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Home Decorating & Design Tips: Using Color

When it comes to house painting, many people like to play it safe and use neutral colors on their walls. While a neutral palette can add a sophisticated touch, it can also be a bit, well, boring when used throughout an entire home.

Painting your walls with a bold color can add drama as well as an intimate and cozy feel to your room. However, many shy away from the use of color because they fear that the color will overpower their room. Yet, these people also seem to overlook the fact that too many neutrals can lead to a completely lackluster and bland home.

There's really no need for you to live your life in fear of brightly colored paint. Just use these painting tips to add some colorful oomph to your walls.

Walls that Pop
When it comes to interior painting, the most ideal situation would allow you to pick your wall color first and then your furniture. Obviously, this is often not possible. So the next best thing is to examine the furniture and accessories you have in the room you plan to paint and find the dominant color. Once you have established what the already existing dominant color is, you can find a wall color that will match or compliment this central shade.

On the other hand, if you are able to work from the walls first, then maintain a clean look to the room by keeping the main pieces of furniture in neutral shades. Use accent pieces, like throw pillows, floor cushions and rugs, to bring in the color of the walls. This will help prevent the room from being chaotically overrun with too much color.

If you are looking for painting ideas for a large room, then consider going with a darker color, as these shades tend to make a room appear smaller and therefore more intimate. For an especially intimate feel, you may also want to paint the ceiling. In smaller rooms, go with lighter color shades that will help the room appear larger and more open.

Decorative Painting
So you've figured out the main color for your walls but are having troubles deciding on the right accent color. There are a number of ways to figure out which colors will work best with your colored paint:

  • Use variations of the same palette. For example, caramel, toffee, mocha, butterscotch and chocolate are all different shades of brown. If your walls are caramel, then using mocha and chocolate to paint the trim and use as accent colors around the room should bring the room together nicely.
  • When you're at the store picking up your painting supplies, don't forget to pick up some paint sample strips. Each strip will have color samples of shades that are in the same family, ranging from lightest to darkest, and that will compliment each other nicely. Then all you have to do is decide which shades on the strip you would like to use.
  • If you would like to use accent colors that are completely different from the color of your walls (such as blue walls with red and purple accents), then look for shades that have the same intensity as your wall color.

Don’t forget to consider the color of any adjacent rooms when picking out your wall color. You’ll want to find a shade that goes with the color in your other rooms to ensure that everything flows seamlessly.

Interior Painting Ideas
If your style of furniture and decorating has been inspired by a particular time period, like the 1950s, or by a certain fashion, such as Art Deco, then do some research to find out which colors are best suited to that era or style. This will help to streamline the theme of your furniture with the room.

The amount of natural light the room receives is also an important factor when deciding on colored paint. Rooms that receive a lot of sunlight may be better suited to walls painted in a cool and calming blue, while rooms that are often in the shade will be heated up with some vibrant yellow warm shades.

Finally, don't forget to consider what you want the overall mood of the room to be and just what you want your room to say. There is actually a psychology behind color selection; colors can call to mind a particular feeling or mood, so make sure your room makes the right statement by choosing the appropriate warm or cool shade.

Hammer For more interior painting tips, visit our Home Décor forum and get tips from other DIY-ers