Picking paint colors for our new house was one of the few things that brought me to tears when it came to choosing all the details. I know, I know, that seems dramatic but I was really overwhelmed when trying to decide. We hired a friend of ours who was a contract painter to paint almost all of the downstairs the week between closing & moving in. Firstly I knew we had a limited window for painting and secondly I didn’t want to do was regret a color and have a DIY-paint job over a pro-paint job we had already paid for. And there are literally THOUSANDS of colors out there so even just walking into a paint department can be paralyzing.
So how do you choose? I hope to share a few of the things that helped me in the hopes that they can help you too (and maybe save you some tears!)
The first thing I did was look at my Pinterest boards to see what colors I liked in the rooms/designs I had pinned. If you don’t have a Pinterest account to look over you can do the same thing with house/design magazines or even browse online at a place like Houzz (they have thousands of room images!). When you’ve found a bunch of rooms you like I bet you’ll find a color theme running through them as well. I found I was drawn to soft coastal colors: blues, greens, grays, and whites.
Secondly I narrowed it down by what I knew I didn’t like. I enjoy color so I knew I didn’t want anything too neutral (ie no beige/tan) but I also knew I wanted something calming, light, & airy (ie no strong saturation/bright colors).
Thirdly I went to Lowes, Home Depot, Sherwin Williams, Ace Hardware, etc. and picked up some paint chips. I stayed within my blue/green/gray color family and chose lighter more neutral tones. Then when I brought them home I laid them against things like our comforter & furniture that we would be keeping. This helped narrow down my chips to a few per room that worked well with the things we already had. For example I have an apple green (think yellow undertones) mixer in our kitchen and that helped me eliminate colors that had clashing undertones (like blue or red). You don’t necessarily want to match the color perfectly but you certainly want everything to work together.
Fourth once I had my few colors picked I googled them all to see a real-life picture of a room with each paint. Granted photos on a computer screen aren’t exactly like real-life but it does let you see certain things. For example “wow that color appears a lot darker than I imagined” or “this color looks great with all the red accessories in the photo”. Seeing ‘live’ colors really helped me feel confidence that I could trust what the colors would look like on my own walls.
Lastly, I made sure to consult Matt on what he wanted to see in his house (since it is his house too :-)). I knew he didn’t care much about the color choices but I did run everything I liked past him to make sure he liked them too. He actually had a request for a green room (didn’t care which one lol) and so that’s how I settled on a green hue for the kitchen. It’s not in-your-face green, but a really neutral khaki green that changes beautifully with the light at different times of day.
Our House hues (so far):
Living room & hallway:
Sherwin Williams Rainwashed
Sherwin Williams Sea Salt
Sherwin Williams Silvermist
Kitchen & Dinning area:
Benjamin Moore Dune Grass
I hope these tips help you pick our your own colors without the fear of indecision! And on a side note we have lived with these colors for over six months now and I absolutely LOVE them, so there must be some method to my madness 😉