Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Help With Color!!

We can't decide on a colour for our living room

March 03, 2011

Sarah from Johor Bahru asks...
I know this might sound silly or just the typical “husband & wife” dilemma, but we can’t decide on a colour for our living room. We’ve both agreed that we want a neutral, elegant. The problem is – which one? Every morning I spread the chips out on the kitchen table and think I’ve picked the perfect shade. Then my husband comes home at night and when we look at them they all seem different. Some are browner and some greyer and a couple even look pink! I keep getting more colour chips and we keep getting more confused. HELP!

NECD responds...
It’s not silly at all, but it is a typical problem that lots of people face. Paint is the easiest decorating tool to apply or change and is often the most difficult to choose. Believe it or not, what’s probably confusing you is LIGHT not colour. Light affects how we see colour.
So the first thing to do is to take the chips out of the kitchen and into the living room. Each room will have it’s own light quality based on which direction the windows face and how much light they let in. Second, don’t look at sample colours on a horizontal surface, like a table. The light will bounce off them in a different way and affect how you see them. Always look at colours on a vertical surface. That would be the wall! If you still see pink in your taupe and you don’t want pink then get rid off that one. Toss any samples that either of you don’t like on first viewing. The goal is to have less to choose from. Now, each of you choose your two favourites and stick to those.
The next step is where the real decision making happens. Buy a small quantity of each of your choices and paint a 12 to 18 inch swatch of each colour on all four walls. This is because the light will also reflect differently off each of the walls and sometimes make the colur look lighter or darker. If you’re afraid of messing up your walls, you can also paint the colour on artist boards and move them around. Now, just sit back and look. Live with the colours. Look at them at different times of the day. As the sun shifts so will the quality of the light and the colour. Don’t forget to look at them at night as well. Incandescent light will also affect how you see the colour and can change it dramatically. Trust your feelings. I’m sure that a clear winner will emerge in a few days.

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