If youre putting your house on the market this spring, chances are youll be painting a room or two.
Realtors, of course, advise you to go neutral when selling your home. Youll find advice here on colors that will work well. Planning on staying put? Read on for advice on how to pick the perfect hue.
Factors to consider
Zoe Kyriacos is an architectural color consultant. She advises clients of her Takoma Park, Md., firm, Colors by Zoe, on paint colors for interiors and exteriors. Here are some of her pointers:
• Consider the existing items in your room. Flooring, rugs, artwork and upholstery will suggest a color direction. Try to pull together these elements in your color choice. If your home is not furnished, make the paint color the last thing you choose; there are thousands of colors to choose from but maybe only one rug that you really love.
• Take your paint samples home. Colors you select in the Home Depot aisle will look different under the lighting conditions in your home.
• Dont examine a paint sample against a white wall. Color is affected by what surrounds it, and putting a sample on a white wall will cause it to appear darker than it really is. This results in many people making a choice that is too light. Put the paint sample against a sofa, wood furniture or flooring for a better perspective.
• Take into account how color flows from room to room. If you have a modern house with an open floor plan, its important to use one wall color throughout the main floor. Add accent colors in a few carefully considered areas.
• Stick with white trim in most cases. Try several whites before you make a final selection. Benjamin Moores Simply White works well with cooler shades such as blue, gray, purple and pink. Warmer wall colors, such as yellow or green, call for a softer white, such as Benjamin Moores Mayonnaise.
Washington designer Elizabeth Hague has been known for her calm and classic interiors. She shared her go-to paint colors for five different rooms and the reasons why she likes them.
Living room: Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois. This pleasant clay color is a neutral backdrop for textiles, furniture and accents.
Dining room: Farrow & Ball Cornforth White. This dark, warm gray has a lot of pigment in it, which makes it rich and beautiful in candlelight.
Kitchen: Farrow & Ball Blackened. This chalky pale blue serves as a nice contrast to natural stone countertops, cabinets and polished-nickel fixtures.
Bedroom: Pratt & Lambert Smoke Ring. Choose a beautiful color to wake up in, such as this periwinkle blue-gray. Its the color of sky on a clear day.
Bath: Pratt & Lambert Full Moon. To go with natural stone flooring and countertops and polished nickel fixtures, choose a shade with warm gray-green tones, such as this off-white.
The right white
Christian Zapatka is a Washington architect who specializes in design work that incorporates both architecture and interiors. He has a lot of experience choosing white paints. Here are some of his favorites.
• Walls in traditional homes: Benjamin Moore China White. This white has a soft, warm tone, with a faint greige (a word used for unbleached, undyed cloth) background.
• Trim in traditional homes: Benjamin Moore White Dove. Ideal for all types of woodwork, this shade is compatible with almost any wall color. It has a clean white quality while keeping a warm tone.
• Walls and trim in modern homes: Benjamin Moore Super White. For a flawless look with no trace of yellow or gray, this is it. Its as pure white as you can get, so its the best choice for a modern interior.
• For a house where all rooms are painted white: Farrow & Balls Strong White. This is a warm white without any yellow cast, which makes it great as a totally neutral background.
• Bookcases and cabinetry: Farrow & Balls All White. Bookcases and built-ins look great when painted this crisp, bright white. It sets off the wall color around it.