Day 5 - Living Room Refurbishment

There are a few things to remember when choosing paint colours:

What mood, effect or feeling do you want to have in this room? I wanted to have a calm, relaxing feeling, as this is the room I would spend my evenings in. I chose cool colours for the walls and a darker cool colour for the paneling to add depth. The blue hues match the cool aged floor and pick up colours from the sofa fabric.

1. Always paint a bigger sample on the surface that you are testing colours for. If you can’t, then paint a large piece of card or board (card bends a bit once painted so it might not give you the right effect). I would also use the same brush or roller, so that you know exactly what kind of effect you are going to get. Maybe you want to see the brush strokes, maybe not. (On high-end built in furniture this is usually a sign of a good quality finish here in the UK).

2. Know what direction the sunlight is coming from. Western light will be more yellowy and red, and this might change the appearance of the colours you are using. Test it, test it again and again!

3. As you can see I had my sample up against the wall, floor and the sofa fabric. I would always consider the other long lasting or permanent surfaces and objects in the room and compare the colours to this.

4. When buying paint you will have a choice of reflectivity. Once you chose your colour go back to the feeling of the room and think, do I need this wall to reflect light to make it brighter, or do I want this room to be calmer with absorbing qualities that are calmer and more soft on the eyes.

5. The only other thing I’d like to say about paint is to again, use the best quality and company you can afford and definitely use as low a VOC count as possible. Volatile Organic Compounds can emit toxic fumes for years into your home. Imagine sitting on your sofa in a years time inhaling toxic fumes you can no longer feel… Mixed with todays highly polluted environments, I use my home as my healthy haven where I recoup and build my strength and health. I want it to work with me!

6. Don’t forget that artificial light does effect the colour of your walls! I always use this diagram to understand what colour of light I’ll be getting when buying LED lights (Macadam Ellipse). Most of us understand how traditional tungsten lights look and feel but are confused with all of the numbers with new LED lights. Ok lumens and output brightness are one thing but as a designer I need to know the colour I’m getting with my light as it will effect every surface the room. You can test your current LED bulbs by shining two different ones on a white wall at the same time. Check to see the spread, clarity and colour and ask yourself – is it more red, yellow, blue or green. I have found that a “warm white” which is around 2700 Kelvins is usually the colour that looks and feels similar to the light we were used to and naturally like.