Interior designer Kelly Hoppen explains why we're all using paint samples wrong - here's how to get it right

Her argument will change the way you decorate

Paint sample hack, Kelly Hoppen, paint, decorating tips, celebrity interior designer
(Image credit: COAT)

When it comes to renovation, experimenting with the samples is usually the easiest part of the entire process. You can’t really go wrong with a paint sample, can you? Well, according to celebrity designer Kelly Hoppen, you can.

In a revelation, broadcasted to the entire nation on This Morning, Kelly Hoppen declared that samples should not be painted on a wall, as we might expect. Instead, she suggested that decorators should test the paint on a piece of paper, which will give a more accurate sense as to how the color will look. 

Read more: How to use color in small living rooms

Paint sample hack, Kelly Hoppen, paint, decorating tips, celebrity interior designer

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Speaking from her home in West London, former Dragon and Great Interior Design Challenge host demonstrated her argument with a mood board of gray paint samples, explaining:

‘The problem is, people tend to paint it on a wall, but because the color changes so much in your room depending on night or day, you actually need to paint it on a piece of paper, so that you can see the different tones you’re going to have when it’s night time and when it’s day time.’

Following questions from This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby, the designer expanded further on the power of natural light and its ability to transform paint colors. She shared:

‘If you’ve got a lot of natural light, then it’s brilliant to have something a little bit darker or more colorful. If you want that cozy feeling, it doesn’t really matter.

Paint sample hack, Kelly Hoppen, paint, decorating tips, celebrity interior designer

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

There are so many tricks that you can use with paint that are really important. For example, people tend to paint all architraves, doorways, skirting boards in different colors. The biggest expense in your room is actually the walls, so that should all be one color, maybe with one feature wall.’ 

If you’re looking for gray painting ideas before you purchase any samples, see our bedroom ideas - 25 stylish grey bedroom spaces from stone to steel

Megan Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.