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Tobi's Color Tips

Tobi's 5 Top Color Tips

By Tobi Fairley

Selecting paint colors can be tough, especially if you aren’t a professional. Here’s my advice to help you get the mix just right.

1. Let fabric be your guide. When I start on the design for a space, I always go to my fabric room first. Fabrics can set the tone and mood for an entire room.


"Isabella" damask in Blush; Tobi Fairley for Duralee

2. Get a jump-start from art. I love to use original art. It makes a space unique and shows the personality of my clients. It can also be the perfect inspiration for the colors you use in a room. 

3. Make a paper delivery. Wallpaper is a fabulous way to bring color into a room. Use it as a jumping-off point for a room’s palette, and paint the trim and ceiling to complement the pattern you choose.

4. Select paint color last. You read that right—I always choose my paint color last. Otherwise, you could choose a tone or hue that clashes with everything else in a room. 


"Slinky" C2 Paint

5. Look up. Because of my reputation for working with color, I think people expect that I use almost every hue in the spectrum. But I often stay in the lighter two or three squares on any paint swatch for my selections, instead of the darker tones near the bottom. The colors at the top of paint cards are the ones most people like, so that’s my sweet spot. 

And here’s a bonus tip—go with colors you love! If they make you happy, then you know you’re on the right track.