Canvas Rugs Alfombras for Interior Design Costa Rica
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Choosing Paint Colors: Floors and Walls

choosing paint colorsThose pretty little rectangular paper paint swatches can be deceiving when it comes to choosing paint colors mostly because they do not reflect light. This applies to both wall paint and paint for custom rugs, or floor cloths.

The best way to get a true representation of how a color will look is buying small amounts of various shades and applying them to fabric or wall. Alternatively, you could also tape the paper swatches to the wall (or floor), then,  throughout the day, check to see how the paint looks; the exact same color can look completely different depending on the natural light of the room.

Here’s a story about this very topic: a favorite, local interior designer came up with a new design challenge for a custom rug by presenting me with a photo.  Actually, the design was simple enough for transferring onto a canvas rug but the challenge was in the selection of the right three colors of paint for this particular bedroom rug.  As I was not provided the exact shades, I had to determine which colors were best represented in the photo.

So, how to translate the colors from a photograph? I used my Sherwin Williams paint swatches to compare with the photo.  First, I went outdoors to view swatches against photo, but the sun was too strong.  The outdoor sun will not be the primary source of light in the bedroom where this floor cloth will be placed.

Then I laid them out in my art studio, but again, too bright.  Finally, I laid them out on my bed, with the color swatches lying on top of the photo. Throughout the day I would passed by, in the morning, in the afternoon, switching the swatches of this color, then that one, discovering that one looked too yellow and another looked too green.

My contribution to this particular project is in making a painted floor cloth, however, it is just as important if not more so, to carefully consider light when choosing a shade for wall color.  For example, the room’s natural lighting provided from its windows can bring out the primary color in a soft shade of cream or tan; however, that primary color can be too yellow or pink, based on the natural light, as in this case that of a lovely beige that was represented on the swatch.

Although light is the primary element affecting color when choosing a paint color for walls or for a painted custom rug, other considerations are important. Personally, I can spend hours putting one color up against another; noticing changes as it comes side by side to varying colors. Consider the color of your floors as well as the furnishings, and how they will contrast to the shade you are choosing for your wall.

As for the colors of this particular custom floor cloth, designated as a bedroom rug,  the light greens and creams turned out beautifully.  We will provide an update and photo of it in place once installed, via our Design Newsletter from Laurel’s Originals website. (you’re invited to sign-up!)

Investing a little time in playing with color swatches before investing in gallons of paint when choosing paint colors can produce the perfect shade for your walls or your bedroom rugs.  What experiences have you had with color selection?

~ Laurel

1 Comment

  • Comment by Lundy - Villa Lagoon Tile — September 20, 2010 @ 4:03 am

    HI Laurel,
    You are so right about testing the color on the walls. I once picked out a soft yellow for a church fellowship hall. Once it was on 2 opposing walls, it multiplied times 10 (I think !) …so a screaming yellow. We bought pure white and mixed what we had about 4:1 . Everything turned out beautifully !
    Have a great trip. Italy is my most favorite place. You will f-l-i-p. Take extra SD cards for your camera !
    I hope you have received the photos of the beautiful canvas run that you sent me. We have included it on our website too.
    Lundy in Alabama

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