Choosing The Right Paint Color – Tips from an Interior Designer

Picking The Perfect Paint Color

Choosing The Right Paint Color – Tips from an Interior Designer

Inspiration can come from anywhere. While paint fans are a useful tool, they can be overwhelming. This doesn’t need to be your starting point. Maybe there is a painting that you love, or a printed fabric. A particular shade from a flower arrangement. Your grandmothers sweater. That last little bit of pigment from a great eye shadow. Flip through old magazines. Take note of what you are drawn to and then bring your inspiration to the paint store.


Advice on selecting the best paint color for your space.

The best way to experience paint colors before taking the plunge is with a sample pot or paper paint swatch. The bigger the better. Something you love on screen may not be your cup of tea in person. Give yourself options and time to consider. Don’t be shy with samples. Something you may be rather unimpressed by on the paint fan could be absolutely gorgeous in person. If there is a color you love, grab a few shades lighter and one or two darker to use as samples as well. Use LARGE samples. You are going to paint the wall anyways, you might as well get a good feel for how it looks over a large swath.


Choosing the right colors and finishes for your space.

Consider the light. Different times of day, certain shades read entirely differently. Make sure you are looking at samples under overhead lighting, table lighting, in the morning, evening, midday. Natural light and artificial light will cast differently. Know where your exterior light comes from – north, south and east facing windows will all experience light differently. Know what window treatments will be used and how that will affect the lighting.


Selecting the best paint finishes.

When choosing the right paint color, work with your design cues. If you are repainting an existing space or are starting fresh, having a jump off point for inspiration is helpful. For example if you know a piece of artwork will hang in the space, try your paint samples up next to it, or along with fabric swatches.


Choosing The Right Paint Color - Tips from an Interior Designer. Kitchen design and paint finish

Transitions – think of where the color will live and what shades will live around it and co-mingle with it. What furniture will live there? What color is the hallway leading into the space. Will your trim stay the same or should that be updated as well?


Modern Boho Kitchen Design. Choosing The Right Paint Color - Tips from an Interior Designer

Don’t be too hasty! Once you have it down, live with your samples and options for a little bit. Make sure you are looking at your samples at different times of day, with natural and artificial light and ask the opinions of other people who will live or spend time in the space what they think. Certain practicalities may occur to them that you didn’t think of.


Think of the sheen. The same color can give a completely different feel based on what finish you choose. The most common finishes include flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss or glossy, though some paint companies include finishes beyond these. A flat paint reflects no light; a high-gloss paint reflects a lot of light. Nowadays the finishes we use on our projects are usually matte on the walls, eggshell on the trim and casing, and ceilings are always flat.


Denver Interior Designer

Helping our clients select the right color palette is included in our design services.

Contact Us if you’d like to discuss your project.


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