In a DIY store or paint shop, colours look so different from when you actually put them on your wall. Also, that hint of egg shell tint that looks almost to faint to notice in the shop can make your bedroom look like a giant Easteregg when all walls are painted. Another mistake often made is that relatively dark colours can make rooms look smaller. The contrary is more true; colours that are to pale and lack any contrast make a room look not only smaller, but also darker. Shadows appear much more grey and grim on light colours such as yellow and white than on dark ones like red and darker blue. Especally in darker rooms. Don’t be afraid to paint north facing rooms in darker colours. It will likely add more warmth and depth to your room than a lighter shade will. Currently all our walls downstairs are white. We still don’t know what colour to paint them, but some of the walls will get a contrasting lick of paint.
Online there are several websites to help you choose the right colour for your own home. Many of them offer tools that allow you to ‘paint’ walls online to check the effect of certain colours. Most of these make use of stock photography of rooms in a variety of styles. An example is the Sherwin-Williams visualizer. Below a picture I used from their, limited, options.
Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams
They do have an ample palette of colours available to choose from, but all rooms look more or less the same to start with. What I really like about this site is that the fields to paint are clear and lines and borders are recognized by the tool.
A Dutch initiative is Kleurinspiratie.nl Here you can upload your own photographs so you can see what works and what doesn’t in your own interior. By dragging and dropping paint in a bucket to your wall, the tool fills fields with the colour of your choice. Shadow casts and electricity cords work as borders so it takes a while to ‘paint’ entire walls. Also, somehow the tool does not recognize paintings or other decorative ornaments such as lamp shades as it tends to paint those on the way too. There’s an eraser function to get rid of excess paint.
I had a lot of fun ‘painting’ the wall in my stairway, my bedroom, loo, kitchen and living room. The last one is pictured below.
Left is actually the painted wall
As you can see drawing a straight line is a bit hard, but it does give an amazing impression of what it would actually look like. I really like the colour actually. As you can see it does not make the room darker at all, despite it being a pretty hefty dark colour. We were thinking of using this colour in our bedroom but it doesn’t look good there at all!
Check the site here and give it a go yourself. All paint colours used are widely available and are part of the collections of some of the biggest interior magazines in the Netherlands.
Other, mainly American equivalents are to be found here, here and here. All work with stock photographs of standard rooms per theme. The last one charges a small fee to upload your own photograph.