Choosing the right color for your home
BY VANESSA DENHA GARMO
The style and character of your home will ultimately determine the paint colors you choose. “You can actually pick out colors by looking at custom pallets for different kinds of homes,” said Jason Sokol, operations manager from Sherwin Williams. “Whether you are trying to create a beach home, a rustic cabin field or a cape cod look, you can choose colors that match those styles.”
Testing out colors prior to choosing one is highly suggested. “Colors look different on a wall than in a can,” said Mark Seman, founder of Seman’s Services. “You can buy can sample and paint small areas of a wall and let it dry for a few days. Look at it during the day and night. The color will look differently.”
Choosing a color scheme depends on the space, patterns, artwork, drapery and furniture in the home. “Some people buy a new piece of furniture or drapery and decide to change the wall colors to compliment the new furniture,” said Seman. “Sometimes people will see a color at friend’s house or restaurant and love it and want it in their home.”
Home owners often look for colors that complement each other. “They want to mix and match, and accent a color if they are using beige or taupe for example,” said Seman. “Right now, dark grays and dark reds seem to be the trendy colors today. People will still want to accent with other colors. Sometimes one wall in a room may be the dark red.”
One of the most important factors when selecting colors would be lighting. “You have to take into consideration the windows of the home and the natural light coming,” said Sokol. “Also on the inside, you have considered the actual lights, if they have fluorescent for example, colors will look differently.”
Seman often works with interior designers when painting homes. “We have to keep in mind that no single client is alike,” said Michelle Kassab, Ambiance by Michelle, Inc. “Not every color works for every person and the client’s personality becomes a driving factor in color selection. Some clients like very bold and bright colors whereas others prefer soft and relaxing hues.”
A home represents the homeowner and the colors play a role in it. She, too, agrees that light is a key factor. “Another tip to keep in mind is the natural light in the area you are going to paint, said Kassab. Rooms filled with windows or rooms without windows can drastically affect the paint color making it either a lot brighter or a lot darker than the paint sample. Also, take your surrounding area into consideration when picking a color. The rest of the house can have a huge impact on your color choice and picking a color to compliment the surroundings assures that your home has a constant flow.
There are mistakes people should avoid, including not first painting a small portion of the wall first before committing to a color. “Another mistake that I have seen is not taking the joining rooms into consideration as well,” said Kassab. “The color of the joining rooms affect the flow of the home and as mentioned, to assure this flow the color choice should reflect you and rest of you home as well by taking the surroundings into consideration.”
Keeping it simple may be a good rule to follow as too many colors could make the house look chaotic. Blues, grays and soft whites have been the trends recently. “Your home should reflect you and your personality,” said Kasab. “As a designer, I truly believe your home is put together for you and is decorated to represent who you are.”
There are a variety of color palettes for different house styles. A paint manufacturer like Sherwin Williams will suggest pallets for both the interior and exterior of the home and the architectural styles. They also have assistants who will visit a home and help pick out colors. They are called ColorSnap In-Home Consultants.
Some expert suggestions:
Colonial. Gray-blue siding, white trim, and glossy black on the shutters and front door might complement each other.
Contemporary. Consider a warm gray accent, and a jaunty orange door.
Craftsman. Muted green for the siding, cream trim, and deep green for window trim and doors.
Farmhouse. Consider barn red siding, greenish-gray trim, and an ocher door.
Federal brick. Pick up the color of the mortar with cream trim, green shutters, and a darker green door.
Midcentury Ranch. Emphasize the modern lines with charcoal siding, white trim, and a teal door.
Spanish colonial. Try out warm tones like tan siding, mossy green trim, and a russet door.
Tudor revival. Update the look by painting siding pale gray, trim dark gray, and the door blue.
Victorian. Be bold with a trio of smoky purples and stone.