Home Design Made Easy: Choosing the Perfect Paint Color

Home Design Made Easy: Choosing the Perfect Paint Color

Home Design Made Easy: Choosing the Perfect Paint Color

Picking a paint color can be Complicated with a capital “C”.  It’s one of the finishing touches in your home that can make or break the finished look.  With over thousands of colors to choose from (over 1,500 in a Sherwin Williams deck alone!), how do you find the best colors for all of the areas in and around your home?  B.L. Rieke’s award-winning interior designer, Toni Rieke, suggests the following tips to help making the paint-picking process go a little smoother:

Tip #1: Paint color swatches on the walls.

In the room(s) you want to paint, take the colors you’re interested in and paint them in patches on the wall next to each other (one to two square feet per color will do).  This will allow you to see how the colors perform in the space, especially in comparison to one another.  Doing this is important because all paints have an undertone color–such as pink, green, or blue—that is hard to see in retail paint decks and color files.  Sometimes, colors can clash based upon their undertone alone!  Painting large swatches on the wall will make it easier to detect the undertones and decide if any of the paint colors are suitable for the room.

Extra Tip: Paint extra swatches next to any trim, woodwork on the walls (like floorboards or trim molding) to see how the different finishes will work together.  The same goes for accent walls to make sure the main wall color compliments the accent color and vice versa.  For example, a grey paint with a pink undertone may not compliment clear-glazed pine trim with yellow undertones.

Tip #2:  Lighting affects how paint colors appear.

Paint colors can change depending on the lighting in a room.  Things like the time of day, amount of windows, and amount of lighting can dramatically affect how a color appears.  Natural lighting, which is more prominent during daylight hours and in rooms with windows, shows a “truer” version of a color compared to artificial lighting.  The type and placement of artificial lighting makes big difference, too.   For example, incandescent lighting is warmer and yellow, florescent is cooler and blue, while LED can range from warm to cool depending on the Kelvin temperature.

As mentioned in Tip #1, painting swatches is a great method for choosing a wall color.  The swatches (once dried) will help you see how they will change over the day and in different lighting, allowing you to make the best color choice for your space.

For more information on how light affects paint colors, go here.

Paint color affected by lighting

Lighting dramatically affects the appearance of paint colors.

Tip #3:  Dry paint appears darker than wet paint.

Don’t be deceived by how light a paint color looks while it’s still wet.  Light reflects off of the wet surface, causing it to look brighter than it normally would.  Typically, paint dries darker, so wait until the swatches are completely dry before making any decisions.

Tip #4: Glossier paint emphasizes textured walls.

Paint colors come in several different finishes, from matte (no light reflection) to high gloss (high light reflection).  At Sherwin Williams, there are several finishes available such as non-reflective Flat, semi-shimmer Pearl, and high-sheen Gloss (learn more about them here).  Generally, matte paint camouflages wall texture, while glossier paint highlights it.

Design-wise, it’s up to personal preference on which to choose.  If you want to draw attention toward your wall texture, go glossy; if you want to draw attention away, go matte.

For more tips on choosing paint finishes, read this article.

Tip #5: White ceilings create the illusion of high ceilings.

Painting the ceiling a shade of white is an easy trick to make the room feel bigger.  Visually, they elongate the room’s walls and make the ceiling appear higher.  One of B.L. Rieke’s go-to ceiling paint colors is Sherwin Williams’ Shoji White (SW 7042)—it’s a great, all-around neutral without being “too white”.  Again, the color undertones could play a part in either complimenting or clashing with your main wall paint color(s), so painting some swatches on the ceiling could be helpful.

White paint color on ceiling

Example of a a white-painted ceiling in a B.L. Rieke custom home.

About B.L. Rieke Custom Home Builders

B.L. Rieke has over 25 years of experience building top-quality custom homes for families of different sizes, lifestyles, and budgets. With over 1,100 homes and hundreds of awards under their belt, the B.L. Rieke team has the skill and the qualifications to build the best of the best homes in Kansas City. Their success is thanks to their lifelong focus on communication, customer service, and especially the details for each home they build. Make your dream home a reality by building with B.L. Rieke Custom Home Builders! For more information or to follow us, please visit blrieke.com or our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ profile pages.