I have a little secret.
I have never, EVER tried out a sample of paint before purchasing. And then immediately splashing the new color all over our walls.
I don't feel the need to.
See, I believe that a house should "flow" from one room to another, each color blending into the next and making walking from room-to-room a wonderful and sensuous experience (yes, I did just use the word "sensuous" to describe a home's paint job). If a home's color scheme is well-thought out, it should make sense to someone touring your house, while also making your house feel cohesive and larger by letting each room's color mesh into the next.
Now, this is a common belief among many - that a house's colors should "flow" throughout.
And my simple solution to ensure that the new paint color you're picking will fit right in without being a huge blaring mistake and interrupting your home's flow?
Knowing that it's all relative. That's my secret.
Have you ever taken a slew of pretty paint color chips that look nice on the shelf, and held them up to one another - only to realize that suddenly, magically, one of them is too green, one is too gray, one is too peach, etc.? It's because colors play off of one another, and your eye usually doesn't see the slight differences in undertones until they're all held up right next to each other.
So if detecting paint undertones is so difficult, how in the world do you make sure that your new paint color will fit and flow with the rest of your house - without even testing a sample or leaving the paint store?
And here's my awesome little secret:
Yep, that's right, a ziploc bag chock full of paint chips. So sophiscated, huh?
But really, this little ziploc bag has saved us lots of hours of labor and money and heartache. It's simple, easy, and (practically) foolproof.
Here's how it works:
This baggie contains all the paint chips of the colors in our house. Each paint chip is labeled according to which room it is. When we're shopping for a new paint color, I just toss the baggie into my purse and we're on our way. Once we're at the store, I whip it out and compare all the chips with our homes' colors on them to any new paint colors, paying attention to flow and undertones. It's easy to find the perfect shade of the new color, because I can instantly tell when one isn't going to work - it just LOOKS wrong. And it doesn't jibe with all the other colors.
Best of all? All the paint chips are under the same lighting in the store, so as long as you pay attention to how the colors flow together, they should still be flowing together under any light (but if your house gets different lighting in different rooms it's a good idea to take the chips or a sample home to make sure!).
Want to make your own? It's super-easy!
- Find the paint chip for every paint color in your house, label them, and keep them in the ziploc bag.
- If you don't have a paint chip, grab the leftover paint from the can and make your own with a piece of cardstock paper and a dab of paint.
- Anytime you go shopping for any major purchases for your home (new furniture, carpet, tile, paint), just simply throw your ziploc bag into your purse and you're set!
Now, if you want to be doubly-sure of your new paint color, of course go ahead and buy a sample.
I'm just lazy.
So there's my little secret. Anyone else have any tips or tricks up their sleeves for picking paint colors? Do you have a foolproof or favorite method of picking paint? Let's share tips about the number one dilemma when decorating your home!
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