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Picking a Paint Color

I have a confession to make… I love paint swatches. I get all excited when I walk into a paint store and see that whole wall-full of colors. Oh, the options. Oh, the possibilities!


The only problem is, when I decide to get serious about choosing a color for real, I get slightly overwhelmed.


While picking the paint color for Colin’s room, I ended up using this method:



  1. Inspiration book: My husband was recently away for about 3 weeks (I’m sooo glad to have him back!). When he returned, he brought me a special gift – the latest catalog from the Pottery Barn store in Calgary!! Woo Hoo!! (O.K…another confession…I sort of asked him to get it for me!:)) So, I’ve studied it thoroughly. I look at the pages and analyze the rooms that I really love. It helps me sort out the overall “feel” of the room I want it to end up having.
  2. Fabric Swatches: I’ve noticed through watching Sara Richardson’s design shows (love them!) that she often starts with fabric she loves and then chooses colors from it. It seems to work well for her…:) So, I was thrilled to find bedding that I loved. (Colin is indifferent to the whole thing…so I’m just going with what I love for him!)
  3. Paint Swatches: As you can see, I’ve been collecting them for a while!:) The important thing to do is to look at them in the actual room you are painting. Lighting changes color completely! This room is really tricky with its very little light.

I finally found THE COLOR. It was “Coastal Path” – a Benjamin Moore color Pottery Barn uses. It matched the fabric perfectly and looked great in the room light. However, it was much too dark for that tiny room. So I decided to follow the advice from other blogger friends and ask the paint store to cut back the color by 50%.


But…as they say…the best laid plans… When I arrived to purchase the paint, the paint lady informed me she couldn’t cut the paint color back 50%. (I still don’t quite understand why, but that’s o.k.)


So…plan C ended up being the kind interior designer that happened to be in the store at the time. She helped me pick out a color that she promised would not turn “pinky” on me. Let’s just say I’ve had some bad “beige” experiences in the past.

In the end, “Clay Beige” was the winner. And despite the “beige” part in its name…I absolutely love it!:)

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  1. Oh, I've had unintended 'pinky' experiences, as well. As a matter of fact, my bedroom walls have a pinkish tinge to them. Never planned that! One day I will change it. Looking forward to seeing Colin's bedroom once it's all done!

  2. Great advice. Choosing a paint color is one of decorating's most perplexing decisions, and yet it's so important. I like that you have a formula for making it work. Thanks for sharing the ups and downs of your process.

    Paint stores can computer match almost anything you bring in to them — a photograph, a fabric swatch, an old paint chip. I don't know why your paint store lady couldn't have been more help. Maybe you need to find another paint store.

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