Design Tip: Choosing Paint Color

Paint color plays a huge role in the ‘feel’ of your home so it’s no surprise it’s a difficult decision to make when building or remodeling.  When making this decision you have to weigh the many options.

Exterior paint color

A home’s exterior provides a huge canvas so a few key items need to be taken into consideration when choosing color:

  • Be neighborly – look at the homes in your neighborhood – do you like the look of nearby homes, do you want your home to compliment your neighbor’s houses, are there association rules you need to follow?
  • Accents – are there trim, shutters, gables, or columns that can be painted an accent color? You may even need to consider the shingle, gutter, window trim, and garage door color to make sure it compliments the siding color.

Fortunately, colors used for home exteriors are more limited than those for interior mainly due to what is socially acceptable (think your neighbors would love a BRIGHT PINK house?) and what is trendy. 

Interior paint color

Compared with exterior paint color, the options for interior paint colors are ENDLESS!  If you watch HGTV shows or follow color trends, rich, deep colors can provide a trendy look in your home.  What to consider when deciding on a paint color for inside your home:

  • Furniture and decor – what color scheme does your furniture already offer in a room? Does your decor give you inspiration for what you want the room to look like?
  • Accents – similar to exterior paint colors, what else in the room provides an accent color? Think of things like window trim, cabinetry, tile, countertops, lighting and plumbing finishes.
  • Mood and room use – should the room have a certain mood, such as a calming feel in a master suite? Or does the room have a specific use that dictates color? Areas like exercise rooms and laundry rooms should be bright and cheery, whereas theater rooms should be dark and relaxing for quality movie watching.

There are a lot of online tools made to make the paint color decision a lot easier. We love the Color Visualizer by Sherwin Williams to visually see a current space in a new color.

Behr’s website organizes rooms by color, so if you have a color in mind but aren’t sure which tone to go with, their website provides great inspiration!

Another great source for color inspiration are the specially curated color collections that all paint suppliers offer. Sherwin Williams has a Pottery Barn collection, Benjamin Moore has a Revive collection for vinyl siding, and PPG offers various color collections from the designer Vicente Wolf. These help narrow down your choices and provide options for complimentary and accent colors. The collections can be found online or in store.