Choosing A Paint Color: Tips From a Boston area Interior Designer

Choosing a paint color can often be a difficult task even for Boston area interior designers Catherine & McClure Interiors who do it on a regular basis.  In our business it is so important to get the paint color just right because it is the backdrop that everything else is layered onto.  While finding the perfect color may take several trips to the paint store and many sample boards, it is a necessary part of the design process.  When we nail the wall color then all of the art, window treatments, furniture, rugs, lighting, and accessories come to life.

Neutral paint color

The soft neutral tone of the walls showcases the art,

Don’t get us wrong there are times we can produce a room design, know exactly what is going to work on the walls and it does not take multiple trips to the paint store.  However, paint is a tricky thing. It changes depending on the lighting in a home.  It changes from day to night and much to peoples chagrin it does not look the same on the walls as it does on those little chips you bring home from the paint store.  As interior designers, we have steps we take each time we choose a paint color to ensure it is going to be beautiful in our client’s home day or night and in the glow of the home’s unique lighting.

interior designer color picks

Pale neutral tones create a soothing and sophisticated environment.

First, we look at our fan deck of colors and choose two or three to make up into sample boards.  That’s right, we do not rely on the paint chip itself to give us a true reading.  We need to see the actual paint in the room. We use white boards in lieu of doing samples on the wall unless the wall color is white.  We do this to eliminate any distorted view of the new color from the existing wall color.  Sample boards are also useful because we can hold them up in different parts of the room and our clients don’t end up with a patchwork quilt of paint samples on their walls.  More times than not one or two of those colors will work in its original form or with a bit of tweaking.

There are occasions when we must choose all new colors as was the case in the living room shown above.  We started with various shades of white and quickly found white walls to be too stark for our design.  We switched gears and tried warmer neutrals.  Several samples later, we chose a beautiful taupe from Ben Moore. It still wasn’t perfect though.  It was a little too dark.  We cut the paint by 50% to lighten it up which we often do if we love a color but need it to be lighter.  Doing this extra step gave us the pale neutral color we were looking to achieve and created the calm and sophisticated environment we were aiming for.  The soft neutral tone showcases the artwork and luxurious fabrics and keeps the room feeling light and fresh.  We feel its the perfect backdrop for all of the decor.  There is still one more step once the paint colors have have been chosen and that is to pick the sheen. This step should not be neglected when designing a room.  In our interior designs in Newton and Boston, for example, we used high gloss finishes for a more dramatic effect.  More to come in a future post about this topic so stay tuned…

Hope you enjoyed this post!  To see more of our blog and other homes designed by Catherine & McClure Interiors, check out our website or click the link Catherine & McClure Interiors.

on Feb 22 in choosing a paint color,Interior design

Featured Post

Catherine & McClure Interiors Pinterest Page Catherine & McClure Interiors Facebook Page

Subscribe To Our Mailing List

Recent Posts

  • Sites We Love

    Coming Soon!

    Check back soon to see the design sites we love!


    Call us:

    (617) 227-0700

    Email us: