The Truth About Paint Colors

An abundance of online color advice makes it easier to choose paint colors, right? If only that were true! The truth about paint colors. The adage “don’t believe everything you read” applies to color blogs and color influencers, too. Color strategists use the science of color, and not just our “creative eye” or guesswork. We identify and apply color data properties to give clients coordinating color scheme options perfect for their homes.

Just like in science class when you learned about light waves and prisms of color, paint colors have color data properties that define how they look when they’re up on bigger surfaces. Read here to find out why “undertones” are not accurate. Instead, learn how to talk about color in a way that answers why paint colors react the way they do when painted on a wall or an exterior. Discover the truth about choosing paint colors!

UNDERTONES ARE SUBJECTIVE

If you have ever wondered why you see a color one way and your friend or partner sees it another way, it’s because everyone sees a different range of colors. Instead, using the science of color, we can measure the hue family (and other color data) again and again and get the same answer. Thus, hue families are measurable and repeatable – we can all finally talk the same color language!

CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1955750

EVERY COLOR BELONGS TO A HUE FAMILY

The Munsell color space, which is the closest way our eyes see colors in real life, has 10 hue families. Even whites, grays, beiges, browns, and blacks belongs to one of these hue families – they are NOT hue families themselves! The hue (color family), value (lightness or darkness), and chroma (saturation level) determine how a color looks. There are warm and cool hues in each family. The chroma determines how neutral or how colorful a color looks.

LIGHTING AFFECTS HOW PAINT COLORS LOOK

How natural light and the amount, quality, and temperature of interior lighting determines how paint colors look. Lighter colors or neutrals in dark places can fall flat or look gray. Same with an abundance of natural light. Adjusting the chroma level or the value often helps in these cases. Also, interior lightbulbs with a yellow cast can add too much yellow to how a paint color looks. Either changing lightbulbs to a slightly higher temperature (kelvin) or adjusting the hue angle of the color could remedy this issue. In addition, purchasing bulbs with a Color Rendering Index (CRI) value of 90+ will reveal the full range of color for more true paint colors.

www.thelandofcolor.com

COLOR DATA PROPERTIES CAN BE EASILY ADJUSTED

The science of color simplifies the fine-tuning of paint colors by using the color data properties to lighten or darken, shift the hues, or increase or decrease the chroma. When we adjust colors, we find the closest paint color of the brand your painter is going to use.

More truth about paint colors :

  1. For a lighter or darker version of a color, “cutting” the color does not work. Using white or black to adjust colors changes the color data properties, thus creating a new color altogether. Only by adjusting value of the color data properties will a color be the true lighter or darker version.
  2. Paint colors do NOT go in order of lighter or darker versions on a fan deck strip. Sometimes they are not even from the same hue family.!
  3. Color data properties are NOT the paint color formulas the paint stores use to colorize the paint bases. Color data properties are the specific “DNA” for the dimensional Munsell color space.

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COLOR DATA TAKES THE GUESSWORK OUT

The science of color takes the guesswork out of choosing and coordinating colors. Color measuring to identify the dominant hue family in each room and then using color data properties to find coordinating colors ensures color harmony. We then create balance, harmony, and flow from room to room or on the exterior of homes. From thousands of paint chips at the paint store, we make sense of color and narrow down the colors that work. We ensure you save money by choosing the right colors the first time, so you can live with colors you love.

Embrace the truth about paint colors, and let us take the guesswork out of color selection for you!

 

Five Easy Steps to Choosing a Paint Color

color-confident-home-pastel-paint-swatches-with-pen-on-top-of-home-plans-how-to-choose-paint-colors-and-materials-simultaneously

We get it. Choosing a paint color can be hard. Shuffling through hundreds of paint swatches that all end up looking the same after staring at them for too long can be exhausting. Here are some factors to consider that will hopefully make your next painting project a little bit easier!

