How to Select a Paint Color for Your Living Room


Paint is by far the most popular medium for walls, and for very good reason. The color and design possibilities are endless, and it is one of the least expensive options available. When using the best tools for the job, you can completely transform the look of a room very quickly and easily. However, choosing the right color can be tremendously challenging. Instead of making a decision based on personal preference or popularity, use the following tips from a top Calgary painter on how to select a paint color for your living room. It is one the most important decisions that you will make in the decorating process, but it does not have to be difficult. You can do it without professional help by following a few simple guidelines.

Determine Your Goals for the Space

Before stepping up to the paint chip rack, determine your goals for the living room. Color has the capability to completely alter the visual size of a space, and it will set the mood in subtle ways. If the windows face north and the room is usually dark and dreary, consider brightening it up with a light warm color. If the area is smaller than desired, use a light cool color to visually expand the length and/or width of the room. A space for relaxing should be highlighted with an eye-pleasing shade of soft green or blue.

Opt for a Single Light Hue to Visually Enlarge the Space

If the living room is small, visually enlarge it using a single light hue. It does not have to be stark white to look spacious. Even paint with barely any tint will look more vivid when used in excess, especially in subdued light. Consider painting the adjoining room(s) in the same light color. Continuity makes even the smallest rooms appear much larger than they are. A single light hue throughout will do more than just visually enlarge the living room. The entire interior of the home will appear much larger than it is.

How to Use Color to Raise and Lower the Ceiling

If you want to raise the roof without razing your budget or breaking the bank, paint the living room ceiling white instead of opting for a favorite hue. It will appear higher than it truly is, especially when walls are drenched with color. Painting the ceiling a dark hue will do just the opposite. It will visually lower the ceiling while giving the living room a cozier look and feel. Consider using more than one shade of the same hue on a tray ceiling. For example, use medium sky-blue in the center and light sky-blue in the outer trimmed sections. The slight shade variation will add tremendous dimension to a beautiful architectural feature.

Base Your Color Choice on a Favorite Accent Piece

If the visual size of the space is acceptable and you just want to know how to select a paint color for your living room, take inspiration from a gorgeous accent piece in your home. It might be an oil painting, a throw pillow or a statuette. Select a single color on your item of choice, and determine whether it should be darker or lighter. Many paint stores can create custom matches from any source. However, keep the size of the walls in mind while considering color samples. You have to be able to envision how it will look on the walls. Some people find it very difficult to picture with nothing more than a tiny sample in hand.

Create Giant Paint Color Samples

When having a hard time deciding how to select a paint color for your living room, do not make a color commitment based on a small sample card. Buy the smallest available container of two or more preferred colors and heavy-duty white poster board. Apply two coats to each board, and allow it to fully dry. Place the giant paint color samples in various locations around the living room under differing levels of natural and artificial light. The poster board method is preferable to painting the walls. You will be able to view the giant samples next to furnishings, windows, flooring and more.

Enhance the Decorating Scheme with a Focal Wall

If your living room lacks a clear focal point, how about creating a focal wall? It is best to use a few high-quality decorative pieces rather than dozens of less than impressive items. Too many decorative pieces create visual confusion. Begin by painting one living room wall a different color than the rest. Select a complimentary hue that will provide much needed contrast, or choose a coordinating pop of color that will awaken the room.

If you are still unsure of how to select a paint color for your living room, use a color wheel as a guide. You will find complimentary colors opposite of one another. Select the same levels of intensity for the best overall look, and avoid selecting hues in their primary form. Complimentary hues that vary in intensity can be successfully paired in very small doses. Complete the decorating scheme with impressive wall art. The last brush stroke that an artist makes is a signature, and the decor that you choose will become the signature of your living room.

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