Painting Your Apartment: Benjamin Moore’s Pointers for Picking the Perfect Colors March 5, 2014 by Courtney Craig A little color can go a long way in a small apartment space. Image: Benjamin Moore When you think of sprucing up your apartment for spring, what comes to mind? Probably some spring cleaning, maybe changing up your décor … but there’s another way to welcome spring: Color. According to an Apartment Guide survey, most people believe painting the walls in their apartments would make it feel bigger and more like home. And most apartment communities allow residents to paint if they’re sure to repaint everything back to the original color before moving out. In short, painting is in for spring. But before you get started, you have to ask yourself some questions: What colors do I choose? Do I want to paint all my walls, or just an accent wall? How can I be sure it’ll look the way I want? To help you, the Apartment Guide Blog has partnered with Benjamin Moore color and design expert Sharon Grech for some pointers on painting your place. How to pick your color palette According to Grech, this color palette would be perfect for any apartment this spring: Image: Benjamin Moore White Dove (OC-17) Distant Gray (2124-70) Wickham Gray (HC-171) Calm (OC-22) Breath of Fresh Air (806) Sea Salt (CSP-95) But Benjamin Moore offers more than 3,500 colors, so you have plenty to choose from. Here are some of Grech’s pointers for picking a palette that’ll suit your space: Go to your happy place. Think of the places you love to visit and the things you love to do, and consider the colors you associate with those favorite things. Narrow it down from there. Think about how you want each room to function. Since colors have the ability to influence our moods, apply Color Theory and other decorating principles to your decision. Pay attention to how the room is lit. Use cooler colors in rooms without windows or sunshine, and use warm colors in rooms with a lot of natural light. Minimize contrast. This is particularly important in a small apartment space: Pick a harmonious color scheme that coordinates with your furnishings. This will allow the eye to travel without distraction. On the other hand, if you want to highlight a specific furniture piece, paint the walls its contrasting color. Read more: The Psychology of Color: Discover Your Color Personality Get started painting Start with primer. It’s important to prep the surface of your wall, especially if there are any spackled spaces, and create a smooth, paint-ready surface. When picking a paint sheen, remember that sheen affects the amount of light reflected from the painted surface. It can hide imperfections and influence color perception. Once you’ve assessed the lighting in your room and picked a color, ask the paint experts at your home improvement store for advice on the sheen. Read more: Apartment Décor: Is Orange the New Black? Spruce up the space even further Don’t be afraid to hang large works of art — even small spaces can handle them. If your lease doesn’t allow for painting walls, paint large canvases in your favorite colors and hang them. You’ll achieve a color block effect that you can easily remove. Rather than scattering small framed items on several walls, create a focal wall by bringing all your art and collectibles together. Be creative and plentiful with your storage options — pretty baskets, storage ottomans and boxes are attractive and useful. Minimize your clutter. Having more visible wall and floor space gives the illusion of a larger space. Reflective and translucent items can help maximize space visually, so include some glass and mirrored surfaces.
7 Striking Paint Colors for Your Powder Room Whether you opt for a little or a lot, see why the petite bathroom is the perfect place for a fun hue Jennifer Ott Houzz Contributor and Principal Designer at the San Francisco-based firm,…
Interested in adding dramatic color to your home but worried about going too far? Rather than dialing down the vibrancy of your favorite bold hue, think instead about using it strategically. An intense color on the wall of a living room or bedroom may be too much, but it can be a fun option for rooms we tend to pass through or spend less time in, such as the powder room.
1. Tomato Red Bold reds are an invigorating choice for wall color in a powder room. Whether you go for a pure red or a modern red-orange, it will provide a high-energy kick. It’s also a flattering shade to surround yourself with since it tends to give people a rosy glow. Jennifer Ott Design SaveEmail Tomato reds work well with medium to dark wood tones and oil-rubbed bronze metal accents. Some crisp white lightens up the palette.
2. Spicy Orange Powder rooms are often cramped and have little wall space for artwork or other accessories. That’s why I love an eye-catching color on the wall, such as a hot orange. It can stand on its own as the only decorative element you need in such a tight space. Jennifer Ott Design SaveEmail Bold oranges play nicely with warm whites or light grays and polished chrome or stainless steel metals.
