How to Choose Colors: Segment 5
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How to Choose Colors: Segment 5

Segment 5: My Own Experience With Light

As we discover how to choose colors for our space and we learn the importance of considering lighting, I thought I would share an experience I had with color.

Last summer we were painting the interior of a house in Loudonville, a suburb of Albany, NY, and the master bedroom was Glidden Stone 806, a light gray color. As I was painting, I noticed the color seemed purple. Knowing the client was adamant about wanting a soothing neutral color, I was a bit worried as well as perplexed. 

I double-checked the can and it was certainly the color she chose. I checked the color swatch and it was definitely gray. I checked the formula and there was no tint that should have been giving it a purple hue. I continued painting despite my worries and tried to think of what could be causing this problem. 

Before long, it occurred to me to look outside. THIS WAS THE PROBLEM! 

In the back yard, just outside the master bedroom was a very nice in ground pool with a vibrant blue liner. Next to the pool, just under the bedroom window was a bed of bright red mulch. In the late morning sunlight, both the pool and mulch were reflecting blue and red light into the bedroom creating a purple reflection on the walls.

The problem was easily remedied after we finished painting and replaced the window dressings, diffusing the reflected light and putting an end to the purple walls. This just goes to show the powerful effect light can have on paint colors.

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