On Choosing Paint Colors

On Choosing Paint Colors

Laure Joliet
Sep 30, 2008

When we were considering painting our apartment a couple of years ago we got totally overwhelmed with choices. Flipping through magazines and going through past house tours we were trying to figure out perfect colors that would definitely look great. We didn't realize that there was a simpler way to do it:

It might sound obvious, but we ended up relying on two different tools that were very simple and went against how we thought it should happen:

1) Gut Instinct: We went to the paint store and picked out paint chips for colors that we just love. That's it, just a gut level, I love this color. This meant blues and greens (and we noticed later that we own about a million blue items of clothing, so...that's another good place to start). The hardest part about this is that from looking at so many lovely rooms every day, we were afraid of doing it wrong and ending up with an ugly room.

2) Patience: Once home, we taped up the paint chips on different walls, putting similar colors together. This is the hard part. We lived with those chips up on the walls for a while. Like weeks. When what we really wanted to do was get to it already and just paint it and have it be done. But slowly we started to eliminate options. Rather than try to mastermind the room, we let our instincts do the work. We didn't worry, yet, about what would go where.

In the end we had a couple moments of extreme perfectionism and made desperate calls from the paint store to friends for reassurance that we weren't making a huge mistake. But the bottom line was that we picked colors that we loved and when they were on the wall they were amazing and felt more like home than any 'perfect', 'hip' color ever could have been.

Do you have a system for choosing paint colors? Do you rely on your closet for inspiration? Food? Do you choose based on pictures of other rooms?

If you've got color in your apartment, check out our Fall Colors Contest going on now!

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