Picking colors to paint a room can feel like an overwhelming task, and the stakes are high — the choices you make will affect the space you live in day after day. With so many options out there, what’s the best way to make the right decision? Here are some tips to make that process a little easier.
Consider the room’s mood and feel
Before choosing a paint color for a room, consider how you want to use the room and how you want it to feel. For example, if you want your bedroom to be a calm and restful haven, DIY Network suggests choosing cooler colors like greens and blues or warm, light colors like soft yellow. If you want your living room to be an elegant and sophisticated space for entertaining, you might try varying shades of rich neutral colors. If you want a room to seem more spacious or a ceiling to seem higher, that effect is best achieved with lighter colors.
Keep existing décor in mind
Before diving into the color selection process, the Washington Post recommends thinking about the room’s other elements. You’ll want to select a color that complements the existing curtains, flooring, furniture and furnishings. Even if you’re completely redecorating and refurnishing the room, it’s more effective to choose the paint color based on the room’s other elements instead of the other way around.
Remember the big picture
As you decide on colors for an individual room, don’t forget to take into account how that scheme will fit in with the rest of your living space. According to Freshome, if each room has a unique style that doesn’t flow with other parts of the house, it can create a jarring, busy effect as you transition between rooms. For a more cohesive feel, make sure that colors in different parts of the house harmonize with each other. This is especially important if your home is built with an open floor plan.
Take advantage of online tools
Once you have some color ideas in mind, you can head to the paint store for paper samples. However, modern technology can help take some of the guesswork out of this process. Many paint manufacturers provide online tools that let you upload photos of your to-be-painted room and test how it will look with different colors. There are also a variety of smartphone apps out there to help you find, identify and match paint colors.
Consider paint finish, too
As you’re selecting paint, keep in mind that the finish will also have a major impact on how the color interacts with the light and how it fits with the purpose of the room. Here’s how Freshome breaks it down: Flat finishes are less shiny but harder to clean, making them poor choices for kitchens and bathrooms. Eggshell finish and satin finish are in the middle, while semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes provide a higher level of shine and are easier to clean.
Test before committing
Colors can look very different online or at the paint store than they do in your home. A color that looked perfect under the store’s bright lighting might appear very different in your home. You’ll also want to see how colors look in your home during the light of day or after dark. So, before you buy several expensive cans of paint, ask for smaller samples. You can try them on a wall in the room you’re painting to make sure they meet your expectations.
Finding the right paint for the rooms in your house doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Equipped with these tips, you’ll soon be ready to enjoy your redecorated living space.