The paint color palette you choose is one of the most important factors when it comes creating an inviting interior space. So many times we negate the importance of color and choose something trendy or safe and are left with a bland “builder-basic” room. When I was growing up we moved a lot and my mother always found a way to paint her bedroom a dusty, soft rose color. The rest of the house was usually a disaster, but the moment you entered her bedroom there was an overwhelming feeling of peace, love and happiness as the warm, rose walls reached out and hugged you and the smell of white lenin hit your nostrils. To this day I can close my eyes and feel the warmth of my being in my mothers bedroom.
Colors create feelings and the way we feel when we are inside our home is so important. I’ve been renovating homes since 2008 so it’s easy for me to focus on the bones of the house and not get distracted by an ugly wallpaper or sloppy multi-colored walls slathered in texturized paint. However, it still amazes me how distracted and hung up a buyer can get ugly paint colors. To me this is the easiest most rewarding thing to fix. Give me a neon green painted house any day of the week and I’ll transform that sucker into a pallet of modern grey!
So where do you start when it comes to picking the right pallet for your space? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, especially when you are standing at Home Depot looking at the bazillion paint swatches, I think that’s why so many of us reach for the safe “beige” option.
Step One: Assess your space: do you have good natural lighting? Wood floors? Tall ceilings? What’s the best asset this room has to offer then play it up. Many of the homes I renovate have beautiful wood ceilings so I make them pop with high gloss white beams and soft grey walls.
Step Two: Embrace what IS. So many people hate pine panelling in older homes, I say EMBRACE IT. One of my favorite rooms that I recently renovated was a basement den that had beautiful knotty pine paneling. My hubby wanted to sheetrock over it and I said “absolutely not!! We are going embrace this wood paneling!” So we painted the ceiling a crisp white and primed and painted all the trim work and crown molding a deep, sophisticated, glossy grey. When we were done the room felt like an expensive antique.
Step Three: Get inspired. Go out in nature or look around your house. What do you love, what colors speak to your soul? How do you feel when you see that light peachy sky caressed by the purple horizon. Colors can be fun and energizing! This is YOUR space to personalize any way you see fit. If the Jones’s come over to dinner and turn their nose up at your sea foam dining room walls just make sure sparky, the dog licks their steak, that accidentally dropped on the floor before it reached their plates. I promise you they will go home to their beige living room raving about how delicious the meal was!
“Am I aloud to paint brick?” I get this question a lot when showing older homes. YES, paint that ugly old brick till you can’t paint it no more! There’s a time and a place for untouched preserved natural brick – if you have perfect, turn of the century, bungalow or pre-civil war estate, I would probably say stay away from the paint, however if you have a 60’s ranch, knock yourself out! Here are my rules for painting brick: Stick to one color, I think it looks best when all brick surfaces are the same color. Also make sure you prime and paint as many coats as needed so that no spot is left untouched. There is nothing worse than a sloppy paint job on brick so if you don’t have the patience to do it right make sure to hire a pro.
Bedroom colors can be fun. This is your space to relax, unwind and cozy up with your hubby on a rainy Sunday morning. Pick a color that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. For some reason I have always been drawn to blueish grey for my personal bedroom. Something to keep in mind the darker the color the more cozy the space feels. Make sure to accessorize with a complimentary color scheme that plays up the wall colors!
How about a fun “accent” wall? I say go for it! One way to play up an accent color is to go all out with some fun shelving decor a picture collage or a big statement mirror. There is something so unexpected and interesting about a dramatic color behind a wall full of shelves and interesting decor. It’s a great way to add spice to a room and highlight your collections in a creative bold way.
Picking the right color is a personal expression. Don’t be timid or shy, conquer your walls and don’t forget the trim and ceiling are just as important. Always make sure to collect a handful of paint swatch options or test paint to try out in the space before you paint the entire room. Many times the paint color looks totally different when you get it in your space because of lighting and reflection variables. Be bold, have fun and just remember if the color doesn’t turn out like the way you anticipated you can always paint over it!