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Find Inspiration for New Paint Colors

Find Inspiration for New Paint Colors

Many homeowners want to escape Blah Beige, but lack courage to choose color. Narrow the gap between nervous indecision and a satisfying finish: find inspiration, file your ideas, then test them. This creative process takes a bit of time, but it sure beats "winging it" in the paint chip aisle, and will guarantee a faster path to the perfect palette.

Open the World of Possibilities
Paint manufacturers offer cool tools online to homeowners. Some, like Sherwin Williams, allow uploaded photos of the room which can be "painted" with sample colors. Tip: the colors you see on a screen could be different from the actual product. The color may even vary between browsers like Firefox or Internet Explorer.

For fresh and trendy ideas, look to your favorite home or design magazine online. The House Beautiful e-zine allows you access to featured slide shows by signing up for the free newsletter.

Next, visit color palette sites like Design-Seeds.com. This blog's creator is an artist/designer, and each color-saturated post is a photograph, often nature-based, accompanied by color chips. From this ready-made palette you can pull a lighter or neutral shade as the primary (wall) color, and use other colors in the palette as secondary and accents. Tip: White is always a safe choice for trim with any wall color.

File Favorite Ideas
Several idea-gathering sites exist online, but none are as popular as Pinterest.com. There you will find color scheme ideas by searching specific categories, but the really practical application is filing all of your favorites in one place, even from the resources mentioned aboveā€•and it's always accessible on your smart phone.

Test Your Color Theory
Once you think you have a winning color scheme, test it. Buy a sample pot and a white poster, and coat the poster with the sample paint. When dry, move it around the room to see how it reacts in different lighting throughout the day. Is your favorite color too dark? You don't have to jump all the way to the next lightest shade on a monochromatic paint strip. Ask for the color to be mixed at 25 to 50%.

If your home is on the market, don't choose a different color scheme for every room in your home, and don't paint the walls in intense colors. It's safer to keep the color scheme neutral; pale pastels and muted mediums are tasteful. But neutral doesn't mean boring. Add pops of saturated color to small areas, like the back of built-in shelves, and sprinkle the room with bright, colorful accessories and fresh flowers.