I don't know about you but it's always around this time of year when I've had enough of Winter. Just a little background, I am born in October, so naturally Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. It's the perfect combination of warm days, cool nights, beautiful colors and here in NJ, the best time to own an outdoor fire pit! I love all the seasons for different aspects they offer but winter-eh.... I can do without it right after Christmas. And since we rarely have a white Christmas I could probably do without winter all the time!
But by February, it starts getting to be too much. The grey, gloomy, cold days come and I start closing my eyes and picturing what the spring will bring. I tell you-there is nothing like fresh cut flowers!
Another thing spring brings is open windows, open doors and the realization of the toll winter took on our homes. The ice, snow and cold can do more damage then good and when we start to scrutinize the outside, the inside comes into play. Around here, spring brings a whole list of inside projects we would like to accomplish and painting walls always seems to make it to the top of the list! But before you grab that paper 4x4 swatch from Lowes of a white and slather it on, here are a few tips:
One of the first things I look for in my client projects is natural light. How much natural light filters through the house at any given time is reflected in the color palette, fabrics and window treatments I select. Did you know that natural light has one the biggest effects on paint color? Did you ever select a paint color that looks gray when you first put it up only to find that at certain times of the day it reflects blue, or green?
Perfect example is the wall color in a recent project I did. This dining room has an abundance of natural light and there is a time during the day the walls reflect a blue tint. Luckily, it's light enough to not throw off the color balance, and it adds a softness to the room instead of the walls being a stark white.
Everything has an undertone-
Even the whitest white you think you have found has an undertone-whether it be a cool (grey) or warm (cream) you may not notice it until you put it up against another color. All those "whites" can look grey, blue, yellow, pink, brown and if not selected properly can ruin the look you are going for. Take a look!
You can clearly see how these "whites" are definitely not white, with the exception of chantilly lace, which is as close to a "true" white you can get. Yes, trim/ceiling white from the hardware stores are as white as they come so put any of these whites up against them and you will definitely see the difference. But to the naked eye some of these appear white. I have Sherwin Williams Snowbound on my cabinets and even though I know theres a gray undertone I don't ever see it!
The first thing we all seem to do, when we pick out a few colors from the swatches and grab those cute little paint samples, is rush home and quickly paint a strip on our existing color--in the middle of the wall, right next to the other samples we selected. This is the worst thing you can do. Putting the samples right next to each other throws off the color your eye sees when looking at them, and the actual existing wall color alters it as well. Not only that, but if you don't have the color up against a "true" white how can you see the undertone of it? So, get a 8x10 (at least) piece of cardboard and paint the entire thing with at least 2 coats, let it dry and hang it around the room, in different areas- close to the trim, windows, floors and in the dark areas. I always suggest before selecting a color to look at it for a few days in all the different lighting that happens throughout the day.
There you have it folks! You are on your way to confidently selecting paint colors! Unless you are someone that picks the right paint color all the time from the swatch, or at least get lucky enough that you actually LIKE what you randomly selected, I hope this offers some relief to you when it's that time you want to paint. Paint colors can quickly overwhelm and stress people out. Don't overthink it and just remember that paint is not permanent!
Now go out and get inspired by all the beautiful colors Spring has to offer and bring it into your home! Once the walls are painted, all you need to worry about is if the furniture goes with it. ;)
As always, I love to read your questions and comments so please ask/comment away!
Until next time friends,