 1. The Look and the Feel

Think about the look and feel you are hoping to achieve. Considering the overall mood that you want your space to have is essential when choosing the right paint color. Think about how you want guests to feel when they enter the room. Do you want a warm and cozy feel or something fresh and airy? Once you have this established, you can start to narrow down which hue family to work with. Warm colors often execute the cozy, welcoming feel, while cooler colors can give a fresh, calming feel. It all depends on the mood you are looking to have.

deep-hue-walls-ladder-with-bag-bench-with-pillow-and-blanket-rug-on-wood-floor-how to choose paint colors and materials simultaneously

2. The Style

Consider the home’s style. Looking at which colors are present in other rooms in your home is important for several reasons. First of all, a well-decorated home is one that has harmony and flow. So, to maintain that flow you need to consider what the current color scheme is in your home. What is the style of your home’s interior? And from there you can choose something that correlates with the rest of the home. Also, it is important to look at the surrounding rooms because you don’t want to end up with a paint color that looks so similar to a neighboring room that it looks like you tried to match the color and missed. There needs to be a noticeable difference between the color you choose and the colors already present, otherwise it would be more convenient to just paint a room one of your preexisting colors.

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3. The Color

Pull a color from your decor. Taking note of the colors of the pieces that will be in the room you are painting and using it to help make your paint color decision will help tie everything together. If there is a rug or a throw pillow you know will be in the space you are painting, look at that next to your paint swatches. This will help you choose a color that will complement and accentuate your furniture and accessories, as well as create that harmony and flow you want your room to have.

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4. The Light

Consider how much light the space gets. This is a very important factor to consider as the amount of lighting can make or break your space, depending on the color you choose. When a room doesn’t get much light, it can make it harder for lower-contrast colors to be seen. A very light blue or green can end up just looking white if there isn’t enough natural light present. If your space falls into this, try opting for a more saturated color or even a dark color to create contrast. Also, paint colors look different in different lighting. Just because a color looks good in the store or in one of your existing rooms, doesn’t mean that it will look the same in your space. Lighting can change everything, so it is important to consider this when picking out your paint colors.

light-neutral-bedroom-with-textured-details-large-light-fixture-table-lamps-how-color-inspires-emotion-at-home.

5. Trendy or Timeless

Decide if you want to follow a trend or choose something timeless and classic. When choosing your color, it is important to note whether the color will be out of style in a few years. Will someone look at your space and know exactly what trend you were following? Will you want to paint this space again in the near future? Is the color something that you will be tired of in the coming years? Considering these can help you stray away from making a decision based on today’s styles and avoid ending up with a color that will eventually be outdated.

Hopefully these steps can make your decision-making a little bit easier when choosing your paint colors! If you are still struggling despite these tips, consider looking into scheduling a color consultation. At Color Confident Home, we consider all these factors and more in order to help you choose the right paint color the first time!

 Color Confidently Yours,

color-confident-home

 

How to Update the Gray Trend with the New Color Trend

earth colors

Greens in nature

WITH 2022 HALF OVER, many of our clients are asking us how to update the gray trend with the new color trend. The answer involves incorporating earth colors! Yes, the gray trend is ending – finally. The current trend toward earth tones is very different than the browns, beiges, golds, olives, and  maroons of the 80s. Colors for 2022 are warmer, earth-toned schemes of updated beiges, blues, greens, browns, warm grays, whites, and greiges. We’re even seeing more pinks and peaches, like the early morning sky of a new day. “If you’re afraid to bring more color into your home, you need not worry,” – says Lili Englehart of Color Confident Home. “Using neutrals on your walls as a backdrop is not going out of style.”

Though we are getting lots of requests for color on walls, clients who want to change up accessories often, or per season, gravitate toward neutral backdrops on their walls so they have the freedom of variety. Others feel calmed by using neutrals all around. The key to creating depth and a designed look with all neutrals is to use pattern and texture. So whether you want to add color to your home or choose from the myriad of neutrals and their hues, we can help. We take the fear out of choosing colors that are right for you and your home with 3 Easy Steps to colors you’ll love!

