There are few things that influence emotional state like color. When you are surrounded by a decor palette that works and that you love, other things fall into place just a little easier. But when a home paint and decor scheme is disjointed or disharmonious, adding expensive furniture and accessories is throwing good money after bad. Not to mention, it's just hard to relax when your colors are not in sync.
But how do you know what works when there are so many choices? Well, there's a science to choosing colors that work together.
Here's the stuff that's boring, but that has to be taken into account:
- All paint contains Titanium Dioxide, which is a white pigment that reflects light. It tends to reflect light toward the blue spectrum, which is why pure whites can look slightly blue in tone.
- Neutrals have undertones (the base color to which the grey or beige is added) and not all undertones play well together. Be careful which undertones you choose and combine.
- Lighting is a crucial element when choosing a color. Make sure to test paint at different times of day and lighting conditions.
This stuff can make anyone's head spin, so I wanted to find a proven system for choosing color that makes the process easier to understand and implement. While I have been helping friends with color and decor choices for years, I decided to complete training as a Certified Color Expert last year in order to help clients with a fully-developed color palette selection process.
Here's how it works.
START WITH WHITES
In Richmond, we love our white trims and crown moldings. But if you have tried to choose white paint, you know that all shades are NOT created equally.
There are 4 main types of white:
Within those categories are thousands of shades. But there are a few solid go-to whites that provide a gorgeous frame for your neutral and color hues. The important thing is to figure out which one works best with your existing finishes and then be consistent with your whites. Mixing shades of white can make a home look off before you even get to the fun part.
NEUTRALS ARE NEXT
Neutrals are currently having their day in the sun as designers on Pinterest, Instagram and HGTV are showcasing home after home bathed in the lightest of beiges, greys, greiges and whites. And many of you want that look in your own home.
There are two types of base neutrals:
Sounds easy enough, right? Well, each of these has a million different shades and, as I mentioned, all of these have colors as an undertone. And to confuse matters even more, now we have Greige, which combines the two and also has undertones.
The trick is figuring out what undertones existing finishes in your home dictate and using that to choose your neutrals. Think about elements that are likely not changing, like expensive tile, stone or brick.
If you love color, however, don't be afraid of neutrals. For instance, if you love purple, you can choose a grey that has a slight purple undertone and satisfy your love of lavender while still providing a pleasing backdrop upon which to layer other hues.
ADD COLORS THAT MAKE YOUR HEART SING
This is the fun part. But it comes with a warning. Our favorite stores make lots and lots of money by featuring new collections in the latest trending color schemes. And it's so easy to get sucked in and end up with a trunk full of bags and a whale of a credit card bill. The problem is, if you don't truly love those new colors, you will tire of them quickly and be tempted to buy more the next time a new collection hits the shelves.
Instead, you want to dig deep and ask yourself "what colors have I loved my whole life"? Is there a fabric, artwork/photo, decorative item that combines those colors beautifully? Chances are, if you listen to those color cues and let them inspire your palette, you will end up with a color story that you adore. You can then use different combinations of those colors throughout your home - and even add a trending pop of color every once in awhile to keep things fresh. Once you know your formula, you can carry it through the whole house in a beautiful and pleasing way.
If you would like help figuring out your perfect color palette, drop me a line. A color consultation costs under $200...far less than the cost of repainting and decorating with items that you don't love. Let's show your beloved home in its BEST LIGHT!
I have been chomping at the bit to share this project with you. Before I launch in with all the juicy details, let me just say that if you are thinking about selling and know that you have a little fixing up to do beforehand, read on! This process is the one you want to follow.
This seller came to me, through her Agent, last fall. She knew she was not planning to sell until this Spring, but she wanted to re-fresh the home a bit first so that she could compete with the updated homes in her area. I LOVE that she had the foresight to start early. It gave her time to establish a task calendar, get the extra help that she needed and allow for hiccups and delays. Smart.
We started with a Staging Consultation, spending about 3 hours going through the entire interior and exterior of the home and coming up with a plan for everything that needed to be put on the to-do list. Her house is inhabited by more than just her...also her father, son, a dog and a cat...so we knew we needed to start with editing and pre-packing so that we could make room for the updates. While this 80's cottage had great bones and gorgeous wood floors, the kitchen and baths needed a facelift and most of the house needed to be lightened up and cleared out so buyers would be able to see all the great features.
Once pre-packing was under way, I put together a complete list of every item that I recommended for her home. This included new countertops for the kitchen and flooring for the kitchen and baths. I worked with my account rep at ProSource to find high quality, but affordable options for her home that would deliver a strong ROI. This home is moderately valued, so we didn't want to overspend on premium products.
I also made mood boards for her so she could see how all of the pieces would work together. Her time was scarce, so I assisted her with ordering everything online and having it delivered to her house. All she had to do was schedule the installers.
For the kitchen, we elected to paint out the walls (SW Repose Grey) and wood cabinets (SW Pure White), add granite that looks like a more expensive quartz (Luna Pearl) and install water-resistant Core-Tec luxury vinyl tile that looks like ceramic tile, clicks in place and installs directly over the existing sheet vinyl (no thinset or grout!). She was planning to buy new appliances anyway, so with the addition of some inexpensive, but stylish, lighting, the room was completely transformed. A new buyer can come in and simply customize to their taste with some window treatments and accessories.
In order to maximize first impressions, I knew that it was important to make the front two rooms, the living and dining, light, open and spacious. After alot of pre-packing, fresh Sherwin Williams Repose Grey paint and new dining room lighting, some impactful staging established the tone for the rest of the home. All of the furnishings are the owners and she rented artwork and accessories from my inventory. The dining side-by-side shots are above. I love how these rooms turned out!
All 3 bathrooms received Sherwin Williams Pure White on the cabinets, Sea Salt on the walls, the same Core-Tec luxury vinyl tile on the floors, new lighting, mirrors, faucets, shower curtains and towel racks. They are all adorably industrial-farmhouse chic.
This project was long-term, but the overall re-design was transformative. Every item was carefully chosen to blend with the cottage design of the house and to be extremely cost-effective and high-return.
I'm thrilled that this home sold so quickly (in the 1st weekend!) and I am so thankful for the time and trust that the owner allowed me during this process!
This area is designed to house a treasure trove of helpful information. I'll include timely staging and decor tips, and industry data that will help sell houses!