If you are like most people, you haven’t paid much attention to house colors until you have decided to take on your own home improvement project. OK, so you’ve made the move, you need or want to paint. You’ve found a good painter and signed on. You get a call from the painter saying he can start right away. Arghhhh! Panic sets in because now you realize you’ve got to come up with a set of house paint color ideas. What to do???
Does this seem familiar?
1) You get in the car and drive around looking at houses
2) You go to the paint store and get boatloads of color charts
3) You go online
4) You ask your friends and family
5) You ring doorbells of homeowners and ask them about their colors
6) You become confused and disoriented
Oh yeah, you are saying…been there done all of those things and you’re back to square one….still don’t have any color ideas? Let’s start at the beginning;
1) Driving around and looking at homes is actually a good idea to get started. It will give you a general feel for what is being done in your neighborhood. While you may not want to be a “copy cat”, it is generally a good idea to stay within the accepted standards of your town. This is especially true if you are thinking about selling your home.
I recommend going out as a team, one person drives, the other takes notes. Jot down addresses and take your digital camera along. While the camera will not be accurate for color, it will help you to sort your ideas and to compare them.
2) Paint color charts are very helpful way to get specific ideas on schemes for your house painting project. These are generally good, workable palettes which can be adapted to a wide variety of house styles and locations. The danger here is in collecting too many of them. After gathering about 4-5 of them, your eyes will begin to glaze over. It is best to pick the paint brand you want first, THEN go for the color charts.
3) Everybody is online these days and the web is a great source of information. It is also a source of GOBS of information as you have discovered. Everybody has and opinion but not all of them are qualified opinions. Remember that the colors you see on your monitor are not true…they are electronic pixels and not paint. The colors will vary because of that fact and also because your monitor is probably not calibrated. If you see a color online that you think you like, go to the paint store and fetch a sample to be sure.
4) Asking the opinion of friends and family…this may seem like a good idea. Certainly your friends and family care for you and wish you well but they don’t know any more about this than you do! They will be influenced by their own experiences, personal preferences, and advertising. Your friends and family hold opinions based on likes and emotion, not applied science. Emotion is important in picking color because you need to love your colors. However living your life basing decisions on emotion alone is a dangerous idea.
5) Ringing doorbells is a nice way to meet new friends. Most homeowners will be very flattered to know that you like their house colors and will be very willing to share. Remember that this is someone else’s house, not yours and that their palette may not translate successfully to your location.
6) Confusion…it is so very easy to become overwhelmed by information. I’m here to help you avoid not only confusion but to help you avoid making a very expensive mistake. If you follow my recommendations, it will help you to filter out many of the not-so-good choices and to help you focus on only the good ones.
The Last but Best Option – Seek the advice of a professional; interview several. You will come across many differing styles and qualifications. Be wary of the housewife decorator. Your home is too important an investment in time, money, and materials to leave to someone who simply has a “knack” for color, that’s just not enough. In many states there are no requirements or licensing for designers, choose a designer that has formal education, professional affiliations and one that you “connect” with.
I specialize in creating color palettes for the color challenged. I work closely with my clients to give them what they want within the context of a good, workable scheme. I am a color theory and color application specialist. I’ve helped thousands of average people create happiness and joy by showing them how to maximize the potential of their homes. I think I’ve got the best job in the entire universe!