The New Color Trend
Evergreen Fog

Sherwin-Williams 2022 Color of the Year

Design trends typically have a lifespan of about seven to ten years. Fads, such as the current black and white craze, go out of style even quicker. Besides the normal lifespan of color and design trends, the COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to the new color trend. Just as the pandemic has shaped every other aspect of life, its effects have also reached home design. With everyone working and studying at home 24/7, being surrounded by gray became depressing quickly. As Joa Studholme, the color curator for Farrow & Ball, recently said in a New York Times article, “There’s nothing about gray that evokes wellness….There is a tendency to crave warm tones in challenging times.” She goes on, “It’s all about being warm and earthy and choosing deeply saturated color. It’s about trying something that gives you a great big hug.” Notice the similarities in 2022 Colors of the Year – the choices reflect this need for color. For instance, Farrow & Ball’s Tanner’s Brown, Scotch Blue, Green Smoke and India Yellow, Benjamin Moore’s Aegean Teal (2021) and October Mist (2022), and Sherwin Williams’ Urbane Bronze (2021) and Evergreen Fog (2022) all offer a much needed atmosphere of comfort.

2022 Benjamin Moore Color Palette

Benjamin Moore 2022 Color Palette

Lili emphasized, “It’s especially important to move away from gray in Midwestern states, where six months out of the year are cold and gray outside. We don’t want to bring that chilliness inside!” Updated neutral options, such as greiges and light beiges, instead make the home feel more inviting after coming in from the winter cold. Even some warm grays can make a drastic difference as opposed to neutral or cool grays.

Update the Gray Trend with the New Color Trend: Earth Colors

If your home is currently in the gray trend, and you’re stumped on how to update, don’t fret. There are plenty of solutions to create a fresh look, while incorporating the gray you already have in your home with the incoming color trends. Many people look to only update one or two rooms at a time, then follow up with the other rooms at a later date. This often leaves clients wondering how they can refresh some spaces with new colors and decor without dating rooms with older color palettes.

A great way to avert this concern is to assess the overall color scheme of your home and the new colors you wish to include, even if the rooms are different styles. Then, choose furniture and accessories that have accents of colors and elements from each room to create a connection. Small, less expensive items such as pillows, throws, rugs, and artwork are a few of the many accessories you may consider to achieve this. For example, if you have a recently updated kitchen and dining area from the gray trend and a colorful living room with blues and greens, you could use a tablecloth with blues, greens, and hints of gray in the kitchen/dining area and an area rug or artwork with a similar color scheme in the living room. The 60-30-10 rule is a helpful tool to keep in mind to create harmony and flow amongst the varying rooms in your home. Color Confident Home will help you with a new color scheme, and if you need help furnishing or accessorizing a particular room, we can create an eDesign to help you furnish and accessorize one room at a time!

Guest room blue yellow

Color Confident Home eDesign using the 60-30-10 Rule

Listen to your home

Most importantly, listen to your home. This seems like a simple suggestion, however mixing color and design trends is tricky. We often see homes decorated with competing and mismatched components due to too many patterns or uncoordinated hues. Beth Maguire, the Benjamin Moore designers’ representative in Michigan, best put it in words, “Design for the home you have, not the home you want.” If you struggle to find a balance between what you want and what your home wants, take into consideration the fixed finishes that are difficult and expensive to replace. If your budget doesn’t allow a total remodel, consider the fixed elements and take them into consideration when deciding on a new color scheme. They include, but are not limited to, flooring/carpeting, tile, countertops, cabinets, fireplaces, etc. Any elements not being replaced must be coordinated with your new color scheme in order to create a deliberate, designed look that has harmony and flow throughout your home. For an expert color consultation, call us or send us an email!

Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Now that spring is officially here, homeowners are calling me for help choosing their exterior paint colors. Many factors go into narrowing down colors that work. When choosing exterior paint colors, factoring in the overall look, the individual elements, and the neighboring houses enables me to empower homeowners to choose the right colors the first time.

