We receive calls all the time from frustrated clients telling us that they are stuck on their first task…choosing a paint color. This is where I like to turn on the brakes and tell them to WAIT! Our philosophy is that paint color is the LAST thing you should choose. Here is why:

Paint is usually the least expensive thing you will select in your design plan. Hear me out. Even if you hire a professional painter, the cost to paint one room will be less expensive than the furniture, window treatments and possibly even the accessories and decor. While it can be exciting to jump right in and start painting, doing so will often pigeon hole you into limited selections to coordinate for upholstery and decor. 

So hold off on the paint swatches! I promise it will be worth it.

In design, we never want to be chasing a specific color or fabric. We want the elements of the space to come together in a cohesive way and tell us what color the walls need to be. 

If you follow us on social media, you will see that we often post a #flatlay on Friday. We use these flatlays to create a color/fabric/furniture vision for each space. 

Maybe you do have a fabric you like, or an expensive heirloom rug – seeing all of those elements and colors together will help to reveal the paint color for that space. You may have wanted grey, but the pieces you’ve started selecting are warmer or more blue or red. If you haven’t painted yet, you can make the appropriate selection to fit the space you are creating. 

In addition, the options for paint colors are endless! Options for upholstery or area rugs or drapery fabric may be limited and have specific requirements for you. Much consideration needs to take place for the design as a whole. 

The paint is the easy part. Give yourself a break and don’t stress so much about this part. Once you have an idea of the shade of paint you like, select THREE options that you think will work and get sample cans of each color. Limiting yourself to three is key to ensure that you won’t be driving in color circles. Three is enough. Trust me.

Once you have your sample paint, use them to paint at least an 18×18″ square on at least two walls of your space. Take a few days to see the paint color in the daylight, at night and in between. Once completed, this will give you the best idea of what that paint color will look like. 

When it comes to paint, there are so many brands and colors within each brand. And even if you can’t find the exact color you need, you can have a color custom mixed to fit your needs. It’s much easier to match the unlimited paint options to the beautiful selections in your design.

The top three paint color companies we recommend are

Farrow and Ball for a more luxurious product. Harder to find, but so rich and oh so worth it when you do. 

Benjamin Moore – the gold standard for residential paint products for so many years. 

Sherwin Williams – so many great choices and excellent paint color matches. 

So now aren’t you glad you waited? The possibilities are endless for you when you take some time to build a space with a feeling in a cohesive way.

Have fun!