Color abounds in nature with the abundance of plant, mineral and animal life, with the changing of light throughout the day and with the change of seasons. It is used in marketing, fashion, housing—it’s in all aspects of our lives, evoking emotions—and sometimes strong ones. Upon seeing a color that my father disliked, he’d say to my mother, “It deflates my spirit.” He doesn’t usually say things like that—and he is colorblind. That, friends, is the power of color.
As a life-long artist and writer, the art and science of color in interior design and art became my focus. Paint is one easy way to make a BIG impact.
How to start?
To get started with choosing a color, select a favorite item. It could be a piece of art, a rug or an article of clothing. Then, choose a color from that item. Remember that a small swatch of color generally looks darker on larger expanses, like walls. And, color changes with the light, so it is important to get a paint sample made in the selected color, paint two coats at least 24” x 24” (the bigger the better …whatever helps you visualize!) on the wall. Make sure no other color shows through; more coats may be necessary if it is a dark color. Blocking out the existing wall color, so that it does not compete with the new option, is also important. When not working with a white wall, paint a larger section of white first, to create a ‘blank canvas,’ then apply the appropriate number of coats of your new color. Live with the sample for several days, glancing at it several times throughout the day and evening.
Weather also affects color, so if you live in a typically sunny climate, it is best not to decide on a rainy day! The intensity of a color is an important consideration as well. If that new paint swatch is too bright, perhaps select a less intense color within the same family, or tone the color down by adding white to lighten and/or black to mute it.
Taking these steps is a safeguard to choosing the right—and very best—color for you and for having a positive result when transforming places with color.