Fifty Shades of Yay! Choosing Paint for your New Apartment

 

Moving into a new home is exciting. We get a chance to begin anew and even decorate all over again. For many of us, one of the first things on our list is to slap some color on those walls to transform the new place place from drab to fab. But before you grab that paintbrush and turn the walls a color you might later regret, consider these tips:

 

Take into account your furniture and rugs

Look through your stuff: The colors of your existing furniture and accessories will present a palette and taste trend.  Your choice of paint color should harmonize with the colors of your furniture or pull everything together. You can pick paint that matches what you already have or find complementary shades.

 

Consider lighting

When you bring sample chips home, look at them in different rooms and at various times of the day. Lighting affects color. So while a yellow might look more lemon-like in early morning light, it can appear mustard in the warm afternoon glow. Also, different rooms in the apartment catch light differently. Move the chips around and tape them to the wall for several days to get a feel of their interplay with light.

 

Think of reflections

Remember, paint color reflects in a room, giving objects and people a matching hue. If you paint your bathroom blue, for example, you might not like the cold tone of your face each time you look in the mirror.

 

Take into account room layouts

Think of how rooms flow into one another and which rooms you will see in one glance. This is especially important for us New York City dwellers as many folks live in apartments that have short or no hallways or even open floor plans where many walls could be seen at once. This will help you decide how many colors could work well in your place.

 

Finishes and texture

Picking colors is only one aspect of paint selection. You also need to decide on paint texture. Ask the paint specialist at the store what types of paint finishes they recommend for each room. Then decide if that’s the look you want to go for. Nowadays there are more than just matt, glossy and eggshell—you can get everything from crackled finishes to chalkboard paint.  

 

Consider trends

Get an idea of the current decorating trends. Look through home furniture catalogues and peruse design blogs and pay attention to their pallet choices. This will ensure your home won’t look like it was painted during a long gone era.

 

Test a sample

No matter how much you think you like a paint chip. You won’t know for sure until you’ve tested the paint on a wall. Get a small can of paint and slather some of that pigment on your wall.  

 

VOC levels

As paint begins to dry, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) release into the air. In the short term, VOCs can cause headaches and dizziness. Officials aren’t yet sure of the long-term health effects. Our suggestion? Be safe and opt for the lowest VOC, or no VOC paint, you can afford.  If possible, leave the apartment right after you paint for a couple of days leaving the windows open for maximum ventilation.