by Blake Herzog
Choosing paint colors for your interior can be an arduous task. Even if you think you know what you want there are 15 maddeningly similar but slightly nuanced shades for you to bounce between.
Keeping a few principles front of mind can make it much easier to find the answer.
If you want a multicolored room that still looks cohesively pulled together, it can help to think of this formula most interior designers start out with.
When looking at everything in the room from the walls to furniture, flooring, window coverings, art, textiles and accent pieces, 60% should be in shades of a dominant color, another 30% in variations on a secondary color and the last 10% devoted to an accent color or pattern for contrasts.
Most if not all walls will sport the dominant color, so choose one that you’re comfortable setting the room’s tone with.
Don’t rely on chips or online samples
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a half-dozen or so options, it’s time to move beyond those squares on a strip of paper or pixels on a screen. It’s impossible to get the full picture from those.
So, if it’s at all possible order small quantities of each contender and either paint a section of the wall or a section of cardboard or wood that’s 2 feet by 2 feet to 4 feet by 4 feet. Spend time with these larger samples to see how well they really mesh with your furniture and accessories and the room’s natural and artificial lighting.
Finish with care
Knowing the sheen or reflectivity of the paint is nearly as critical as its color because it affects its durability and ease of cleaning.
Flat or matte finishes are the least reflective and can hide minor imperfections in the wall or paint job, but are the most difficult to clean, so it may not be good for young families.
Your choices move up the spectrum through eggshell, satin, semi-gloss up to high-gloss paint, which resists stains but highlights any flaws that may be present.