Whether you’re a recent grad moving into your first place, an empty nester trying to decide what to do with that extra room or a design lover ready for a makeover, the question “What color to paint the walls” will probably come into play. Paint color is a big decision when reworking a space and one that can have a huge impact on overall design. When I go into a new home or a start a renovation, I like to choose a main color first and then select a room or rooms where I’ll add a pop of color, repeating color up and down for continuity. I find painting every room a different color can be distracting and can detract from the purpose of a pop color, which is to add an element of surprise or to create a particular mood in a singular space.
Choosing a main color can be tough with so many choices out there. I have a few go to neutrals that will set the stage for the main living area. Accessible Beige, from Sherwin Williams is one of my favorites. It’s an easy to live with color that works with traditional, contemporary, and virtually any style. Other Sherwin Williams colors I like to work with are Silver Strand and Sedate Gray. Benjamin Moore carries many great neutrals as well, including: Stone Harbour, Edgecomb Gray and Manchester Beige.
If you’re looking for more of a white or cream base, Ylang Ylang and Cloud White from Benjamin more are great picks as well as Creamy from Sherwin Williams. I always recommend testing paint colors by painting a large enough space on a wall(s) and watching how the light in the room affects it for at least 24 hours. Colors that look perfect in the day, may look too dark at night, and if you’re testing a color at night, you may find it’s way too washed out in the daylight.
For a peaceful feeling with a bit more color than neutral, try Restoration Hardware’s Light Silver Sage, Benjamin Moore’s Croquet or Sherwin Williams Rain Washed. These are great meditative colors.
Once you’ve laid the groundwork with your neutrals, choose a room or rooms for your pop of color. I often like to add color in a bathroom or in a room that has a special purpose, like a library or game room. The first thing to consider is what color family you want to be in. I like to choose an item in the space; a vase, artwork, a throw pillow, and use it as inspiration for a color choice. Of course, you need to consider colors you like and can live with every day. Not everyone is a red person and the perfect pink may not be for everyone.
Always remember – Don’t be afraid of color. You’ll be amazed at how you fall in love with strong colors if you choose the right one for the space Some blues and purples that I love to work with are Sherwin Williams’ Refuge, Distance, Enigma and Exclusive Plum. All are great choices. If you tend towards warm colors in the red family, try Caliente. And for a fantastic green – Livable Green from Sherwin Williams.