Exterior paint colors

Exterior colors of a home that relate to each other. (Color palette by Color Confident Home)

Consider the Overall Look

In my area, so many homes are brick with siding on the upper level or only on the sides and back. Some also have stone and brick along with siding. When paint colors don’t relate to the brick or stone, or worse yet, when the brick and stone don’t relate to each other or look too busy, the house looks like there are two different houses stuck together. If you have a new build, all the materials and colors must be chosen at the same time to create a look that is styled. For a partial renovation or a new coat of paint, the existing elements must be considered.

Brick and siding don't relate

The upper house and lower house are two different styles. The siding color and window trim on the upper windows does not relate to the brick. (Photo by homewithkeki)

Assess the Individual Elements

To help homeowners narrow down colors from the thousands of choices available, I begin with the shingles, brick, stone, pavers, landscaping, and neighboring homes. Considering the hues in the architectural materials is the first step in creating a cohesive color scheme. Just as with interiors, creating harmony and flow around the house as well as in the neighborhood is important.

The siding does not relate to the brick or the stone, and the stone and brick do not relate. In addition, the green is too bright for the brick. (Photo by ashiyasediet.info)

Remember the Neighboring Houses

When considering the look of their exteriors, most homeowners want a distinct look without their home screaming flashy or garish. Builders usually vary the types and colors of brick and other elements on houses in a subdivision. Thus, a look that is different enough from the house next door or across the street can be accomplished by looking at the unique hues in a home’s shingles, brick, stone, and landscaping. By creating a color scheme with coordinating hues, homeowners can have a look that is unique yet harmonizes with the neighborhood.

Choosing Exterior Paint Colors that Make Sense

White windows limit the trim color you can use around the windows and most likely the majority of your trim. Note that a house with brick looks best with windows and a trim color that is not stark white. In the past some homeowners painted the trim and siding the same color. For a fresh, updated look choose a trim color that contrasts with the siding color. In addition, a front door color can announce the entrance and give your home a unique look. Beware of choosing bright, saturated colors with a more muted color scheme, unless you’re consulting with a designer trained in color. Your door will not only pop, it will look like it belongs on a different house.

A yellow door that is too saturated and bright for the brick. (Photo by Edward Jones, Clarksville)

A door that coordinates with the hue families of the architectural elements.

If you’re interested in reading about other options for choosing color with brick, read this article. For help choosing your exterior colors and color schemes, contact me for help choosing the right colors the first time!

2019 Home Color Trends to Start Using Now

Color is back in 2019 Home Color Trends!

After the gray trend of the last nine years, I’m seeing home color trends moving toward more color and warmer colors. Look in accessory catalogs, on home decor blogs, and in paint company inspiration palettes to see bold colors, warm earthy tones, and navy being featured. Remember, trends last 7-10 years, and gray is on its way out. Here in the midwest, we are a little slower to catch up with color and design trends. Along the west coast in California and on the east coast in places like New York these color trends are here. If you’re a late bloomer, maybe you’ve just finished painting your walls gray. Don’t despair! Bringing in colorful, new accessories can brighten your home and give it a fresh update until you paint again. On the other hand if you’re ready to get rid of the gray and not sure how to transition to color, read on.

2019 Home Color Trends

Pillow by chicdecorpillows

 

Curating Your Color Scheme

One way to create a new color scheme without gutting and starting over is to find a pillow or fabric with new colors that complement your current color scheme. This pillow by chicdecorpillows incorporates a blue-gray in the pattern along with yellow-green, aqua, and the on-trend navy I’m seeing in so many accessories now. The gray color scheme was originally intended for consumers to use pops of color to brighten up the gray backdrop. Many homeowners gravitated toward monochromatic shades of gray and neutrals with no colorful accessories or artwork anywhere. If your color scheme falls into this category, a simple way to freshen your design would be to add those intended pops of color.

