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Color Confidence, Step 3: Ready to Paint

If you’ve been dreaming of painting your home and you want a pulled-together, designer look, it’s time to move forward and make those dreams a reality.

I know that selecting paint colors can be stressful and I won’t say “it’s only paint” since paint today can be expensive and the process time-consuming.

I hope that you’ve read my previous Color Confidence blogs, Steps One and Two. If those articles only served to confuse you more then I hope that this piece will simplify your decision.

The examples that I’m using are from my own home.

Start with this understanding. A good room design follows a formula of 60%-30%-10% and this is the palette for my home:

Ready to Paint 2

  • Dominant color– Approximately 60 percent of the given space should be the dominant color. In the interior design terms, this color is for walls. Neutrals are the good choice for painting walls. (and in most rooms, I don’t recommend white)
  • Secondary color– Approximately 30 percent should represent secondary color. This is a trim color.
  • Accent color- The remaining 10%. The Accent color should make you feel good. What’s your favorite color?

They key to making a house design and its décor feel “pulled-together” is to use that palette throughout the house. However, you needn’t stick to just that one Accent color in each room and the foundation color can be played with also.

The palette for my home comes from these two paint strips, plus neutrals:

Ready to Paint 3

LOOK for the pattern:

• The great room is very neutral so that I can add accent color throughout the year and get a completely different feel:

Ready to Paint 4 Ready to Paint 5

In this space, the accent color changes with the season but always includes just a touch of:

Ready to Paint 6 or Ready to Paint 7

• The master bedroom:

Ready to Paint 8 Ready to Paint 9 Ready to Paint 10

• The master bath:

Ready to Paint 11 Ready to Paint 12 Ready to Paint 13

• The craft room:

Ready to Paint 14 Ready to Paint 15 Ready to Paint 16

• The office

Ready to Paint 17 Ready to Paint 18 Ready to Paint 19 Ready to Paint 20

• The guest bath (changes seasonally)

Ready to Paint 21 Ready to Paint 22 Ready to Paint 23

• The hallway

Ready to Paint 24 Ready to Paint 25

Do you see the pattern? Shades and tints of aqua, teal, seafoam, and turquoise are used throughout my home.

When you plan your painting and your decorating using this approach you’ll find that you can move accessories and artwork from one room to another and they feel like they still belong there. If you tire of the artwork in the great room, move it to another room.

So, find your 3 colors, using the 60-30-10 rule and mix it up a bit by using shades and tints throughout your home. Always include your favorite color in at least one room, if not throughout your house, like I did with the aquas.

One last suggestion before you buy gallons of paint. BUY quarts and do 12″x12″ samples on three different walls and live with it for at least 24 hours before moving forward. Check the painted color blocks in the morning, mid-day and at night because colors are dramatically changed by sunlight.

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