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Choosing Wall Paint For Your Home! - Colour Edition

The heading is quite self-explanatory. But there are multiple aspects to choosing a wall paint

  • Colour

  • Type

  • Brand

We'll tackle the other two in subsequent posts.

Right now, let's look at colour.

The Colour Edition

We all want a splash of colour in our homes. As enthusiastic but amateur designers, the most common error I have seen people make is either going too bright and bold or not going bold enough.

Like everything else, choosing wall paint is a matter of balance. Not just in terms of the colour you use, but also the shade/tint of the colour and the extent of application throughout the home/room. Accent walls have always been an easy and convenient way to experiment with colours. Why?

Take your pick of reasons!

  • It doesn't take up a lot of space

  • It is relatively cheap (so you can go it over if you think you got it wrong)

  • It acts as a base colour for accessorizing the room, providing easy direction

  • It adds pop and point of interest in the room

and I could go on.

An accent wall is not just that. It's not a painted wall, its a highlight wall. And how you choose to highlight is restricted only by your imagination! We'll get to that in another post.

Choosing the interior wall paint colour for your room is not only a matter of choosing the accent wall paint colour. It is much more than that. So how can you decide on what paint to put on your walls? There are a few factors that affect your colour choice, read on to know more.

The Starting Point

The first thing is to decide what your starting point for colour selection is. That will depend on what stage of the design process you are in while reading this article.

If you're just starting out, look at inspiration images of finished rooms as well as furniture pieces to understand what you like. All colours in a home should complement each other. In addition, they should flow from one room to another to create a united living space. Create a colour palette that will help you narrow down not only your colour choices but also help you in choosing the furniture and the fabric for your home.

If you're halfway through the process, where you already have some furniture picked and bought, or being constructed even as you read this, then your choices narrow a little. Bring the different finishes you are using together. Take pieces of the selected veneer, laminate, metal, handles, fabric and anything else you have selected for a room. Lay it all out together on a neutral surface (preferably a plain white background) and fan out the paint strips you should have taken from you paint vendor. Find colours that match (Read the next point to know how) and complement to make your selection.

The Colour Palette

A colour palette is the end result of the exercise. While creating the colour palette for an interior project, the objective is to layer it on one top of the other. One colour will be the base, the grounding colour on which you build the rest of the scheme. then comes the secondary colour which is used to add contrast and is peppered through the room. The tertiary colour is used sparingly throughout the room and home. But within these three colours, there is a whole spectrum of shades (darker) and tints (lighter) that are open to interpretation.

There is no rule that limits you to three colours only, you can go lower or higher if they fit well together.

Using the colour wheel will help you determine the colours of choice fall into any scheme or not.

Find Inspiration

Anything can be an inspiration if you're brave enough. If you see a beautiful yellow couch (Yes, I love yellow, perhaps a bit much) that you have to have, you can build the rest of the room around it with colours that complement your couch.

Another lovely source of colour inspiration can be some artwork that you own or plan to buy for the room. Picking colours from a pre-composed colour palette is a safe bet!

Or you can create your own colour palette for your room. If you've got a photograph you love you can extract a colour palette from that to create your ideal room!

The Mood You Want to Induce

There are scientific studies talking about how colours impact our minds and the choices we make. In fact, brands invest heavily in selecting the correct colour for their brand language.

Different colours induce different emotions and moods in a person. We all know that red is the colour of love, but it is also the colour for danger. And painting a bedroom red can boost romance or cause fights!

Solar Orientation

It is just a fancy (technical) term for the direction of the room to maximize the use of the sun to control the interior temperatures and climates without artificial aids such as heaters and air conditioners. The direction in which the windows of the room face affect the mood of the room. Based on the country and the hemisphere you live in, the natural light will vary in intensity and duration. It varies from harsh light and heat to a mild, cool atmosphere and from light throughout the day, to light during different hours of the day. If you're in the process of building a stand-alone home/ bungalow, this article will help you choose how you want to plan your home from room placement to materials used. Not all of us have the liberty to make the same choices. Most of us rent or buy apartments in buildings whose construction we cannot control.

This is how wall paint colours can help us.

North-Facing openings allow for light to enter the homes without overheating the interiors. In India, light inevitably brings in heat. This orientation allows for little sunlight and therefore, little heat. In such rooms, whites, pastels and warm colours will compensate for the lack of natural light and lack of natural heat.

South-Facing openings get light throughout the day ranging from harsh in the afternoons to mild in the mornings and the evenings. Since India is a tropical country, the days are longer, the sun is harsher and the heat is stronger. Using dark colours, even greys and blacks will help in absorbing the heat and creating a cool atmosphere.

Size of the Room

The black and blue or white and gold dress craze a few years back has shown to those who did not know before that our eyes like to play tricks on us. Size of a room is no different. While most (including me) think that a room looks smaller when empty, a few disagree (one of my ex-bosses vehemently so!)

So it goes without saying that the paint colour and the way of painting (i.e. the surfaces you choose to cover) can change how the room is perceived. For instance painting horizontal bands on the wall, as wainscoting or as design, makes a room look wider, while painting the ceiling a dark colour makes it look lower.

Lighter colours make the room look larger and brighter and the darker ones bring the walls closer in to make a space look small and cosy.

Purpose of the Room

Lastly, what you want to use the room for is a no brainer. Formal rooms need a formal colour palette, the bedrooms and living rooms cannot play the same colour game. After all, you wouldn't want plain formal beige in a bedroom!


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