Painting is one of the easiest ways to upgrade your space without spending a lot of budget. But deciding on the color can be a tough decision.

One of the first things you learn to do in interior design school is a color wheel. You learn how to mix hues with white, gray and black to create different tints, shades and tones. It feels like a throw-back to elementary school, but I often go back to my color wheel when deciding what I want to do with the paint color in a room. Color can get you excited or make you feel calm. It can make you want to turn away or sink in to a room.

There are so many choices which it makes it that much harder to choose the right paint color (who knew there were SO MANY white paints?!?!?). I fully admit that I refer back to my Conran on Color on the regular and try to get as much specialist perspective as I can when trying to decide what color to choose.

What’s Your Mood?

There’s a whole psychology behind color. We know that certain colors affect how we behave and feel. So, when you are thinking about re-imagining your space, consider what feeling you want the room to convey. How do you want people to react when they step into that room? There are tons of charts on Pinterest and through a quick Google search that can help guide you with your decision. HouseBeautiful put out this easy-to-use guide: Color Meanings in Feng Shui.

How Much Light is There?

Where we live can impact what colors we decide to use in our homes. Are you surrounded by trees or water? Do you get a lot of natural light? Or do you live in an apartment that doesn’t get a lot of light? Do you want to lighten a room or embrace the dark?

You can “try out” different paint colors in different rooms with various sources of light using tools like the one Benjamin Moore offers on their site.

What Else is in The Room?

After deciding what mood you’re looking to create and whether you want to go light, dark or neutral, look around at the furniture that will be in the room. Does the color you like contrast, complement or clash?

Also, take into consideration the color of your floors. You want to choose a paint color that will create contrast. Dark floors and crisp white, for example. Or choose a color that picks up the shade of your floor.

No matter what color/s you decide on, make sure to get samples on your walls in different areas of the room to see how the lighting makes the color look in real life, especially at different times of the day. Get more than one sample and live with it for a couple of days, if you can. Investing a little time up front will save you from some potentially expensive do-overs.

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