The way we apply colour in our lives may be more important than you think, especially in the case of our homes. The first step to picking out a paint colour, is determining what kind of mood you want a room to have. Do you want a room to feel social and energizing, or have a more reserved, quiet feel to it? Would you prefer calming and soothing for some rooms, and dramatic for others? It starts with determining this, and then you can move towards colour palettes that convey this feeling. Warmer, brighter colours lend well to sociable and stimulating atmospheres, while neutrals and richer colours will give off more of a formal feeling. For a calming, quiet effect, neutrals and soft, cool colours work well.
Next, brush up on some colour terminology. Let’s start with hue. A hue is the colour. For instance, yellow is a hue; blue is a hue. How dark or light the hue is, is called the value of a hue. The saturation of a hue suggests how intense a hue is. ie) going from red to burgundy, the red hue becomes less intense.
These are useful terms to know when deciding upon a colour. Maybe you have determined the right hue, but you need it in a different value or saturation. Paint experts at your local paint store will have knowledge of these terms, and will be able to help you determine what value or saturation you should be looking for to achieve your desired look. When determining this, there is also another important factor that comes into play; the light in the room(s) you are looking to paint. Does the room receive a lot of natural light, or is it mostly incandescent or fluorescent lighting? This is extremely important to take note of as this will affect the way the colour appears once on your walls. Paint looks different in different light, so keep in mind it may not look exactly like the colour swatch once it is in the lighting of your home. Paint stores will have light boxes for you to test colour swatches in different lighting conditions. As a general rule of thumb, the truest colour can be seen in natural light, while fluorescent lighting can give a blue tone to the paint, and incandescent lighting gives off a warm, yellow tone. Keeping these factors in mind will help to determine your final colour choice. You may want to stray away from too vivid of colours in a room with plenty of natural light, but could get away with it in a room that receives indirect light like a hallway or den.
Still feeling unsure if your colour choice is the right one? Start small. Experiment with spaces such as bathrooms, hallways or feature walls. This will give you a great starting place if you are thinking of painting your entire house, or can be an opportunity to test the colour for a larger room. Another way to test your colour choices are by doing up poster boards, or large wall pieces that are the same colour you are looking at painting.
Another important factor to keep in mind is how different room colours will interact with each other. Are you painting both your living room and kitchen? How will the two colours blend when walking from room to room? A great tool here can be a colour wheel. This allows you to see how colours interact with each other before applying them onto your walls. Having a colour wheel handy may even give you a few ideas for colour palettes you’ve never even thought of before!