How To Choose The Right Paint Color For Your Home, According To An Interior Design Expert

How To Choose The Right Paint Color For Your Home, According To An Interior Design Expert

Colors can have a huge impact on your mood and emotions. This is why it’s imperative to choose the right hues when decorating an indoor space. Especially your home, as it’s your private sanctuary to rest and rejuvenate.

However, with so many varieties of paint and shades on the swatches available, picking out paint colors for a room can be a daunting experience.

“From making a space look bigger to camouflaging defects in a room, color is the interior design component that has the power to instantly transform a space,” says Jen Nash, design excellence manager at Magnet.

So how do you go about selecting the right shades for your space without feeling like you’re losing your mind?

“It really comes down to asking yourself how the color will serve your space—not only from a design perspective but from practical, psychological and personal perspectives too,” Nash says.

Here are five interior designer-approved tips to keep in mind before you start any home renovation or room makeover projects, for a hassle-free experience:

  • Start by deciding the mood for the room. “According to color psychology, different colors evoke different emotions. So choosing a color that is going to nurture the function of a room will create a beautifully purposeful space—one you feel at ease in,” says Nash. Ask yourself, is it an entertaining space? Is it a space to dine in? Or, perhaps it’s a room to relax in? “Think about the mood you want to create and choose a paint color in line with the principles of color psychology to help evoke the desired result,” she suggests. For example, cool colors such as blues, greens and whites typically create a restful and soothing atmosphere while warm colors like red, orange and yellow create a sense of drama and energy.
  • Check if the room is light or dark. “Light does more than illuminate a room—it impacts the color of the walls too. Especially depending on the time of day,” says Nash. “It can change the tone of a color and therefore should be a huge consideration when deciding on a paint color,” she adds. To simplify it, if your room is facing north or south, the sun isn’t going to shine directly into the room so it will be indirect and much cooler than east- or west-facing rooms. This will affect whether colors will need warmer or cooler undertones to balance out the sunlight, Nash explains. “Before settling on a color, get a sample and paint a square on your wall, paying careful attention to how it changes in certain lights throughout the day,” she suggests.
  • Don’t pick a color you don’t really like. Just because there’s a general consensus that a certain color is “cool” or trendy, doesn’t mean you should overlook your own personal preferences. Instead of going with what’s trending, consider the colors you really like and are intrigued by, suggests Nash. These are the hues that you’ll still love in years to come, she says. “If you’re struggling to discover your personal taste, create a mood board, scrapbook or a Pinterest page of color schemes that you like. Look for recurring themes in the images and use them as the starting point for your color scheme,” Nash recommends.
  • See how it would go with other colors and furnishings in that space. Consider how the new color will contrast with the colors you already have nearby. “This is particularly important if you’re only doing a paint makeover and keeping existing furniture and accessories,” notes Nash. Take into account how your chosen paint will go with the wood detailing, carpets, adjacent and surrounding colors and even the view outside. For instance, a white wall in a room of pink furniture will look blush, which might be what you’re looking for. But if you want a stark white, choose one with a tinge of blue, she adds.
  • Opt for a diverse color. It’s essential to ask yourself what other colors your chosen paint goes with. “This is really important if you’re looking to paint a room with longevity in mind—that the paint you go for has the potential to complement future decor and palette changes you might want to make through accessories and furnishings,” says Nash. “There are three key color combinations that are guaranteed to work together. A ‘tonal’ scheme is the simplest as it includes only different tones of the same color. A ‘harmonious’ scheme uses shades that sit next to each other on the color wheel, such as red and orange. Then, there’s the ‘contrasting’ scheme which is the most vibrant of the three. Often referred to as complementary colors as it’s based on two colors that sit directly opposite each other on the wheel, such as yellow and purple,” notes the interior design expert.