When choosing a color scheme for your home, a variety of factors must be considered; is this a home with young children where use of bold colours would stimulate the senses or are you after a contemporary look and a harmonious colour palette.
Where to Start
A first step when choosing a color scheme is to determine what pre-existing elements, such as furniture, floor coverings or window treatment, must be taken into consideration. Unless these items will be replaced or the furniture reupholstered, they will largely determine what paint colors are appropriate.
Gather Existing Colors
Collect colour samples from items that will be in each room. Take swatches from upholstery or curtain fabrics and get floor-covering samples, if possible. Otherwise, improvise! Find clothing items, magazine pictures or colour cards in the correct shades and attach your color samples to white paper.
Preliminary Color Selection
At the paint store, use your sample sheet to select colour chips. After narrowing down the choices, buy sample pots to take home for testing. Alternatively, some retailers offer Brush-outs, which are actual paint that has been brushed onto A4 cardboard.
Audition Paint Colors
Test your favourite colors by brushing onto large canvases or large sheets of white cardboard. Now move these around the room and see how the color changes under different lighting. Remember to wait till the paint has dried before assessing the colour as the paint will dry as it darkens.
Continuity or Separation
If more than one room will be painted, it is important to decide whether youd like the colour to flow seamlessly from one room into another or if you rather set a totally different mood. This is a matter of individual preference. There is no right or wrong answer.
Accents and Trim
Another consideration is how trim or unusual elements will be addressed. Ornate trim or an interesting architectural feature may be highlighted with an accent colour. Less desirable elements are often effectively camouflaged by simply using the same colour throughout the room.
Kids like bright and bold! Let them choose the colour while you select the type and quality of paint that will stand up to hard use and frequent cleaning. If their proposal would overwhelm the room, opt to use their chosen colour for a focus wall, stripes or accent.