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Choosing color for your home & Avoiding the Mini Paint Sample Monster

September 15, 2010
Color is awesome.  It can make or break the feel of your space.  It can take you up, it can take you down.
You’ve decided you are sick of feeling down and broken, uninspired, overwhelmed by ugly color, or lack there of any color.
Inspiration and the Mini Paint Sample Monster
Now you’re in the paint store, staring at a huge number of paint swatches. You pick a few colors you like and then you see them…The Mini Paint Samples.  “Oh my, they are SO cute!  Ooo, look at all those colors!”  You think, “That looks like a nice color, or maybe that one, or that one!  Aw heck, they don’t cost much, I’ll just pick up a few of them!”
You run home, excited to try out your new samples.  “Weee!”
Then, it happens…The “Well, THAT isn’t the color I thought it was” scenario OR the “Shoot, I like a few of those, but I’m still not sure.”
So you go back…to the paint store, and pick up more cute mini paint samples that look like the colors you want.  And you go home…wash, rinse, repeat the above process.
Before you know it, you are staring at 10-20 different colors splashed out on your wall.  Oh. My. God!  Now, you are feeling disheartened about the prospect of painting.  What you thought was going to be this awesome experience, or at least one you were ready to tackle, has turned into the one you want to run screaming from, a nightmare.  You may have invested hundreds of dollars in those cute mini paint samples, which you COULD have spent on the right paint itself, if you had only known how to pick the right color in the first go round.
Save Yourself!
Please, don’t do this to yourself.  Save yourself money, time and wasted energy.  Save yourself the headache and keep the hairs on your head from coming out in your hands!  Avoid the fallout of having to see a therapist from battling The Mini Paint Sample Monster.  Ok, maybe that is a BIT extreme, but you get what I mean…
Listen to this...
Wise advice I’ve learned from my seasoned colorist and colleague, Emily Lauderback:
Color affects color.  Each color will look different, depending on what color you put it next to.  So if you have a card with several colors on it, or several colors painted on your wall next to each other, how can you expect to pick the right color, for sure?  They are all affecting the way each other looks!
Light also affects the way your color will look, as well as the plane you hold it on:  horizontal vs. vertical.  What looks great in the day might really suck in your light at night.
Now, DO this…
At the paint store, find the swatches that match the colors you like in your space,or the colors you want from that cool shirt you have, or that magazine page, etc.
Grab some neutrals while you’re at it:  creams, greys, whites, tans, whites.
Get single color swatches or cut those multi-color swatches from the paint store into single colors.
At home, pick out what you might like as wall colors and pull those out.
Look at each color separately, see what feels right, and then begin to look at what might compliment that as your trim.  Maybe you want an accent or splash color wall too.
If none of the colors you have are ones you want on your walls or trim, try the neutrals: creams, greys, tans, whites.
Pair them up alternately with each other until you get the set that feels right.
Make sure you hold it on the same plane that it’s going to be painted on.
Don’t forget to check your choices in the different types of light you will be experiencing in your space.  Make sure you like them in the day and night!
If you still don’t “get it”, and want professional help, or never cared to “get it” in the first place, by all means, give us a call!  The EcoKind Design team will set you up right the first time, and save you the emotional, mental, physical and monetary headache of The Mini Paint Sample Monster!
You can also watch Emily’s video on color therory how-to here.

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