If you’ve ever walked into a home and felt your spirits lift, chances are that the owners have done a great job of selecting the right paint colours. You too can ensure your home goes from drab to fab with these 4 quick tips.
Daily life is filled with the stresses that come with growing up. Don’t you wish you could just stay young forever? While that is called wishful thinking, there are plenty of steps that you can take to wash away the negativity of the day. Having a soothing beverage (I hear chamomile tea is a good remedy for the nerves), partaking in yoga exercises to soothe the soul, and practising the right breathing techniques will all help in bringing out your calmer side.
What’s better than all of the above? Carrying them all out in the comfort of your own abode. You know you’ve come home when your first step inside fills you with immense relief and the reassuring sensation that everything will be alright again in the world.
How do you go about creating the right atmosphere to relax in? Let’s talk about wall colours. It can be a make or break choice, allowing for your character to shine through as the walls reflect the spirit you would like to imbue in your home. Too much white, black or grey, and the place will feel stark and austere; too many colours and you will wind up with a little more than a headache.
Draw your inspiration
The right blend can enlarge a room, hide flaws, and create a mood. So what are you going for? Considering how different areas of the house will have separate activities, you would want to ensure that the right paint choice reflects that. For example, the bedroom would usually be restful and soothing whereas the dining room would be more sociable and stimulating.
Select paint finish
Did you know that there are several types of paint finish that can determine how vivid the colours and details will appear, in addition to how easy it will be for you to clean the surface the next time? These finishes range from a chalky type known as ‘flat’ to a reflective and shiny type known as ‘semi-gloss’.
If your room is a high-traffic area that has many surface imperfections, you might want to consider getting a flat finish, or even an ‘eggshell’ finish. This is because these two matte types have a superior scrubability and absorbs light, thus hiding any imperfections. For a bit more character and drama to a room, the semi- or high-gloss finishes would be ideal, since they reflect light to display the vivid richness of a particular colour.
So you’ve finally decided on the perfect lilac-coloured furniture to go with a light grey paint. You pop the can, paint the main walls and wait for the paint to dry so you can finally arrange your items. But you forgot to take into consideration that when paint dries, it will be about two shades darker than what you saw in the can. Imagine to your horror, what you thought was light grey turns out to be a dark steel colour.
While it doesn’t ruin the entire scheme, it can be quite upsetting when you’ve already got an image of the “perfect” room in your head. To avoid this, paint a small portion of your wall with the chosen colour. See how you like the colour in different times of the day, whether during the day or night. For the truest colour test, natural daylight will bring out the hues and show you what to expect. You would need to note that the types of lighting you use in the rooms will also play a part, whether incandescent or fluorescent lighting.
Walk into another room
This may sound a little odd, but take a walk through your unpainted house and visualise the colours that you have planned for the rooms. See how two adjacent rooms interact with each other and consider how they will flow from room to room to create your perfect picture. If there is a smooth synergy between each area, you know that you have a perfect composition where you’re in one room but you are able to see a piece of another room through it.
If you are not certain about how to make sure there is a flow between each room, start with the formal areas of the house, specifically the living room, dining room and entry way/foyer. These are high-traffic areas and will be the focal points of any home. Choose your colour scheme for those rooms, and then select one colour from the arrangement to be the main or accent in more private spaces. For example, your sofa is pale blue and you tone it down to royal blue for the main colour in your bedroom.
In the olden days, many people were not able to afford coloured paint for their house as it was very expensive, so white walls were the only choice that they had. Today, colour is accessible to everyone and it will imbue the impression of liveliness and give things their own personality. So don’t be afraid to play around with the colour palette, and above all, approach the process as an adventure!