Foolproof Way to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home

February 2, 2015

    Like to know a foolproof way to choose paint colors for your home?  Well, several years ago, I watched Christopher Lowell on his show, Interior Motives.  I loved that show!  He imparted so much knowledge and encouraged and empowered people to do it for themselves.  His show was clearly the catalyst for many of the home improvement, decorating, cooking and entertaining shows that followed.  Having attended an art school, working in graphic arts for awhile and loving crafts and so many facets of art, I was an attentive student.

   On one of his shows, he explained how to take a paint color fan, either purchased from or given to you by your favorite paint store and use it to coordinate or match the colors you have chosen for everything from paint to fabric and chachkas.  He explained that if you want to create a pleasing flow from one room to another, just choose the same depth of color in your paint.  If you choose a color from the second row, choose your other colors from the same row, as indicated by the arrows in the photo of the fan.  If you choose a color from the 3rd row, choose all colors from the 3rd row.

Foolproof Way To Choose Paint Colors on
Foolproof Way To Choose Paint Colors

      When I first started painting the kitchen, I realized the color had too much white in it.  I immediately went with a tint, with more color and less white in it.  My final colors were all from the first row.  Most paint dealers now have a sample can of paint, which you can purchase inexpensively, and try in a small amount.

   It doesn’t matter what hue (red, yellow, blue, yellow-green,etc.), the amount of white, (tint), or black, (shade) really will make it easy to determine if the colors you choose will go together well.

   Have you been to a home, where the colors were all over the place, some rooms had been painted a pastel, and the colors of other rooms were so intense and jolting, they were unsettling?  It is unsettling to jump from one extreme to another.  Choosing colors correctly makes a smooth transition from one room to another.

   Based on what he said, I chose paint colors for our new home, which is an open floor plan on the first floor.  I have used blues, green and tans, but there is just a calm pleasing flow from one room to another since they were all the same tint, (same amount of white in each hue).  Has anyone ever made it simpler?  These colors work together beautifully. 

   Before choosing the colors, I went to the fabric store and chose a floral fabric, which I absolutely love.  I love the colors and I love the floral, but even if I tire of the print, I will never tire of the beautiful colors.  From that fabric, I made a tablecloth, pillows and even bought a bench upholstered in the same fabric.  Then using the fabric, I matched hues and chose the same level of tint for all of them.

Fabric Inspiration For Paint Colors on
Fabric Inspiration For Paint Colors

    I could have chosen a painting and used the same process, but I guess the fabric was more tactile and easy for me to carry around for matching or coordinating everything.  The beauty of this is that matching everything to that fabric means I can move things from one room to another and they coordinate beautifully.  If you look at this fabric closely, you will notice there are a lot of colors, which gave me a lot of options.   (Choose a fabric with lots of colors and you give yourself lots of options!)  Finding the closest color on the color fan, I would then just go to the first row and use that color as my paint color.  

  A darker shade or lighter tint could have been chosen, but the first row of colors is what spoke to me.   I have found that those colors have made a beautiful background for my own furnishings.  Isn’t that what your walls should be?  

   Check back next week for more of color and paint, and learn how you can be happy with your choices, too!


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