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6 things to consider when choosing a new paint color for your room

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Choosing the right paint palette for your home should be fun, but there are a few things to keep in mind, too

If you ask me, picking paint colors for your home is one of the best parts of the home-renovating process. Oh, and did I mention the most difficult? Because it is definitely that too. With so many beautiful hues to choose from, where does one even start?

This was a struggle that was all too real for me last February when we bought our cute little fixer-upper. We knew coming in that every single room of the house would require repainting, so I spent hours upon hours poring over paint swatches and creating Pinterest boards.

More: Summer's must-have paint colors for your home

And while I probably spent more time than any person should ever admit to spending considering the subtle nuances between Antigua Aqua and Caribbean Breeze, I stand by the seemingly excessive time and effort I put into choosing the various hues for my home. After all, paint color can determine the mood of a room and affect how your furnishings look in it.

Here are some of the big considerations to make when picking a new paint color for your room.

1. Lighting

Does your room get a ton of natural light, or not so much? Paint color can look very different depending on the light. For my daughter's room, I originally picked a paint color called Blanched Coral — in pictures I'd seen, it looked like the perfect pale pink. However, in her room, which is flooded with natural light, it came off as more of a pink-tinged beige. As far as dark colors go, they can read elegant and cozy in rooms with good, natural light but can easily read drab and claustrophobic in rooms with little natural light. Get a sample, and paint a square on your wall, paying careful attention to how it changes in certain lights through the day.

2. Adjacent rooms

With open concept layouts being such a sought-after floor plan these days, many homes have rooms that flow right into another. If there is a half wall, arch or any other sort of framing that technically separates the spaces, you'll need to decide if you want to paint both spaces the same color or choose a complementary color for the adjacent space. If you're keeping the space adjacent to the room you're painting the same color, you'll want to make sure that existing color makes sense in your home's color story. Otherwise the entire area could just look disjointed.

More: 15 life hacks to help you rock your next painting project

3. The size of the room

One of the most common misconceptions about painting a small room is that you should stick to white to create the illusion of more space. While it's true that white can certainly create a sense of airiness in some spaces, many interior designers swear by choosing dark colors for a small room to blend its edges and camouflage the fact that it is indeed small. Alternately, dark colors in large rooms draw the room in, making it feel smaller and more cozy. Lighter colors enhance the feeling of openness.

4. Your furnishings

Unless you're buying brand-new furnishings to go into your room after you've chosen your color, you'll want to think about how the furnishings you have will correlate with the hue you choose. While I originally considered a light gray for my living room, my sofa is the same color, and I wasn't a fan of how it blended into the wall color. You don't want everything to feel too matchy-matchy — contrast is your friend! Opt for a paint shade much lighter or much darker than the elements in the space.

5. What vibe you're going for

One of my favorite things about paint is that it can feel so transformative. There is much in the way of research and studies proving that color psychology is a real thing, and it plays out with the paint colors you pick in your home. As a general rule of thumb, pale and cool colors create a sense of serenity. Warm colors, especially red, raise a room's energy level and are great for fostering conversation and sociability. Bright colors, like yellow, are happy but can be hard on the eyes and can elicit negative feelings in some people. And neutral can lend a sense of calm and refinement.

More: Room colors that induce creativity

6. The future

If you're dying to paint your bathroom a deep navy blue, do it! When all is said and done, this is your home, and your paint colors should reflect your personality. But first, consider what the future holds for the space you're painting. Do you plan to sell your home in the near future? Will the room be repurposed down the road for a nursery? Knowing you will have to start the entire painting process over again may steer you toward a lighter shade than you were originally considering, given it will be easier to paint over down the road.

This post was sponsored by The Home Depot. Save big on paint through Memorial Day with $10 off gallon cans and $40 off 5-gallon buckets of paint.

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