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Picking the Perfect Palette: My Guide To Choosing Paint

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

One topic I get asked the most about is **drum roll please** paint colours. We have all been there, you spend months finding the perfect shade and then you accidentally come across another colour or brand that throws you back into a spiral of self-doubt. There are so many amazing paint companies out there but sometimes this can add to the confusion. Not only do you have to consider colour but also purpose and finish: low sheen, flat matt, high gloss, active, estate, modern… emulsion. It’s a minefield. Thats why I have written a simple guide that I hope helps you navigate this.

Create your own colour chart

Naturally of course you will be drawn to certain colours, so this is a good starting point. Gather together a few paint charts and start by cutting out your favourites. Lay these out or alternatively stick them to a piece of card to create your own personal colour chart.

Consider the light in your room

Choosing a palette is predominately down to instinct but, at the start of the selection process, you should also consider your interior. What is the light like in your room? Is it cool or warm? Do you have much natural light? I find the more natural light you have in a room the better cooler colours will look. Darker rooms will benefit from warmer, earthier colours.


Think about how you use your space

Its also worth considering how you use the room. Is it a formal dining room or a snug where you are likely to be curled up watching a film? Colour has a huge impact on our emotions and it's worth taking this into account when choosing a colour. Pastel colours such as light green, lilac and soft blues are likely to create a feeling of calm, while brighter colours such as yellow and orange create more excitable feelings.

Look at your existing furnishings

Once you’ve decided how you use your room then it’s time to look at your existing furnishings for example if you have lots of wooden furniture then warm earthy tones with help to create a cosy feel. If you have a piece of art or furniture that is bright consider using this as your accent colour and look for shades that will enhance this piece.

Create a mood board

If these steps haven’t helped narrow down your choices, then try creating a mood board. Either physical or a virtual board like Pinterest. I find physical boards much more useful when it comes to judging colour. Hopefully the above steps will have helped you narrow down your choices to a handful of colours. Now its time to get testers. Paint these onto A4 sheets and leave them in your room for at least 24 hours. Colours will change throughout the day as the natural light in your room changes. If you use your space in the evening you will want to be sure you like the colour under your lights.

When you have decided on your dominant paint colour use this as a base for your room palette. Add tonal variations and one or two contrast accents. My advise would be to keep your palette fairly limited: too many colours may result in a chaotic look.

Good luck and enjoy the process!

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