Tuesday, February 1, 2011

America's Next Top Model (home) - A six week shape up guide to a brand new view!

Week Three - COLOR!

Why is the prospect of choosing colors so terrifying for so many people? Are you worried you're going to pick the wrong color?! The wrong finish?!?!  RELAX - it's just paint. Painting the walls and ceiling is just one of many layers we will add to create your masterpiece. We're here to make it easy for you!

First, take a close look at your room. Are there any fixed items or colors that you can't change? For instance, if you are re-decorating your kitchen and cannot change counter tops, cabinets, or flooring - we will work with those colors and finishes when painting the room.  
Consult your magazine photos again - ignore everything except the color. What colors do you keep coming back to? Do you prefer a monochromatic color scheme or bold, splashy colors? Do clean, fresh colors keep coming back or muted, romantic shades?
Consider the configuration of your room - is it long and narrow? Short and wide? Does it have a feature wall? Do you want to create a feature wall? Remember that dark colors recede and light colors come forward. When in doubt with color, stick to neutrals - that doesn't mean only white or beige! Neutral means a basic palette that can be added to ... red or black could be considered a neutral.
Narrow your choices to one or two color schemes and write these down in your journal. Keeping those colors in mind, time to head to the paint store.  Don't be overwhelmed by the vast array of colors. You already have a general idea of what you like, right? Go through the color(s) you have chosen - no second guessing yourself - and spend 30 seconds grabbing the first six paint chips that attract your attention. Congratulations! You have just narrowed thousands of possible colors into six!
So what if you don't want to paint every wall and the ceiling the same color? No problem! Paint manufacturers do a lot of the work for you. Typically the top 1-2 colors are used for ceiling and trim. Accent walls are typically two up or down from the main wall color. For example, if you choose a dark tone for the main color, then two up is a good accent color. Pretty simple stuff, right?

DO NOT BUY YOUR PAINT THAT DAY!  We recommend buying a sample of each chosen color (at least the shade you think you want for the walls) and bring swatches home of the remaining colors.  Remember - lighting in your home is always different than the store. Keep in mind that colors will look different natural sunlight as opposed to incandescent light at night. 
Paint 12"-24" of wall in each color you've chosen. Also paint a bit next to the existing trim (if you're not changing it). Also paint a bit on the ceiling (color always looks lighter on the ceiling than on the swatch). If you have chosen an accent color, paint it next to the main wall color. If you only have paper swatches - tape them up!  Now you should have a good idea of how these colors will look in your own space. After 24 hours of viewing the paint swatches in different lighting (and also, just getting used to them), it's time to get going and paint the room! 
QUICK TIP:  paint comes in different sheens/finishes. Consult the chart below to determine which will be appropriate for your application.

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