If you still shy away from bold, saturated colors, consider navy to accessorize and add color to your home. Navy is the new neutral of neutrals, so it’s a good way to start experimenting with color if your home leans toward whites, grays, and other “safe” colors. Scour home decor catalogs for accessories, scan Pinterest to see how others incorporate navy, and seek help from a color consultant if you need help.

 

Cultivating the New Home Color Trends

After the cool gray trend, consumers are wanting bolder colors and warmer environments. Home color trends are moving toSherwin Williams 2019 Color of the Yearward earthy colors, as demonstrated by Sherwin Williams 2019 Color of the Year, SW 7701 Cavern Clay. Their website descriptively states: “A warm terracotta color with ancient, elemental roots, Cavern Clay is a nod to midcentury modern style, but with the soul of the American Southwest, which together creates the desert modern aesthetic.” Bringing these colors into our homes reminds people of varying landscapes, the freedom to explore, and a serenity only nature can offer. Geometric patterns and layered textures and accessories create a richness that invites. Wallpaper is back in subtle and creative ways to enhance the feel of our spaces.

 

2019 Home Color Trends

Behr’s 2019 Color Palettes

Behr describes their 2019 Color of the Year, S407-5 Blueprint, as “An honest, approachable color that conjures up the blueprints builders rely on to bring architectural designs to life, Blueprint creates a space where you can build your own reimagined life—where awareness of what we want to build for ourselves can transform into action.” The saturated blue-gray surrounds consumers and invites them to be the creator of their spaces. The names of their four curated color palettes – Color Binge, Down to Earth, Soft Focus, and Inspired Curation – demonstrate how saturated colors dominate the new home color trends.

A Whisper of Color

In the end, many people still prefer neutral walls with accessories, rugs, and furniture bringing in color. The trend for neutral walls leans to greige, which adds a touch of warmth to the grays we’ve been using. Greige paints a whisper of color to freshen up and brighten, while still providing the backdrop for artwork and color. If you need help figuring out the best color for your walls or deciding on an updated color scheme, contact me so you can choose the right colors the first time!

Choose Paint Colors (Almost) Last

Find Your Color Inspiration

How to choose paint colors:

  1. Begin at the Beginning – When you choose paint colors, be sure to have a starting point, whether it’s the fabric on your dining chairs or a pattern in your window treatments, a favorite area rug or a favorite piece of artwork. Define your color scheme by choosing two to four colors from the furnishings and finishes that are already in your home and will be staying.
  2. Know Your Likes and Dislikes – have fun noticing which colors you love in other homes, in restaurants, in magazines, and online. Knowing what you like will help ensure you use colors that you will love to come home to.
  3. Analyze the Hue Families– Even whites belong to different but families. The key to creating a look of harmony is to match or compliment the hue family of your new paint colors to your existing hue families. Floors, countertops, stone, and fireplace surrounds count!
  4. Consider Mood – in addition to making your space visually beautiful, decide on the mood you want in each room. A mood is a feeling. For example a peaceful, calm room will help you recharge, restore, and relax, which is perfect for a bedroom. In a dining room where you entertain, you might want an energetic feeling that stimulates conversation. Think of how you want to use each room then use colors with personalities that match the mood you want.
  5. Consider Your Color Scheme for Remodels – When doing a total remodel or replacing cabinets, countertops, tile, and flooring, choose paint colors in conjunction with these elements. The hue families in your granite will dictate the paint color you choose for your walls.
  6. Narrow Down Your Choices – Decide on two or three colors from hue families that coordinate with your existing furnishings and finishes.
  7. Take Your Time – be sure to test the colors and sit with them, ponder, view them in different lighting conditions at different times of the day.
  8. Choose Paint Colors – Once you go through these steps, you will then be able to choose the right color the first time! If you want a professional consultation, click for Certified Color Expert help.

For more ideas, see my idea book at Color Confident Home – Houzz. Also, follow me on Facebook here. For a consultation or a quote contact me.

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