The Star of the Show!

April 07, 2011 by

One of the most common services I provide my clients is paint selection for their homes.  Many people find choosing the perfect color daunting, so they continue to postpone much needed maintenance and updating.  It can be overwhelming so I’ve developed some basics to consider when choosing new paint colors.


Basic Paint Rule #1:  Set the stage.

Are their “pre-existing conditions,” such as carpet, trim color or cabinetry that you are not changing.  These finish materials will guide you whether you must use pink, yellow, or grey based paints. These are the three basic tones to any color.  If your trim is a grey white, you must use a grey-based neutral.  If the carpet is a pink beige, you must use a pink-based neutral, etc.


Basic Paint Rule #2:  Pick the backdrop, then the supporting cast.

When I begin a paint scheme, I begin with a good neutral.  This is the background.  Then I look for a supporting accent color, which can be a light shade in cool tones, such as pale blue, green or lavender.  I cluster all the colors together and make sure they are appealing together.


Basic Paint Rule #3:  Pick your “star” color.

Once I have the quiet colors laid out, I select a “star” color.  This is usually a hot color, such as red, coral, orange or gold and is highly saturated so that it stands out from the rest.  This creates a dynamic tension among the quiet background colors.  The color can be used in a whole room, an accent wall, or even on fabrics instead of paint.


Basic Paint Rule #4:  Shy away from the spotlight.

Always pick your paint colors out of the daylight.  Unless you are selecting colors for the outside of your house, you should not pick your colors in direct sunlight.  I always select paint colors in diffused natural light.  This will give you the most correct color representation.


Changing paint in a room is the biggest bang for your buck.  So, don’t be afraid to take a chance and step out of your box.