Selecting Paint

Color selection always starts with determining the lighting conditions and clearly, more light brightens and accentuates while less creates shadows and dulls color. However, a color on one wall could be entirely different on another due to natural lighting conditions that also shift and effect color values throughout the day. The direction of each room will also need to be considered since northern exposure rooms receive more cool blue casts while southern exposures receive warmer reds and yellows. Although many color guidelines advise against using the same cast of color this will be, in the final analysis, a personal choice. (De gustibus, non est disputandum.) Blues in eastern facing exposures can also be brilliant and comfortable due to the natural cool effects of light. Fire red on a southern exposure wall can also create high impact appropriate for a particular room that demands a dramatic effect. So, whether or not you use a cooler color to tone down a southern exposure or a warmer color to support it will rely ultimately upon the effect you are trying to achieve.

 

Color Intensity: Another challenge is how to imagine the effect that one inch paint sample will have across the entire room. If your room receives a lot of natural light consider toning down the intensity by lightening or neutralizing it. Otherwise the effect could be too extreme for comfort.

Color Trends: Color impacts everything from cars to make-up to upholstery, clothes and well, just name it. Understanding these trends will help determine when to put an out-dated color to rest and provide newly improved alternatives. At this time the darker neutrals have replaced the lighter ones, especially darker taupes. Also new to the map are slate and charcoal grays as a savvy alternative to taupe and a subdued version of the impossible black. Camel is and will remain the classic and sophisticated neutral that works with every color. Taupes and beiges, the decendents of the brown or grey families, can be the ultimate neutrals of choice, but also require careful consideration. Just select the right tone, shade and depth against the existing fabrics and finishes and you simply can't go wrong! 

 

Psychological Effects of Color: While color impacts our mood and behavior, it also reflects our personality and desires. First, consider what effect you trying to achieve. Many answers can be achieved initially by simply describing how you would like to perceive your room. Below are a few of the symbolic associations attached to color. 

 

Red: Love and heat. Aggressive and bold. Courageous. A good luck and fame color in Feng Shui. It both attracts attention and creates excitement, while being expressive, rejuvenating, and passionate. 

 

Pink: Feminity, softness, sensitivity, faithfulness. 

 

Orange: A bold and high energy color of nature. It is the out-going color: friendly, cheerful, and happy. It creates order without being overly-controlling. It can also decrease irritability. 

 

Yellow: Great color to promote study. It is cheerful, optimistic and stimulates memory and mental clarity. However, like the sun, only minimum exposure required. This is a difficult color for the eye to process. 


Green: Life and nature. A powerful and popular color that is easy on the eyes. It is a color of relaxation and comfort, balance and harmony. Darker green represents ambition and prosperity, envy, rejuvenation, moderation, concentration, and security. 

 

Blue: A personal favorite, it is tranquil and inspiring like the clear blue sky. Like water, it is refreshing and renewing. Symbolic of trust and longevity, also associated with leisure, authority and strength. Light blue reflects patience and dark blue, impulsivity. 

 

imagination, passion, spirituality and encourages wisdom, reverence, inspiration, and quietness. This is the color of elegance and mystery. 

 

Black: Noncommittal. Color of sophistication, elegance, dignity, and power, while reflecting aloofness and mystery. Small amounts can make a powerful impact in any design space.

 

White: Perfect balance and color with hidden values. Indicates purity, sterility, sharpness, and spirituality. It encompasses the entire color spectrum. 

 

Gray: Lacks in assertiveness, but compensates by revealing intelligence, a sense of discipline and self-reliance. 

 

Orange: A bold and high energy color of nature. It is the out-going color: friendly, cheerful, and happy. It creates order without being overly-controlling. It can also decrease irritability. 

 

Yellow: Great color to promote study. It is cheerful, optimistic and stimulates memory and mental clarity. However, like the sun, only minimum exposure required. This is a difficult color for the eye to process. 


Green: Life and nature. A powerful and popular color that is easy on the eyes. It is a color of relaxation and comfort, balance and harmony. Darker green represents ambition and prosperity, envy, rejuvenation, moderation, concentration, and security. 

 

Blue: A personal favorite, it is tranquil and inspiring like the clear blue sky. Like water, it is refreshing and renewing. Symbolic of trust and longevity, also associated with leisure, authority and strength. Light blue reflects patience and dark blue, impulsivity. 

 

Brown: Conveys warmth and comfort, genuineness, solidarity, and masculinity. 


However, you are the ultimate decision-maker so test it, try it and like anything, when it clicks, you will know!

- Sharon

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