Choosing an Accent Paint Color – Tips and Tricks
Are you eager to choose an accent paint color for a wall or ceiling but feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities? With some simple tips, the right color choice can be easily found.
In recent years, accent walls have become a hot trend. Painting just one wall (or the ceiling!) a contrasting color is a great way to make a bland room come alive. Moldings, trims, and stenciled designs can also accentuate your main color and bring life into a space. Color can have a powerful effect on your mood; be sure to choose a paint color you and your house mates will be comfortable with.
Creating a Cohesive Look
Choosing an accent paint color that goes well with the rest of the room is critical. Take a close look at the room. Pay attention to the current wall color, flooring, and furnishings. If your decor includes art, take that into consideration as well. Eventually, a pattern should emerge, with some colors emerging as more dominant than others.
If you’re having trouble, ask a friend or neighbor to take an objective look. It’s easy to become blind to the things we see every day; a fresh perspective might be all you need to choose the right hue.
Create a natural flow from room to room by using similar accent paint colors in each room; try using one color in your main living space, and lighter or darker shades of the same color in other rooms.
Another way to transition seamlessly from room to room is to use the same paint colors throughout the house; just vary the amounts. For example, imagine you love brown, beige, and blue. In the living room, beige walls, chocolate trim, and blue furnishings provide a calming atmosphere. In the bathroom, blue and beige striped walls are complemented by rich brown towels and accessories. And in the bedroom, chocolate walls, a beige ceiling, and a soft blue comforter provide a welcome respite at the end of the day. Too complicated? Try making it easier by painting one room white with gray accents, and the next gray with white accents. Super simple, super sophisticated.
What You Need to Know About Lighting
Lighting is another important factor to consider. A shade that looks fabulous in full sunlight might look terrible under incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. Think about how your accent color will look from different angles, or at different times of day. If you can, try painting a sample square and checking it out in the morning, afternoon, and at night. If you can live with it in any lighting, you’ve found a winner!
If you have a room that is naturally too dark or too light for your tastes, color can provide a refreshing illusion. Choose a buttery yellow or a bright white to make a dimly lit room feel airier; subdue a sun-filled space with a muted gray or deep burgundy.
Accent Doesn’t Always Mean Contrast!
The decorating magazines may have trained you to think of accent walls as “contrasting” walls, but that doesn’t need to be the case. An effective way to liven up a space is to use an accent in the same color family as your base color. Wouldn’t your bedroom look great with misty blue walls and a navy accent behind your headboard? And wouldn’t your moss green living room look more exciting with an olive-colored rectangle to group your photos in?
Don’t Neglect Neutrals!
Many people think of accents as a “pop” of color in an otherwise bland room. In fact, neutrals can be very effective accents. Silver, pewter, and gold, for example, go well with most colors and can lend a very contemporary look to your space.
Gray or brown can “bring down” a high ceiling and make a room seem cozier and more intimate, while white, cream, and yellow can “open up” a small space.
Using neutrals with high contrast will create a timeless look with visual interest; avoiding super-trendy colors can lend longevity to your paint job, because today’s hot shades will look dated tomorrow. Try adding polish to an otherwise white room by adding black baseboards, moldings, and door trim. Alternatively, you can punch up a dark, navy blue space with gloss white trim for a nautical feel.