Thursday, February 11, 2010

Color Series: Where To Start.

Lunada has had some requests to have a blog about color schemes, paint trends, and strategies for selecting the right colors. Well Lunada thought this was a great idea and we would love to share with you some of our ideas in our Color Series.

First of all, COLOR IS ESSENTIAL to any space. Psychologically, color can create and affect your mood; feelings of serenity, energy, or comfort can be achieved through color. For example, have you ever noticed how many fast food chains use the colors yellow or red in their logo or decor? That is because psychologically red and yellow allow us to feel hungry! Have you ever wondered why people associate white walls/surfaces with hospitals? Most assume that if something is white, it is clean and sterile (that is also why black toilets are rare, besides looking so weird!).

OK so let's get down to it. Have you found yourself standing in Home Depot staring at all the paint swatches and feeling overwhelmed? You might think to yourself, "what colors do I like? Will they go with my furniture? How many colors do I choose for just one room? How much should I buy? What is primer?" Let me take you through it. Let's start with the concept of 3 colors per room: wall, trim & ceiling.


Step 1
Think about how you want to feel in your space i.e. energized, relaxed, etc.
---Cooler colors like blues and greens are soothing colors. Warm colors like reds and yellows can be energizing. Neutral/Earth tones can be inviting and warm.

Step 2
Consider the size & time you spend in that particular room. Is it a small bathroom or large living room? How do you feel about your ceilings, do you think they are low or high? Do you spend most of your day there, or only when entertaining?
---Lighter colors of the walls and ceiling help keep the room open and feel larger.
---Highly saturated or bright colors might become bothersome in rooms where you spend a lot of time.

Step 3
Consider what types of hard surfaces you have in the room, pillows and lampshades are easy to replace, your wood furniture and stone floors are another story. ---Be sure to bring home swatches and hold them up to your floors and furniture to see how they look.

Step 4
Take into account the type of lighting you will have hitting those colors! You will probably see a light box with 3 types of lights in them near the paint section. These are useless, so take your swatches home and see how the colors change depending on the light. Incandescent bulbs adds yellow making colors look warmer, fluorescent adds blue making colors cooler, and natural light bleaches colors slightly.

-This can include base molding, crown molding, door trim, chair rails, etc.
-Start in the same family of colors as your wall color starting and select one of the lighter or darker versions.
-OR depending on the style of your room, go to the whites and choose a white that matches in tone with your wall color. (Tones: warm, cool or neutral)


-Always the lightest color.

-An easy option for selecting a ceiling color is to use your trim color if it is light enough.

Websites like, and others usually have color preview programs that visualize the colors on walls and ceilings to help you make your choices. Search the web and flip through magazines to get ideas. And just remember, you can always paint over paint.

Get some color ideas from past Lunada projects: