5 tips for pick­ing paint colours

Jamaica Gleaner - - BEAUTIFUL HOMES -

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.

1.Start small

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.

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