Design Tips

Design Tips

Cabinets in a kitchen

The Power of Color

The way you decorate your home is a language of its own. It tells the world how you feel about yourself. It’s living art! 

It's our experience that it can be overwhelming when choosing the colors for your home. It's often difficult at best to disconnect enough from your projects to have the clarity and objectivity that a professional or a friend can give you. Do not be discouraged - you are the majority! 

These suggested guidelines can help you make good color decisions, and we are always here at Builders Supply to give you our conservative second opinion when you need us!

Neighborhood houses

1. Get a wish book

Pictures are worth 1,000 words and can really help make your color decision. Do you prefer traditional or contemporary styling? Choose pictures that inspire you and set the mood that you would like to create in your own home. Pinterest and Houzz are great tools to utilize for this!

2. Is this a remodel? 

If it is, what are the structural/foundation elements in your existing home that we need to consider? Do you have existing hardwood, tile, or countertops that we need to take into consideration? What color is your cabinetry and what type of hardware is on them?

Three things to pay attention to in a remodel:

Paint Roller

Are you painting over oil or latex paint?

There is a simple test: First, scrub a small area with a solution of household detergent and warm water. Rinse well and towel dry. Then soak a cotton ball, Q-tip or soft rag in alcohol and rub it back and forth over the cleaned area. If paint comes off, its latex and another coat of the same is in order.


Know when to say when

Often, less is more! Let me re-emphasize: often less is more. This is one of the recurring themes we see in home design and it's something that can be costly. Be mindful of what is preexisting. For example, if you have paid a fortune for a new granite countertop that has great color variation in the pattern, go conservative with your backsplash. You want to complement and not distract from your previous investment. Be sure and find a paint color that will enhance as well.


Be mindful of your foundation

There are many things to consider for an exterior paint project. What color is your roof? What color is your brick, stone, siding? Do you have prominent landscaping? What is the color of your landscape in bloom? All of these factors make a huge difference in the overall curb appeal of a home!

Building wood frame

3. New construction project? Don't skimp on your foundation!

New construction projects are fun! But be sure to work from the outside - in, and the foundation - up.

On the exterior, choose your exterior stones, bricks, roofing, and windows first. 

On the interior, choose your flooring and cabinetry first! These are absolutely the most inconvenient/costly items to have to replace in your home, so it's important to go for quality here. We find that many times people building will not plan in advance. When they get to these expenses they decide to cut corners because they can replace them down the road.

The reality of that situation is, it costs them double. When the time comes, they are paying for not only installation of the new but for removal of the old. 

Invest in the foundational items of your home, and then pick colors that will enhance them!

4. Be inspired by your surroundings!

Be mindful of what is around you. Are you in a historical community/district? If that is the case, you may be requested to follow local design colors and guidelines. (FYI: sometimes there is grant money to assist with this. Check with your local officials.) You want your neighbors to be as excited about your project as you are!

5. Be inspired by the natural environment

Do you reside close to a forest, mountains, lake or perhaps the coast? Again, consider the landscape in your area.

6. Be inspired by your favorite art and decor

Do you have favorite artwork, paintings, rugs, or other decor you love? Choose colors that will highlight those favorite things. Remember to highlight things that are important to you and your family. The color of your room or house should be viewed as a blank canvas to highlight these items. The Power of Color can make a big difference - in essence a living art!

House at night
Living Room

7. Fabric

What upholstered furniture are you using? How about your window coverings, pillows, and bedspreads? We are proud suppliers of Greenhouse Fabrics!

8. Lighting

How is direct sunlight or lack thereof going to affect your color choices? A common misconception we often hear from clients is a concern about putting a dark color in a dark room. Our theory is simple: sometimes you just need to emphasize what you've got! 

Dark room? No problem. Don't be afraid of using dark colors and going for the dramatic look BUT make sure you have great lighting built in.

9. Consider the flow of your home

Create a color chart of your home so you can see how your house will flow from room to room prior to actually painting. Make sure that from any vantage point, the colors you see will complement one another. With today’s open floor plans it's imperative to have a good transition from one room to the next! Also keep in mind that it creates a very finished look when you have consistency from the inside-out!

10. Know when to emphasize features on your home...but most importantly when NOT to

If you've invested in beautiful carriage house garage doors, you may want people to notice. On the other hand, one may not want to highlight a 6-panel garage door!

If you have beautiful moldings in your home, you may want to draw attention to them. This can be achieved by painting them a contrasting color OR the same color with a higher sheen

On the flip side, if you are living in older home with drywall that is far from perfect, you won't want to highlight the imperfections. The lower the sheen, the less you will notice the imperfections. Sheen can make or break you! Don't use a high sheen on areas with imperfections!

Red House

11. What is your coloring?

Last but not least: a little something to think about. We all have colors, depending on our own "coloring," that we are most comfortable wearing. Look in your closet and there will likely be a consistency when it comes to the colors of clothing that you feel good in. These will likely also be the same colors you will be happiest living in. By making good color choices, we can live happier just by the colors we surround ourselves with!

The least expensive way to transform a structure is through color! Whether it is a room, house, office, or complete downtown building, the power of color is simply phenomenal!

We are happy to assist you in your decision any way we can. We have a huge selection of colors from both Porter Paints and Do it Best Quality Paints. However, our professionals can color match just about any brand or competitor's colors. We appreciate our customers' business and want to provide you with the best service!