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Choosing the Right Colour Scheme for your Home


Choosing a colour scheme for a room can be a daunting task, especially if nothing jumps out at you. The best place to start is the room itself, look at the existing flooring, furniture window treatments, accessories and any other surfaces that aren’t going to be replaced. Ignore colours that you dislike, go to your local paint store and pick up paint chips to match your colours. But remember paint chips aren’t big enough to give an accurate picture of how a colour will feel under specific lighting conditions. So you may need a larger sample before you make your final selection. The artificial lighting in paint stores also affects the appearance of colour chips, and colours generally appear darker when seen on big expanses of walls compared to paint chips, so be sure to take the samples home and tape them to the wall to get an idea of how they will look. Also, be sure to look at them at different times of the day to see how they are affected by the light.


How does colour affect a room’s size?


Generally, strong warm colours like reds, oranges and yellows tend to draw walls in and make a room feel cozier. These colours are known as advancing colours because they jump out and meet the eye. Conversely, receding colours like blue, green and violet tend to make a room look larger because they “stand back” visually. These are not hard and fast rules however: strong colours such as royal blue and hunter green will make the walls more dominant and thus closer. Small rooms are best made to feel larger by painting them white or a light neutral colour. Additionally, monochromatic colour schemes will open up a room, while contrasting colors can make the room dynamic but smaller.


What should I paint the ceiling?


Most ceilings are painted in a white or off-white shade. This creates the illusion of higher ceilings and a more open space. Darker colours will create the illusion of lowering the ceiling which can create more intimate space. To unify the room, choose a colour for the ceiling that ia a tint of the wall.


Should trim work or mouldings be painted the same colour as the walls?


To disguise ordinary or unattractive trim work or to create a monochromatic look, use a trim colour that is the same as the walls. If you want to Accenture trim work use a different colour (lighter or darker) then the walls.


Selecting the right paint?


Not all paint is created equal, top quality paints provide tremendous benefits. They adhere much better and hide uneven colouration in substrate better. They also resist chalking and colour fading, dirt and fungus better than economy paints. And despite costing more per liter, they are actually more economical since they last longer and cover much better.


What paint finish should I use?


The level of sheen or gloss you select depends as much on appearance as functionality. Each finish has unique characteristics that will high light or hide the character construction of the room. ”Eggshell” or medium sheen finishes tend to be higher performing than general finishes. This high quality finish is ideal for high traffic areas. Satin and gloss finishes nicely set off doors, baseboards, trim and other areas that deserve attention. Gloss paints have a higher shine than satin, both finishes are tough and tend to resist dirt. Ceiling paints are formulated to diffuse light from lamps and windows, since they have a low hiding and scrub resistance they are not recommended for walls. A standard matt paint is also appropriate for ceilings.


Finally, “Decorating should be fun”, so try to relax and enjoy the process..

By: Erica Dwyer, Urban Home Design and Custom Kitchens

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