By Joanne Duclos Daisy Painters
Fall is here and we find ourselves spending less time outside and more time taking a closer look at the condition of our interior spaces.
I believe some could call this "nesting." It is a time of year that we instinctively prepare our "nests" for the ensuing winter.
We are not alone, as most of nature's creatures are doing the same thing. The difference is that instead of hoarding acorns, we have this insatiable urge to buy a new sofa for the living room or to paint the dining room. As a painter and interior decorator, this time of year can become overwhelmingly busy and I find I'm asked the same questions by many of my clients.
How do they know what colours they should be choosing and what are the "in" colours now?
First and foremost, always chose your fabrics first. If you are buying a new piece of furniture or having new draperies installed, have your fabrics picked before you even think about paint colours. It is easier to choose a paint colour from a fabric than to find a fabric that goes with a paint colour. If you are keeping existing furniture, your palette is already determined.
There are a few ways to come up with a wall colour and that's usually with the fabrics in the room, although it can also be inspired by artwork, such as your favourite painting in the room or another piece of art. If you are looking for a colour scheme, I advise picking three colours that work well together and use them differently throughout the house. For example, use one colour as a dominant and the other two as accent colours. Using a different combination of the three in each room will also allow for a smooth colour flow from one room to another.
Neutrals are and will always be popular. We've come a long way from "builder's beige." Mocha browns and sage greens are still my number one request. The jewel tones are also used a lot as well, with greens, reds, and golds working well in an overall scheme. A rule of thumb when using two or more colours is to pick colours of the same value. If your paint chip graduates from light to dark, pick the same placement on the chip for each colour. As an example, don't use a light blue with a dark green. Chances are a light blue will look better with a light green, etc.
Light is the most important factor when working with colour. Magazine pictures are great for inspiration, but all too often people are disappointed when they've tried to duplicate the colour from a picture in their own homes. Magazine photographers spend a lot time and money to get the lighting just right and it usually differs from your own lighting. I've also had clients that are perplexed when they've used a colour that they've seen in someone else's home but it just doesn't look the same in their home because their lighting is different. Make sure you pick a wall colour while you are in the room it is intended for.
Another important rule for picking wall colours is that they have to make sense with everything else in the room. There has to be an obvious reason for the colour to be used, otherwise it looks as though it was picked randomly or for no particular reason at all. Chose a colour that will compliment everything in the room and always remember that you can't truly judge a room until it is finished. Sometimes that means waiting until even the pictures are hung to get the final feel.
So, go ahead and take the plunge. It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for
a room. It's still the most inexpensive way to change the look and feel of a room and it goes a long way to appease those "nesting" inclinations.