The Paradox of Choice is a social theory that suggests too many choices can result in frustration, dissatisfaction and even a refusal to choose anything at all, and the color spectrum is a ripe environment for the paradox to occur.If you’ve ever painted a room, you probably know exactly how the paradox works
. Colorists and designers are in the business of overwhelming us with so many choices that it can impact our ability to make good decisions.To frame it as a pop culture analogy: Just because there are
50 shades of gray doesn't mean you have to see
50 shades of gray to know gray just ain't your color.So, how do you choose the perfect color when there are so many options?1. Start by ignoring the colors you don’t like.
This may seem obvious, but when you have endless choices it can make you start to question your own preferences. This is how people end up making color choices they soon regret.You know your comfort level when it comes to experimentation. Stay open to new ideas, but exercise control and consider Step #2 when exploring wild color options.2. Think in primary colors.
ROY G. BIV – they can’t all be winners. It may help you to nix an entire primary color or two before wading down into the innumerable shades of each.And orange. It’s usually always safe to get rid of orange.3. Consider the context.
What are you painting and where (or when) will you see it most often? Is there a lot of direct or indirect light? What other colors are interacting with the thing to be painted?Thinking about this should help you eliminate even more colors from the spectrum and avoid going too far out on a limb.4. Cruise the Internet for examples.
Websites like Pinterest
exist to provide you with home décor tips, especially on pages that are curated with that topic in mind.Take caution, though, that these websites can end up adding more to the color muddle. There are two ideal times to use these tools: at the very beginning of your color search, or close to the end once you’ve already narrowed the field.5. Get some swatches and/or sample cans.
Once you’ve got a solid idea on the direction you want to go, it’s time to bring the color into the real world and see how it looks. You can usually find free color swatches or little cans of sample paint that can help you picture the end result before you make your purchase or start painting.Of course, this is for the color jobs that really matter. If you’re just having fun, skip all this work and go with something wild. You can always just repaint it later.