

    Interior design color sample


  10. Now go ahead and paint, arrange your furniture, hang your art and enjoy your room!

    Interior design example of complete room

    source: House Beautiful (by Daniel Sachs)

***If at any point in the process you feel lost, and fear making a mistake, call an Interior Designer for help. The consultation of an Interior Designer may be the best money you spend, saving you time, money, and frustration.

Happy Painting!


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