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Tips for Choosing a Paint Color

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If you're lucky, when you first move into your new home it's a blank canvas ready for you to decorate as you wish. Painting is often the number one choice for new home owners when it comes time to decorate, because it's inexpensive and usually easy to do. But how do you decide on a color for each room? Here are some helpful hints for choosing a paint color after you move in. 

Pay attention to the lighting

The way the sun hits the room will make a big difference in the color you choose. What you thought was the perfect shade of pale green might look more like pea soup in the afternoon sun.

Another reason to pay attention to the lighting--if it's a small room that doesn't get a lot of light, a dark color will only make the space seem more foreboding instead of welcoming. 

Consider what you already own

If you consider the items that are already in your home; couches, chairs, rugs, etc., you may already have a color scheme to work with. On the other hand, if your new home really is a blank slate, then choose your paint color last. There are millions of colors to choose from but that couch you love might only come in a single shade. 

Bring the samples home

Looking at paint chips in the aisle of the home improvement store won't do the trick. You will need to bring home a sample and actually paint a swatch on your wall. Again, be mindful of the light. Paint the swatch in an area that will be highly visible throughout the day so you can see how it will look morning, noon and night. 

TIP: If you aren't too keen on painting your wall five different colors, paint a large piece of posterboard instead. That way you can easily dispose of the evidence of your bad choices. 

Remember the color wheel

The color wheel is an easy way to figure out which colors will complement each other and work well together. Warm and cool colors, complementary colors, analogous colors--all you need is to look at a simple color wheel. Red/green, yellow/purple, and orange/blue are all complementary combinations and make each other pop.

But if red walls are too much for you, consider a different shade of the same hue to get the look you're after. Keep in mind that you will also be layering other colors with your furniture and other decorative items, so don't be scared if you've chosen a bolder color. 

Monochromatic isn't boring

If a bold orange accent wall isn't your style, don't worry. Keeping it simple with a monochromatic color scheme can be all you need to make your home your own. Monochromatic doesn't just mean beige-- it means one color. So if blue is your thing, opt for a navy shade and then layer in some lighter and darker blue pieces throughout the room if you feel so inclined. 

At the end of the day, the decision is yours. So if you want to paint your bathroom hot pink, your living room bright green and your bedroom purple, by all means go for it. You're the one that has to live with it!

Ana M. Ferrer  Posted by Ana M. Ferrer on April 21, 2015

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