Deciding on which color(s) to paint your walls is no easy feat. Some design blogs advocate bold and bright splashes of color while others preach about neutral canvases upon which you can “splash” color around using textiles, furnishings and other (less permanent) accents.
So which design theory is the right one for you?
3 Questions to Sort Out Whether Your Walls Should Be Colorful or Neutral
As with any questions pertaining to interior design, the answer varies from household to household – based on things like budget, lifestyle, long-term goals, and so on. Working through the following 3 questions can help you determine which route makes the most sense for your ultimate vision.
What is your remodeling budget?
Painting walls requires time, energy and money. How much of each of those depends on things like how many colors you use in a room, whether or not you use the same color for the ceilings or not, quantity of wood trim, etc. etc.
If you have the luxury of a larger budget, changing paint colors every two or three years is not nearly as much of a concern as it is for someone on a smaller budget. Similarly, a larger painting budget will allow you to get more creative with different colors for the walls, ceilings and trim – even if you’re just talking about a different shade within the same hue.
Those on a smaller budget may be better off going the neutral route, as this will last you longer – preventing you from the expense of changing the colors as trends and preferences change.
How Long Will You Be in Your Home?
If you plan on staying in the same home for at least another five or ten years, personalization is no big deal. Go on and paint your dining room a scarlet red, or create a warm family room atmosphere with fiery oranges and yellows.
By the same token, if you think you’ll be moving soon and are concerned about resale value, neutral colors may be the best option. Repainting walls for a more universal and neutral color palate is the last thing you want to be dealing with as your gearing up for all that is required for packing and moving.
If you are a renter, rather than a homeowner, I also caution you to err on the side of neutral. I’ve seen renters that have grand plans to “repaint everything back to white,” which is a lofty but unrealistic goal when you actually give your 30-days’ notice down the road. Better to keep the walls a neutral color and then use your own art and/or more temporary wall décor options to pick up the color slack.
How Important is Color to You?
If you were aghast reading my advice regarding neutral walls and temporary color via accents – it might mean color is essential to your well-being. Some of us do better than others with white or neutral walls. Even so, there are plenty of ways to gain the color, pattern and interest you want without having to invest in a brand new interior paint scheme.
Feature walls pack a powerful punch. If you’re someone who likes to change colors with the seasons, is a renter, or knows your home will be going on the market sooner rather than later, implementing feature walls is the way to go. Not only will you benefit from the colors you love most, you’ll also find it much easier to paint back to neutral when the time is right – – we’re talking 25% of the labor/investment, assuming you painted a feature wall in every room.