5 tips for picking paint colours
WHY DO we find one place appealing and are uneasy in another? Why are we attracted to one product over another? Colour, whether architectural or in products, accounts for 60 per cent of our response to an object or a place.
Wherever we go we respond to colour, but the importance of colour is often underestimated. Colour use is important to us personally in our homes and in the places where we work.
If you’re not sure where to begin with colour, experiment in a powder room or bathroom, a small hall or area between rooms, or an accent wall. If you’re doing your own painting, pick an area that’s quick to do so you can see your results sooner, and be happy with it or change it. Look at the process as an adventure.
To get started, select a favourite colour drawn from artwork, a rug, dishes and an accessory or furniture piece as a main colour or accent.
2. Think about your mood
When selecting a colour, consider the mood of a room. In a bedroom, do you want the feeling to be restful and soothing or dramatic and intimate? Soft, cool colours and neutrals usually create a quieter feeling while stronger colours are for drama.
Do you want a dining area to feel sociable and stimulating or appear formal and quiet? Warmer, contrasting and somewhat brighter colours add to a sociable atmosphere; deeper blue-greens and neutrals will give a more formal ambience. Do you want kids’ rooms to create an active and exciting energy or an orderly and restful feeling? Be careful not to over-stimulate your children with intensely bright hues. You may not know it, but some brighter colours can lead to unrest and irritability.
3. Pay attention to lighting
The reason why paint stores have light boxes for you to test paint chips:
Natural daylight shows the truest colour;
Incandescent lighting brings out warm tones and yellows;
Fluorescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone.
So, a strong colour might be too bright and overpowering when used on all walls or next to a large window, but it might be effective when used as an accent wall with indirect light.
4. Learn the colour terms
It helps to understand the terminology used to describe colour.
Hue is what we call a colour. Red is the hue; blue is the hue.
The value of the hue is how light or dark it is.
Saturation refers to how dominant the hue is. As we go from red to pink, the red hue becomes less dominant.
Intensity is the brilliance of the colour. The pure colours such as red are more intense than the combined colours such as yellow-green. A stronger intense colour usually has a more dominant hue.
If you want a more active space, consider introducing stronger, more intense colour. Even if you want a lightcoloured room, choose colours that are slightly more saturated than off-white or light pastel. Very light colour can feel bright and stark when it appears on all surfaces in a room. However, two or more medium-light, closely related pastel colours can create a luminous effect when used in the same room.
5. Add depth with decorative finishes
Transform flat, dull walls into interesting and personal spaces with subtle or dramatic visual texture and broken colour. Burnished mineral/metal finishes and layered coloured glazes add depth. Some examples of softly reflective metals are mica, copper, pewter, bronze and, of course, antiqued silver and gold.