Picking a Paint Color

If you’re trying to transform your space, painting the walls is one of the simplest ways to go about it. However, trying to pick the best color when the selection seems endless can be overwhelming, to say the least.
As a general rule, avoid what’s trendy. Instead, think about the colors you naturally gravitate towards. Is your wardrobe full of pastels? Do you have a nail polish that always puts a little extra pep in your step? The world around you is full of inspiration.

Still hitting a wall? Consider the insight on these seven hues to help you:

Blue – This soothing primary color is the new neutral of wall colors meaning it goes with anything!

Brown – If you’re looking to add warmth, brown is the way to go. Beware of those with too much red or yellow in them though, as they can make your walls look muddy. Ask for a gray undertone instead.

Red – This bold choice requires a fine balance. Watch out for hues with too much blue or yellow, but if done right, the color will give a warm, flattering cast to anyone’s skin tone. This makes it a good pick for the dining room, family room or one wall of your bedroom.

Green – Crisp and clean, green is a great color for kitchens, where many other colors can be found. It also works well in a bathroom, where it will be fresh and calming.

Beige – A close cousin to white, this neutral tone is the perfect backdrop for bright, bold furniture, but works with almost any decorating scheme.

Yellow – Use this color to bring an element of sunlight to those areas of the house that are exposed to little or no natural light, such as a hallway.

Gray – Just like a pair of classic, gray slacks, this sophisticated hue goes with everything.

Once you’ve chosen your color, but before you start painting, test it out. Colors can change appearance throughout the day and what looks great on a 1-inch paint chip can vary greatly once your whole room is covered in it.

Most companies sell small, inexpensive sample cans, so pick your top three and start with a few 12-inch square patches, either painting directly on the wall or on pieces of foam core board. Live with the color for a few days to see how you like it.

Woman’s Day, May 2010