{paint selection tip: choose a color family}

After looking at the scuff marks and chipped paint on my basement walls I am considering re-painting, though it seems a bit futile considering my third grade boy will continue to play knee hockey and indoor baseball, basketball, and football with his friends over the winter.  I used to dread picking out paint colors — I would agonize over different shades and have a dozen paint samples scattered over the walls.  I don’t feel that sense of dread anymore.  Over the years I have found my ‘color family’ that I like and I tend to stay within.

I remember when I was decorating my first house in California and my designer advised me to pick paint colors that match the color scheme in my closet — that the colors I wore the most would be the colors I would most likely want to surround myself with.  That worked to an extent — I know I like paint colors in the natural color scheme versus the bolder primary colors. What I found more important is knowing how much energy you derive from your living space.  I painted my first living room in a beautiful sage color.  While it was pretty and complemented my furniture nicely, I found it to be too drab for me — like a constant cloudy day.  I must say, my husband has been very understanding with the many painting re-dos I’ve had over the years!

Once I determined I liked the tan family I then discovered there were many different shades of tan.  When we moved here to Minnesota, I painted my living room in a beige color.  What I learned is that I picked a paint that had a grey undertone.  It wasn’t until I laid out many tan paint cards that I started to recognize the ones with gold undertones, beige undertones and grey undertones.  This when I combined my need for a color with uplifting energy with the tan color wheel.   I quickly realized I liked a tan with gold undertones.  Perfect!!  I use the advice of the decorators by accessorizing in my favorite “closet colors” to complete the picture.

I love all the seasons of the Minnesota weather as well as decorating for each of the holidays.  I have found that having a wall color that transitions nicely through the seasons and compliments my holiday decorations varying from orange to red to green works really well.

I have since had to pick out pinks, apple green and orange for my daughters’ bedrooms.  Now that I understand that after I have narrowed down a color, all I need to do is lay out many shades to compare the different hues, the undertones just pop out at me and I feel much more confident in choosing a color!  If that doesn’t work or is too time-consuming for you, you can have one of Hirshfield’s color consultants come to your home and help select the perfect shade.

Alas, what color to paint the basement?

2 Responses to “{paint selection tip: choose a color family}”

  1. Kristin Says:

    Great insights about choosing colors. I’m the opposite- my closet is filled with bright bold colors. Often I am drawn to these colors in the paint store, but when I realistically think about them- it just doesn’t work to have your living room painted fuchsia. I’ll have to remember to look for the undertones in the more neutral colors when I pick out paint next. Thanks for sharing!
    – Kristin from Home Valu

  2. uberVU - social comments Says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by hirshfields: Overwhelmed trying to choose a paint color? Try these tips: http://bit.ly/kqcvj

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