house staging, staging houses business training
home staging for profit, staging homes business training
home staging, staging homes for profit, home staging business training

Choosing the Right Paint Colors

by Barbara Jennings, CRS/CSS

Few things in decorating seem to cause consternation more than choosing paint colors. Why? Probably because there are so many to choose from and because paint is so affected by light conditions and other colors in a room. And while paint is relatively inexpensive, no one likes to waste money on the wrong colors. So here are some brief tips to help you out.

Where to Start

A common misconception is that you should choose your paint colors first, then add everything else in the room. Wrong. Because paint is so inexpensive and because there are an over abundance of tints and shades available, it is easy to alter. Choose your paint colors last. Serious. Choose them last.

Install your cabinets, counter tops and flooring first. Mix warm colors and tones with other warm colors. Mix cool colors with cool colors. This will give you a good start because warm colors blend with other warm colors and cool colors blend with other cool colors. After you have the most expensive and the most difficult aspects put in place that are expensive and difficult to change out, then move on to pulling the project together by selecting fabrics, art, linens and so forth, finishing up with your paint color choices.

Start Outside

Look at the color of your roof and fireplace. This is your "hardscape". These elements are permanent and you want to choose a color that blends with the colors already in place.

Give up trying to make one paint color look the same in different lighting. It can't be done. Light will always change a color. Look at the exterior colors in the am, the pm and at night. Look at the colors on a hot sunny day and a cloudy overcast day. Choose accordingly. For more specifics, it's probably best to choose your colors between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm when the light is the strongest.

What About Bold Colors?

See all those bold colors on TV and in decorating magazines? Be careful. Bold colors get tiring. Bold colors are tricky. Bold colors can easily overpower your senses and dominate a room. Bold colors, especially if warm and dark, seem to advance toward you, making a room feel smaller.

Testing Your Colors

Place your sample colors near the floor to make sure the undertones don't clash with what is already there. Check the colors at different times of the day and night. Buy a small quantity of the colors and paint two coats onto a 12x12 piece of wood or drywall. Allow to dry thoroughly. Hold your sample near the major surfaces that it will touch and any fabrics it needs to enhance.

Pick colors that blend and help balance out the room. Be aware that the more colors you put in a room, the more apt you are in making the room feel busy and cluttered. Try not to put more than 4 colors in a room. For variety, keep the colors the same, but alter the textures, adding some rough textures and smooth textures and this can bring an exciting, professional look to your decorating.

Barbara Jennings, is a leading home staging and interior redesign trainer. Author of 9 books on decorating, she is one of America's leading experts on how to start, manage and grow a home staging or interior redesign business.

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