Elevate Your Space with Paint
I often have friends or clients who want to make an impactful statement in their space, but do not want to spend a lot of money. Alternatively, I have clients who are renting a house or apartment and only see themselves in that place for a short period of time. They want to customize their home to fit their personal design style, but do not want to invest in a space that they will not be in long term. The advice I almost always give is to consider painting. That being said, if you are renting, there is a large possibility that you will have to paint the wall or walls back to the original color once you move out, so find out from your landlord what that rules are about painting. Remember you can paint one room in your home and not feel pressured to paint all rooms. Furthermore, a single accent wall is also a viable option and it can go a long way!
So now that you have decided to paint, how do you choose a color? Obviously the best bet is to hire an interior designer or a color specialist who can point you in the right direction and assist you in finalizing a choice. If that is not a possibility, I would first decide if I am painting more based on my style (e.g. the stuff I already have in the room) or based on the "feel" I want to create from painting. Ideally, you will be able to choose a paint color that will work with the furniture and finishes you have AND create a feeling for the space, but it is good to answer one thing at a time.
I think it is easiest to first look at what you already have in the room or what you plan on bringing into the room, if you are deciding to paint a space before moving in. Look at accent colors present in throw pillows, comforters, upholstery fabrics, linens, artwork, or accessories. Choose a color that is present but not the MOST prevalent color. For example, if you have a sofa that's fabric is 70% red, 20% teal and 10% dove grey, you would mostly likely want to consider a paint color that is close to teal or grey to highlight the accent colors. To narrow down your paint choice, once you have analyzed all the colors in the space, I would then ask yourself, "what is the mood I want to create in this room?"
Every color has a personality and it would be impossible to list every color here in this blog. Plus, the same color can make two different people feel very differently. So below is a short list of colors and what each color symbolizes or what mood it is intended to create:
RED: represents fire, action, motivation, inspiration, passion, and intellectual or spiritual pursuits.
GREEN: represents wood, promotes change, beginnings, adventure, creativity, growth and healing.
YELLOW/BROWN/BEIGE: represents earth, makes one feel sturdy, stable, grounded, centered, and promotes trust and reliability.
WHITE/GREY/SILVER: represents metal, assists with letting go, signifies morality, ethics, precision, control, concentration, and focus.
BLACK or DARK BLUE: represents water, deep thought, introspection, communication and the ability to circumvent obstacles.
Once you have determined what colors pairs well with what you own (or what you plan on getting) along with what mood you want to create in the space, the time has come to pick the exact hue. Every color comes in many different shades, tones or tints. My recommendation is to have a color fan from your favorite paint company. They do cost money, so if that is not an option, best to go into the store and choose a few paper paint swatches. Bring them home, put them in the space, and see how they work. From there, you can narrow it down to a select few and you should then buy paint samples. I would recommend having 2-3 samples of different colors to put on the wall. I would also recommend, if you are doing multiple walls, to put the same color on a few different walls so that you can see how light, time of day and shadow affect the perception of that color. Yes, you will have paint samples all over your walls for a few days, but its better than having a whole wall in a color you don't like for a few years!
Once you have picked your paint color, go back to the store and discuss with an employee which paint finish you should purchase. I have included a chart below for which finish is good for which application, but it is always a good idea to ask an expert as well!
In the end, while this may seem like a lot of work and steps to go through, the end result can really change and enhance your home. A gallon of paint is a reasonable financial investment and will make your space feel more custom and individualized to your needs and taste. Good luck, and have fun!