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You’re chomping at the bit to change up your apartment’s color scheme.
You’ve made a dream board on Pinterest. You’ve flipped through dozens of magazines. Not to mention, you’ve stood in front of the paint chip wall more times than you can count.
But you still can’t be sure which colors will look best in your space.
One of the best ways to settle on your perfect color palette is to know what not to do. Knowing these seven common apartment color mistakes will help you avoid having to course-correct later down the line.
1. Not Testing a Color in Your Apartment Before Buying
When it comes to colors, light is one of the most critical factors. You have to take it into account when you’re shopping around. Otherwise, you might end up getting the short end of the stick.
Colors will look differently online or in the store than they will in your apartment.
The best strategy for avoiding this mistake is simply taking the colors home with you before you commit. That doesn’t mean you have to buy an entire can of paint or a brand-new couch to get a feel for the shades you’re considering.
Hardware stores usually have paint swatch cards for free in the paint section. They’re easy enough to tape to your wall for a few days just to see how they look under your lighting.
You may also be able to get your hands on a test size can of paint so you can see how it goes on the wall and what it looks like when it dries.
If you’re looking at adding color through furniture, the paint swatch cards may be enough. However, many places will also let you order fabric swatches of the furniture piece so you can get a better feel for how it will look in your apartment.
While you’re testing colors, give yourself a few days to decide whether you truly like living with them or not.
2. Giving in to This Year’s Trends
Trends come and go like the tide. You cannot rely on them to stick around for very long. So, basing your entire color scheme on the Pantone color of the year will only result in having to make a change later down the line.
The fact that a shade is currently popular can hold some weight in your decision, but it shouldn’t be the only reason you choose it.
It’s better to pick colors you love and enjoy seeing. If you really like the colors you put in your apartment, they’re more likely to stick around for much longer.
3. Picking the Wall Color First
Don’t go straight for repainting when you move into a new place. It’s a lot of work to paint the walls, and you don’t want to find out later that you probably should have gone with a different shade.
Get your furniture in the room first. Put together some of your decors before you even look at the walls.
Finding a paint color that compliments your decor is so much easier than finding pieces that look good against an already painted wall.
Of course, this applies mostly to colors and not neutrals, but it’s best to err on the side of caution.
4. Using Too Many Colors
There’s such a thing as too many colors in one room or your apartment as a whole. Jamming a bunch of colors into one space gets overwhelming to the senses.
You start to feel closed in by all the noisy shades.
For best results, stick to one or two neutrals, one or two main colors, and one or two accent colors — tops. You can also follow something like the 60/30/10 rule to achieve balance.
The rule dictates that your decor consists of 60% of your primary color. Then 30% of your secondary color and 10% is your accent color.
5. Not Using Enough Colors
There’s also such a thing as not varying your colors enough.
If you use one color and only that color throughout an entire room, it feels monotonous and way too matchy. And if you carry that single color throughout your entire apartment, it might start to feel a little bit boring.
Your senses need stimulation!
If you’re set on using just one color, try incorporating different shades of that color to add some interest. There’s no going wrong with a good gradient.
6. Tiptoeing Around What You Really Want
Don’t be shy!
There’s no reason to worry about what anyone else will think about your color scheme.
They don’t have to live in your apartment, do they?
Do you want a boldly colored couch?
Get a boldly colored couch.
If you want to paint your ceiling — go for it!
Just because you haven’t seen anyone else doing it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. And even if it goes against the trends, that doesn’t mean it’s going to look bad when you finish.
What really matters is that you love the look of your apartment.
7. Forgetting About Color Psychology
One thing you always have to remember about colors is that they invoke moods. It’s something you should at least keep in mind when you’re picking out colors for specific rooms.
There’s no hard and fast rule about what rooms have to be what colors, but they certainly have a more significant impact than simple decoration.
For example, red makes you feel energetic, it’s passionate, and it increases your appetite. That’s why you see it used in a lot of restaurants and diners. On the other hand, blue is tranquil and calming, making you feel at ease.
Now you know what traps to watch out for during your color hunt so that you don’t fall in. Depending on how many colors you use, that could be a tricky trap to climb out of.
Instead, after decorating, you’ll end up falling in love with your new color palette!
All you have to do is take this advice. Don’t let yourself make one of these seven common color mistakes in your apartment this year. It’s 2021, time for us all to get a win!
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organizations, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Copper Beech Harrisonburg to help them with their online marketing.