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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Allen Design Team

Dear Josh: What is the Best Way to Pick Interior Paint Colors?

Updated: Apr 18

Dear Josh is our monthly interior design column driven by questions from our clients and followers! To submit your own question to us, click here.

Choosing paint colors can be daunting, especially if you're not sure where to start. There are so many factors to consider, such as the size of the room, the amount of natural light, a color's Light Reflectance Value (or LRV for short) and the overall style of your home. As interior designers, we've made a lot of paint selections so don't worry, we're here to share a few totally easy and foolproof ways to choose the perfect paint color for your room or space.

Start by considering the overall style of your home. Do you have a traditional, modern, or eclectic style? Once you know your overall style, you can start to narrow down your color choices.

Think about the mood you want to create in the room. Do you want the room to feel cozy and inviting, or bright and airy? Certain colors can evoke different moods, so it's important to choose colors that will create the desired atmosphere.

Consider the amount of natural light in the room. If the room has a lot of natural light, you can get away with using darker colors. However, if the room is dark, you'll want to choose lighter colors to brighten it up.

Build a palette from your room. Look to items, fixtures and furnishings in your space that you like and want to keep, and pull colors from these. Use your fabrics, upholstery, and rugs for inspiration for this. Once you have it narrowed down to 2 or 3 colors, look for similar paint colors to test on your walls.

Don't be afraid to experiment. The best way to find the perfect paint colors is to test, test, test. Try painting a few swatches on the wall (or a piece of cardboard) and live with them for a few days before making a decision. This will give you a chance to see how the colors look in different lighting, and with different furniture and accessories.

If you're still stumped, here's a few foolproof tips to pick paint colors that will work:

  1. Choose a neutral color for your walls. Neutral colors like white, beige, and gray are versatile and can be easily paired with other colors, making them perfect for walls.

  2. Choose an accent color for your furniture and accessories. Accent colors can add a pop of personality to your room and make it more visually interesting. Choose a color that ties the elements of your space (fabrics, rugs, furniture, textures) together.

  3. Use a color wheel to choose colors that complement each other. If you're not sure which colors complement each other, use a color wheel. A great one that's available online is Adobe's color wheel. Analogous colors are those that are next to each other on the color wheel, and they typically look good together. Complementary colors are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, and they can also look good together if used in moderation.

Once you've picked your colors, it's time to start painting! Be sure to follow the instructions on the paint can to ensure a smooth and even finish. And don't forget to have fun with it! Choosing paint colors is a great way to express your personal style and create a space that you love.

Here are some more tips from our design team for choosing the right paint colors:

Use magazines and the internet for inspiration. There are many resources available to help you choose paint colors. Look at interior design magazines and websites to see what colors other people are using in their homes. Don't copy exactly what others do, as you want to create a space that's uniquely "you!"

Get samples of the colors you're considering. Once you've narrowed down your choices, get samples of the colors you're considering. Many paint stores will offer small sample sizes for sale. Paint the trial colors on the wall and observe them for a few days before making a decision.

Ask for help from a professional. If you're still having trouble choosing paint colors, consider hiring a professional interior designer. They can help you choose colors that will flatter your home and create the desired atmosphere. At Joshua Allen Design, we offer a consult specifically designed to help you choose the best paint colors for your individual space.

Picking paint colors can be overwhelming but it doesn't have to be difficult. By following these tips, you can find the perfect colors for your home and create a space that you love.


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