One Room Challenge – Week 3 – Selecting the Perfect Paint Color

How exactly DO you pick the perfect paint color? Particularly when its an IMPACT color like the emerald green we plan to use in our One Room Challenge makeover? I have a plan! It’s actually the same plan I use  when selecting any “impact” wall color. I even made you a handy, dandy Pin-able chart in this post.

If you’re just joining us, let me quickly recap. I’m Lori Evans, a designer with 6 weeks to design and install a room. I’ll be documenting the whole process with you, along with 200+ designers all over the country. You can find updates every Thursday here on my blog. Thank you to House Beautiful for the sponsorship and Calling it Home for creating this amazing event.

The room we’re working on is a client’s former Sunroom. We are planning to revamp it completely and give them a place to relax, read or just hang out. Here is the overall plan and inspiration.


So, as you can see, GREEN is a main design element here and we plan to paint all of the walls in it. This is what I call an “Impact Color”. In this case, you’re not looking for a whole house interior color to tie everything in. We’re looking for impact! Drama! A statement! Here’s my plan.



You need inspiration. A pillow, a plate, hell…a shoe will work. Something you love, something you see as an inspiration for the room. Some place to jump off from. This Kate Spade plate is our inspiration piece for the room. Super cute, isn’t it?



Gather and Narrow

Next, we’re heading to the paint store. This is the dangerous part! Paint stores can just suck you in with all their fancy dancy displays and trick you with their lighting. Bring your inspiration item with you and use it to pull some paint chips. Hold them together, see what “goes”. Look at the lighter areas, the darker areas, the middle, and so on. You can see this above in the top photo. Bring home ALL of your chips. Pay no attention to the cashier giving you the dirty look as you walk out with a bag full of paint chips, they’re free after all! Once you’re home, spread them all out and look at them in YOUR house with YOUR lighting. You will likely change your initial thoughts and that’s OK.  Now we NARROW! We are going to eliminate the ones that don’t work and narrow it down to 2 or 3…no more than 5. Really. Now we have a short list of 3 or so paint colors we like. Progress!


Research, But Not Too Much

Now, we head to the computer. Pinterest is your friend here. Search the name of the colors you’re considering and see what you think of them on a big wall. Of course, computer screens look different than real life and you have the actual color sitting in front of you on the chip. I believe it’s still helpful. Don’t go too far down this rabbit hole, but get a good overall feel of what these colors look like in a room. It’s helpful to see a color used over and over again, by many designers. It’s a little confidence booster! Many designers (like me) create handy charts of our favorite colors, so lean on our expertise. Here are my favorite tried and true greens. Pin it before you forget it!



Put Up Samples

Another field trip! Head to the paint store and buy sample quarts of the short list of colors you’re considering. Put them up on the wall, live with them and see what you think. How does it look in the morning? At night? With the adjacent room? Again, keep an open mind and see what jumps out at you. Here is my favorite Bunker Hill Green up on the wall of our One Room Challenge Sunroom.


Sneak peak of our green walls in the One Room Challenge


Marry It

Make a decision and stick with it.  You’ve done your due diligence and you should be confident in your decision. Paint the wall(s) and enjoy. It’s going to look great!




So, there you have it. Progress on this design challenge and my steps for selecting a paint color, all in one!

Are you following along with the One Room Challenge designers posting on Wednesdays? And the other 200+ designers posting in Thursdays?  Check them out, then come back here next week for another update.


You can keep up with our progress in the One Room Challenge in these posts:

Sunroom to Greenroom, One Room Challenge, Week 1

Sunroom to Greenroom, One Room Challenge, Week 2



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