7 Tips to Choosing Paint Colors-Sonoma Style

7 Tips to Choosing Paint Colors-Sonoma Style

via Chic Coles blog

Nothing can change the energy, feel and update or freshen up the overall look of a house faster then a new coat of paint. Color cannot only dramatically change your home environment but is also one of the easiest and least expensive ways to achieve it. Color can infuse your home with life…calm and relax you, or…rejuvenate your spirit. Color is personal. It can make a bold statement or it can be subdued and mellow. You will create an entirely different mood depending on your choice of color as you can see in the photos below…same room, 4 different moods.  

same room, 4 different moods:via Ralph Lauren Paint Store tool

Color can also feel very intimidating. There are an infinite number of colors…did you know there are at least 80 shades of white alone? All that could make your head spin when trying to select the perfect color for your room.  As a professional I use the following tips when selecting paint colors:

  1. I take my inspiration from a cherished rug or a favorite piece of art
  2. I select the color family with one of the above in mind and with the help of a favorite color fan deck I select the perfect shade
  3. I buy a sample jar, or a quart of the color and paint a 3×4 wood or illustration board with the color
  4. Then I move the board around the room through out the day to see how the color reacts with both the natural and night light and in the room next to the furnishings etc.
  5. Once I make my decision I get my paint and go to town…eggshell finish for the walls, matte for the ceiling and satin for all trim.
  6. I NEVER use decorator white, too harsh, but rather tend towards warm shades of a lighter color for the trim
  7. I keep all of the ceilings and all of the trim the same color in all the rooms to help maintain a flow through out the house, but usually change wall colors by room

If you are still in doubt, I highly recommend you hire a professional to help you select your colors. Paint covers the largest space in a home and therefore has the most impact on the look and feel of a room. Isn’t it worth it to get it right the first time?  After all, you wouldn’t want to be like Mrs. Blandings in the video below…While VERY funny, the results could make you extremely unhappy.

When was the last time you had to choose colors for your home? Did you like the end results? What colors did you use?

In the meantime, enjoy the video below, and prepare to laugh out loud! If YOU don’t want to go through that, contact me, I’ll be happy to help you!

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  1. Funny video!! I have bought the paint and done a swatch on the wall but didn’t think about a board to move around the room…love that idea and will remember for next time. We plan to paint the kids rooms this summer…should be fun. After seeing this I want to paint the master bedroom again….purple (or whatever color you have in the room above). Thanks for all of the tips:)

    Rita Brennan Freay

    • Author
      Irene Turner 5 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by to visit Rita. I vote you go for color every time! Especially in the master bedroom. Have fun!

  2. Beryn 5 years ago

    I would love more information about the Ralph Lauren Paint Store tool. Is it an app? A software program? It would be so helpful, but I couldn’t find it anywhere on-line.

    • Author
      Irene Turner 5 years ago

      click on the picture Beryn, it will take you to the RL web paint store and the tool. I wish it was an app so as to be able to use it with any line of paint. I believe House Beautiful also has the ability to do this on it’s web site, but I don’t recommend the paint lines it uses like Sherwin Williams…Let me know if it works!
      and thanks for stopping by

  3. Julie Boney 5 years ago

    Great post – and LOVE the video! Hilarious! It just proves men and women are SO different! 😉

    Love the tip about moving a sample around the room to see how a color looks in different light. People don’t realize what a difference that makes, but it really does change how a color looks depending on room position and time of day.

    BTW – instead of using wooden boards, paint sample boards (like our Small Wall boards) do a great job of letting you test the color more accurately as it doesn’t absorb the paint like wood does.

    • Author
      Irene Turner 5 years ago

      thanks for the info Julie…I’ll have to check out your wall boards. Where can I get them? List here so everyone can see…thanks!

      • Julie Boney 5 years ago

        Sure thing! Thanks for inviting me to share the information about our Small Wall Boards.

        You can learn more on our website: http://mysmallwall.com.

        You can buy the boards at Sherwin Williams, ACE and Amazon. Here’s more info on where to get them: http://mysmallwall.com/retailers.php

        If you try them out, let me know what you think. I’d love your feedback!

  4. Kate Smith 5 years ago

    Great advice Irene plus that clip from Mrs. Blandings is one of my favorites.

  5. teddy 5 years ago

    I cant get enough of this blog. Sorry i have not commented til now, but im lazy. Just wanted to eventually say thank you.

  6. Natasha 5 years ago

    Thank you for this post! I have been searching the net a lot your blog one of the good ones for the info I am looking for. Very good to know all this stuff before I start my new project.

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