Sunday, July 13, 2008

A New Coat for your Room - Paint!

I feel painting a room is the best way to give a room a new look, a facelift, or "room lift" . It is relatively inexpensive, especially if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and spend some time doing it yourself. You do not even need to change the furniture, accessories or items in a room to make it look new - just choose an accent color and paint it on the walls!
Many people are usually afraid of using colors when painting walls... my brother is one of those people - afraid of the commitment to a color, that it won't look as good in their home as it did in the store or at a friend's home (or maybe just afraid that he'd have to repaint it again). Most people like to play it 'safe' with some form of white or a color that is "hardly a color"... but then they go to a family member's or a neighbor's house, where a 'real color' was used, and they think "wow! that looks great!".

I like to make comparisons with home decorating and how your dress. Think about apparel and use your experiences with how you might spruce up an outfit for a special occasion when thinking about adding color to a room. A bright scarf, (or tie if you are a man) or an outstanding piece of jewelry would accent your outfit - a pop of gold, red or green. The same goes for a room - if you love a color that does not exist in your home accessories, but always wanted it in your room, determine the right shade for your walls and buy a home accessory, like a picture frame, or silk flower arrangement to pop the color - Like buying a new coat; bright red or yellow, when you always have owned black!

Don't be afraid, it's only paint, take the time to try it!

SPECIAL TIP: when re-doing a room by changing the color of the walls, It is best to start fresh, and that would bring us back to WHITE. No matter what color the walls are when you are making this change, you will get the most pure color when you base coat your walls with white.

Here is an experiment you can try:

1. take a foam core board (you can buy this at a local art or craft store) , or a piece of white sheet rock (available in your home construction or hardware store)
2. paint it the existing color in the room, say it is gold, or blue
3. paint a second piece with white.
4. when both are dry, paint the new room color you have chosen on both boards

– the one painted on the white board will be truer to the color on the paint chip from the store than the one painted over the existing room color.

If you are one of those people that need to visually see the color on the wall, take a trip over to Pottery Barn, Ethan Allen or Restoration Hardware. These retailers use paint colors in each section or room display of their store and have labels that identify the color on the walls. This can be very helpful when looking at small chips seems too tedious and difficult to picture in your home. If this still doesn't work for you, purchase the sample paints ( Benjamin Moore's samples cover a 2' x 2' area) or a quart of the color you like and try it in your room.

The important thing is to have fun and find a color that speaks to you, to the feeling you want when you spend time in that room.


JR said...

ok... very convincing... but what about the harder question: "How do I choose the RIGHT color?"

It seems that there are probably 5-10 great colors that I see over and over again in other homes that I would love to have... but then i get to the paint store and get overwhelmed with choices... for example, there's this sage color that i see everywhere... but there's got to be a dozen paint chips in the paint store that look like they could be the one i saw... I'm so sure I'll pick the wrong one..
Do you have something like "Dawn's favorite Dozen" colors ?

Dawn Rochelle Fields said...

Hi JR,
I am in the process of working on that list - keep your eyes open for it - for now, if I had to choose my favorite sage color,I would say Benjamin Moore from their Color Preview book; Soft Fern 2144-40 - it is soft, with a little more blue than yellow. Sage is a tricky color, you want to be careful you don't cross the line to mint green. Another great shade of green, soft and quite neutral is Abbington Putty HC-99 - truly one of my most used colors with clients. As a green, this color can work with so many different schemes and can work in many different styles of decor.