Be sure to paint a few coats to get the most accurate look, and examine the results in different lights throughout the day.
Try This at Home
Not sure about the paint color you’ve selected? Try a few paint samples on your wall and consider them for a few days. Chances are the winner will emerge.
Get Comfortable with Color
These tips and ideas will help you boost your color confidence.
- by Trisha McBride Ferguson
Does color overwhelm you? Maybe you think there are too many color choices, and you can’t decide which one to choose. Or perhaps you have a color in mind, but you’re not sure it will look good in your home. Maybe the prospect of coordinating several different hues feels daunting. If you’ve been playing it safe by sticking with beige and white, now is the time to break free and embrace color. Here are some tips to make working with color easier.
Why Decorate with Color?
The world is full of color, so why is it so difficult to choose a shade for your walls or home accents? It probably isn’t that you can’t envision your home filled with color, it’s more likely that you lack the confidence and know-how to produce satisfying results, says color trend expert Kate Smith. “Color is fun. It gives us a reason to replace and update,” explains Smith, director of Sensational Color.
The Effects of Color
As you consider potential colors for your next home improvement project, think about the feelings and emotions colors convey:
- Bright colors attract attention and are upbeat and happy.
- “Neutral colors are grounding and offer comfort and security,” explains Smith.
- Color makes an impact—adding color to certain areas of a room can make it a focal point. Grouping similar colors together can also create an impact.
- Color conveys status. Having an item—whether it’s a couch or a computer—in the hottest new color differentiates you as a trendsetter, says Smith.
- Color creates connections. Everyone has a different reaction to a color, and it is this reaction that motivates us to choose what we buy.
- Color gives confidence. The fashion industry has always offered a variety of color choices, so dressing colorfully seems easier than decorating with color. By using color successfully throughout your home, you will gain confidence and enjoyment.
Curb Color Confusion
Not sure how to get started? Copy! Look through decorating magazines and websites to identify the colors that are most appealing to you. Then bring these photos with you when you go to the paint store or shopping for furniture. And check out the image galleries (under the SEE tab) for inspirational ideas you can save in your own HomeFurnishings.com idea file.
Still unsure about committing to color? Test a few hues. If you’re painting a room, get samples of the shades you’re considering and put them up on the wall. Be sure to paint a few coats to get the most accurate look, and examine the results in different lights throughout the day.
If you’re trying to decide on a color for home accents or accessories, go bold. For example, if you can’t decide between two shades of blue for toss pillows, buy the brighter, more vibrant option. If you don’t like the color once you get it home, you can always make an exchange for the subtler option—but if you start with the subtle and settle for it, you may never know how great the vibrant pillows will look with your decor.
Don’t Settle for Beige
Color is one of the easiest, most affordable ways to add personality and energy to your home. Don’t settle for bare walls or disappearing shades of off-white. All that’s required is a little research, some trial and error and the desire for a colorful space.