If you are one of those people who (like me) breaks out into a cold sweat when having choose paint colors for your walls, then (like me), you may be grateful for the following things which we have found helpful over the past three weeks as we attempt to pick colors for our entire house’s interior:
1) Swatches of Inspiration: After living with a kitchen painted the color of orange cheddar cheese for more than four years, I decided to take the pros advice when choosing colors for this house and start with a palette already at work in a piece of fabric. Drawing inspiration from the curtains we will eventually hang (fabric selected from Tonic Living’s wonderful array), we used swatches of fabrics for paint inspiration. Each swatch provided a starting place for the rooms in question and a flavor for where we’ll go down the road.
2) Color Consultants: Once we had things narrowed down to a starting place, we talked with a color consultant available through our local paint store. My art degree notwithstanding, sometimes it helps to bounce ideas off people–especially when so many colors are available. A one-hour conversation was enough to confirm our impulses and select several more to go along with them.
3) Internet Advice: Another thing we found helpful these past three weeks were the views of other people’s rooms painted said colors. Google Images and Houzz.com offer a large bank of images that you can search simply by typing in your paint color. Remember that lighting changes everything, but often viewing the image in context helps you gauge the overall flavor of what you are considering.
4) Little Pots of Paint: Most paint stores now offer sample paint pots in whatever color you choose for testing in your space. We purchased these little testers from Benjamin Moore, painted them onto a large sheet of bristol board, then held them at various places in our home’s rooms. You can paint them directly onto the walls, but that usually involves sanding at some point in the future. This way you can also move them around (from one room to another if necessary).
5) Painting your walls: Sometimes you just have to see the paint on the wall to know for sure. In our case, all the colors stuck but one, which we had changed at the last minute for fear of the original being too dark. Well the original it needed to be, and our dining alcove is now a happy Wedgwood Grey.
All of this followed on the heels of a good primer/sealer, which in our case is acting as a vapor retarder in conjunction with the air tight drywall system. Now that the paint is dry, it’s time to lay floors. But that’s another story.