paint_typesA fresh coat of paint is an upgrade well worth the effort. Your best bet for color…the lighter, the better.

Deep, saturated shades have been popular for years, but the palette that’s in vogue right now is just the opposite. Interior designers and colorists are favoring lighter hues, including off-whites, that just tease the eye with traces of color.

Interestingly enough, there is a psychological benefit to a lighter indoor environment.  Brighter surroundings can lift our spirits, and soft tints derived from certain color families—green and blue, for example—can feel restorative after a stressful day.

Vaguely reminiscent of the “pastels” of yesteryear, the light colors that are gaining popularity today are more sophisticated ensembles, often marrying three or more different hues to create soft color that is often hard to put a name to.  Layering color in this way produces fascinating visual effects.

Because the new tints are not pure whites, yellows or greens, many have a chameleon-like quality, shifting their appearance slightly when the light changes. During the daytime, a wall color might appear to be pale green, but at night, under artificial light, it may take on a yellow cast.  Likewise, a light bluish tint might gravitate toward pale gray in dimmer light.

Apply sizable swatches of the paint color to several walls and live with them for a day or two before fully committing to the color.

Another way to incorporate lighter shades? Repaint ceilings and woodwork. This visual trick helps open up a space, making any room appear larger than it is.