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9 Common Color Mistakes and How to Steer Clear of Them

9 Common Color Mistakes and How to Steer Clear of Them

From choosing paint to accessories, finding the right color palette to use in your space can be difficult. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid.

Mistake: Not Knowing the Basics

It’s helpful to understand the color wheel and how different color schemes work together when choosing a room’s palette. For example, cool colors are blues to greens on the color wheel, while the warmer colors are yellows to red violets. When picking colors for your space, consider contrasting warm and cool hues.

Mistake: Forgetting the 60-30-10 Rule

Three is the key number here. Since you don’t want to overwhelm your space, three is a good rule for configuring a room’s color palette. More than three colors in a room can feel too busy. Here’s what you do: pick your color shades and then break them down to create a cohesive look — 60 percent dominant color, 30 percent secondary color, and 10 percent accent color.

Mistake: Not Swatching New Paint Colors

Before you paint an entire room with it, make sure your chosen paint color is the same shade after it dries. If you don’t test it, the room’s entire color palette could be thrown off, causing all kinds of problems.

Mistake: Minimizing the Importance of Lighting

It’s also important to consider how windows and light fixtures will affect wall color. Certain colors can look very different depending on lighting. One good test is to put a few coats of the paint color you’re considering onto a poster board and then moving the board around the room at various times of the day and night to see how the light affects it.

Mistake: Ignoring Color Psychology

Color is proven to influence ambience and mood. Take for example the color green. Greens bring a comforting, authentic quality which helps relax the mind — perfect for a bedroom or any relaxation space.

Mistake: Going Big Immediately

Take baby steps when it comes to painting, like experimenting with a new color in a smaller space before going big. Test it out in a short hallway, a powder room or an accent wall — a place you see every day — and see if you’re happy with it. If not, paint over it and try again. Consider the painting process an adventure!

Mistake: Always Relying on Color Trends

While welcoming a trendy color into your room’s palette can be exciting and refreshing in the moment, it’s important to choose where that trend is placed wisely. For instance, accessories and wall colors can be easily switched out, while longer-lasting, higher-end items like furniture or rugs aren’t as simple. For those items, choose more classic hues that will stand the test of time.

Mistake: Overlooking Gray

While some write off gray as drab or humdrum, many interior designers believe gray is almost magical. It makes a versatile and sophisticated color choice — especially for open floor plans — because the tone tends to change a little in every room because of the lighting.

Mistake: Disregarding Trim Color

Trim can add an unexpected dimension to a space. For example, dark woodwork is a stunner when paired with a wall color that is a stark contrast, like muted greens or gray-blues. The lighter the walls, the more high-end the dark, rich trim appears. Similarly, if you prefer a darker or more saturated color for your walls, then consider white trim. Not only does it make your wall color pop, it’s easier to touch up and hides dust and dirt.

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