I love color! One of the best parts of my job as an interior designer is helping clients choose the color scheme and paint for their rooms.
I understand that this part of any redecorating project can be nerve-wracking. No one wants to make a mistake! But there are a few color tips I’m always happy to share:
- Pick the paint color for a room after you purchase upholstered furniture and carpeting or rugs. It sounds counterproductive, but it’s much easier to match paint to fabric than the other way around.
- After you’ve narrowed down the selection to two or three shades, buy samples of the colors you are considering.
- Paint those colors on big pieces of poster board.
- Tape your big “paint chips” on the wall.
- Finally, (and this is important), look at the paint on every wall throughout the day and night. Colors change under natural and artificial light. They also look different on sunny days versus cloudy days.
Follow the same tips when painting the exterior of your house. If you’re able to test out your colors directly on the siding, that’s even better.
You can also bring color into an indoor or outdoor room by painting furniture and accessories. This is a great design technique if you really love a color, but you’re not quite ready to commit to it in an entire room or as siding.
Patio furniture tends to be sold in neutral colors. That way it goes with everything, even when you change the upholstery or the color of the house. But there’s no need to fall into the matchy-matchy rut! You can easily transform any piece into a colorful accent.
I found a wicker coffee table for my porch. It was in good condition and even had a shelf underneath to provide extra storage.
The other vintage wicker furniture in my screened-in porch is brown with denim seat cushions. The house siding is blue with white trim, and a woven rag rug covers the white floor.
All the colors are coordinated and look good together, so when choosing the paint for the table, I decided to mix things up a bit. Yellow and blue are both primary colors and always look good together, so I chose yellow for my table.
Since my porch is not a four-season room, the furniture is exposed to the elements, meaning I needed a good exterior paint. I prefer semi-gloss or gloss for wicker. It’s so much easier to maintain and clean.
I scraped off any chipped or peeling paint, and then started with a coat of exterior primer. After the primer dried, I gave the table a couple of coats of sunny yellow paint.
Of course, no room is complete until you add the finishing touches with accessories. Even an outdoor room needs personality!
Merri Cvetan is a Wisconsin interior designer and the driving force behind MEC Design Studio. Merri is an expert on DIY paint projects that can transform simple objects and writes her advice online for The Home Depot.