How do you transform your home into something brand new? What if there was an easy (and economical) way? Well guess what? There is! It’s paint and there honestly isn’t a better tip or trick you’ll ever learn that will come close to changing the appearance of a room. You can create an oasis, but the same room can also be turned into a bold and brilliantly dramatic space. One room with vastly different outcomes.
I know some of you are saying “easy for you Pam, you’re a designer”. It’s true, it is easy for me but I want to help it become easy for you as well. Most of you can figure out the logistics of how to paint. The difficulty normally arises when it’s time to pick a colour. Here are a few guidelines that will help you on your way.
USE PAINT TO TRANSFORM YOUR HOME
SOURCE: Luxxu via Pinterest
EVALUATE YOUR ROOM
Take an inventory of what you have, what you love and what you might be willing to say goodbye to. The truth is that we’re going to have to clear out the room in order to paint so use this opportunity to purge. I’m not necessarily talking about your furniture but that’s up to you. I bet you have knick-knacks that you don’t love or artwork that isn’t your style anymore. Use this as an opportunity to donate it. That’s a really easy way to transform your home.
Once you have narrowed down your belongings take inventory. What’s the predominant colour? What’s the predominant style?
If you’re not sure what your style is and your furniture isn’t giving you any clues go take my free quiz. It was built for exactly this kind of question and that’s the reason it’s called What’s My Interior Design Style?
DO SOME RESEARCH ABOUT YOUR STYLE
So now you know your style. What’s next? Well, there are obvious paint colour selections depending on the outcome of your quiz results. Some styles lean more towards dark and dramatic while others need light and airy colour on the wall. Or take the “easy route”- see my already curated Design Style Paint Palettes.
Pinterest is a great place to go for inspiration. If you took the quiz and your result says your style is Coastal go to Pinterest and search Coastal Living Room (or whatever the room is). You’ll see that the colours are very consistent. Identifying your style will really help you nail down the right colour.
PICK YOUR COLOUR AND TRANSFORM YOUR HOME
If you decide to be brave and paint a dark, saturated colour like navy or forest green you might be thinking this is going to be tough. You might be surprised to know that it’s actually a lot easier to pick a dark colour than it is to choose a white, gray or cream.
All those neutrals contain undertones and if you’re not sure what undertone your paint selection has you might inadvertently be mixing undertones and creating a design no-no.
A NEUTRAL ISN’T ALWAYS JUST A NEUTRAL
I see this all the time, especially in kitchens where selections have been light and bright for the past 10 years. The beautiful faux marble quartz countertop has a yellow undertone. The painted cabinets have a pink undertone and the walls and trim were just freshly painted with a beautiful white with a green undertone. So many times the homeowner is frustrated because they know there’s something wrong but they can’t figure out why all these neutral colours aren’t working. They don’t know how important the undertones are.
PAM’S TIP – if you want an easy way to look for your undertones, start with a fresh piece of printer paper. That’s quite a pure white with not a ton of undertone in it. Hold it against your paint chip, tile or whatever you have. You’ll instantly be able to see that what you once thought was “just white” is actually filled with undertones.
So you’ve done the quiz and you’ve spent hours and hours on Pinterest (it’s an easy rabbit hole to fall down). You still can’t pick a colour, now what? Once again, I’ve got you covered. I’ve got a Designer Paint Guide for each of the 6 styles in my quiz. This offers 4 unique paint palettes – 2 from Benjamin Moore and 2 from Sherwin Williams. You’ll even get a trim colour and metal or wood pairing for each palette.
CONSIDER THE ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS
“But I just want to get to the paint store”. I know, it’s boring to go this route and much more fun to run off to the paint store and look at swatches. If you do this right, you’ll fall in love with your paint colour, I promise. This is how designers work, slowly and methodically. The magic is that you will truly transform your home and not need to change it again for a long time.
Check your floors, your window trim, your doors and any architectural features like brick on a fireplace. The new wall colour needs to work harmoniously with those as well.
EXAMINE YOUR SURROUNDINGS
One last thing before you run out to the paint store. Look at your space and what it opens up to. If you’re open floor plan, you need to consider painting the open areas one single colour. You can use accents here and there and you can certainly add bold colour to any separate rooms nearby, like a powder room.
PAM’S TIP – Use area rugs to divide the spaces when you’re in an open floor plan. This will help delineate the living room from the dining room, etc.
If your rooms are all closed then look to the nearest, adjacent space. Even a hallway is considered a space in this sense. What colour already exists on those walls? What’s the flooring? Does it match your room?
LASTLY, CHECK THE LIGHT
Don’t bring home those tiny little paint swatches from the paint store and expect to see if they’ll work. Invest in some large swatches (link to Hello Paint) and hang them on your wall. Move them around the room and look at them over the course of a few days. You’ll see the colour dramatically change as the light changes in the room. Do you like it in the morning but hate it at night? That’s not a good colour for your space then. Sometimes we do prefer the way a colour looks in the morning versus evening or vice versa. That’s okay as long as you don’t hate it. If you work in an office (when you can work in an office again) you probably want to really love the way the colour looks at night since this is when you’ll primarily be in the space.
Now you’re ready to go!! Can you see how easy it is the get the colour that will truly transform your home? It does take some time but it’s well worth it when it goes up and you fall in love.