Too many choices!

After living in my place for nearly two years, I’m ready to take the next step of commitment – paint the walls something other than insipid off-white. A few visits to paint stores, fistfuls of color palettes… and I’m nearly paralyzed with the choices. I think I can figure out what the main color is that I like mood-wise; I bought some samplers and painted sample swatches on the walls. But what about accent colors? Will it go with the furniture? Is it “right?”

Is it “right?”

Am I the only one who occasionally has a collision between gut preference and a little voice that worries about “getting it right?” I have virtually no formal training in color theory or color arts (even my original photographic work was almost exclusively in black and white). I rarely stain my wood projects, prefering to use nature’s palette. And (*blush*) I was one of those kids whose mothers picked out matching clothes to wear to school. I never really learned what colors went with what. I still get cold sweats when going clothes shopping.

And yet, there are clearly some colors I’m drawn to right now. Something in the earthy brick/terra cotta genre. It’s homey and soothing. (But will it go with the dining set? Is it too dark? Will someone laugh because I picked what was supposed to be an accent color as my wall color?) I might paint the kitchen a brighter color, something in the golden yellows (will it go with the dining room?)

This is crazy. There are plenty of web sites that will show you pre-defined color palettes – most of the major paint companies in the U.S. have them. It’s the interior decorating version of having my Mom choose my clothes for me. Doesn’t help that I haven’t seen many where my favorite, deep color is the primary wall color…

I’m going to treat this as an exercise in trusting my preference. Sitting with that conflict between what I respond to aethetically and that demonic Greek chorus that’s enumerating all the ways I can screw this up. Maybe I’ll learn something about deeper feears by listening to the individual voices in the chorus.

(Yawn) I’m close to the right color. When I’m out tomorrow I may pick up another sampler or two, just to home in on the right shade. The good news is that by painting splotches on my wall, I’ve more or less committed to a paint job. ๐Ÿ˜‰


2 thoughts on “Too many choices!

  1. Hi Larry
    Yet another learning curve! Colour theory is something that fascinates me. Did you know that the colour you see is the only one which isn't absorbed by the object/whatever. And that we don't see colour at night not because it's too dark to see them but that they don't exist without light?
    When i moved 3 years ago my solution was easy….i didn't have much money so i bought paint from the sale shelf. Some of it was quite nice and i think it all worked out. I did invest in some nice antique white for my living room and then painted my fireplace with a pleasant pink toned down with walnut for behind the fire. It seems to work! I know that warm colours in the red range are good for dining rooms because it is stimulating and warm and that blues, greens and pinks (i dare you!) are very relaxing and so good for bedrooms. Just have fun with it…you can always paint over it ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. i can understand your predicament on choosing the right colors … there are so many color choices right now.

    if you want to use accent color as your wall color, then so what? i don't think there is a rule that you can't interchange them. it's your choice because it's your home and whatever the choice, i'm sure it would be lovely.


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