3. Citrus Yellow If your bathroom lacks natural light, fake it with a dash of a vivacious yellow. The more neon it is, the less you’ll want to use, but it’s a terrific way to set an optimistic, cheery tone. Jennifer Ott Design SaveEmail Citrus yellow hues need a good dose of pure white in the room to keep them from being overwhelming.
4. Acid Green If a window in the powder room brings in abundant natural light, you can get away with an almost-fluorescent green. Just make sure you also have good overhead lighting, so the room is well-lit after dark. Jennifer Ott Design SaveEmail Acid greens look fantastic with crisp whites, light wood tones and matte metal finishes like brushed stainless steel or satin nickel.
5. Watery Blue One of my favorite colors for a bathroom is a watery blue because it gives a hit of color that’s still soothing. Look for a shade with a touch of gray if you prefer something darker. The gray tones down the blue for a relaxed vibe. Tradition Homes SaveEmail Here’s another turquoise-clad powder room that exudes a calm, cool and collected feeling. Because cool colors are thought to relieve stress, they’re great if you want your room to evoke a spa-like sanctuary. They also tend to visually recede, making a space seem more expansive than it is. Jennifer Ott Design SaveEmail Watery blues get even beachier when paired with light sandy browns. Go modern with brushed stainless steel finishes or, for a more traditional or transitional look, choose oil-rubbed bronze accents.
6. Hot Pink Tough to pull off in large amounts, hot pink can be a striking accent in a powder room. Here, it mixes with black, white and shades of gray for a sophisticated look. Jennifer Ott Design SaveEmail A bit of hot pink goes a long way, so think of giving it a supporting role. If your room gets a lot of natural light, you can use this attention grabber in larger doses.
7. Inky Black Black isn’t so basic when it’s a wall color. And though it’s definitely not a neon hue, it’s still tricky to use indoors in large quantities because it can gobble up the light. So while an all-black living room may be ill-advised, it can be a stunning option in a powder room. It’s especially handsome with bronze or copper metals. You may have noticed that most paint companies offer different shades of black. If you view the swatches next to one another, you can pick up on the subtle undertones in each hue. Cooler blacks have a touch of blue or violet in them, and war
How to Paint an Accent Wall Want to bring a splash of color into your room, but afraid to take the plunge? Try an accent wall—it’ll add a focal point to the space without overwhelming the whole room. Here’s how to get started. By Sarah Yang
Generally, an accent wall is supposed to be the focal point of the room, so select the color wisely. “I tend to work with accent colors that are within the same color palette as the space,” says interior designer Abbe Fenimore. “That way, the space has depth, looks cohesive, and is tactfully layered. If a really bold color is used, it’s important to incorporate that color around the room using art, accessories, or a great rug.” For the finish, interior designer Sara Story suggests using choosing paint with a high sheen level (which means it’s shinier), to make the wall even more interesting.
2 Prep “To prep, make sure the surface is clean—that means removing cobwebs from corners, dust, and grease or smudges if it’s a kitchen wall,” says interior designer Timothy Brown. “Then, lightly sand the surface.” Go here for more painting prep tips.
3 Paint Even though it’s only one wall instead of four, painting an accent wall still takes some time and patience. “The number of coats depends on your desired saturation of color,” says Brown. “Generally, that means one to two coats if you want a light color, and two to four coats if you want a dark, rich color. The best technique is slow and steady, especially with darker paints.”
4 Or Take It to the Next Level If you like taking risks in design, paint isn’t the only way to create an accent wall. “Instead of using paint, choose a patterned wallpaper to add texture and vibrancy,” says interior designer Amanda Reynal. “Then, paint the other three walls in either a neutral tone or a color from the wallpaper. The room will be unified and alive, and the wallpaper will act as artwork.”
5 Think About Furniture Placement After the accent wall is finished, the next task is deciding how to incorporate your existing furniture and home accessories. “For a bedroom, I would recommend placing the bed in front of the accent wall,” says Story. “For a living room, I would recommend placing the sofa in front of the accent wall.” Reynal is a fan of creating an accent wall in the dining room. “It’s a place that’s often hard to create visual interest,” she says. “By styling the wall with a mirror, sconces, and a sideboard, it becomes part of the space and acts as a beautiful backdrop.”