Have no fear. Our expert advice can help you take the plunge.

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There is a commonly accepted notion that darker colors make a room feel smaller. This is because dark colors absorb light and light colors can reflect openness in a space. But that notion may not always hold true.

“When clients hire me to help with their homes, wall color is always a part of the conversation,” says interior designer Cari Blanchard of Signature Interiors & Design. “I feel that dark colors on walls can often have the opposite effect of making a space feel small – contrary to popular belief. Darker walls can appear to recede rather than close in on a space creating a rich intimacy that beholds character, a sort of classy sophistication to a space.  If your home has architectural details like great sets of windows or an amazing fireplace, bold color choices can really enhance them.”

But how do you really pick a color?  Blanchard suggests starting with an accent wall to introduce a new, daring color to your home. “One trick to use? If you are considering painting an accent wall with a deep, intense tone, select the color you favor. Then pick a color from the same swatch but four shades lighter. You will use this for the other walls. This will ensure that your colors will complement each other.”

Blanchard is also a fan of lighter ceilings. “I suggest keeping it at least three shades lighter than your lighter-colored wall,” she suggests.

Hiring a professional like Blanchard to assist with color selections can reduce a lot of the stress and ease the fear of making a wrong decision. “I include color consultations with all my design projects here at Signature Interiors and Design because I know how important wall color is to the feel of a home. It most definitely is the one area people are most afraid of doing themselves.”

Blanchard suggests starting small. If painting your living room walls a charcoal gray seems daunting, she suggests starting your color adventure in a powder room or small office. These spaces are ideal for deep, rich, saturated colors. It also gives you a chance to admire the colors on a smaller scale, which will ease you into feeling more comfortable with your choices. You can get a lot of impact from a can of quality paint.

When contemplating darker paint choices, there are a few things to avoid. “In my professional experience, the biggest mistake people make is allowing their fear to prevent them from trying something different,” Blanchard says.“A lot of homeowners leave naked, white walls because of apprehension and indecision.”

The second biggest mistake Blanchard cites is picking a color that doesn’t coordinate with your surroundings and accessories.

A third mistake Blanchard sees is painting each room a bold and unique color without having them relate to each other. “You definitely don’t want your home to look like a box of crayons!” Blanchard says. “You want a common storyline to run throughout your home to create a balanced, harmonious experience.”

It’s helpful to keep in mind that when most homeowners think of refreshing the design of their home, more often than not, they hold back due to being afraid to ask for help. This can keep homeowners from creating the room of their dreams. Color consults are fairly inexpensive and can help you feel confident in making the decision to be bold and go with that darker paint color.

Companies like Signature Interiors & Design in Kent are exactly the kind of place to turn to when looking for help. With skilled interior designers like Cari Blanchard, you can transform your drab, barren space into something gloriously refreshing!

Go ahead! Try that gothic gray … that terrific teal … or even that nautical navy – you won’t regret it!

Signature Interiors and Design specializes in helping you find your personal style with unique and thoughtful design solutions. Come experience the difference.