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7 color questions with one chic southern designer

Black and white kitchen/Photography: Graham Yelton/A sharp black, white and gold kitchen designed by Dana.

Every designer has their favorites! In our new Color Questions series, we ask professional interior designers for their takes on the colors they return to time and time again. This week, Dana Wolter of the Alabama-based Dana Wolter Interiors, shares her insights into color choices—as well as some inspiring project pics!

Deep green dining space/Photography: Graham Yelton/An emerald-hued dining area.

What are some of the problems people face with paint selection?

We avoid mistakes from our end by making sure a paint color is correct before it is added to our paint schedule for the builder and client. We always have color samples mixed (with two coats painted on a white sheet of paper), to see the undertones and hues of a color against the fabric and furnishing selections.

Do you have any tips for DIYers using paint samples? 

We also keep in mind the way the house is positioned and how the sun will affect the palette. We also always recommend putting a few samples of the color around the house, to see how the light affects it differently from one room to another.

Dark painted living space/Photography: Graham Yelton/A deeply hued living space designed by Dana.

How do you decide on interior paint colors? 

There are several factors to take into consideration when choosing a paint color. It is important to look at the natural light in a room, as well as the colors in adjoining spaces. You also need to consider the fabrics and finishes in the room, as this will influence your color selection.

What about exterior paint color? 

When choosing an exterior paint, keep in mind the amount of sunlight the house will get and its orientation. Always paint a test swatch first. Two coats of paint should give you an idea of how it will look throughout the day and evening.

Neutral living room/Photography: Graham Yelton/A neutral living room designed by Dana blends gentle color undertones with artistic accents.

How does architecture impact the paint color you choose for a home's exterior?

It is also important to consider the style of the home when selecting the color palette. A paint color that works on a Georgian-style home won’t necessarily feel the same way on something more contemporary. 

How do you determine whether to use cool or warm colors—any helpful hacks to share?

We look at the undertones of the fabrics and finishes in the space to determine if the undertones of the paint need to read warm or cool.

Share some of your favorite paint colors with us. 

Benjamin Moore's Classic Gray is a beautiful white with a slightly gray undertone. We have used Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy, which is a pretty navy that can be paired with warmer undertones. Sherwin-Williams's Iron Ore is a neutral, dark gray. And Benjamin Moore's Bleeker Beige is one of our favorite neutrals.

start sampling!

Ready to play with color? Get started by sampling! Shop 3 of our Dana's favorite hues and see what they look like your walls.

Iron OreSherwin-Williams

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