I am doing a few room updates in my home, which includes painting a couple of rooms. Choosing a paint color should be a relatively easy task, especially since I was merely choosing a color that coordinated with the room’s bedding. I decided a pale teal color would be best and all I needed to do was visit the local home supply store and pick up a few swatches. I even took a pillow with me for easy coordination and choice.
Yet, as I stood in front of the vase display of paint swatch cards, I found myself in an inner color theory dialogue. I was standing in the store with pillow in hand, but still left with about 10 different swatch cards. All the typical color theory terms were dancing in my head. This teal was too saturated, this one was too muted, this one too much tint. The balance between blue and green in any given teal choice could be the difference between right and wrong. Then there is the practical application of the room’s lighting and how different each chosen swatch will look under natural sunlight versus the florescent lighting in the store.
I began to question whether my knowledge of color theory was beneficial to the simple task of choosing paint for a room, or did it just make the choice more difficult? Was someone with no color theory knowledge, who picked a paint color because “It just looked right,” better off than my struggle to find a perfect teal? Maybe they have an easier decision, but I’m willing to bet my paint choice will look great on the walls.