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My Little House Design: Paint.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Paint.

Painting is the single most effective interior design tool, it also happens to be one of the cheapest. A gallon of paint runs around $30 and after an initial investment in a roller, pan, painter's tape, and a set of paint brushes it's basically only the cost of a few very cheap disposable items for the rest of your life. I won't go so far as to say I love painting but I do so much of it that it's like no big thing anymore. In the past 12 months I have painted 10 rooms. Yes, 10! Unfortunately, that doesn't mean I've gotten any better, in fact I think I've gotten sloppier but oh well, it's just paint! Here are few of the things I consider when choosing paint colors and doing the actual painting.

1) Consider your trim. There are two basic types of rooms: rooms with white trim and rooms with natural wood trim. I have lived with both and in my current house I have an almost equal mixture of both. It's important to consider what trim color you have because it will affect the paint color you paint next to it. A common misconception about wall and trim color is that 'if the trim is dark the wall should be light, and if the trim is light the wall can be more saturated.' I don't subscribe to that thought. I think it is more about tones and light... let me explain.

Rule Keeping Rooms

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Rule Breaking Rooms

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In the first image you can see that the light walls compliment that lovely woodwork and in the second room that deep brown looks great against that crisp white trim. I think the rule does hold up but I don't think it's unbreakable. Take for example the third room, the wall color and trim are both very light but it looks lovely. In my living room I chose a darker shade of grey but because the room has lots of light it doesn't feel like a cave. Light plays a big part in this rule. If your room has dark trim and limited sunlight than a dark paint color probably won't work. All that to say... don't worry about rules when you are picking a wall color.

2) Choose a great color. Choosing the color of your walls can be overwhelming since it can really affect the overall look and feel of a room. I tend to be pretty bold in my wall color choices but that doesn't mean it's for everyone. If your nervous about color I would suggest picking a neutral (tans, browns, greys, creams) and then picking a shade or two darker than you are comfortable with.

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For example, these two rooms are both shades of grey. The first room is a very safe neutral color and the second room took a similar color a few shades darker and pow! Look at the difference! Both rooms look great, but I personally like the second room more.

Go big or go home! This may be my life motto. Life is short and paint is cheap you should paint your hallway hot pink or your bedroom kelly green. Here are some of my favorite 'go big or go home' rooms:

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If you get the courage up to go crazy with color my advice is to find a room inspiration picture and color match their paint color. When I decided I wanted to paint my room blue I looked around for inspiration and when I saw the second image above I knew it was my blue. The room was done by Emily Henderson and thankfully she shared the color of paint she used, Loyal Blue by Sherwin Williams. So I went to Home Depot and told them I wanted to color match. Hardware stores can look up the specific color of any paint and match it without a paint chip or picture. If you are smart you can also buy a sample of the color before you buy a whole gallon (I really need to start taking my own advice).

3) Be creative! It's easy to just paint your walls but if you take a little more time you may be able to create something truly amazing.

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I feel so inspired looking at all these images! There is so much you can do with a measuring tape, a level, and painter's tape. Hopefully you feel inspired too :)

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