'City Loft'-Home Reno... An amateur guide to choosing the perfect Sherwin Williams paint colour.
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Would you believe me if I told you, to choose a colour scheme for your home, can take you weeks! Ridiculous right? Wrong, if you want it done correctly choosing colours for your home requires patience, light and a clearly cultivated idea of the ambience you want to create.
Since the- Yes you guessed right ‘The Pandemic’, we have been working, going to school and everything in between from home. Hubs, Abs and I. Each of us requiring our own personal space for meetings, work calls, school play time, dance class, P.E etc. Spending that much time within the four walls of home made us want to make our space a bit more aesthetically pleasing. Before COVID-19, we planned on renovating during the summer. However like most things we kept pushing our renovation plans back until life ‘returned to normal’.*Sidebar* ‘Will anything ever return to how it was pre-Covid-19?
Coming to terms with the possibility that we could be waiting indefinitely we decided under strict guidelines to proceed with our home reno. Let me just point out-renovating a home while you reside there with a family is NOT for the faint of heart! That choice will test your character to the core. To this day when I hear a Jack Hammer, I cringe!
We planned carefully for weeks; detailed scheduled plan for all work to be completed, costings, materials and quantities required. However, I found choosing the finishing touches the most difficult part-‘the dust and the noise are right up there with it too’. Identifying the right paint vendor and shades of paint were excruciating. We finally settled on Sherwin Williams for several reasons. There were several outlets within proximity to home. The company’s online colour visualizer allows you the opportunity to experiment with different colours in various home settings and lighting, you can also upload your own pictures. Monique at the Dunrobin store was incredibly patient, helpful and oh so gracious to us every time we came in. (3-4x a week)
Based on our experience here are a few pointers on selecting a colour scheme for your home:
1. Have a clear vision of the ambience you want to create.
Colours play an integral role in the general tone and mood of our home. Map out every room in your house and write down what you want that room to feel like. It may sound silly but it is rather simple. We wanted our kitchen, living and dinning area to feel light, open, refreshing and crisp. For our bedroom we wanted a sexy-cozy vibe. We wanted the bathrooms to feel tropical. Once we had those mapped out, we began googling colours which evoked those feelings. The Sherwin Williams Colour Visualizer gave our visions life.
Be mindful when using the colour visualizer, the light saturation is different. It is meant to be used as a guide only.
2. Understand the undertones.
This is a tricky but a very important one! When paints are mixed, whatever colour is dominant will be noticed in the undertone. Even whites and neutrals have undertones. For beginners, you can see the undertones in the swatches under a white light. What is also helpful is placing the swatch next to a pure colour. Undertones can also vary in the type of light used. A colour may have a blue undertone in white light and a green undertone in yellow light. Because the undertone adds character to the colour ensure the undertone of the colour you want works with the mood you want to create. We wanted a light grey colour as the main colour with a blue undertone-or so we thought ‘Let us blame pinterest’. After extensive googling and research, we narrowed it down to 4 greys. Icicle included, to my not so pleasant surprise, Icicle has a violet undertone-better suited for a girls bedroom. It did not work with the look we wanted.
3. Colours on the colour card appear darker on a dried wall majority of the time.
The colour swatches are an indication to what the paint will look like, it will not look exactly like that after two coats of paint has dried on the wall. Be mindful of this as you select your colours. An indication does not guarantee the exact thing.
4. Magic paint words: LRV-Light reflective Value.
Pay keen attention to the LRV of the paint colour you are selecting. The LRV basically is an indication of how much light the paint will reflect or absorb. Lighter colours will have a higher LRV. Whites will have an LRV in the 80s or higher. Darker colours will have lower LRVs as they naturally absorb more light. For a fresh, light look you should opt for a colour with an LRV of 66 or higher. If you are into accent walls and want a contrast or a pop, a colour with a lower LRV will do the trick.
For our bedroom we choose Agreeable Gray and Rosaline Pearl for our accent wall. Rosaline Pearl was a default choice if we are being honest. I originally purchased Aleutian Blue, but disliked it paired with the Agreeable gray. Together they did not achieve the Sexy-cozy vibe we hoped for. Rosaline pearl is related to the ‘red family with an LRV of 27. Matched perfectly with the Agreeable Gray to give us ‘nuff vibes’.
5. Budget hack-Tint your primer the colours you want to sample.
There are no paint samples in Jamaica. If you absolutely want to sample a paint colour, you need to by a quart. We were on a strict renovation budget. For colours we could not decide on by looking at the colour cards, the team at Sherwin Williams tinted the primer-Awesome hack because you also use less paint which is more costly than the primer. Tiniting our primer was how we realized Icicle has a purple undertone and not suited as our main wall color. Using your swatch, colour visualizer and pinterest narrow your options and have your local SW tint your primer before committing to the paint.
6. Be a paint Whisperer.
We choose Sea Salt for our bathrooms. The moment I saw it online-I was in love. We bought it instantly, it turned out to be the perfect colour for our bathroom to create the tropical, relaxing feel we wanted. For some reason though, my luck of instant love ran out. After countless weeks, we could not settle on a colour for the house. We briefly came across City loft following the epic fail of Icicle. We kept coming back to it, so we decided to tint the primer and give it a try. It was everything we needed in a colour. City Loft has an LRV of 70, with a greige undertone. It has a crisp, classy, timeless look. Subtle but present. Because of the undertone it paired well with our dark couch and cabinets- listen to the haunch and trust your gut feeling.
7. Use Pinterest as a guide not the Gospel.
Lighting plays a huge role in how paint looks on a wall. The accents in the space, the size of the space and the pixel of the photo are also players. Use pinterest as inspiration for you themes but aim to be your own paint expert, only you or the colour consultant if you hire one will know what colours will work best in your home.
*City Loft on the wall
Try the colours which speak to you even if they are not popular with influencers-start your own trend!
I hope these pointers were super helpful as you navigate your way through giving those walls a rebirth! Have fun with it, do not rush the process-the right colour awaits you.