Muddy it up!

Spring has finally sprung and the color biz is in full gear! Nothing like a new coat of paint, to invigorate your home and welcome the warm season.

Recent clients have reminded me of a common paint color dilemma, it goes something like this… “The color I picked is way too bright, it looks florescent!” “I thought I chose a creamy, subtle, yellow, but ended up with canary walls.”

When I was in college, studying art and learning to paint (love at first brush stroke), one of the first methods we learned was to temper color straight from the tube with it’s complement (in yellow’s case- violet). This adds depth, richness, and tones down the “straight from the can” screaming factor. The same basic principle applies to your wall color…

It is as if you were to add 1 part mud to your paint can. :) A strange reference I know, but you get the drift. I also hear myself repeating this often- your color needs to be “grayed” down. In fact, you can actually have black tint added to your can- but this can get a little tricky, so best to start off on the right note. Think Martha Stewart, she is a master of the muted tone.

Here is my advice… Choose the color you would like to see on the walls, then step down about two shades more muted. Paint colors tend to amplify once applied, so even if you final selection looks quite subtle, it will not necessary look this way on the walls. A few examples for you (final selections = paint daubs on right)-


And if you can’t decipher the difference when up against 1000’s of swatches (many people tell me they can’t)? I would be more than happy to help!

(thank you ARHDECOR, Design with Christine, DECODIR, House Beautiful, Domino, and Decor Pad for the photos)

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2 thoughts on “Muddy it up!

  1. Jessamy – this is a good post. Very important point! It can be challenging with clients who want bright, clear colors to convince them that a little grey, a little muting, is a good thing, and that they will get an energetic, happy look without needing to pop over to the brightest version of their favorite hue in the deck.Congrats on your CA paints palettes, by the way. They are lovely. And your headshot is BEAUTIFUL. The best in the bunch, for sure. :)

  2. That's awesome advice. I have painted my kitchen twice this week and I still don't like it…AAAAHHHH!! Started with SW Creamery and thought it looked a bit to pastel/pink, so I went down one color on the chart and chose SW Sociable. Still hate it, now it's too orange!

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