Choosing paint colors can be a tricky proposition for many people but it doesn’t have to be as daunting as you may think. With a few tips from yours truly and a confident approach you can create an atmosphere and refuge tailored to your specific lifestyle. Color is a backdrop for what is in the room, a canvas if you will and not necessarily the major statement. Always consider what is going to be in the room and what kind of activity will take place there.  Will the room contain art that you would like to highlight, a backdrop for plants, a dining environment or a creative think tank?

Natural tone living room

In this living space, done in neutrals with rustic textures, the emphasis is on the art

Should the color be warm and inviting for group entertainment or cool and tranquil for personal relaxation – a respite from the world? Once you have established the “purpose” the possibilities enfold.

Warm burnished walls frame this cozy desk with a dollop of gold glam

Warm shades such as cream, straw, flax, patina and root beer would be the most obvious choices for inviting group spaces such as dining and living rooms or wherever you would like people to feel relaxed and welcome. But it doesn’t stop there!  Warm casted blues and greens in the sage/olive family for greens or ocean/aquamarine for the blues can be effective if handled properly.  You may love blue (typically considered a “cool” shade) and it could be the perfect soothing foil for all that warm toned cabinetry in your kitchen, but warm it up to a soothing aloe, cedar or ocean color. Even grays get the warm treatment with taupes, slates and chinchilla hues.

An ocean blue color takes the edge off of this "cool" space from House Beautiful

Go with cool sophisticated shades (blue casted) for a clean spa feeling, a space you want to exude formal elegance, a sleeping space or a hot area you want to cool down. Choose minty greens (all the rage right now) pewter grays, salty citruses and icy neutrals.

Cool sophisticated pewter gray creates an elegant mood

Picking the right colors should be enjoyable and not a chore.  If it feels overwhelming, hiring a professional who has a trained and objective eye may be the way to go.  For example, are you drawn to neutrals but afraid of being boring - an expert might suggest a mellowed grayed butter color or a cool tinted taupe with a deep cream trim.   Choosing paint colors is a design service provided at Luxe Home Philadelphia…. or you could just wait for Tip #2