DIY: Interior Decorating – Color Palette selection tools

Often when we begin a project we have many sources of inspiration, from the background the Owner gives us, to research and ideas we’ve filed away for a future project.  These days, there is an abundance of print and online media, and it may be a bit daunting to sift through them for an inexperienced designer or homeowner.

Where do you turn when you’re looking for a refreshing color palette for a room or a home remodel?  Many people still flip through design magazines, or head to the local hardware store to pick up a manufacturer brochure and color chips.  Other people may turn on HGTV, or log on to Pinterest, or their favorite design blog.  We have compiled a few tools to narrow down your choices, and hopefully make your search a little simpler.

Design Seeds®

For color palette inspiration, check out the website Design-Seeds.com.  Author of the blog, Jessica, searches online images for inspiration, and mixes up color palettes to coordinate with the images.  There are a plethora of palettes, but you can search by color or theme, or just follow her blog for daily inspiration.  Looking for a muted winter color scheme?  Try Winter Chirp.

Looking for a bolder theme?  See Eggplant Hues.

Jessica’s color schemes can be inspiration for website design, interior decorating, or even to add a flare to your wardrobe.  The big question is, once you find a palette you like, how do you convert it to paint colors?  Well, the simple answer is, you don’t.  The colors aren’t going to be exact, when converted from screen to paint, but you can use your chosen palette as a guide for picking colors.  Jessica explains how to use her palettes to find the HEX code, and subsequently the color here, but chances are you aren’t looking to get that exact.

ColorSnap® 

Many paint manufacturers have tools to help you find the correct paint color for your project.  For instance, Sherwin-Williams has many tools available on their website for homeowners and designers.  Sherwin-Williams’ ColorSnap for iPhone and Blackberry is a color-matching app that converts color from an image to a Sherwin-Williams paint color.  It is a free download, and you can snap a photo with your phone, or use a downloaded image (like one of Jessica’s color palettes!), and create your own color scheme from the image.

Chip It!™  

Want to mix your own colors from an online image? Chip It!™ by Sherwin-Williams is a “bookmarklet” tool that you can add to your internet browser toolbar, that allows you to select any image online and identify the Sherwin-Williams paint colors that correspond to the colors in the image.  Create a profile at www.letschipit.com and begin to make your own color palettes.  You can share the color palette with your friends, or print it and take it to the store for accurate paint color mixing.  I recommend always searching for the Sherwin-Williams paint chip samples, to make sure you know what color you are asking for, or you may be in for a shock!  Computer monitors may display colors differently than printers, and certainly than the paint samples.  It is always a good idea to take the paint chips home to see the color in your own light for an accurate representation.

Color Visualizer  

One more tool I will mention, will allow you to render a room or the exterior a building with the colors of your choice.  Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer allows you to upload an image and paint your own interior or exterior of your home.  You can also choose from one of their pre-set images of all types of home styles and room types.  Once you figure out your colors, print out the information, including Sherwin-Williams color names and numbers, and take them to the paint store.

Are these tools useful?  Of course!  Are they flawless?  No, but they will certainly get you started on your next project.  Please keep in mind, if you are using a palette generator from a particular paint manufacturer, not only do you have variations in the media on which you view your image, the program is also finding the closest available paint color for that particular manufacturer, which may not be the best color match for your palette.

So, have you used any of these tools and found them useful?  Let us know; we love to hear your feedback!

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