There’s a spot of redecorating going on at Style Notes Towers, which means I’m getting to do one of my very favourite things – mess about with colour sample pots.
I have two paint colours to choose. The first one is fairly easy, it’s for the small room which used to be my daughter’s bedroom, but which has now metamorphosed into my boudoir/a spare room.
I’ve had a door put in leading from it into my walk-in wardrobe (which I wickedly created by stealing one third of the space of this room from my then infant daughter, when we moved into the house).
The wardrobe used to be accessible only from the other room – once the spare room, now my daughter’s new bigger bedroom. But as she’s nearly 12 and becoming increasingly interested in my shoes, it’s better she doesn’t have direct access to my closet, don’t you agree?
As the room I’m about to get painted is now a boudoir with my dressing table (and a single bed with a blue and white toile de jouy headboard), I want a very feminine feel, which will also reflect warm flattering light onto my ravaged old mug while I’m applying make up (with a trowel ha ha ha).
The colour I’m going for is Cheap Foundation. Not a real paint shade – although it should be – I mean I want the walls to look like make up. Something with this kind of warm feel, but not so true peach…
I’ve picked up sample pots of four possibilities and now I’m using a brilliant tip that a clever friend (with two DIVINE houses) once told me, which has become one of my decorating commandments:
Never paint your sample pot paint colours straight on to the wall.
If you do this – and I’ve seen twelve different colours daubed onto one small patch of wall – all the colours interact with each other, making them look subtly different.
Your eyes will get jumbled and you simply won’t be able to get a clear impression of what the finished effect of each shade would be over the whole room.
What that friend – Jane – advised me to do is to paint separate pieces of cartridge paper (at least A4 size) with each of your possible colours and then look at each of them, one at a time, masking taped to the wall.
Using this technique, you can also see how each colour looks on all the different walls of a room. A shade of grey that looks quite pastel opposite the window, can look grimly dark on the window wall itself.
And obvs you also need to look at your possible colours in daylight and whatever artificial lighting you will be using in the finished room.
Jane – a very practical Yorkshirewoman – also reminded me to write the brand and name/number of each colour on the back of the piece of cartridge paper in pencil, before you start painting it.
I’ve been doing this for years now and have built up a very handy library of painted sheets to refer to, so it’s worth keeping even the ones you don’t choose to use right away, as they may work for another project.
One more tip I would add, is to try and be more patient than me and let the pieces of painted paper really dry before you start leaping about with them… Slightly wet paint on soggy paper is quite a lot darker than the actual shade.
Having done all this earlier today with my four pots I don’t think I’ve found the right colour yet. One of them is too similar to the corset pink I already have in the closet, one is too subtle, another veering towards deliberate apricot and even the one that’s closest doesn’t have the slightly ‘wrong’ feel I want. It needs just a little more brown in it.
So I’ve ordered another couple of colours from the wonderful London paint shops Papers and Paints and when they arrive I’ll go through the process again. (I think the one right in the centre below, or top right above, could be the go…)
When I do find the right one I’ll have it painted over the walls, skirting boards and the door into my closet – but I’ll leave the window and window sill white. I just don’t like the idea of the 12 panes of glass intersected by the orangey-browny-pinky colour. I think it would look odd.
I’m going to decide whether to paint the main door Maybelline Coral Concerto, or leave it white, once the rest of the room is painted. All of which is very pertinent to the other paint colour I need to choose – more of which next time…
Meanwhile, tell me – how do you choose paint colours?