Here are 10 ways to use your paintbrush and roller to augment the beauty of a Canadian autumn with a beautiful home. Both inside and exterior, paint colours applied judiciously will take you beautifully through the coming seasons. Too often the temptations of a variety of exciting colours can overwhelm you and confuse the mood and image you’re trying to achieve.
1. Practice portion control
When deciding on your colour scheme, view the colours of the painted areas: trim, ceiling, walls and accents, in the order and the proportion that you will use them in the room. The easiest way to do this is to create a storyboard for your space by placing the proposed colours on a white board. Lay them out one on top of the other, proportionately. Your wall colour would be your largest, next ceiling and the smallest would be your accent or trim.
2. Inclusiveness connects elements
No room is a blank slate. Wall colour has to play well with the existing hues in the room: flooring, woodwork, major furniture, even the stone on the fireplace. Also, consider the colours in adjacent rooms. Creating a “flow” of colours creates harmony and makes the home look larger.
3. Invest in a test
When shopping for a new colour keep in mind that the colour on a small paint chip will intensify once you apply it to an entire room. Concerned that a delicate shade of pink can turn into the colour of Pepto-Bismol on your walls? You are right to worry. Pops of colour look stunning in small doses, like accent pillows or artwork but not all bold colours look good in large doses. Simple solution is a bit of dilution. Choose a colour one shade lighter and then try it on your wall. If you love it, great. If you want to go bolder it is easier for a Beauti-Tone Paint Expert to make your paint darker but it is almost impossible to go lighter.
4. Don’t show up empty handed
It is a scientific fact: We cannot remember colour longer than 30 seconds. With colour, your best guess is not the best practice. Instead, exercise your inner designer and take your paint samples with you when purchasing more paint or hunting for great fabrics, furniture and accessories. Save on costly mistakes and disappointments and leave the memory exercises to your passwords and user IDs!
5. Let there be light
The way we see a colour depends on the type of lighting in the space. Look at the colour on every wall at different times of the day that you use the room. Interior lighting also affects the way we see the colour:
- Incandescent has a warming yellow influence which brings out orange, red and yellow.
- Fluorescent is normally a cool light, which will enhance blues and greens while dulling yellows, reds and oranges. If using fluorescent in the home do yourself a favour and make sure to choose full spectrum or daylight (CFL) bulbs for best colour representation.
- Halogen and L.E.D. lights are the lighting types that best represent daylight for truest colour.
Interesting to note is the phenomenon of metamerism. This occurs when a colour looks totally different from day to night. Beauti-Tone formulates its colours against this since most of us use the rooms in our homes at all different times of day.
6. Don’t try to match the magazine’s colours
Magazines are great for colour inspiration but not for necessarily for colour selection. If you are choosing a colour that is depicted in a magazine, unless you are using the same 4-colour printing process on your walls as was used to produce the magazine, that colour is going to look different. Bring the magazine to a paint expert in-store and have them help you choose a colour that will translate well to your walls.
7. Read between the lines, or under them
When selecting a colour it is easy to see if it is blue or green etc. But what we often miss is the colour’s undertone. Taupe, for example, can have complex undertones. It can appear purple or pinkish on walls. Allowing for undertones will avoid a surprise mismatch with other colours, and help you choose the right colour the first time. To avoid tonal disaster, compare your colour choice to another similar colour to try to pinpoint undertones. Better yet, ask a paint expert to help.
8. Practical palette
Nobody needs 30 shades to choose from! Don’t overwhelm yourself and confuse the eye. Instead, choose from three shades or less. And remember, bigger is better. Select your colour from the largest colour sample possible.
9. Eliminate background noise
Most people are not aware of how much a colour is influenced by the colours surrounding it. Don’t tape a paint chip over the existing colour with hopes of gaining a true perspective of what the end result will look like. The old colour will affect how you see the new colour. Instead, view your colour on a white background, a piece of Bristol board for example, and then on the wall.
10. View the right angle – no math required
Since colour changes dramatically depending on how the light hits it, the same colour on the wall will look much darker on the ceiling and lighter on the floor. To see it like it will really be, view wall colours vertically, ceiling colours overhead, and floors downward.