There was a huge overgrown cedar hedge that they recently had taken down, it was right in front of the oversize sandbox where my two nephews play. Here’s Markus (below). Not sure if it gets much cuter than him. . .
Anyway, the drywall will be up this week and the first coat of paint will be going up, so this weekend my mom and I drove around to sit on furniture and we chose fabrics so that we could then choose colours.
In February when I posted about pink for Valentines Day I included this photo (below) of Windsor Smith’s living room. My mother called me the instant she read my post that day and said “That’s how I want my new living room to feel when we decorate”
A few weeks ago I saw this framed print at Homesense, I immediately thought of my mother so I bought it. I thought if she liked it, we could use it as inspiration for the living room colour scheme. It had the required pinks in it!
I loved it because it reminded me of Boggie Burgers and I haven’t stopped coveting a $12,000 piece for my living room. Sigh. Not in the budget quite yet. Anyway, my mom loved the colours so I set about choosing fabrics for her. And she loves, fresh, happy colours, her houses have always been full of colour. Remember that story I told you here about the last living room I decorated for my mom? Well we are not making the same mistake this time. Here’s what we chose:
The fresh green fabric (Sunbrella–because my nephews are 2 and 4 and will be over a lot) is for her sofa. The chevron texture in the strawberry shade is for an upholstered chair and the yellow one is for a smaller scale chair.
The fabric on the upper left (strawberry, yellow and green) will be two toss cushions on the green sofa with a yellow flange. The yellow fabric on the right will be an additional two toss cushions on the sofa piped in white. The white and green fabric is drapery which we might switch out to a solid yellow (the one on the lower left). Then we will do two more colour blocking cushions for the other two chairs using the solid yellow/green and white. And the colours we chose? Here they are:
BM 2011-40 Old World will be the living room colour, and the entry/stairway which leads up to the living room will be BM 544 Kiwi. The kitchen downstairs will be a muted turquoise because she wanted two recliners down there and trust me, the colour selection was limited. Still the colour we chose will still be happy and will look awesome with her white cabinetry.
So here is the point of my post. There is no way we would have ever chosen these colours in a million years if I was just standing in her empty house. With nothing. Zero inspiration. And there isn’t a single room in my house that I have painted without knowing exactly which fabrics are going into them first.
So here are 3 rules/guidelines to follow when picking paint colours for your home:
Get the Undertones Right
Distinguish the undertone in your fixed finishes in the bathrooms and kitchen as well as entry tiles and wall-to-wall carpeting. This will heavily dictate which ‘neutral’ will look the best in your home.
If you are building and are currently selecting all your finishes, read these two past newsletter articles, here and here to make sure you have chosen the correct undertone in the first place. Bathrooms where multiple tiles are required, is where this mistake is most commonly made.
Choose your Furniture or Bedding first
If you are building, this is usually difficult for most homeowners as they are too obsessed with ‘which flooring, granite or backsplash tiles am I selecting’. Just know you are technically doing it backwards to choose paint colours first. It’s way easier to find a colour to go with a duvet cover or sofa than it is to find a $3000 sofa to go with a $50 gallon of paint.
When working with my clients on a new build, sometimes I get hired to choose a preliminary palette of colours so that they know which direction to go in selecting tiles and granite in the first place. Just know that the more decisions you have made (even a piece of art) the more interesting and accurate your colour choices will be.
It’s very difficult to get excited about a pile of paint colours that don’t relate to anything.
Creating flow can done in a few different ways. Take one colour throughout the house (easy). Take one colour and go from light to dark (second easiest), chose different colours that work harmoniously together and yet pick up on the varying colour palette you have created in your house (most difficult).
Test the Colour
As painful as this step is, testing colours are necessary to make sure they work in your light. And (as I’ve said in this post), if you choose not to test every single paint colour in your new house as this can be just as expensive as re-painting a room or two, just understand that when you introduce colour (over the palest neutral which makes it hard to get offended), it sometimes needs tweaking even when a professional (like me or anyone else) has helped you choose. This post outlines how to paint up a sample.
And here is my first official video blog to highlight the basic point I’m making here. It’s rough so don’t be too judgmental, I’m sure I’ll get better at it.
To make sure the undertones in your space are correct, download my ebook
Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s All in the Undertones, to get colour to do what you want.
To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!
If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.
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