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.