Everywhere you look, there are trendy colors that capture your attention and give you inspiration for your decorating palette. You can work your favorite colors into your home when you understand how color and light work together.
The trick to getting the right color is to understand the effect that natural light, artificial light, and room decor (furniture, carpet, and drapes) will have upon your chosen color. Natural light gives the truest color, while halogen and incandescent light make colors appear warmer and fluorescent light make colors appear cooler. Consider how lighting conditions affect the room and what time of day it is most often used.
The right color can do amazing things to the size and feel of a room. With lights colors, a room tends to feel large, brighter, and more open. Most ceilings are white which, in turn, makes the room seem taller and bigger. With dark colors, you can achieve a cozier feel, which tends to make the room feel smaller. For rooms with very high ceilings, paint the ceilings a dark color and extend the color down a few inches onto the wall to make the room look smaller. Always think of the effect you want to achieve – open or cozy – when choosing a color.
There are as many different colors as there are unique personalities and both have an affect on all who enter the room. Warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow are very inviting and tend to advance and demand attention. Cool colors such as white, gray, green, blue, and violet seem to retreat with a soothing calm. Sample your favorite paint colors first and see how they coordinate with the other variables in the room that won’t change – such as the amount of space, light, carpet, and other furnishings.
Many modern homes make use of a very open floor plan which makes it possible to see into two or three rooms at once. While this spaciousness makes the rooms feel larger than they actually are, linking the rooms with color can be a challenge. The key to creating visual continuity and a smooth transition from room-to-room is to stay within the same color family without drastic, sharp color contrasts. If cool colors are used in one room, do not use warm colors in the adjoining room and vice versa. The effect will look choppy and compartmentalized. Another way to create a smooth visual flow is to use the same color carpeting and woodwork in adjoining rooms for unity.
Before starting your project, you need to pick the best type of paint for your painting job.
Latex Paint: Also known as “acrylic latex.” It contains a plastic resin made of acrylics or polyvinyls to help it adhere better.
Oil Based Paint: Usually used in trim, moulding, cabinets, and furniture. It has a protective coating and creates a smoother finish than water-based paint.
Primer: A primer is used to seal bare surfaces and provide a base for the paint. You will want to use a water-based primer on new drywall, previously painted walls, galvanized metal and nonferrous metals. Use an oil-based primer on severely stained or damaged walls, on paneling, under wallpaper, and on wrought iron, ferrous metal, and raw wood.
Types of Sheens Available
Flat Sheen: Most commonly used. Will not reflect light. Good for large surfaces. Great for ceilings, bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. Not recommended for kitchens and baths.
Eggshell or Satin Sheen: Hallways, common areas, children’s bedrooms, and playrooms.
Semi-Gloss Sheen: Easy to clean. Great for high traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.