HERE ARE NINE SUGGESTIONS FROM THE PROS TO HELP YOU MAKE YOUR COLOR SELECTIONS.
THE FLAT WHITE CEILING
The ceiling is the biggest wall in a room. Designer Athalie Derse warns that all white paint has a bit of gray in it, which can take the room down. She suggests a cream shade and hiring a pro to paint it.
MATCHING WALLS TO FABRICS
Designer Sallie Giordano says that though it may be tempting to take a fabric swatch to the paint counter, a perfect match may be too strong. Look for a grayed-out version of the color.
LACK OF BALANCE
When you love a color, remember not to overdo it, but “to balance it with neutrals,” says designer Todd Klein. White architectural elements or gray throws can provide a place for the eye to rest.
When your palette is neutral, add a few stronger colors. Designer Betsy Brown recommends interjecting elements that add intense personality. “Make it gutsy, or else it’s boring.”
MOVING FROM ROOM TO ROOM IN WILDLY DIFFERENT COLOR SCHEMES
Mona Ross Berman says that rooms should feel connected though not be painted in the same color. “The bedroom should never feel like it’s in a completely different house from the living room.” The general color theme should “make sense.”
SAME COLOR PALETTE THROUGHOUT THE HOUSES
While your favorite colors may work in the living room, using the same one or two paint colors everywhere may create an “uptight” or “stiff” feeling, says Tom Scheerer.
IGNORING YOUR PAINT’S FINISH
Pay attention to paint finish. Eggshell finish tends to take the intensity out of a rich hue. Meg Braff tells us, “darker colors in general can read very flat, so use a high-luster finish.” She adds that “good prep is key to any high-luster paint finish, so skim-coating the walls really helps. You can get a deep, rich gloss without going to the expense of lacquering.”
THE ONE-DIMENSIONAL HUE
Suzanne Kasler warms that “colors that have no depth are oddly fluorescent. They will leap out at you, rather than pull you in.” When choosing dramatic colors, be aware that “Creamsicle” can look like “Construction Cone Orange” on your walls.
CHOOSING A FOREVER COLOR
Rooms, like personal style, can change over time. You don’t have to repeat the same color. Ashley Whittaker reminds us that “you don’t have to commit to color all at once – you can play with it as the rooms evolve.”