The importance of getting samples

One of the first things seared into our brains during our first year studying Interior Design was to always get samples. And boy am I glad I did this week. 

Rarely is anything as it seems. So when I was choosing a new potential color for my living room, I got a couple of samples of  Crown Paint shades. I really wanted to go for a dark strong grey, in my ideal home, but realistically, my living room is north-east facing and is basically a cave. 
I picked four of my favorite greyish {okay … off white} shades from the Crown website and did a patch test on my wall. And I was surprised. My preferred shade {Gallery White} turned out blueish, but that may be because two of my other samples turned out quite yellowy, which I didn’t expect. 
My main dilemma was the trim and skirting in my living room. It was originally a glossy white I presume, but with time it has aged and gone ever so slightly yellow {seen kinda on the left of the image below}. For this reason, my original want of grey paint was out of the question since it looked blue next to it / was making it seem even more yellow. So no more Gallery White. It was tough for me since I really wanted a strong grey, but we decided on Swans a’swimming, and I’m really glad we chose it. It still looks grey, and doesn’t make the skirting and trim look yellow. A warm grey for our cosy cave. 
See the differences between what I chose online, and what they turned out in my apartment? The catkin is supposed to be more on the side of green, and I was expecting Swans a’swimming to be more blue than Gallery White. Always, always bring a sample into its destination environment before you decide on it. This goes for fabric, natural materials such as wood or marble, and paints. It saves you buying 2.5 litres of the wrong color. 

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  1. October 1, 2011 / 15:13

    I learned this lesson the hard way when I helped my dad paint his walls. Bought a nice mocha color for the walls, and started to paint. We didn't get very far before going back to the store; no one wants to live in a room that looks like the walls are covered in stretched flesh. Although I did think it would be a cool idea for a bar, then paint giant retro tattoos on the walls as kind of murals (Dad wasn’t too into the idea though.)

  2. October 2, 2011 / 08:03

    So true. My colour pics for my dolls house do-up looked completely wrong in the teeny tiny dark spaces, but little is lost when a sample pot size is all thats required anyways!

  3. October 2, 2011 / 09:00

    That is very true Max. At the time I hated shelling out €11 for the four sample pots, but in the end it saved me more like €45 since my initial favorite shade looked poop in my living room.

    That sounds like a very cool idea Franny, but as you say, not many people would want to look at that every day in their home! Still, very awesome sauce idea.

  4. October 3, 2011 / 07:05

    Why would anyone not get samples?? lol, as they look so different on the screen and or paint charts lol. We get a discount if we end up buying a bigger pail based on the samples. I also like to see how the colour changes in the light too. Looking forward to seeing you before and afetr photos. BTW after painting the pantry with an undercoat I have a new respect for painters.

  5. October 3, 2011 / 08:49

    Sometimes the difference in a sample once you bring it home can be shocking … I wish we could get that kind of paint discount here! What an idea.

    I have a mad case of 'painters arms' this morning. Making breakfast was a phenomenal task.