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How To Choose the Right Paint Colour

The biggest mistakes I see in residential design are related to colour, hands down!  Whether it’s incorrect choices in the undertones of paint colours, mismatched colour tones in counter and flooring, or home owners trying to introduce the now popular cool grays with their fixed elements of warm and beige finishes, I’ve seen it all.

In this post and on my youtube channel, I share tips on ‘How To Choose A Paint Colour’ by using large sample boards. I always encourage clients to get the largest samples of finishes that they can when trying to make informed decisions about choosing finishes for their home.

Stop Using Small Paint Chips!

Look at the difference in my large painted board in comparison to the chip colour in my BM fan deck.  It really is no wonder mistakes are made in choosing paint colours so frequently when this is how most people pick a colour for an entire room. I can’t imagine choosing the largest area in square footage of a room based on the smallest sample ever!  If you are a colour consultant and you are still using small paint chips to specify colours for your clients, shame on you!

paint chips large and small

While shopping with my client to select finishes for her kitchen design, I brought all 150 of  my large paint samples.  We chose the counter top first, then the cabinet & island colour, followed  by the subway tile for her backsplash and lastly, the paint colour for her walls.  In the photos below, it’s clear to see with the large painted board how the island and cabinet colour we choose work wonderfully with the tones in the sample of our Cambria Countertop (shown in the bottom right of the photo).

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Copley Gray for the island cabinets & Ivory White for the other cabinetry

Ivory White was chosen for the rest of the kitchen cabinetry and we used Manchester Tan for the wall colour in the kitchen & throughout the main floor. I have all of these large painted boards so I was able to easily show my client why these choices all worked well together with the finishes we were using for her kitchen design.

Ivory White - Copley Gray - Manchester Tan

Ivory White – Copley Gray – Manchester Tan – all colours by Benjamin Moore

I never worry about choosing a wrong colour for clients and am always super confident in my choices. This means no second guessing and no costly mistakes. Here is my clients gorgeous kitchen!

Photo by me - How Beautifully it all came together, eh?!

Photo by me – How Beautifully it all came together, eh?!Gather ALL Your Samples

Gather ALL Your Samples

Because you know that choosing your paint colour LAST is the only way to accurately choose the best colour for your interior design project, it’s imperative to have all your samples together in order to make that informed decision.  Lay your samples out in the same way in which they will be used within your space & use large paint boards to determine which colour works best with all your finishes.

Drapery fabric, upholstery fabrics, wallpaper and hardwood flooring samples shown with large paint chip

Drapery & upholstery fabrics, wallpaper & hardwood samples shown with large paint chip

This palette was for my clients monochromatic dining room design we created.  We could have gone with either Pashmina or Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore for the wall colour.  Both colour options worked well with all the finishes, but ultimately we choose Pashmina as it has slightly more intensity and depth which I felt worked best for this calming and sophisticated space.

Dining room by Creating Contrast Designs, Photography by Stephani Buchman

Dining room by Creating Contrast Designs, Photography by Stephani Buchman

The paint colour worked lovely with the artwork as well

The paint colour worked lovely with the artwork as well – photos by Stephani Buchman Photography

Use a White Background When Sampling Colour Boards

It’s really important to ensure you use a white backdrop behind your painted colour board.  A common mistake that people make is taking a roller and painting an area on top of their wall current wall colour, but this is incorrect for two reasons:

1)  You will find yourself comparing the new colour to your current wall colour as oppose to viewing it independently with other finishes & with a neutral background.

2) You are only looking at the proposed wall colour in one area of the room, so fully understanding how it will work at various times of the day under different light sources is not possible.

Use a White Backdrop to view possibly new paint colours

Use a White Backdrop to view possibly new paint colours

Painting is not inexpensive if you are hiring a professional to do the job.  Even if you are doing the paint work yourself, it’s really time consuming.  Take the extra step and save yourself time and money in the long run by painting large sample boards and I promise that you won’t regret it!

Below is my latest Youtube video on this very subject, click on the picture to watch the video.

Sign up for my blog here and the first article you’ll receive is on ‘How to Choose the Right Paint Colour the First Time’.  There’s also loads more decorating tips & interior design advice including weekly Wednesday posts that you don’t want to miss!

Get the Right paint colour the first time - mailchimp letter photo

Do you live in my area and want to hire me to help you choosing the right paint colours for your home?  I can help you Love Where You Live.  Professional design services are just a click away.  Contact me here and let’s do this!!

We are located in Burlington Ontario in Canada & service the following areas:  Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby and the surrounding Greater Toronto Area.  Call me on 905-581-0776.

 

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