cans of paint

Panic Painting

Several times in the last few weeks I have been asked for help picking fabric for window treatments and upholstery to coordinate with the new wall color.

In each instance, the paint color was chosen without regard for the design plan of the room, the color of the existing furniture,  the floor color, or the window treatment requirements – it was chosen because the homeowner, or the painter, liked it.  No plan. Just panic painting. Now there are problems and they need help.

If you are doing some renovating, or are having a case of the winter blah’s and want to spruce things up a bit, and you are in a hurry: please, please people. Post this column on your fridge.

How to avoid the panic

“It is easier to pick a paint color to match a fabric than it is to find a fabric to match the new painted walls”

What it is…

Panic painting means:
– You have to do a lot of shopping and schlepping bolts of fabric home.
– You have to expand your budget –  you will have to buy what fits the color, not your wallet.
– You have to be prepared to adjust your room plan to fit the fabric.
– You have to be prepared to settle for less. A lot less.  The color of the new blinds may not be right, the rug may never blend in, and the odd color in the wood floor may never be successfully countered.
– You have to be prepared to wait. Chances are really good it will take a long time to find a suitable fabric.

It’s easier the other way

This is rather like buying a new dress and then having to buy new shoes, a new bag, new jewelry and a new coat. And a new scarf.  Wouldn’t it be a lot easier, and a lot less expensive, to pick a dress in a color that works with what you already have?

The right way

Here is the proven path: Pick a piece of fabric, a painting, a cushion or an area rug with the colors you love and use it as your inspiration piece. If you have a green sofa, make sure the inspiration piece has that particular green. Use the background color in the inspiration piece as the main color for 60% of the room surfaces.  This includes the walls.  Use the mid-tone color for 30% and one accent color from the piece for the remaining 10%.  This works. 

And just one more thing. The cost of a color consultation is a lot less than the cost of the wrong paint color

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