Fortunately for me I have been extremely busy with my business lately.  Unfortunately though that means I don’t have as much time to work on my own home and therefore don’t have much to report in changes at the house.  The snow storm had given me an opportunity to work on some projects and since the snow has moved on it seems like my clients are ready to move on their own projects.  However, I have bought the paint for my children’s bathroom figuring it is a small enough space that if I do happen to get a day off I may be able to get it done, particularly now that I have discovered the ease with which Benjamin Moore paints and products help to make painting.  I have also received my daughter’s wallpaper for the one wall behind her bed.  Although that will require a little bit more planning and materials and perhaps more than just a few hours on a day off, at least I have the paper.  Now I just need to find the time to do it.  Aside from finding the perfect artwork and having her dresser painted white her room will pretty much be complete once that paper is up.

So I want to provide some tips on choosing the perfect paint color.  Choosing paint colors is one of my favorite aspects of my job.  So much so that I’ve become the “Colorista” at Benjamin Moore.    The “Colorista’s” (yes, I know, the name is a little flaky) job is to help customers who come into the store and aren’t sure what paint color to choose, find the perfect shade for her house.  The job is challenging because of course I do not get to see the space, the lighting, the furniture, etc.  Some clients bring in pictures or fabrics to work from but otherwise I’m flying blind.  So I’ve become quite good at asking the right questions to get to the right paint color.  Here are my strategies for helping my clients choose the right paint colors:  

*Do you have something you love that will be used within the room?  This can be a fabric on sofa, a special piece of art, a piece of furniture or an area rug, etc.  If you have something that you already love that will be used within the room, it should be much easier to coordinate with that item to find a fail safe paint color.  A good rule of thumb is to pick the lightest or most neutral color in your piece and use that one the walls.  

*Consider the size of and lighting in your space.  Although it is a myth that dark colors can make a room feel darker, certain colors can make walls feel closer or farther away.  Cooler colors (particularly light blues, purples, and greens) can make your walls appear to be farther away, making your room feel larger.  Warmer colors (particularly dark oranges, reds, browns) can make walls feel closer, making a larger space feel cozier.  If you have an open concept floor plan choosing warmer colors could help to bring your walls in and make the space feel warmer and cozier while choosing cooler colors may make the space feel colder and bigger.  If you have a rectangular and/or elongated room, painting the longer wall a cooler color or the shorter walls a warmer color can bring those walls in and make the space appear more balanced.  You should consider these characteristics of color if you want to accentuate or disguise certain architectural features in your room.

*Is there a color family that makes you happy?  Color psychology is the study of how paint colors affect people emotionally.  Certain colors are known to cause certain feelings in people.  Orange tends to increase hunger and good feelings and is therefore recommended for dining rooms.  Greens tend to cause feelings of calm and relaxation.  Blues tend to cause feelings of energy.  Yellows can create a sense of energy but are also known to cause dissention when used in a kitchen.  However, everyone is different and any certain color may cause you to feel good, happy, excited or calm.  If you are attracted to a certain color or color family, it may be good choice for the room you are trying to paint.  Choosing a family colors in varying shades or tones is also a fail safe way to create a color scheme that can be soothing to the eye.  For example, if you like yellows, choose a medium shade of yellow for your walls, go two steps lighter for your ceiling and choose a white with a hint of yellow for your trim (there are hundreds of choices of whites believe it or not, each with its own shades and tones.  It is important to consider your white and not always choose the trim and ceiling white at the paint store).    If you have chair rail in the same room, consider painting below the chair rail the darkest or second darkest shade of the wall color.

*If you consider all of these strategies and are still confused about color, consider hiring a color expert to come to your home and help you choose your colors.  Typically color experts or interior decorators will charge an hourly fee to come to your home, they will bring their color chips and will work with you in your light and with your furnishings to find that perfect paint color.  Although paint is a relatively inexpensive way to change the decor of your home, you probably don’t want to repaint or pay to have a room repainted because you chose the wrong paint color.  Having a color consultant assist you can be a lot less expensive (when you consider your time and money for paint) than having to repaint because you chose the wrong paint color.

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