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7 color questions with NYC designer courtney mcleod

Ladies' lounge area/Photography: John Neitzel/A ladies' lounge features a bold mural with Courtney's choice of Benjamin Moore Teal Ocean paint as the star.

Courtney McLeod, founder and principal behind the New York design firm Right Meets Left Interior Design, has some opinions on color that you'll want to heed. Read on for Courtney's take on color, from her favorite pink to her color-selection process, in our weekly Color Questions series. Read on to get inspired! 

What are some common misconceptions about using bold paint colors in home projects?

There is a common misconception that bold, brightly colored rooms can't be calming and rejuvenating. It’s about balancing hues, finishes, and the other design elements to perfectly complement one another. It’s also very much about one's personality. For me, color and pattern make me feel comfortable, and enveloped in a warm embrace. 

White living room with colorful decor/Photography: John Neitzel/Benjamin Moore’s Simply White and Benjamin Moore's Wedgewood Gray appear in this living space designed by Right Meets Left Interior Design.

What is your process for selecting paint colors?

I always create a paint color hierarchy. When selecting paint colors, I will choose a main color, a secondary color, and a variety of accents, and use these colors throughout a room according to that hierarchy.

How does that color hierarchy aid in your design process? 

Once I make this decision it helps me work through my process of where I will be using these paint colors on walls, ceiling trim, furniture, or having custom painted artwork.

Bedroom with deep blue walls/Photography: John Dolan/Farrow & Ball's Hague Blue appears on the walls of this Harlem bedroom designed by Courtney McLeod.

What can the DIYer learn from designers when choosing the right paint for their space?

When it comes to selecting the right paint color, it’s about balance and understanding the mood you would like to create in a space. The right combination of colors can create an invigorating space or a very calming space.

Red cinema room/Photography: Right Meets Left Interior Design/A cinema room designed by Courtney is painted in Sherwin-Williams's Rookwood Red, a favorite bold hue of the designer's.

Spill it: which are your favorite white and gray paints?

Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, and Benjamin Moore’s Wedgewood Gray.

How about blues and pinks?

Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue, and Head Over Heels pink by Benjamin Moore.

Do you have any favorite bold colors?

Sherwin Williams’s Rookwood Red, Benjamin Moore's Teal Ocean, Benjamin Moore’s Beau Green, Sherwin Williams’s Dynamic Blue, and Resource Paint’s Yves Klein Blue.

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