I will be the first to tell you that paint is one of the most, if not the most powerful tool in a decorator’s bag of tricks. It is one of the best ways to change the whole look of a room, and to make it appear fresh once again. But I want to argue that we have to stop expecting too much of paint. When we understand what it is really good at, as well as its limitations, it becomes an even more amazing way to enhance the decor in our homes.
ENHANCE is the key word I would like to emphasize. Paint is at its best when it is enhancing the other qualities of the room itself.
A vibrant candy-coated hue can make a formal powder room a little more fun and glamorous.
A light, cool blue-gray imparts a soothing vibe in a master bedroom, taking the relaxation factor to a whole new level.
Finding just the right color to complement an existing rug, tile, or fabric can bring those other furnishings and finishes to life and pull the entire room together.
A breezy pastel turquoise is always at home in a coastal setting, where big windows frame jaw-dropping water views and green foliage.
The perfect neutral keeps the walls quiet and allows your colorful furnishings to shine.
What we need to stop expecting from paint is a total transformation of the inherent, immovable qualities of the room.
Paint alone cannot….
Make a small room look large.
Make a large room look small.
Make a room without natural light (or sufficient electric lighting) look lighter.
It just can’t. Sorry.
When choosing paint colors in a situation where you’re working with certain fixed elements – either architectural, soft furnishings, or both – the best thing you can do is to go with the grain.
Have a small room? Paint it a dark, moody color to make it feel even more cozy.
Large space with lots of big windows? How about a light pastel, or even white/off-white to really make it bright.
Lacking natural light somewhere? Consider a vivid, saturated color with some warmth to it, which will have a cheerful effect, and look even richer in the presence of yellow-toned incandescent lighting.
Have you ever been disappointed by paint because you expected too much of it? I’d love to hear your stories!
All images via Pinterest.