By Tyler Wisler

Paint really is a magical thing! The simple swipe of a roller can transform a space from sterile to stunning, or cold to cozy! It is one of the most powerful design tools we all have accessible to us. There is nothing like bathing surfaces in that perfect hue of coral, reminding you of that idyllic sunset you gazed into on your honeymoon, or finding that shade of robin’s egg blue that makes your gorgeous tangerine mid-century sofa just pop! Color is a way of expressing who we are and how we feel our spaces should feel. It makes us feel emotion and, when we allow it to take over large swathes of real estate, it becomes a statement.

Whether you’re moving into or living in a compact condo, or opulent black and white house, the walls are, more often than not, a blank canvas which can leave your living space devoid of personality. Given that paint is something that is easy, relatively inexpensive and never has to be permanent, there is a world of possibilities when it comes to putting your accent on your abode to make it feel more like your home, if your landlord is agreeable to it.

Finding that perfect color is not as easy as it might seem. The one mistake I see being made very often is the intensity of the colors people choose. How many of you have arrived home, painted your walls a color that you spent an hour agonizing over in the store, only to find out it is either hideous or overwhelming? Well, that is the seductive power of color. Ninety percent of the colors we are shown are very loud once applied to the walls.

One of my tricks is when you find a shade you love, go back to the lightest version of that hue. This gives you the essence of the color without hitting you over the head. I also strongly believe in considering options. Just because the color is gorgeous in the store does not mean it will translate that way in your space.

Once you have settled on your three favorite options, grab a roller and a quart of each. This seems a lot, but you are not going to be painting those squares up on your wall anymore. You will be painting nice big swatches, and I mean big! Maybe 48” wide and from floor to ceiling. Why? Well, the color at ceiling level looks vastly different than it does down near the floor and, again, different to what it does at eye level. And, you are going to paint two coats! You will ultimately be painting two coats of paint of the color you decide on, so you should see the product exactly as it will live.

But why such big sections? Our eyes are funny things. They like to play tricks on us, especially with color and the relationship to other colors near it. Do you all remember that silly controversy of “Is it a black and blue dress or a white and gold dress”? It’s the same thing. When you are relying on a small square of color your eye must decipher what it sees in relation to what it is nearest to. For example, these two smaller green squares are the same color but appear different because of the backgrounds they are up against.

Now you have these gorgeous wide stripes on the wall it’s time to pick, right? Well, no. I want you to look at these colors over the next couple of days. The colors will appear warmer in the morning sun, maybe bluer when you get home from work and turn on your lights, depending on the type of bulbs you have. All these factors play with color, so give yourself time to react to the swatches throughout the day. Then assess and choose.