Kathryn MarshAngie’s List Expert Ms. Kathryn Marsh is the owner of Kathryn Interiors, Inc., providing interior design services in Miami. Kathryn Interiors specializes in color consulting, window treatments, upholstered furniture, luxury bedding and numerous other aspects of interior design. Below is her article on Color Coordination for the home (courtesy of the Angie’s List website).

9 factors to consider when choosing color for your home

Furniture pieces and accessories are vital to take into account when creating a color scheme for your room, says Marsh. (Photo courtesy of Kathryn Interiors, Inc.)

Furniture pieces and accessories are vital to take into account when creating a color scheme for your room, says Marsh. (Photo courtesy of Kathryn Interiors, Inc.)

Color consulting is more than just picking paint color for your walls. It’s selecting a color scheme that pulls all the design elements together, creating harmony and balance. Paint is only one of many ways that color is added to a space. Color can also be added through lighting, wallpaper, fabric, drapery, furniture, flooring, art and accessories. Color is the first thing we see when we enter a space, creating emotion, which evokes a mood that can be positive or negative. Color can manipulate our perception of a space in a number of ways, including making the room feel warm or cool.

Color can make a room appear large or small, make an irregular shaped room seem more in balance or make a low ceiling appear higher. Color can take different elements in a room and give them a unified feel. Color creates a lasting impression. It is important to understand what goes into a color consultation and the many factors that can change the way we see color. Not taking these into account can cause a color mismatch.

Let’s take a closer look at factors that should be considered when doing a color consultation.

1. Personal color preferences.

The colors in your home need to reflect your preferences and fit in with your lifestyle. A consultation will help you to identify these.

2. Light source.

Can’t figure out why the colors you fell in love with at the paint store never quite look the same when you bring them home? Light could be having an influence here. Different types of light sources (incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, LED) will affect the way a color appears.

3. Room orientation.

The direction your room faces and how much natural or artificial light is present can also affect how colors will appear in the room.

4. Fixed and furnished elements.

Fixed elements are the cabinets, flooring and fireplaces. Furnished elements are the pieces of furniture and accessories in the space. These too have color and should be taken into account when creating a color scheme for your room.

5. Surfaces.

The texture of walls – smooth, rough or in between – will change the appearance of color. Smooth walls will appear lighter and rough appear darker.

6. Mood.

How do you want to feel in that room? Do you want to relax, be playful, feel romantic, sensuous, create a sense of drama or evoke a contemplative mood? Those moods are created by the colors selected.

7. Nuances of color (undertones).

Colors come in dozen of shades, so paying close attention to the different shades of a color is important to the success of the overall look and feel of the room.

8. Placement of color.

One color can look like two completely different colors depending upon where it is placed in relationship to other colors in the room.

9. Paint finishes.

Finishes include flat, gloss, semi-gloss or satin, to name a few. The finish of paint will have a lot to do with the final look of your color.

KI palmbeach_lantana_other_3A qualified color consultant must weigh all these factors when creating a color scheme for you. Color consultations usually fall into two categories. The first type handles only walls. These consultations do not handle furnishings, but can help if you’ve just moved into a home but haven’t chosen furniture yet. The second type of color consultation handles fully or partially furnished rooms. If you’re tired of looking at the color on your walls, but want to keep your current furniture, this type of color consultation can help.

In either case, a consultant will create a planned color scheme that will pull all the design elements together, creating rooms that will be in harmony and balanced. Armed with your new color scheme, you can now select your paint and coordinate your furnished pieces. At the end of your consultation, your consultant should prepare and present you with your color scheme, which would include samples of the colors, specifying paint name and number, quantity of paint needed, paint brand, paint finish, showing allocation of color in the room and any special instructions. If a color consultant is not taking all these factors into account, you are being shortchanged.