Trying on Colour

by Nancy Bollefer

Have you ever imagined how your home would feel if you tried on a new colour? Trying on a new outfit, like a new winter coat perhaps, is fun. There’s no commitment required while shopping for outfits. You can try before you buy, experimenting with all sorts of different looks. Well, that’s the beauty of ColourSmart by BEHR™ and our new customized mobile app for Canada!

There are many approaches one can take to preview colours in a room setting. I started by selecting a casual dining room from a gallery of existing images and styles and simply applied colours to the walls with the touch of my finger. I saved numerous renditions, after exploring designer-coordinated colour combinations and customizing my colour choices. After becoming entrenched in my project, I even shared a few with my friends.

Interestingly enough, I am a highly visual person and have the ability to readily visualize colour before it is applied within a space. Even so, I found using this tool very liberating. I could spend hours dabbling with colours, applying colours in unexpected ways and testing unique colour combinations. Whether you choose to engage on your phone, tablet or desktop, the experience lets you push the boundaries with colour. Take a look at a few of the dining room iterations below and how the room reads differently based on the use of colour.

At first, this dining room may appear as if only two paint colours were applied to achieve this aesthetic. In actuality, four colours were selected to keep the space interesting, while relaxing at the same time. The fireplace wall is certainly the focal point and it is set apart from its surroundings with a fresh hue, Dill Seed, while the walls are graced with a deeper, richer tone, Lizard Green. The fireplace mantel is accentuated with Cascade Beige, as is the trim, including the wonderful ceiling millwork. The fourth colour is applied to the ceiling itself, Almond Wisp for subtle contrast and depth.

Here, I’ve played with more colour, with the emphasis still placed on the fireplace. The ceiling almost always offers an opportunity to add character or additional personality to a space. This works especially well when rooms are separated from each other, as opposed to an open concept design. Because the mantel is punctuated with Cypress Vine, the room doesn’t read as too pastel. This combination of colours could be difficult to visualize, so trying on this “outfit” before picking up a brush, certainly makes executing the project exciting, knowing how lovely the room will look with a new coat of paint.

Note how just a small dose of Cabana Melon energizes this dining room without feeling overpowering. Sometimes a little colour goes a long way to make a stylish statement.

The juxtaposition of colour certainly changes the way a room reads. In the previous image, the space felt more serene, largely because the walls flanking Cabana Melon were on tone, that is, in the same colour family. Here, the Primitive Green makes the room feel livelier.

This striking hue, Colorful Leaves, works well in this space, for a couple of reasons. The large windows offer relief bringing in lots of light to balance the stronger hue. And the trim work and ceiling colour offer levity and contrast, for appetizing appeal.

If you are so lucky as to have French doors, painting them in a deep hue accentuates their framework. The fireplace balances the weight of the door frames. Note the ceiling millwork and baseboards are kept light, so as to keep the room from feeling heavy.

When you have a few moments, try on a new outfit – a new combination of colours with ColourSmart by BEHR™ – our new Canadian app. You just might be surprised at how good you feel sporting a new outfit!

Colourfully yours,


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