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STAGE HAND: Don’t rush when deciding on a paint colour

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- Paula Huntley

Do you remember your first time choosing colour? Where were you? What made you finally take the plunge?

I remember my first time deciding was when I got married and we had a huge apartment that we were allowed to decorate, but when we left, it had to look like it did when we moved in. My first choice was red — yes, a red wall as a focal point, and for the first six months I loved it. I was very proud of myself for the choice but as time passed, I found, for us, it was limiting. I got quickly bored of it, and fixing it was a whole other ballgame — too many coats to cover and a total waste of money.

Well, I have grown up and have possibly become more educated about making those colour decisions. I know now that making the decision quickly does not pay off.

The experts say colour affects our mood — it can control our shopping habits and overall we look to colour to change up our spaces, inside and out. I am sure that is true, but have you really thought of how a fresh coat of paint can single-handedly give a room — that maybe outdated — a contemporary look or define a specific design? It can be mind blowing.

When I am asked about colour and how to choose it, one of the things I look to is the outdoor pieces I select. There was something that drew me to it; what was it? The other thing I look at is the colours I wear. Sad to say I am boring in that department. I stick to mostly navy, white, black and grey, but we all have our favourites, which explains my obsession with black wrought iron or black urns.

Trend lists come out every year and most of them are the same, but with a new name like speckled blue instead of robin’s egg blue. Catchy, but the same, so the question to ask yourself is, what do you like?

In looking back on my first red choice, maybe I should have chosen a red rug instead of a red wall, or dark flowers for my outside urns instead of nothing. Or maybe I should have stood in front of a paint swatch wall and learned what I didn’t like.

Whatever your decision, make it sure it is not rushed. Get a sample. Choosing a colour is a big step, but going slowly will allow you to love the getting there.

Paula Huntley is a home stager and redesigner with Smart Staging Solutions. She’s based in Kentville. 

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