The majority of Siouxland residents have made peace with “Builder Beige” walls in every room of their homes simply because the thought of picking a different color was just too difficult. Too dark, too shiny, too light, too dull–with so many color and finish options, painting becomes a mess even before you pick up a roller.
We’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that hard. Most of the drama that comes from finding the right color isn’t worth the paint can it’s stirred in. In fact, here are five common misconceptions about wall color that have simply been painted in the wrong light.
1. A Paint Swatch will look the same on your wall
A small two-inch square is just a starting point for picking out a paint color. Keep in mind that these swatches are simply the computer’s interpretation of a specific shade reflected on cardstock—making any decisions based solely on a swatch is a recipe for disappointment. Spend the extra time (and a few extra dollars) to get some small samples of your top choices. Then, paint a sample board of each color, try it out on the walls, let it dry and evaluate the color in the space and in the light of the room.
2. The finish (eggshell etc) doesn’t matter
Your finish determines a lot about how you’ll live with the paint on your walls. For example, high-gloss and semi-gloss are easy to clean and very durable, but tend to reveal imperfections. Eggshell and flat finishes have less luster, show off fewer imperfections, but also don’t stand up as well to cleaning and likely won’t last as long before needing to be touched up or repainted. Choose your finish depending on the room—rooms that must stand up abuse (like kitchens, bathrooms and hallways) are better off in a gloss finish, while family rooms and bedrooms are likely suitable for the flatter finishes.
3. Dark Walls Make Dark Rooms
Paint colors don’t necessarily define a room—they’re just one piece in the larger puzzle of interior design. Dark walls can add drama to a space, but can be balanced with light finishes and fixtures. While four dark walls may go a long way towards creating a dark space, using dark colors on one or two or even three walls in a room, then showcasing the others in a lighter complementary color will add contrast and interest to the space.
4. Bold Colors Can’t be Neutral
Bold doesn’t have to be difficult. Homeowners often err on the side of neutral to avoid making mistakes. Neutrals are safe, inoffensive, versatile and purportedly timeless. But keep too safe with color and your home may feel boring and lack personality. Venturing outside of the typical ‘neutral’ palette can be less risky than one might think, and can often lead to high drama. To start with a bold neutral, try black. It’s always in style and a little goes a long way.
5. Accent Walls Are Out
Where interior design is concerned, the only things that are ever ‘out’ are things that fail to hold interest. Most design elements that have become passé are those that have failed to adapt and grow and develop as trends change. Accent walls are still a great way to add interest and drama to a space, but if you’re looking to keep your statement walls on the cutting edge, consider adding textures or patterns to your accent canvas.