Color is utilized to help define interiors and provide focal points in generally featureless rooms in today’s open-plan houses, where kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms are commonly combined into one vast space. The trick, of course, is determining how to choose paint colors and where to utilize them.
How To Choose Paint Colors for Interior Rooms
1. Create a color scheme that complements the furniture in your home.
Begin by choosing three colors from a pre-existing object in your home. Take a pillow from the family room couch, your favorite sweater or scarf, or a painting—anything that provides comfort or has an emotional link for you—and go to the paint store. Find three sample strips with such hues, and you’ll have about 18 colors you can use right away, because each sample strip normally has six paint colors.
The next step is to select one of the three color palettes as your wall color and save the other two for use in fabric or furniture throughout the room.
Using the same three-color sample strips as before, choose a different color for adjacent rooms.
Finally, choose a fourth accent hue— splash some of that color into each room of the house—via a pillow, dish, or artwork; this will help connect the spaces of your home together in a subtly cohesive way.
2. Select a finish to create an eye-catching visual effect.
Once you’ve decided on your colors, think about the finish you’ll be applying. Though modern flat paints have improved stain resistance, common wisdom has long claimed that a satin (also known as eggshell) finish is better for walls since it is scrubbable and does not draw attention to defects. Semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes, it was thought, should be reserved for trim, where they could highlight the curves of a molding profile or the panels of a door.
Finishes, on the other hand, are now being employed to produce visual effects on the entire wall. Paint one wall flat or satin and the neighboring wall semi-gloss in the same hue, and when the light strikes the walls, it generates a corduroy or velvet result. Similarly, to create a matte and sheen contrast, paint the walls matte and the ceiling semi-gloss. (The more light-reflective the ceiling, the higher it will appear.) Bear in mind that the greater the gloss, the more sheen and attention the surface receives. Color and sheen, when used wisely, may draw attention to your interior’s best features.
3. Match the color to the mood you want to create in the room.
Color psychology is a minor obsession among paint specialists. Many people believe that you should choose a hue based, at least in part, on how a room is utilized and the mood you wish to create.
A good rule of thumb is to paint social rooms (dining rooms, kitchens, family and living spaces) warm hues like sunflower-yellow, coral, or cranberry, and private spaces (home offices, bathrooms, bedrooms) cooler colors such as sage-green, lilac, or sky-blue.