Interior Paint – Every project is unique and so is the process of selecting paint colors. A house with an open plan and a minimal aesthetic may have only one or two different paint colors throughout, while another home may have a different color in each room. Regardless of which category you fall in, there are a few general rules of thumb that always apply.

Be cognizant of flow from one space to the next. It is fine for different rooms to have different personalities, but it is important that the paint colors can live in harmony with one another and within the overall interior design. Remember that colors will always look darker on the ceiling. Do you want your walls and ceiling to be the same hue? Consider lightening the shade by 50% for the ceiling. This will give you a clean monochromatic look but will keep the space from seeming too dark. Paint can be a powerful tool and accent colors can provide maximum impact at a minimal price, however, it is important to exercise restraint. Also, be strategic about placement of feature walls to insure that you have a good start and stop point for accent colors. Try to transition from one paint color to the next at interior corners or where you have a trim piece.

Once your colors are selected you must choose the appropriate sheen. A matte finish will have the least shine and the shine level increases as you continue up the spectrum from eggshell, to satin, semi-gloss and finally high-gloss. When selecting sheen your decision should be a function of desired aesthetic, cleanability, and surface conditions. The higher the sheen the easier the surface will be to maintain. It is easier to clean spaghetti sauce off of a high-gloss finish than a matte finish. However, the shiny quality that makes the high-gloss finish durable and easy to maintain also makes it incredibly unforgiving due to the light reflecting nature of the shiny finish which telegraphs every flaw and blemish in the underlying surface. Low traffic areas and ceilings may be suitable for a matte sheen while high traffic and heavy use areas are a candidate for eggshell. Paint grade trim is often painted with an eggshell or satin finish. If you desire the high-gloss look you may want to leave the job to the professionals so that they can properly prep the surface and apply the paint for the best possible result.

Lastly, never rely solely on a paint swatch to make your decision. Paint colors change based on lighting conditions and reflections off of surrounding materials. Always ask your painter to provide a “brush out” of each color in their respective locations.

As a closing note, some regions may have sunlight conditions to consider as well. For instance Los Gatos or other parts of Northern & Southern California, offer a more sunny climate. This evokes desires to architecture around more sunlight in your home which can impact color choice and finish decision making in terms of glare and light absorption / reflection generating the desired visual appearance. Contact us for world-wide serving, based in Los Gatos Interior Design Services.


See some of our previous design work:

Selecting Furniture: Basic Review   |   Interior Finish Palettes   |   Dynamic Living Spaces


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