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Choosing The Right Paint Colour

By Rachael Vrana

So you’ve identified that your house is either warm or cool when it comes to colour. But now comes the hard part: how do you apply that to your actual colour schemes? Choosing colour schemes can be a daunting task but there are ways to make it easier.

First, take a look at the soft and hard furnishings and accessories in each room you’re decorating and decide what’s going to stay and what’s going to go. Once you’ve done this you can work what’s going to be your inspiration piece – the piece you decorate the room around.

Look for inspiration
Identifying the colour and tone of your inspiration piece can then help determine the overall colour scheme, as you don’t want the colours to clash with the furniture, art or accessory that’s inspiring you.

This will also help narrow down your colour choice and encourage you to stick with tones that harmonise with the inspiration piece. See if you can take part of the inspiration piece with you when you go to the paint store, as this will be far more effective than relying on your memory to narrow down the colour choices.See if you can take part of the inspiration piece when you go to the paint store.

Tackling the paint store
Now you’re ready to tackle one of the most daunting places for any DIY or fledgling home stager – the paint store.

To the unprepared, the paint store can be a place of nightmares: row upon row of tiny colour swatches, variations of hues that look almost the same and countless brands all claiming to be the best, brightest, longest lasting and most able to handle regular wear and tear. No wonder you’re daunted. But there are a few easy tips that can help you overcome the colour choice challenge.

Tips to get the colours right

1. Follow the manufacturer’s lead
Each manufacturer will generally split their paint colours into a number of categories based on their characteristics. This includes the most vibrant colours in the display, which are clean, bright, crisp and can be used as accent colours in either a warm or cool palette.

2. Work out what suits what
Pastel-coloured swatches look like they have been diluted with white to form a paler version of the original colour and look best in houses with a cool complexion. Cool-toned houses also suit the section of swatches with black undertones while colours with brown undertones, which look like they have been diluted with brown or tan, look best in warm-toned houses.

3. Use the same colour family
Try to stick to colours from the same section – they have been grouped together by the manufacturer because they have the same undertone and so will complement each other. Mixing and matching from different areas increases the chance of choosing colours that clash.

4. Leave colour clash to the experts
For colour experts, “clash colour” schemes can look great but to the untrained it can end up looking poorly executed. Most paint companies have great designers and colour experts working with them on their ranges and colour schemes, so follow their lead to help you run the gauntlet of the paint store.


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