Years ago, goodness so many years ago, my family and I lived across the street from this cute couple and their brand new baby. It wasn't long till our families were the best of friends and more babies were added. Many Saturdays and Sundays were spent at the pool together, throwing water balloons, eating nachos, and lots of sweets. Because everything is better with sweets around.
That family has been huge apart of my family, that's proper English..right?. They've literally seen us laugh, cry, scream, fall apart and come back together. And only the Lord knows how much they really held us together, and still do. We love the Arredondo family.
Recently, she contacted me and told me they were getting ready to re-paint the whole home. She sent me some paint colors they had looked at and asked what I thought. When you're an interior designer and your family/friends know this, emails like this happen from time to time. The colors she sent over we a little mis-matched at first. Some were dark and some were light, some were traditonal and some were modern...and there were a lot of them. So I asked for their goals and vision.
An appropriate vision since they live there! Oh how I miss thee, Texas.
Anyway, I went to whipping up a quick color change and it got me thinking...how do most people choose paint colors? For me, color comes naturally but goodness when I think of someone just approaching that wall of paint chips in the Home Depot...well wow that's a lot of options before someone's eyes.
So here are my quick rules of thumb when choosing paint colors for your home:
1. Decide on your vision
Are you looking for a coastal vibe? Maybe you want something that is historical feeling? Perhaps modern? You'll want to figure out what makes your heart just beat with joy when you see it. Your vision will not only determine the colors to go to but the shades of them too.
If you don't know what your vision is then start looking for inspiration pictures. Cut them out of magazines or scroll through pinterest...it will soon become obvious what you're drawn to.
2. Find a tone to stick with
So you've got the colors but now how bright or dark? The true definition of tone in relating to colors is adding gray. Now don't run from toned colors, don't let the gray scare you. You want a toned color. Toned colors are generally more approachable, pleasing and subtle. As you look at various colors, stick with a similar tone, meaning stick with a similar shade of gray added to each color. This way no matter if you've got greens, oranges, and reds they'll all go together because their tones will coordinate.
3. Let it go
I know, we all want to sing it, but this isn't about Frozen. This is for those of you who have gone to Home Depot and came home with 10 swatches, one for each room in your house. Stop right there. For your home to have an overall cohesive feel choose one or two colors to be your base colors. Those will fill your hallways, powder rooms, etc. They can also serve to be the main wall color in all your rooms. In this case, create a focal wall or allow something else like cabinetry or furniture to draw in the color. Either way, limit yourself. Start with the base and choose 3 or so other colors to act as accents, either altogether or separate in different rooms.
4. Test drive
Paint is definitely one of the easiest things to change in a home. If you don't like it down the road, it's not the worst thing to have to re-paint but no one really likes to re-paint so give it a test drive first. Plenty of manufacturers are offering smaller cans so you can paint an area or a whole wall even to see how you like it. Remember that all paint colors look different in different environments. More sunlight, less sunlight, the types of light bulbs, the tone of your wood stains...tons of things make an impact on color so giving it a try in the space it will actually be in is huge!