So what do you do when you must have a certain really dark accent colour but don’t have the space for it? You bring it down a couple of notches. Tone it down and brighten it up with a mid-tone version of the same deep colour you’re going for. The result? The space appears bigger. The artwork and furniture stand out rather than getting lost in the darkness and the overall contrast is less shocking and more comfortable to eye over long periods of time. But most importantly, it feels like the vision you were going for in your mind because the accent colour is still bold and rich, but allows enough light to reflect off it to truly enjoy the paint colour in all lights, day and night. In this case, by sheer coincidence, we chose Benjamin Moore “Toronto Blue” as the accent colour for this space which just happened to be half the tint value of the almost black-blue the customer originally wanted and now looks fantastic! It couldn’t look more “Toronto Maple Leafs” if the team decorated the condo themselves!
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If you start with the basics in choosing your colour palette, you can’t go wrong. Start with how you want to feel when using the space. Invigorated? Soothed? Focused? Then, look carefully at the colors in the room that will be there after you paint. The furniture. The window dressings. The wall hangings. Then, generally speaking, choose a light or medium tone colour that is a complimentary or neutral thread through all of these items. Be sure to check your colour behind each room element in both day and night lighting. Or at least in the lighting you’re most often using the space.
Then decide the prominent display you’d like to feature after the painting is done. It could be a painting or some other piece of art or wall hanging you enjoy and pick out an accent colour from it. It could be ever so slight strokes of red or chocolate or eggplant barely noticeable from afar but found in the small details of the piece.This is a good place to start in choosing your accent colour. And if you’ve done your “homework” correctly in choosing the paint colour for the rest of the room based on a common thread of all room elements described earlier, then your main colour will also be compatible with this feature piece you’re getting your accent colour from. And Voila! Instant designer colour palette!
Now all you have to do is choose which wall to paint your accent colour. An easy way to decide is by choosing either the wall you look at most or the wall you’re seen against most (as in an entry hall, for example, with the accent colour behind you as you open your front door). In the case of painting a living room, for instance, people often watch TV against a wall they look at most of the time when they’re in that room. An accent colour behind a TV or a piece of wall art also allows you to feature them prominently when positioned against a rich background.