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LIVING BETTER: How to pick paint colours for your home

Picking paint colours is a subjective call. One colour will appeal to one person and turn off another. (123RF)
Picking paint colours is a subjective call. One colour will appeal to one person and turn off another. (123RF)

Picking paint colours for your home, especially a new home, is difficult, not to mention frustrating because there are literally hundreds of colours to choose from.

You’ve invested a good chunk of your life’s savings in your home. There are many variables that factor into the decision and you want to pick colours that reflect the mood and atmosphere of your home. Not a simple decision. So how do you do it?

If new to picking paint colours, I urge you to do your homework, and get all the help you can get. The good news is there is plenty out there. The home-supply stores have brochures and paint consultants, or you can pay an independent paint consultant to guide you through every step of the process.

I suggest you take a look at some of the information out there, and use it as a guide. HGTV’s website, which is just one of many, offers some great tips that can guide through the tedious process of picking paints.

Picking paint colours is a subjective call. One colour will appeal to one person and turn off another. Don’t be influenced by the colours your friends or relatives pick. They work for them, but may turn you off.

As HGTV’s paint pundits point out, “The effects of colour are subtle and significant; physical and psychological.”

Here are a few helpful tips from HGTV that you can use as a roadmap:

Start small and test colour. If unsure of what room to begin in, experiment in a small area such as a bathroom or a small hallway between rooms because you’ll see results immediately.

If you love the colour, you’ve hit a home run. If the colour looked great on the colour chart, but turns you off when it’s on a wall, go back to the drawing board, and pick another colour. As you’ll quickly discover, the colours on a paint chart are never an exact duplication of the way they’ll look on a wall. They’re often too light or too dark. You’re more likely to get it right on the second colour you try.

Think mood. Moods are personal and subjective. A mood that touches one person might turn someone else off. Just as we respond to different colours, colours similarly invoke different moods. Most homeowners carefully choose colours because they create a certain mood. In a bedroom, for example, most people want soft quiet colours that create a feeling of relaxation and warmth.

When selecting a colour, consider the mood of a room. In a bedroom, do you want the feeling to be restful and soothing or dramatic and intimate? Soft, cool colours and neutrals usually create a quieter feeling while stronger colours are for drama. The former option is typically the preferred option for bedrooms.

Strong stimulating colours for the dining room. In contrast, homeowners prefer formal more stimulating colours, such as blue-greens or maroons for the dining room.

However, there are no hard-and-fast colour rules for the rooms in your home. The idea is to pick ones that resonate and make you feel good.

Bob Weinstein is editor-in-chief of Edmonton-based the Global Times, a news and commentary website, author of SO WHAT IF I’M 65 and an obsessive do-it-yourselfer.

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