Monday, July 30, 2012


Last week on "Sage Advice" my main topic was Paint.  Although it is one of the easiest ways and most cost effective ways to decorate, it is also way more complicated than most people care to or even begin to think about.

First of all, I LOVE Paint.  I love seeing all the paint chips in the store, I love watching people mix it and I love physically painting a wall- crazy I know!!  There is something so amazing and transformative about paint.  You can completely change the mood of a room with paint.
But paint is so complicated too.  Unless you understand the fundamental way that light can affect how you perceive paint then picking a colour can be a true challenge.
During one of my classes I took in design school, I had to take a colour course.  One of the best courses I ever took.  It fundamentally changed how I look and feel about colour.  I always have had the ability to pick and put colours together but this was a whole new world and one that I was so glad that I entered.  It truly made me understand undertones and the way that light changes how we perceive colour.
In one of our assignments we had to make a diorama of a room.  I did a little boys room.  The assignment was to be very creative but at the same time we had a certain criteria to follow.  So like in all things that I do, I kinda went overboard and made furniture and shelves and a little pillow..........:

You will have to excuse some of the items as this little "room" is 7 years old now!  I can hardly believe it myself!!  But the whole point in doing this assignment wasn't just to make a room, but after completion, we were given a whole new perspective on light and colour.  Let me explain how....

Warm flourescent



Daylight Fluorescent

Our teacher picked a couple of rooms as examples and them proceeded to place different types of light over the rooms.  It was mind blowing seeing how the different types of light really did change the colours in the room and the "feel" of the room.

So you can see by the photos that the type of light really does effect a room.  The warm flourescent isn't bad but still doesn't cut it for me.
The Incandescent is warm of course and changes the room from regular daylight.
The Xenon which I took from my under counter lighting in the kitchen really yellows things up- a lot!
And lastly, the Daylight flourescent.  If there ever was a case for lighting NOT with daylight flourescent then this is it everyone.  Not only does it make everything look HORRIBLE, but you get the least accurate perception of colour.  It greys everything out and makes everything dull and lifeless.
So you can see how important it is when picking a paint colour for your walls to do so at varying times of the day.  Daylight will cause the walls to to look way different during the day compared to when you have your lights on at night.  And if that light you have has a cool undertone to it like in Daylight Fluorescents then your paint colour that you love during the day will look positively horrible at night.

To me Halogens are a great option for lighting at night as is Incandescent bulbs.  That being said in an age where we should be green especially with our lighting the best option would be LED.  I wish I had an example of that.  But to me LED's have to come a long way before they pump out the same "lumen's" as an incandescent or a halogen.  But things are changing all the time. In the past we were stuck only with awful daylight fluorescent-thank goodness things have changed!!

So what was my whole point in this?  Well..........  First of all picking that great colour for your room is way more complicated that pointing your finger on a paint chip.  If everyone could do it then everyone would be happy with their choices and wouldn't need professional help.  Secondly, you have to really think about your lighting.  It is so important and way too many people don't even give it a second thought.  "Why don't I like my walls at night but love them during the daytime"???.....  well it could be your lighting.
Just some food for thought everyone.
Have a great day

1 comment:

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