When decorating, many people focus on purchasing furniture and deciding on room layout. Yet something that should be addressed earlier rather than later is paint color. The color you choose for each room in your home can strongly impact your mood — either negatively or positively — since it’s what you’ll be looking at every day for years to come.
When selecting a paint color, Madison Eddario, design consultant at Colony Paint and Wallpaper of Milford, suggests finding a happy neutral and then adding pops of favorite colors. “Today, your neutral colors aren’t the same old tans or whites from years ago; rather, they’re richer colors that can include subtle hints of what you love,” Eddario says. “If I had a customer who was in love with blues but whose family couldn’t bear the sight of a blue living room, for example, I would suggest a cooler, neutral tone of blue, such as Benjamin Moore’s Baby’s Breath or Quiet Moments. The finishing look allows for a room that everyone can enjoy, while the blue lover could add as many pops of brighter or more saturated blues in items such as blankets, throw pillows or rugs.”
Each color has its own feeling associated with it. “Greens tend to create a harmonious feel, especially ones with an earthy undertone. This would be great for any bedroom and nature lover,” Eddario says.
She adds that yellows have always been among the most popular of kitchen colors. “Crisp and inviting, they feel as fresh as the fruit that may be in a bowl on the counter,” she says.
Deeper, richer jewel tones such a dark purples and deep reds all work very well in a living room, Eddario says. “Depending on the time of day, they can make a lunch get-together feel that much more formal or that much more intimate, depending on your added textiles. They also do a good job of helping you wind down at the end of the day.”
She added that the color orange is the most energetic of the bunch. “It doesn’t always mean traffic cone colors. Oranges with more of a terracotta, rustic base to them can feel very warm and inviting without coming across as alarming,” she says.
Whitney Jennison, an interior design consultant at Ring’s End in Darien, is passionate about the color blue. “Blue promotes productivity. It soothes the brain to focus better,” she says. “It’s also a pretty, universal color for everything from fashion — such as denim — to the home.”
Paula Chnowski, co-owner of Colby’s of Ridgefield, says that as a whole, gray seems to be what people are choosing most, since it can go with anything: “When customers come in to purchase draperies and bring a paint chip of the color of the wall they want to coordinate it with, 80% of the time it’s gray,” Chnowski says.
She says one of the nice aspects about the color gray is that it can be mixed with other colors. “Gray and white, gray and red, gray and blue — it all goes. It’s a nice base and you can build up color around it,” she says.
Chnowski says when choosing a color, one option — so it won’t feel so drastic — is to paint only one wall of the room. She referred to this as an accent wall.
“When you do a whole room in a bold color, sometimes it’s overstimulating. It’s easier just to live with one wall of color,” she says.
The accent wall can be a bold color behind a bed. “The other three walls can be quieter and more of a neutral color — such as grays and neutral tones of whites,” Chnowski explains.
Jennison states that when people are thinking about color for a room, they should not forget about the ceiling. “My favorite part of the room is the ceiling,” she notes. “When you paint the ceiling, you are warming up the space and adding depth and personality to a room. A lot of times people lose focus on the ceiling and tend to go with a generic white.”
She adds that painting the ceiling also serves to complete a room: “It brings the ceiling down. It finishes the space.”
For those who are reluctant or scared to do a deeper tone on the ceiling, Jennison recommends doing something that’s a little lighter in color. “It should be a very pale version of their wall color,” she says.
In regard to bright colors, Jennison recommends that they be used sparingly. “Bright colors can be so beautiful, but you never want to paint all the rooms in a home a strikingly dramatic tone. It can be overwhelming, and you’ll lose the effect of the ‘wow’ factor if everything is the same — you want variation,” she concludes.
As with many other home projects, painting a room — or an entire house — should be viewed as a learning experience. If, after the room or rooms are painted, you realize you’ve made a big mistake, you can always block out some time in your schedule, grab a few friends or family members, and do it all over again.