2000 124th Ave NE B109, Bellevue 98005

ASID Industry PartnerBuilt GreenMBA MemberJAS Design BuildAnderson Construction

The Walls of your Dreams

by Anna Giles

Choosing a new paint color for a room is like changing your hair color; it’s a definitive statement about who you are and what you want. It’s an expression of your soul and the type of person you are or want to become. So deciding the “look” of a room can be both scary and exhilarating. That’s where we at Shearer Painting of Seattle come in!

We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to make your new venture a fun and creative experience – and, of course, we hope you’ll involve us in the process as well!

Kelly Wearstler, L.A. designer to major stars such as Gwen Stefani and Jeanne Tripplehorn, recently did an interview with InStyle magazine (June 2010, p. 290) on creating a color palette., a commercial arts website, says that a color palette, “refers to a set or combination of colors for a particular visual concept; can convey tone and attitude, i.e. ‘vibrant’ or ‘feminine.’” Of course, your color palette certainly doesn’t have to convey femininity or even vibrancy, especially if that’s not reflective of you – but you get the idea. A color palette is your room’s anchor. As Wearstler says, “Be confident, go with your heart, and follow your emotions!” She explains how:

1. “Assess the Mood” Do you want an invigorating room or a calming one? An energizing space will have lots of bright colors, while a soothing one will have paler, perhaps even monochromatic tones (perfect for a bedroom or study). Wearstler says that “a monochromatic room is generally more relaxing, but really it has to do with the value or intensity of the colors you choose.” Value is known as how dark or light a color is.

2. “Find Inspiration” Because paint is the clothing of any room, look in your closet! What colors look good on you? How do you feel when you’re in them? InStyle suggests looking at a “vibrant print on a scarf, a patterned top…all can launch a room palette.” Also, look to nature for inspiration. What’s your favorite vacation spot? Personally, I think London is the greatest city in the world, so I would try a color palette of red, blue, and gun metal (I’d skip the white, since it’s almost always raining in London).

3. “Do Color Trios” There are three terms that apply when choosing color trios: lead, grounding, and spark. A lead hue is a very distinguishing color that ties the whole room together. A grounding color’s definition is just as it sounds; it’s often times a neutral color. And lastly, a spark is something bright and joyful. InStyle suggests always painting a 3-by-4 foot swatch of the color that you want to make sure that you like it in ambient lighting. InStyle goes on to say: “Buy a yard of fabric to throw on a chair; snap a pic, and use Photoshop to preview color choices.”

A fantastic website to check out for ideas is It has a “Personal Color Viewer,” which allows you to upload your own photo (or browse sample photos) of a room and try out different color palettes. I checked out the bedroom samples, because my bedroom has always been my favorite room in my house. I love doing all of the following in bed: sleeping, eating, watching a movie, and reading a book/magazine. One of my guilty pleasures is reading magazines; I’ve been doing it since I was 10. I’m in love with fashion, so I want my bedroom not only stylish, but completely comfortable as well.

At the Benjamin Moore website (a company that’s been in business since 1883), my favorite room was the “Dramatic Flair” room (I’m sure the fact that I was a Theatre major had nothing to do with it). I did a “Bold Blue” on the bedroom wall, a “Tricycle Red” on the trim, and “Mt. Rainier Grey” for the ceiling. The blue is reminiscent of a velvety night sky and the red reminds me of the house Frida Kahlo, my favorite painter, grew up in. And the “Mt. Rainier Grey” is perfect for me, as I recently moved to Seattle and decided immediately that Mt. Rainier was the best mountain I’ve ever seen. So the moment I changed the color palette to reflect my eccentric mix of Mexico, London, and Seattle, I knew what my dream bedroom would look like – I have no doubt that Shearer Painting and Benjamin Moore can help you do the same!