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  • Writer's pictureGail Jacobson

Top Tips for Choosing Paint Colors for Any Room

The number one question I'm asked - by friends, acquaintances and clients - is "can you recommend a color (for my bedroom, living room, kitchen)?".

As anyone who has fallen in love with a color in a magazine, on Pinterest or Instagram, and paints it on their walls knows - what looks great in one space can totally miss the mark in another.

Here are my top tips for choosing colors for your unique spaces!

1. Ask yourself - Am I painting this room for me, a family member, or a future owner?

Tip: If your answer is the former, you have free reign! You can create a sunny,

cheerful nursery, or a moody and mysterious reading nook.

If you are fixing your house up to sell it, choose light, subtle colors - off whites, grays,

taupes, or beiges - that compliment your current woodwork, countertops, cabinets

and flooring.

2. Are there existing elements you need to work around? Do you have a rug, artwork,

and/or furniture that you want or need to keep?

Tip: Choose a wall color that serves as a backdrop for your biggest furniture pieces.

A neutral color, close to the hue and a few shades lighter than your sofa is a safe

choice. Feeling more adventurous? Identify an accent color a the rug or a throw

pillow that you like, and look for a version of that color that will compliment your

pieces and tie everything together. If you are starting fresh, see number 3 below.

3. Think about the colors you love to wear, that make you feel happy and joyful. Try to recall spaces you have seen or been in that made a positive impression. This could be

interior or exterior spaces! Look for inspiration in photos and images.

Tip: Color always creates a mood and emotional tone. Ask yourself: What 'story" do I

want my room to tell? Where do I want it to "take" me? Should it be light, dark and rich,

warm and bright, or cool and serene? For example, I designed my second floor hallway

and bathroom to echo colors of the French Quarter of New Orleans.

4. Narrow down the choices. Gather samples and put them up on the walls.


- Start with lots of color chips from a paint store.

- Hone in on a few candidates. Get 6 or 8 chips of each color; tape them

together on the back to make a large swatch, and put them up on the wall.

You can also buy large, stick-on or paper swatches from various outlets.

- Move them around and view them at different times of the day and night.

- Take a photo of your room, input your room into the Sherwin Williams or Benjamin

Moore room visualizer and try out some colors.

- Purchase a small sample pint and paint 2' x 2' swatches on the walls

5. When you find "your" color - go for it!

Tip: Paint the whole room, then live with it for a couple of weeks. It can take time for your eyes to adjust to change.

The MOST important thing - make it an adventure. No matter the outcome, you will learn more about yourself and how to create spaces that help you love and live better!

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