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When it comes to updating interiors, paint is one of my favorite mediums. It's so versatile and affordable. Paint can brighten, lighten and provide a room with an entirely new appearance. To the inexperienced, selecting the perfect paint color and finish can be intimidating. After 27 years of selecting paint colors, I can tell just by looking at a paint chip what it will look like in a room and how it will change a space. If you are considering painting, here are a few tips.
Color Selection: When painting a home that you live in, color choice is very personal. There are no "right" or "wrong" colors. It depends on the home and the individual. In general, lighter colors will expand space and make a room feel larger. Dark colors can make a room cozier, moodier and more masculine. Dark colors have a reputation for making rooms feel smaller but, when a dark color is used at the end of a sight line, such as an accent wall, it can produce an effect which will push the wall back and expand the room. Very small spaces such as powder rooms and dens are excellent opportunities to use dark, rich colors. No one expects a powder room to be "spacious" and using strong color can create architectural interest where there is none as well as punctuate the rhythm of an otherwise neutral palette running throughout a house.
If you are planning to sell your home in the near future, the days of "paint it all white" are over. If you look at a listing photo of an all white/vacant room; it's difficult to tell what you are looking at, and it also lacks character. If you want your home to stand out from the competition, I recommend using neutralized colors. These are universally accepted colors that just feel good. Examples of "neutralized" colors that are good for selling are straw, golden beiges, mushroom, warm grays (trending hot this year) and silvery sage green. In general, muted earth and soft water colors are very effective.
Whether you are designing to dwell or designing to sell, make sure the paint color you choose complements the wood tones in floors and cabinets, the color of granite, tile or stone and any other existing finishes. You want the wall colors to flow from room to room and complement each other. Selecting the right paint color can make your moldings stand out and your cabinets and tiles look richer and more expensive.
Paint comes in several different finishes. Flat or Matte finish is just that - flat, because it doesn't reflect much light. It is very forgiving if there are imperfections on your walls but it doesn't have much zip. Eggshell is what I usually recommend for walls. It is slightly shinier than Matte finish so if your walls have imperfections they may require some prep work. Satin finish is slightly more reflective and shows a shine when looking directly at the surface. It is typically used on trims and doors to make them "pop," but can be effective on walls that are in pristine condition. Semi-gloss paint works well for moldings and doors, as it is easy to wash and very durable. High Gloss paint has the highest sheen and is typically used for doors and built-in bookcases or cabinets.
Additionally, there is an array of textural designer finishes that offer interesting options. For example, Ralph Lauren Paint line has a "Suede" finish (just roll it on) and another called Candlelight, which emulates the "flickering glow of candles" on your walls. Benjamin Moore and Ralph Lauren also offer metallic finishes (an old-world bronze, silvery iron and subtle gold). Used on a ceiling or in a powder room they can be very dramatic.
Painting a kitchen, before and after.
Some of my favorite paint transformations include painting a worn hardwood floor for a fresh new look. You can paint the entire floor or design a painted "faux area rug" to break up a large expanse of hardwood. Your new "area rugs" can be used to define seating areas or "rooms" within the room or simply create interest. You must first prep the floor by sanding it, then lay out your design (borders and geometrics like diamonds are easy) and tape it off with painters tape before painting. Most people don't realize that laminate counters and cabinets can be updated by painting them with a finish called Melamine paint. Make sure you sand them well and wash them with TSP (found in any paint or hardware store) to remove grease so the paint adheres. If you have builders' standard oak cabinets, you can stain them with a dark walnut stain and replace the hardware for a trendy new look. Also, paint dated wood paneling for a total transformation from dull and dark to House Beautiful! These techniques will require some elbow grease but they are affordable options for a do-it-yourselfer. You'll be amazed at the transformation.
Allegra Dioguardi, President of Styled and Sold, located in Sag Harbor, is available for affordable paint consultations, home staging and interior redesign, and is now offering a home staging training program. www.styledandsold.com
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.