How To Make Sure Your Color Choice is Right

Color Choice Friendly Advice

One of my clients actually had a room painted three times just because they didn’t follow this advice!


Save yourself the expense and follow these simple steps. When you have narrowed down your color selections, ask your designer for 8”x 1 2” color samples or buy small sample bottles of each color. If you have the paper samples, tape them together to form a large square , then tape them to the wall. You’ll be moving these samples to all of the walls in the room. If you have the actual paint, put a 4’ x 4’ square on the wall, or several 1’ x 1’ squares on four of the walls.

chipped fabric

View the swatches during the day and night. The amount of sunlight and artificial light that shines on the surface will change. Please also look at colors as they will be seen. Don’t put the samples on a table or horizontally, since they will be seen vertically on a wall. Watch the colors for several days. You should be able to eliminate the colors down to one favorite.

In my early 20’s, I did not use this method, much to my dismay. I chose a background color for all of our pepto pink downstairs walls and up to the vaulted ceilings based on a background color I had in a mauvey striped wallpaper. After choosing from a 1” x 2”square, my entire downstairs plus all the way up to the second story turned Pepto Bismol pink at 4 o’clock every afternoon. It was a lovely color at other times, but if I had lightened it, the stark shiny pink part wouldn’t have been so visually offensive.

Use the samples to your advantage and save yourself heartache. You will love your room for as long as you live there!

To help you out, Sherwin Williams has some fun tools online to get you motivated:



Written by Monica Nordquist, Nordquist Design


Teen Scene

A Teen Room Design

Every teen dreams of having the perfect room – THE place to hang with friends or escape their loving families.  Comfortable seating, flat screen TV, and black-out shades to block the sun on weekends all make the must have list!  The Teen Scene pictured here has a bold painted accent wall and other sophisticated choices, making it the perfect room to transition from teen to college coed.

Teen Scene - Hooks for personal accessories

Julie Gerns, CAPID

Storage is always important in any room.  Not all of the trinkets from childhood go away so easily.   Artwork and decorative hooks for hanging accessories like purses, scarves, and belts let teens flaunt their changing styles.  Areas for homework and makeup are must-haves also.   An area rug defines the seating area and provides protection for the floor if food is allowed.

Teen Scene - shelving storage for personal items

Julie Gerns, CAPID

Teens want to be involved in the room design choices.  They feel a sense of responsibility for selections that may travel with them into young adulthood.  But, be prepared to be asked for surfboards on the ceiling or those wonderful posters of “you know who”.  If special family heirlooms need to be integrated, like a vintage nursery dresser, they can be creatively updated with paint and new knobs.

If you disagree on color or style, remember that bedding, art and accents are easy and affordable things to change and that teens do change their minds often.  When larger more expensive items like window treatments and furniture remain more neutral, they work with any whim and can reflect the style of the home.

Teen Scene - Recreation Room

If you have a bonus room, create a fun space for activities like movies, video games, pool table, or jukebox and dance floor.  Homes with more than one teen will appreciate this separate area for the teen scene.   Make it a fun place for the whole family (when invited).

Always remember a happy teen makes a happier household.   Listen, and pick your battles when it comes to the smaller choices.  An experienced designer is sometimes the perfect mediator and can direct the project to please the whole family.

Contributed by – Julie Gerns, CAPID

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