The right shade

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Home Décor, by Tracy Furlong

Going with your ‘gut’ is often the correct decision

One of the biggest decorating challenges many homeowners face is choosing paint color. Given there are so many colours, brands, finishes, tones, tints and shades, no wonder it can be confusing! Not to mention trying to tie in a new wall color with all of your current belongings and perhaps add a few new touches and accessories and have it all work together. It can be a daunting task for those who don’t know where to start!

Here are a few things to remember to help get you on your way to overcoming “colour confusion”:

  1. Remember that colours exude a feeling. First, think about the room you’re painting. What is its function? How do you want to feel in that room? How do you currently feel in it? What needs to change? Colour can brighten, darken, soften, energize, calm and really affect our emotions as we walk into a space. Look at the colours you’re considering and ask yourself how they make you feel. Colours have undertones that are warm, cool or neutral. This is an important factor to consider, especially when trying to blend the old with the new. You may have to work with things that are already in the room and choosing the right shade will help create a sense of harmony in your space. A cohesive space “feels right,” like everything is working well together.
  2. Keep it simple. Try to avoid going out to every paint store and home improvement centre, and coming home with an armful of samples from all the different paint manufactures you can find. One of the most common complaints I hear from clients is that once they look at too many options they get confused. There’s an endless assortment of colours out there, so you’re best off if you can narrow it down to a colour range you like and choose a few sample cards within that range.
  3. Believe it or not, it’s better to choose quickly and with your gut instinct. Often times a specific colour will grab your attention and, most often, that’s the colour that ends up being selected in the end, even after looking at many other colours. I often make a note of what colour my initial instinct is drawing me to, and usually that’s the colour I end up going back to. Once you start deliberating with your head and overthinking it, you’ve gone too far.

If you’re just too timid to pick colours (it’s pretty time consuming to fix a bad choice once it up on the walls!) or perhaps you simply need the help of a trained eye, a colour consultation is a quick and easy way to make your selections and move on with confidence.

Tracy Furlong is the owner of Furlong Interiors, offering affordable painting and decorating services. Contact her at or 902-305-2387.

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