Just how much can a few licks of paint change a space? When Karen Peters, a colour consultant and paint expert behind the company Paint Next, turned a client's powder room from basic cream to light pink, the answer was obvious: It can be totally transformative.
That rosy hue (Benjamin Moore's Teacup Pink, to be exact) added a soft glow to the room. "It's such a good colour for a morning makeup routine," Peters says. Even if pink makes you think more "princess" than "paintable," she adds that including any shade to your space can have just as much impact. "Colours really change the overall feeling."
Here, she shares tips to make you kiss builder's beige goodbye—and maybe even paint the rainbow.
On getting started
"Part of what I do is try to help someone narrow down the colour choices—you know, there are thousands—and integrate those into the home's existing elements. What kind of mood are you trying to create? What makes you feel good? A really good way to organize your ideas is to do a mood board, either something like Pinterest or a literal cut-and-paste—but include photos of what's already in your house."
On tying the room together
"If you have two colours and you don't know how to make them work and you have an anchor—a piece of artwork or printed fabric—it justifies the choice." Once, while renovating a cabin, soon-to-be-replaced flooring served as such inspiration for Peters: "It was a great pattern, so I just cut up this '60s linoleum, and framed it on the wall. People always ask where I got it."
How to avoid regrettable results
"Paint a test swatch on the wall so you can live with the colour a bit and see it in different lights," Peters suggests. And if you're really colour-shy? "A trend I'm loving right now is all-white walls with really colourful accessories."
If you do decide to colour your world
"Ensuites and laundry rooms are fun places to experiment with colour. I call those little jewellery boxes. But if you want to paint your living room walls candy apple green, go to the paint store and ask for a diffused shade. It makes the colour more liveable."