If you ever spent some time in a hardware store’s paint department, you have most likely witnessed people standing by the paint patch display transfixed with a puzzled and anxious look on their faces, or couples in a heated argument about what shade of white is appropriate for the living room.
It’s a commonplace occurrence, and no wonder: the choice of colour is essential to how the décor of a room is perceived. It sets the mood for a room, and brings together all the other elements of the room’s design.
Of course, the choice of colour for a space is, and should be, a matter of personal preference. However, there are a number of design guidelines for the effect certain colours or a combination of colours produce that can make choosing the right colour an easier task.
Here are some rules of thumb when it comes to choosing a wall colour for your space:
- If it’s a big room, paint it a brighter, warmer color to bring the walls in. If it’s a smaller room, cooler colours will push the walls out.
- If you like bold colour, you should note that there’s a higher chance that you’d tire of it quickly. Painting a room a trendy bold colour may be fun for a while, but the room could feel outdated a few months down the road when the colour is no longer in vogue. It’s best to keep a bold colour as an accent.
- When selecting a colour, consider the room mood you’re after. Soft, cool colours and neutrals create a restful and soothing feeling appropriate for a bedroom or bathroom. Neutral colours also create a more formal and elegant ambiance, sometimes intended in a dining room. Brighter and contrasting colours add to a sociable, lively atmosphere of a living room or rec room.
- To make your colour decision easier, consider plucking a colour or colour scheme from the largest pattern in the room, such as the rug or sofa upholstery.
- If you’re not sure about a colour, try testing it first it in smaller areas such as a powder room or a hallway. Remember though that natural daylight shows the colour’s truest hues, while incandescent lighting brings out its warmer tones, and fluorescent lights adds a bluish tone. You should be testing the colours in areas that have similar lighting as the main rooms you want the colours to eventually be in.
- Using several colours will add dynamism and vibrancy to a room, but keep it down to three colours maximum, otherwise you’re risking the room having a circus-like ambiance.
- When painting just one room, consider the room’s sight line, and how this colour will mesh with all the other colours that are visible in the line. In general, most decorators like to have one colour family throughout the entire house to give it continuity and harmony. Using different colours families for each room in the house may create a feeling of fragmentation and compartmentalization in the house.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different paint colours! This is the best way to learn what works best for you. For more information, contact the Bedford Brooks team.