July 07, 2016

How to Choose Colors that Define Your Design Aesthetic and Make a Room Sing

Are you getting ready to paint your space and want to be able to define your design aesthetic and create a visual foundation that will make your vision come to life successfully for a beautiful interior? Great!

First of all, you need to think about space beyond the doorway. Often when I walk into a space people ask me to help them pull the space together to create a cohesive, well-designed feeling throughout the entire interior. And one of the most common problems is they have painted one room at a time resulting in a jarring or startling effect instead of calming and cohesive. If you think of every room as a separate unrelated space, the total effect throughout your home will be disjointed.

Selecting a color scheme that you love and carrying it throughout the entire space is very important. This doesn’t mean every surface needs to be painted in exactly the same color without any variation or diversity. But you need a consistent foundation to build on and create connection from room to room. Trim is the easiest way to maintain consistency from one room to the next. But wall colors should work together even if they’re not all the same.

Two of my favorite white trim colors are Benjamin Moore White Dove and Simply white. White Dove has a tiny bit of yellow so it is a warmer color and works beautifully with wood. Simply white is a pure white that reads very neutral. If you are looking for a color in your trim, Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter is an excellent option. Beyond your color selection, the other key to success here, is to have the same trim color and sheen (ideally semi-gloss) throughout the entire house.

When selecting your wall color, you can use the same color as your trim but use an eggshell finish on the walls and a semi-gloss finish on your trim. Typically, I recommend this approach if there is a lot of movement, texture and interest in the space that you want to focus on, while allowing the walls to be less of a statement, more as a quieter background to let other design element stand out.

Adding color to the walls brings an opportunity to blend materials and interest for your space. When choosing a color, it is best to have at least one item you adore that is already prominent in the space – such as furniture, rugs or unique accessories – that include the wall color of choice. The spectrum of wall paint colors is literally infinite, so you’ll have a much easier time basing that choice on items you already own and love, rather than struggling to try and make other items work with your paint color.

A few of my absolute favorite wall colors are these (all by C2):

Esoteric C2-989
Pearl C2-852
Salt Water C2-979
Inuvik Ice C2-232
Milk Mustache C2-692
Chit Chat C2-208
Slinky C2 975
Cricket White C2 916
Wellspring C2-977

C2 is a wonderful, high-end paint line that has a fantastic line-up of colors. When looking through the options and marking your colors, be sure to use either plain masking tape or white post-it notes. If you use anything with a color, it will change the way your eyes perceive the wall color you’re examining.

Another key item to be aware of is color matching from one brand of paint to another. While paint shops can try to match C2 colors and blend them into other paint brands, the result is not a truly exact match. If your painter wants to switch to a paint brand they’re familiar with rather than one you specified when choosing colors – it is well worth the extra step, to approve the color sample before the entire room is painted.

Enjoy your colors, thanks reading, and for being part of our Amy Dutton Home community.