Finding the Best Color for Your Home

From the moment we open our eyes, our relationship with color is instinctive. It can be powerfully impactful in our daily lives–especially on our emotions. Research on the effect of color on our emotions reveals that colors not only influence our feelings but can also lower blood pressure, spark creativity, curb appetites and even increase the selling price for homes.

As designers of homes–from the ground-up and throughout the interior–we often hear, “What color should we paint the interior walls?” Especially for interior design clients, it is often the very first question asked and typically the last thing on our mind.  

There are so many things to consider before the final wall color is selected. To arrive at that answer, first, we explore the end result the client seeks to achieve. We ask, “how do you want your home to feel?” We mean how everything feels–from the tactile texture of walls, floors, fixtures, and furniture, as well as the emotions we all have around our homes, like comfort, playfulness, and serenity?

Clients enjoy their personal favorite colors, and therefore often want to see these palettes in their home decor. However, again, it’s important to focus on the emotional goal. For a living room that is to be the place where you go to decompress and relax at the end of the day, painting a favorite bold color will not address those needs.

When a painting disaster strikes, that is the time we’ll receive a call. Many prospective clients decide to contact a professional after they’ve tried unsuccessfully to paint a room with a color pictured in a magazine or Pinterest post. It’s helpful to know that color does not transfer easily from house-to-house or computer screen-to-wall. There is a multitude of factors which can impact the result, like natural and artificial lighting, the direction the house is facing, and ceiling height, to name a few.

To get it right, we take information from clients’ inspiration colors to select colors that are right–not only for the goal of the space, but with consideration and experience with the home’s period, materials, lighting, etc.

Color appears in so many areas of their homes, not just the walls. From flooring color, to counter tops to wall tile, the color selections made for the entire home help influence the wall color decision, which occurs in the nearly finished space.

There are more paint color options today than ever before! Technologies in synthetic color creation and cataloging since the mid 1800s have made it possible to access a seemingly endless depth of colors. Since budget is typically a limiting factor for a home remodel, there will be fewer options for furniture and finishes in your style and size than there will be with paint colors.

Even when we’re asked to start in one room of a house (often the kitchen, living room, or master bedroom) we still consider the entire home when selecting a paint color. We take a comprehensive approach to the project. It’s important because the home’s architecture, existing finishes and paint colors are all things to keep in mind. Ignoring the rest of the house could enable a room that looks contrived or ‘off’ from the rest of the decor. A flow and seamless transition in paint color from room to room will be much more successful.

Each decision that our clients make about their homes is an emotional decision (and one that takes budget into account ideally), but few things in life impact us as much as color.

If you are considering repainting your house, we recommend calling a professional. A professional will have invaluable experience with paints and color to share for the space before you make the investment in time and money. Interview a few designers you’re interested in after looking at their portfolio site or on a platform like Houzz. Often they’ll provide a complimentary consultation – just ask! It’s important to find a good fit.

We discuss topics like this in our Design Discovery series. To join our list and receive an invitation, sign-up here:

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