5 Steps to the perfect color palette
Color is so personal. You can easily go to the paint store and pick up a pre-made color palette that the paint manufactures make, but are those the colors that will bring you your happy sunshine in your home? Will the colors make you giggle, make you sigh or smile? The color choices you make have a profound effect on your mood and well being. I’ve lived in a few homes where the color sucked all life out of me like a leaching vampire. The crazy thing is, though, everyone is different.(surprise surprise) What color makes me giddy won’t always be the colors that make you giddy. Looking in magazines for the latest trends may not get you the color that will create the right mood you want in your space.
If the color experts say that navy blue is the next hot color i’m NOT going to go and paint my house that color. Navy blue is one of my leach colors, making me feel as blue as the wall. Color trends are just trends, they will eventually go out of style. However; if you pick color based on what you love rather than what is popular than when it goes out of style you will still be in love with your home. Now, i’m not saying ignore color trends. Some pretty amazing colors can be introduced, or reintroduced. Pick colors based on what you like whether it’s on trend or not. So with that in mind, lets get started.
1.Know what makes you happy
This might be the most difficult, as it requires you to know yourself, know your style and know how colors affect your mood. This step requires research. Pinterest has been my best friend for research. I search for new pins and go through ones that i have already pinned -look for what draws your eye. If you like a style search that style. Search other colors and styles that are interesting but not sure about. If there are colors and styles you have not considered search them anyway. You never know where inspiration will come from and maybe what you thought you liked isn’t what makes you happy.
I have a friend who told me she loved brown/tan colors for her home, yet the second she walked into my very white home she was in awe. Now i’m going to be honest. My house is not a huge glamour home. I didn’t spend a fortune on all high end finishes and she walked into it unfinished and unfurnished. As she walked around with mouth wide open she jokingly asked when she could move in. Then shortly after she asked if i could copy what i’d done for her home.
What I believe she was experiencing was an emotional connection to the color and overall ambiance, the color and textures created the feel of the home. She thought she liked tan, but the white, blue and gray palette of my home brought her comfort and peace. (which is the feel I was going for when I picked it) So when it is your turn to decide what color brings you the most happiness, BE OPEN.
2. Trip to the paint store
This is my favorite part. Paint stores are filled with so much possibility. I love color. And seeing all those color swatches makes for a delightful outing. But not everyone is as insane as I am. All those colors can be overwhelming. But that is why your not going to pick your color right now. Never pick the color at the store. Take as many color swatches as you need. pick any color that has potential and pick the swatches on either side. I don’t care if you have to pick up every swatch in the store. Do it.
Once you get home get out your scissors and cut them apart. This part is really important. When colors are placed next to each other they effect how you perceive that color. Sometimes a color on the swatch does not look good until you take it off, because your eye is distracted by the brightest or darkest of the colors. Personally I pick the swatches because of the bright colors. I am drawn to bright colors. But when I see them in my home and consider the feel I am going for, I almost always get the lighter shades.
So what I do is separate the color swatches then look at the swatches on a white piece of paper with space between so the colors are not affecting one another. Once they are against a white back ground you are better able to see what the color looks like and if it will work or not.
3. Pick your neutral
A neutral should be a color that allows you to have many options of color accents. Typically neutral colors are white, brown, gray and black. A neutral should not limit you in your color choices. I lived in one place that had a greeny tan on every wall. Not only did it suck the light out of every room but nothing I owned went with that awful color. Fortunately the landlord allowed me to paint some of the walls so i could stand being in the house. As an accent color it could have worked, but not as a neutral.
Ask yourself what color do you want the most of in your home? This color will cover most of your walls. remember color=emotion, so make sure your neutral is a color that fills you with happiness. Also keep in in mind how much light you want in that space. The darker or grayer the color than more light will be absorbed by the walls making your rooms darker. (when I talk about grayer, I am referring to how saturated or pure the color is. A color is saturated when it is at its brightest. As it becomes more muted or more gray it is not as bright or pure.) If that’s what you want, great, but most people want colors that will reflect light, which is usually the lighter colors.
If you do choose a darker color for your neutral, make sure the room will have adequate natural, ceiling and accent lighting. Nothing erks me more than sitting in a room with dark walls and no light. I might as well be sitting in a prison.
I chose white as my neutral as I love the bright, light and fresh feeling. If that’s not what your looking for, that’s ok, think of the mood you want to create and select the color that will get that.
4. Pick your trim color
There are 3 options for trim:
Same as you wall color for a clean feel. I have seen it done, it can be cool, but most people go for the other two option.
Lighter than your wall color.
Daker than your wall color
Depending on the feel and drama you want to create the color you choose for trim is up to you. The more contrast the more dramatic the space will feel. Subtle differences between trim and wall usually feels more natural.
Using your swatches that you cut up, look at the trim options side by side with the neutral you have selected. How do they look together? Are they the same temperature? Do they pop together?
With my white walls I went with a light gray trim. I was going for peaceful and tranquil, so I chose a color that just a bit darker than my white.
5. Pick your accent
Once you have a neutral and a trim color picked you can start looking at which of your favorite colors go best with what you have selected. remember when I said that colors look different next to each other, well that applies here too. Just because that fabulous pink is your favorite color it does not mean it will look best against the other colors you have chosen.
Again you want to place your colors against a white background and put your accents next to your neutral and trim to see how well they work together. Play with different options until you decide on what works best.
6. Be open to change
Here is a little secret. I didn’t really stick to these steps. Yikes! I did, at first, but soon realized that my white selection was the most difficult for me. Once I had selected my accent and trim color I went back to my white and played with different shades. The white I originally had selected was scratched and a different color was put in its place.
My working palette as I planned our new house. The colors on the bottom left were my paint options. though I did make some final changes, this image shows how you can display your swatches as you plan.
Time is a key factor. Take time to look at your options in different lights-take them outside-if at all possible to the space they will be going to be in. How does the light affect the colors, are they reflecting light or absorbing light? Is that what you want? How do the colors work with each other? do they create the mood you are wanting to create? Can you imagine your decor you want to bring in with those colors? Will it work? How does it make you feel? Happy?
What Color make you feel HAPPY? Let me know by leaving a comment?