Everyone is aware that painting a room can be one of the simplest and cheapest ways to change a space. What’s the hardest part? The color. Romanek, who is releasing a book in October called “Livable Luxe” with a preface by Gwyneth Paley, knows that small changes in color can have a huge impact. She often favors bold, saturated colors, but even when she uses understated neutrals, she doesn’t leave anything to chance.
In her own home, she employed no fewer than 16 shades of white to create the vibe she wanted in various rooms.
“Colors affect your mood and mental health,” Ms. Romanek said. Picking the right color can be as important as choosing the right sofa. Assess the Room
Start with some questions. Ms. Romanek suggested, “What is my desired feeling in this bedroom?” What am I going to do with this room?
Your answer should inform your choice of color. For statement spaces such as lounges and powder bathrooms, deep greens or grays are ideal. Meanwhile, vibrant blues and pinks would be perfect for spaces that need to be lively like kitchens and dining areas. Off-whites and beiges may work well in a bedroom. The choice is yours. Romanek chose to paint the bedroom that was white with a warm shade tan. She said, “I’d like to make it a little cozier.” The paint color will do that for us.” Explore Your Options
Once your general color preference is established, begin collecting paint chips and paint decks. Tape up your chips
Tape the paint chips of the main contenders onto the wall so you can see them in place. Other companies, like Farrow & Ball, Backdrop and Clare, offer edited collections that can make the process slightly less overwhelming.
After you have a collection of paint chips, narrow the field to a handful of favorites.
Tape Up Your Chips
Tape chips of the main contenders onto the wall, so you can see them in place.
If you’ve selected the fabrics, carpets and accessories you plan to use in the room, hold them near the paint chips, Ms. Romanek suggested, so you can see how the colors work together in the space.
Paint Large Samples
From the paint chips, choose two or three favorites and buy small cans of paint for sampling.
“I like to do really large samples on the wall,” Ms. Romanek said, measuring roughly four-by-four feet each.
“I’ll require that painters do the priming and the proper two to three coats of paint on the sample, so I really get a sense of what the color’s going to be,” she said. I don’t like to guess. Ms. Romanek uses a matte finish for adult bedrooms, an eggshell wipeable finish in children’s spaces and a high-gloss on moldings. Is it worth it to buy large peel-and stick sheets like those from Samplize? “I prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, which is by sticking the samples directly on the wall,” said Romanek. “This way I’m guaranteed I will love the outcome.”
Choose Your Favorite
With the samples on the wall, study them at various times of day, in natural and artificial light.
“You have to live with them for a few days,” Ms. Romanek said. You have to look at them in various types of lighting. For example, late afternoon sunlight tends to make the colors appear warmer than morning sun. And some colors, like grays, are notoriously tricky and can end up looking blue, purple or green.
But after all that work, choosing the winner should be easy.
“If you take the time to look at all of these things, you will come to a decision that you’ll most likely live with for years and years,” said Ms. Romanek, who settled on Turbinado from Clare for her bedroom.
Finish the Job
It’s finally time to buy the paint and get to work. You’ll probably not be painting your walls again for many years, so make sure you allow enough time for the paint to dry between coats. She added that by taking your time when selecting the color, you can “really just exhale” and know that it is right.