A new paint job can be a great way to update your home’s décor, but the seemingly infinite variety of colors and finishes can make even the most design-savvy homeowners feel uncertain. Don’t dread the brush and roller, though; a little pre-planning can help you choose the perfect color and design to give your home a fresh and modern look—without the stress that often tags along.

The Taming of the Hue

Homeowners should begin their search for the right color palette by asking themselves “What is this room’s purpose?” If it’s a space that will serve to entertain guests or act as the main family room, like a den or living room, consider soothing, inviting colors. If you’re planning to revamp a utilitarian space, such as a kitchen or bathroom, a bolder, glossier color choice could make a room more memorable.

Professionals also recommend looking to the style and color of a room’s existing features for indications of what the larger color scheme should be. Before choosing a color, consider the following elements:

  • The flooring. Besides the walls, the floor is probably the room’s largest color area, so it’s best not to overlook it. Make sure the color of the flooring will work with your chosen color scheme. The type of flooring is also important; hardwood and tile floors are more reflective than carpet and may intensify the appearance of a wall color.
  • The furniture. Make sure to choose wall and trim colors that complement the most prominent pieces of furniture, such as couches, tables, and chairs. If you’re thinking of reupholstering, use the opportunity to coordinate the furniture and walls.
  • The lighting. Consider what color your lighting provides. Is it a cool white or a warmer yellow? How much natural light does the room get? When choosing a wall color, keep in mind that a paint color’s appearance can change dramatically under different lighting. For more information, read our post about the properties of different types of interior paint.
  • The accessories. Accessories like throw pillows, wall hangings, area rugs, and window treatments can affect the way your paint color will look. They can also provide inspiration for your color design choices; try looking for color ideas in the palette of a striking painting or photograph.
  • The ceiling. Just like the floor, the ceiling of a room is a big area of color, and you’ll need to decide how to accommodate it. Try to incorporate it into your overall room design, perhaps by painting the ceiling as well as the walls. Consider choosing a ceiling color that makes your overhead light fixtures stand out.

There are more ways to ensure a distinctive paint job besides choosing the right palette. Applying faux finishes, using varying shades of the same color, or creating accent walls are also easy ways to infuse your home with creativity. Read Part 2 of this blog post on Thursday for more techniques on revitalizing your walls.

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