Shortcut to Being Sure: One Quick Way to Find a Paint Color You Love

Shortcut to Being Sure: One Quick Way to Find a Paint Color You Love

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Janel Laban
Sep 29, 2014
(Image credit: Erin Derby)

I'm sure you know what color roses you really like...and the color sweater that looks best on you...and the color car you'd choose first from the showroom floor. Why then, when it comes to choosing paint colors for a room at home do so many of us freeze up and start questioning our own palate for palettes? Here's one (fun) shortcut to finding colors that you can feel confident about...

One reason choosing a paint palette is challenging is because it can be hard to picture a color you love in situ, covering walls, in an actual room - the scale is so different and it has a "personality" that can be hard to imagine when just looking a a swatch.

Seeing the color (or colors) you are considering in multiple room photos is a good way to not only hone in on the specific shade you like but build up the confidence to actually go for it.

Our color search tool allows you to build a palette a few different ways and then, once you've hit on one you like, you can see (and then bookmark, evernote, pin or whatever works best for you!) multiple examples of it in different rooms, in different amounts and intensities and with different other colors...all in photos of interiors. It's a shortcut to selecting the perfect shade.

Here's one way to get going...

Step #1: Start with a House Tour

We've got thousands of them! (not exaggerating!) They are fun to look at for a myriad of reasons but you can feel especially virtuous if you are using them as "research". Kick back, laptop or tablet in hand, and navigate to a favorite tour (or ten) - and if you don't have a favorite yet, start one step earlier and just browse the archives first. When you get to a room you love the look of, STOP and do a color search. Here's how:

On each and every House Tour photo, there is a color search palette on the right that will lead you to a lots more tour photos that feature a similar palette. Here's an example of a room with a wall color and overall palette that I like.

(Image credit: Janel Laban)

I simply click on the "search these colors" text you see above on the right and I get taken to a page full of tour images with a similar palette - its a custom color search generated by your favorite room photo.

(Image credit: Janel Laban)

Step #2: Check out the selections on the page generated from the original room pick palette selection.

You can scroll down to see multiple examples of photos with the palette you like, many showing rooms with a similar wall paint color.

Note: At any time in the process, you can adjust the color "mix" on the color search by moving the sliders of the colors that were generated by your original choice. You can also exclude or reduce the amount of colors you don't love or don't match your current room and add or increase the amount of ones that do.

Love the dark gray walls but want to see rooms that mix more pink with that color than gold? Go ahead and use the tool to adjust the individual amounts and colors and with each switch, you'll see a new set of photos.

Step #3: Generate a full palette and get paint info on all the rooms on your Search Page by using the "Chip It" button at the top of the page.

Once you choose "Chip It" the full selection of rooms from that page will be available to generate palettes for. Here are some examples of rooms and palettes all found based on my original inspiration image, discovered and created in under 10 minutes, start to finish.

(Image credit: Erin Derby)
(Image credit: Janel Laban)
(Image credit: Janel Laban)
(Image credit: Nicole Crowder)
(Image credit: Janel Laban)
(Image credit: Rebecca Bond)
(Image credit: Janel Laban)
(Image credit: Marcia Prentice)
(Image credit: Janel Laban)
(Image credit: Marcia Prentice)
(Image credit: Janel Laban)
(Image credit: Nicole Crowder)
(Image credit: Janel Laban)

See? Easy peasy.

Ready to give it a go?

You can take my advice and start with the color search tool link on the right side of any House Tour photo OR if you already have a palette in mind, you can skip directly to the color search tool (it's always on the left sidebar of the site). If you go direct to the tool, you can start your search by manually selecting the colors you like (up to 5, with gazillions of variants, darker and lighter, available if you click on the color to "open" it up, after adding it to the palette).

Either way, happy color hunting and may all your makeovers be magnificent!

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