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Expert Advice: Choosing Paint Colors for Interior Walls
There’s something magic about painting your home. First, it’s incredibly inexpensive. You can almost completely transform the way guests feel when they step through your front door for a less-than-$100 investment in paint and needed materials.
And, second, paint is powerful. When you choose the right color, it makes everything in your home sing. But that’s the hard part. Choosing paint colors for interior walls is difficult, and you often feel like you’re flying blind standing in front of a slew of swatches at the hardware store.
To help you make the best decision for your home, here’s a guide to choosing paint colors for interior walls in different rooms.
Oh, one final note: Different homes open into different rooms. Keep that in mind as you’re choosing paint colors for interior walls. Whatever room your visitors first step into, you want it to be bold and beautiful without going over the top. That room is typically the living room, so that’s where we’ll start – but pay the most attention to the first-impression room in your home.
What matters when choosing a paint color for your living room? Start with these three things:
- Natural Light
- Furniture Color
If your room is full of natural light, you can get away with earthier tones that add a dark complement to the rays of sun pouring through the windows during the day. If you have next to no natural light, go for something lighter.
Also, use your living room paint to balance with your furniture. You want your living room to include a primary color and two accent colors. For example, you may have a large, bold area rug that creates the primary color. Then, use your furniture and walls as accents. Or, you may have a beautiful painting over your mantel that creates a nice accent. Then you can use furniture as another accent and wall paint as your primary color. No matter how you divvy things up, balance is key.
Also, consider spacing. A lighter paint color can make a small, tight living room feel larger. You definitely don’t want a cramped living room with little natural light to also feature dark, earthy paint colors.
You have lots of opportunities to provide pops of color in your kitchen: wall hangings, curtains, dish towels, granite, even a fun mixer. That’s why I typically prefer a nice, neutral gray for my kitchen. (I’ve always been in love with Dorian Gray, but that’s just me.) Find the right gray, and you’ll have a nice palette on which to add fun pops of color.
Not into neutral? OK, that’s totally understandable. Bolder options for the kitchen might include yellow, green or blue. Green is pretty versatile when pairing brighter accent colors, and yellow is like bringing the sun into your home. Blue is good if your kitchen is full of neutral dish towels, granite, curtains, etc.
Looking to go really bold in the kitchen? Pass on the paint and take part in the comeback of wallpaper. I’m not quite there yet, but…
If you’re anything like me, you don’t do a whole lot in the bedroom other than read a book, get ready for work and rest. (OK, there’s the other thing, too, but let’s stay on topic.) With that in mind, make your bedroom the perfect place for rest by using soothing and relaxing paint colors.
What colors are soothing and relaxing? Try lavender, a soft green or an icy blue. I know that many homeowners just can’t help but put a bolder stamp on their walls. If you are tempted to go with a stronger bedroom color, do it in a guest room or a child’s room. These are perfect space to be a little more adventurous.
Bathrooms typically have little to no natural light. If anything, you might have a frosted window, but most bathrooms have no windows at all.
With that in mind, go to the hardware store and stock up on lighter colors from the blue-gray family – this is the best range for bathroom colors. Take the swatches home and set them on the floor to see how they work with the lighting and your tile, hardwood or vinyl flooring.
I’ve used this method in the past, and one swatch has always jumped out at me. Wishing you the same success! But, again, along with the kitchen, the bathroom is another place where you can get away with testing some fun wallpaper – especially a half bath.
Final Thoughts on Choosing Paint Colors for Interior Walls
I say this a lot, but: The rules are meant to be broken. Throw everything I’ve written here out the window if it leads you to paint colors you simply don’t like. Always stay true to your personal taste, and you can’t go wrong.
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