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  • Samia Verbist

Tips to Give a Whole New Look to Your Home! - Part 1 -

I hope all of you are in good health and keeping yourselves busy at home! Because we never spent so many days at home, it is the best time to think about our interior and maybe improve it. Here are some tips to help you!


Back in January, I thought that 2020 would be a fantastic year, but I have to admit it's a really strange start... So, the best thing to do is to convert this unexpected time into something positive! Because most of us everywhere in the world are under a "shelter in place" restriction, why not taking care of our nest named HOME. Whether it is a condo, a cottage or a house, a rental or our own property, it is our Home! Right now it is more important than ever to be comfortable where we live. We have never spent that much time at home as we do today. And guess what? Now we have time to do everything we wanted to do and postponed for some good (or not so good) reasons. The "Honey Do List" is more than ever our common mantra...

For this reason I will try to help you transform your place in an extraordinary home! During the next few weeks, I will give my tips on how to organize, change, decorate with what you already have and things you can order online. This week, let's start with my favorite topic: Paint Colors.


Last week I had a call from a new client asking me what color she could paint her walls. Because for the past three weeks, she had spent all her days at home, she realized that she could no longer bear the color of her walls. This green she loved ten years ago is not anymore her favorite color. Her reaction is totally normal. You know what colors you love and the ones you don't. It is emotional, visceral, and personal. And because who we are now is not who we were ten or twenty years ago, same goes with our taste. So maybe it is a good time to think about new colors. Remember choosing the right color can turn a room into an extraordinary space...


1# Which Color?

Color has an important impact on our mood: it can cheer you up, calm you down, energize you, make you sick, tire you out or increase your productivity. So you have to really think about it before you pick one. What is the function of the room? Is it a bedroom? Is it your living room? Do you need to have a calm and peaceful place or to be more productive in your home office? So to help you understand why we love this color more than another, here are the most common colors and their impact on our mood:

- White is purity, neutrality, and cleanliness

- Yellow is warm, sunny, and joy. Bright yellows are stimulating for the brain

- Orange stimulates creativity, they are warm and comfortable

- Red is passionate, bold, intimate and comforting

- Pink is tranquilizing lively, positive and feminine

- Green is nature. They are both peaceful and invigorating, relaxing, balancing

- Blue is the sky and water; they promote reflection and call for calm and meditation

- Violet is stimulating and refreshing but also sensual and spiritual

- Black is classic, elegant, and mysterious

2# Find Inspiration

Now more than ever it is easy to find inspiration. You just have to browse online to spotlight ideas. Social media sites such as Pinterest or Instagram are great resources but also paint companies and magazines. My favorite one and the one I always recommend to my clients is Pinterest. You can create your own boards for each room for example and keep your ideas and flesh it out! I use it too to create boards for my clients and myself!


Inspiration could also come from nature! Nature is beautiful and can help you find the perfect colors and match them together like in those examples. Look how green goes perfectly with purple, lilac and soft pink. Let your creativity mix and match colors. Choose a dominant one and add two other colors and see how it looks. You can be surprised!



3# Which Undertone?

Undertone is the color behind the color. Let me explain it with an example. Last month, I had three different clients asking me for advice about the same paint color: "can you recommend me a white?". It looks like an easy question with an easy answer: white is white, right?

Here are some of the white colors you can find if you make a research on Benjamin Moore's website with the simple keyword: white....18 different whites just on the page 1! Benjamin Moore caries more than 150 different whites!

So, what is the undertone? Undertone is this little touch of gray, yellow or green you can see on those white colors like Paper White with a gray undertone or Mascarpone with a yellow one. It is subtle but trust me, with indoor lighting (especially warm light bulbs) and on an entire wall, you will see the difference! It is really important to take care of it. My example is about white but it is the same for each color. Some blues have this little touch of gray or green etc etc etc.

4# Light or Dark Color?

Now let's see which shade is the best for your room. Each color has gradual shades. This is important because it will affect your perception of the size of the room. Light colors give the illusion of a large space and of course dark colors give the feeling of a smaller room. Dark colors also bring more drama and personality to a room.

You can play with a different shade or a complete different color on an accent wall to reduce or enlarge a room. If you look at those two long narrow hallways, you can see that one seems less long than the other one just because of the dark navy blue wall. Everything is a matter of perception!

Therefore, it is important to understand that colors enlarge or shrink a space. And if you want to create a relaxing and flowing vibe in your home, I would recommend you for example to choose a neutral paint color throughout your house and have different shades to create accent walls in some rooms.


5# Which Sheen?

So, you finally chose your paint color, undertone and brightness. You're almost done! Now, you just have to decide for finish. Matte or glossy? Eggshell or satin? To help you, I created this summary with things to consider for each room.


6# Testing Paint Color

The funniest part of the process: testing colors on your walls!

Now you have narrowed down your choices, it is important to sample before committing. That is the best way to see how it appears on the surface in natural light and indoor lighting. Surface can change the way your paint appears due to reflexion. So, I would recommend you to do it on each wall because color varies according to the brightness on the wall. You just have to paint 12"x12" squares and also try to stay close to the door or the window for example. Why? Because if your actual wall is yellow and if you paint a gray square in the middle of this yellow wall, your perception of your gray color will be distorted by all the yellow that surrounds it! If you don't plan to change the color of your doors or windows, apply the samples close by. Don't skip this step, it is the best way to find the right color.

Two ways to test it:

- Buy samples cans and paint 12"x12" squares. Most of the paint companies sell sample cans.

- Order stickers of your paint color's choices and easily apply it on the walls. This one is my favorite option because you don't have to paint plenty of squares on your walls. You just have to apply the stickers on your walls and you can remove it easily to try it on the opposite wall where the light might be different! The limit: not all the paint companies offer this option.


I know it could be overwhelming but now you know more about paint color. So take your time before making your decision. There is no rush. And remember you will not paint your walls every year! Color is really important, pick one you love, one you feel good with, a color which resonates in you and use it as the foundation of your design, create around this color your beautiful home! But keep in mind that Design is not only about color, it is about style, patterns, textures, materials etc.


I hope this article will help you. Of course, there is much more to say about paint color and what we can do (warm colors, cool colors, contrast etc..). So, if you still need help and advices, you can book a 30 min Free Discovery Call and we can discuss about your colors!


Next week, we will discuss about a trendy topic I love: Wallpaper!


😊 Stay Happy 😊

🌸 Stay Safe 🌸

🏡 Stay Home 🏡


Your Dedicated French Interior Designer

Samia

Note: if you want me to share on a particular interior design topic in a next article, please leave a comment below ⇣⇣⇣

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