Reader Cassie wrote in with this question. Please leave your suggestions in comments!
“I have a horrible time picking paint colors. I’ve been to a couple of websites that offer to paint a room with a color so you can visualize the paint in a space, but these programs seem too cartoonish. I was wondering if you knew of any websites with actual photos of rooms that also give you the paint name or number. Too often I see inspiration rooms and love the color but can’t find the color at the paint store. Any suggestions?” –Cassie
Click the link to see what we managed to turn up. And be sure to offer other tips to Cassie in comments!
Hi, Cassie! I’ve been having issues finding the right paint colors myself. A quick online seplace turned up the same dilemma you had — cartoony effects. I did like that Behr’s color finder lets you put together a palette, so at least you get an idea of how the colors will look together. I like the interactive device for Martha Stewart Paint at Lowe’s better than most; the rooms look pretty realistic. In fact, another resource might be Martha Stewart’s own site (or magazines) as she sometimes features rooms painted with her own line of colors.
Personally, I had good luck by meeting directly with Authentic Home, a Seattle store that specializes in color combinations. They give customers large cards that have been actually painted so that you can take them home, tape them to the wall, and see how they look in different types of light. It seems more stores are offering sample paint sizes, so trying that on your own might be worthwhile. If you have a couch or bedspread color that you like, there’s also this little gizmo known as The Color Helper that will automatically find complementary shades from a huge programmed selection of real paint colors.
Finally, I liked your idea of a place where you can see real colors in real rooms. I seplaceed Flickr and couldn’t find a group like that. So guess what? I started one!
So now it’s your move, readers: visit What’s That Paint Color? and start adding your favorite rooms and the name/maker of the paint you used. And of course, add other suggestions in comments right here. –Mary T.