I started this post back in November prior to leaving for Florida for the winter (just like a good snowbird should!). I’m back now and the downstairs basement bathroom paint project is complete. See the after below this original post.
I have a favorite “go-to” shirt that I wear more often than not (far too often if you ask my husband!). It’s not an expensive or fine piece of clothing because, well, I don’t own any of those, but rather it’s in a color that I love and makes me feel prettier when I wear it. This well-worn shirt is a smoky, eggplant color. It compliments my skin tone and my hair color, and because of that, I think it makes me LOOK better when I wear it, and more importantly, I FEEL better when wearing it!
So let’s translate that same concept to the colors we choose to paint the rooms in our homes. Paint with color that makes you FEEL good in your space and that RELATE to the fixed elements already in place!
For the past 10 years or so, I have been living with a dull, yellow paint color in my basement bathroom that does nothing for the space. This yellow wall paint in no way RELATES to the flooring (which is a slate stone in hues of brown, gray, blue & violet). This yellow paint color was simply a color that was sprayed throughout the basement when we first built the home in the hopes of making a dark basement feel brighter! (Spoiler alert, that doesn’t happen!). Even the ceiling is painted in this same light yellow and it does nothing to compliment the features and beauty of the guests who use the bathroom downstairs. I’m sure they look in the mirror and think, “hummm, I thought I was better looking that THIS!”
So, it dawned on me the other day, while I was wearing that favorite shirt of mine, to paint this bathroom the same dusky eggplant color similar to my shirt that would not only compliment and relate to the flooring, but would make me FEEL & LOOK good in that space. I narrowed it down to these 3 color choices.
1). Top: Sherwin-Williams Storm Cloud (LRV = 23) . Will pull more blue
2). Bottom Left: Sherwin-Williams Special Gray (LRV = 19). Will pull more violet (purple)
3). Bottom Right: Sherwin-Williams Poised Taupe (LRV = 22). Will pull both brown & violet.
All 3 colors relate to the slate stone. All are dark colors, yes DARK! Don’t know what LRV is? (Light Reflectance Value) Check out: https://www.diamondvogel.com/blog/light-reflectance-value-what-do-those-numbers-mean
Why go DARK in a basement bathroom that’s already dark & has NO natural light you might ask? The thing is and remember this…….NO, & I repeat, NO light paint color has enough “muscle” to lighten and brighten a space that lacks sufficient natural and/or artificial light. If you choose a light paint color in the hopes of making the space feel light & airy, you’ll just end up with a light paint color that looks flat and dull in the space. My advice when dealing with a room with no natural light and/or poor artificial light, don’t fight the lack of light, but rather EMBRACE IT! Go dark, bold and dramatic, particularly in a space that is set off by itself like this small basement bathroom.
I chose SW Poised Taupe. Again, it RELATED to the slate stone floor, the barn board vanity & gosh darn it, I look & feel good in TAUPE! End of story. You have to admit, not many people look good in yellow, so it had to go. Here’s the after below.
You see how now the taupe wall color now RELATES to the slate flooring and the barn board vanity? Unfortunately, I could do nothing about the yellow vessel sink, (don’t ask me what I was thinking when I purchased that back in 2001), but you don’t notice the vanity so much now. That’s the beauty of good design. It’s all about DISTRACTING THE EYE. DRAW the eye to those elements in your space you want to focus on, and DISTRACT the eye from those elements in your space that you don’t.
The take-away of all this is…….paint your space in colors that make you FEEL good, happy and healthy, while at the same time relating to the existing fixed elements in the space (i.e., flooring, countertops, cabinets, etc…). Perhaps test this out first on a small space set apart from the rest, if you like the results, incorporate this application & thinking throughout your house while maintaining flow & cohesiveness. Better yet? Hire a certified and professional color design consultant to help guide you through the process and color with confidence!