Canada's Condominium Magazine

Interior Decorating Mistakes to Avoid Part 2: Painting and Colour Schemes

In part one of this series, we took a look at impulse buying and focal points, as well as being observant and taking surroundings into consideration. In part two, we will focus more on painting and colour schemes. Choosing the right themes and paint colours is an important part of interior design, and you will want to make sure that you put a lot of thought into it.


Not Getting Paint Samples

If you are going to paint your walls, then you will need to get some samples. Do not rely solely on paint chips because they may look very different on paper than they do on your walls. Also, a small portion looks vastly different than a room covered in the paint. Paint test strips of varying colours and shades on your wall, but do not stick to one spot. Try it out in different areas. This will let you see how it looks in all areas, where lighting may be different.

A colour you love may look great in the hallway or entrance but not in the living room where natural light shines through. Alternately, a colour that looks great in natural light may look dingy and rough in the bathroom, where the only lighting is from fluorescent bulbs. You will also want to paint samples next to your décor (but be careful not to drip) so that you can see how well it works together.


Testing paint colours is always a good idea. The colour you have chosen may look much different on walls than it does on paper.


Going Too Dark or Bright

Another painting mistake is failing to think ahead. While you may have a strong preference for a certain colour, painting the entire room in that colour may be a mistake. Colours that are too bright (think neon green) are blinding and are likely to make your guests feel anxious. Darker colours make a room feel dank and depressing. They are also much harder to paint over in the future, which can significantly reduce the value of your home if you ever decide to sell. Painting over black walls, for instance, is a nightmare. It would take several coats of paint to cover it completely.

Red is my favourite colour, but it is certainly not one that I would choose for my walls. Instead, I would choose a neutral colour for the walls and incorporate red in smaller, more subtle ways. For instance, I might place a bouquet of roses on the coffee table and choose paintings and accent pieces with splashes of red.

Another good idea is to make sure you try various shades of the same colour. When I was painting my living room, I fell in love with a colour and was sure of the shade I had originally chosen. After testing out the different hues, I ended up going with one that was lighter than I had originally planned. It worked out much better. The original colour would have been too dark.

This roses are a nice touch, but the red walls might be overkill. Credit: Zionstar


Barbie’s Dreamhouse

On the flip side, overemphasis on matching décor can also be a mistake. Furniture and décor should work well together, but there should also be some contrast and variety. Black and white are polar opposites, for instance, but they work well together. Variations of brown and tan work well together also. Monochrome is also great, as long as they are done right. Mix a variety of shades of the same colour but leave the walls and floors and neutral colour. Also, if you do go for a monochromatic look, then do not attempt to throw in random colours that will clash with the rest of your décor. Nobody wants to walk into a room and feel like they are in a child’s dollhouse. It can be almost blinding.


This living room combines far too much pink with nearly every other colour randomly thrown in.


Auberge on the Park-Tridel


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