We are all looking for those foolproof, step by step rules that we can just implement, get ideal results and then forget about it. We want less work, no risk and lots of reward. Even when it comes to something as simple as choosing a wall color. And I am the queen of wanting an easy answer. If there was an app or robot that could actually make the right decision for paint, I’d buy it right now. Last week I showed you the paint that Sherwin-Williams supplied for our bedroom makeover, this week, I’m getting on my cute decoupage soap box and giving a State of the Nest address about choosing a paint color.
Choosing a paint color is an art.
I may hate a color in a room, you might love the same exact color. There really is no wrong. Therefore, sadly, no one can give you a formula for how to get the ‘right color’ for a room they aren’t living in.
But I can tell you a way to find the right paint color.
It’s not about learning the secret step by step formula to how to choose the perfect paint color every time.
I can’t teach you how to pick the perfect paint color on your first try. And anyone that says they can is a liar.
How can I convince us that it’s better to finally just pick a color. TRY something. Because even painting a space a wrong color is better than leaving it a color you don’t like. Can I get an amen?
EVERY designer has picked the wrong color. Every designer still picks the wrong color from time to time, and if they don’t it’s probably because they have a little batch of tested colors that they’ve learned work really well in their spaces.
I learned how to find the best color by sometimes first finding the worst color. Or at least a color I didn’t like.
Because spaces are organic. I mean, I’m not too science-y but, I’m guessing that our eyes aren’t even created the same and what is a gross puss lemon color in my brain could possibly be a beautiful light happy yellow in someone else’s brain. That’s okay!
We want someone to give us the secret formula to picking the perfect color the first time.
But we really need is someone to convince us that it’s okay to pick the wrong paint color.
The one formula I’ve found for finding the perfect paint color?
Choose a color.
Pick something. Because something is better than nothing when it comes to trying to find the right color for a space. If you hate it, at least you know what color NOT to pick! Yippie, you’ve learned something!
One of the reasons I wanted to do this room project was because of the limitations. Those lovely limitations that Sherwin-Williams put on me: I had to chose from the HGTV HOME™ by Sherwin-Williams Softer Side color collection. YES! Just the kick in the pants I needed to actually, finally get this room moving forward.
In my normal, everyday life I have something like 2000 paint colors to choose from. With that many colors to choose from I’ve been putting off painting for nine months. It’s debilitating.
Once I had the choices from Sherwin-Williams I was so thrilled to see that it only included 20 beautiful colors. It took me 3 minutes to decide which color I would use and I was SO happy to get to choose from a small batch of colors instead of choosing from any color in the world.
YES! It was actually freeing.
When I’m picking a paint color I usually start by eliminating options so I don’t have to think about those colors. I learned this years ago, the less choices I have to choose from the easier the decision.
For this room I wanted it to be obvious that it’s a room for a man and a woman, masculine and feminine.
I also wanted to honor the wood in the room. We have wood trim around the windows, wood floors, wood dressers and a wood light fixture–wood practically acted as a color in our room. And I’ve learned that I appreciate wood tones when they are paired with white. But I also think they pop when paired with black and gray. Because I knew I was keeping the wood in our room, I knew that pink or green or blue or yellow walls was something I wouldn’t be happy with.
We also have a gray bed that we aren’t changing, that was the only color that had to stay in the room, everything else was up for grabs–part of my problem was that I like gray paired with every color. But once I counted the wood in our room as a color, I was able to eliminate a lot of options.
Peppercorn it was.
I got really lucky with these Ikea drapes being a perfect match with Peppercorn. I love happy accidents.
Plus, I’ve learned that when I have a neutral color on the walls, I’m free to add whatever color I want for pillows and smalls, it takes hardly any time and I have a fresh room because the dark neutral acts as a big blank canvas.
The truth is, the perfect paint color doesn’t exist. And if I ever find a step by step formula or an app that works, I’ll be the first to try it out. You get to decide the best color for your room and the only secret is to actually start.
Winner of the 5 gallons of HGTV HOME™ by Sherwin-Williams Interior Paint giveaway from last week:
If you are like me, and you have that one room that you’ve been waiting to make a decision about. Start today by eliminating colors. Need a jumping off point? Check out the Sherwin-Williams Pinterest page for all sorts of color inspiration organized by color, tips, collections and rooms.
I’ve curated a few boards as well if you want more photos: