Choosing a paint color–simple, right?

For many people, choosing a paint color is not so simple. They spend hours looking at little color chips, they buy little paint bottles and try swatches on the wall, or they end up painting a whole room and are not happy with the outcome. I admit that I’ve done this in my own home, attempting to get the perfect green color in my bathroom.

My brother was just visiting from Portland, OR. He had a home in San Francisco and liked the wall color he had there which was chosen by a professional designer. He painted the walls in his Portland home the same color, and because of the trees that surround the home, as well as the gloomier weather, he says it’s “muddy and has a green tint to it” because it’s reflecting the vegetation from outside. This is a very common occurrence. As you may have learned, the same color can look very different even in the same room, depending on lighting and it’s surroundings. In addition to that, many people have a difficult time “translating” what a tiny swatch of color will look like on all four (or more) walls.

What I enjoy is trying to determine the “look” that is desired, and coming up with a color that will match that look. It’s like a puzzle. My brother kept saying that he wanted a “crisp” color, but not too white. I ended up suggesting a few colors from Benjamin Moore that are lighter than what he has now, which is a medium taupe, but still in the same family to minimize the green reflection. Of the four that I recommended he try, I liked “sandy beaches” the best. I even like the name (never judge a color by its name!), but we’ll have to see what looks good on the other side of the country…

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