Paint Authority: What To Use And Why

Have you ever wished your dinner parties were more exciting or glamorous? Or would you like your living room to embrace a tranquil vibe that helps you relax? Given our experience as interior designers, here’s the fix: Give the walls in your dining room a couple coats of C2 Luxe Paint’s Audacious, a deep, luxuriously rich red, and repeat the process in your living room with Cadeau, a dreamy blue that evokes a clear Chicago sky.

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C2 Luxe Paint in Cadeau gives this lakefront living room a tranquil vibe and plays to the water views right outside. Project: Vintage Lake Shore Drive Residence

Solid color research has long shown that hues have the propensity to yield specific moods in a room, which is why we’re waxing poetic about paint. It’s one of the easiest, quickest and most effective ways to transform the look and feel of a space—which makes it nearly every interior designer’s most frequently used tool. But anyone who’s had to pick out paint before knows it’s a daunting process. So not surprisingly, many of our friends, families, casual acquaintances and clients ask us what brands and which hues to use.

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C2 Paint’s best-selling colors in the Chicago area are Al Green (a citrus green), Diva (a rich red) and Magnet (a deep navy blue). Diva and Magnet are the line’s best-selling dining room hues currently.

The options appear endless, and all paint lines are not equal. While we’re remiss to endorse any product, we know that quality is reflected in the results we achieve—regardless of the skill of the painter. After using C2 Luxe Paints for the past decade (the line was founded in 1999), with many different paint contractors on our jobs, we want to give this exceptional product a shout-out and explain why we think it’s so fantastic.

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Thanks to its superior coverage and color properties, we achieved maximum coverage and a fresh, modern aesthetic using C2 Luxe Paint in Architectural White and Ella in this vintage high rise. Project: Vintage Lake Shore Residence

Bruce Ekstrand, a co-founder of the line and proprietor of Prather Paint in Wilmette, says C2 Luxe Paint is so good thanks to its innovative formulation and high quality chemistry. The best-quality paints have more pigments and binders—what the industry calls solids. This not only gives them more strength and capacity to cover walls—it gives them more durability, depth and luster, explains Bruce, noting there are three full pounds of pigment in each gallon of C2 Luxe Paint—more than in any other paint, to his knowledge.

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The superior quality of C2 Luxe Paint’s pigment come through in these kitchen cabinets, which are clad in Stout for a deep, rich demeanor akin to Wenge. Project: Astor Street Residence

C2 Luxe Paint’s supremacy—physically and visually—is heightened still further by the quality of the pigments the company uses and the way they formulate the hues. “Not only does C2 use the finest, artisan-grade pigments available, they grind them much finer than other lines so the paint has over 50 percent more pigment than its closest competitor—a well-known, luxury, European brand that’s twice the price for comparable quality,” he says. “And C2 doesn’t use black in any of its hues because it sucks up light rather than reflects it. That means every hue is a full-spectrum color, which increases its saturation and luminosity on walls.”

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In this living room, the color Corn Silk embraces a range of yellow, beige and cream undertones that showcase the C2 Luxe Paint’s full-spectrum formulation.

So this begs the second most asked question we get about paint as interior designers—namely “how to choose the right hue?” Admittedly, that’s the hardest part of the design process, but we can’t give away all our trade secrets. We can say that a client’s needs, and the scale, lighting, style and furnishings of a space and the rest of a residence, all come into play. And it can take weeks of testing before we come up with the right color for a room.

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After testing color under various light conditions, we settled on C2 Luxe Paint’s Spanish Moss to highlight yet define the architecturally significant millwork in this study. Project: State Parkway

So know that we’re here to help with picking paint colors—and what comes next, namely deciding which sheen to use, especially in rooms with significant architectural detailing. C2 has six—flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and gloss—and we’re experts at using these finishes to full advantage, and adventurously when possible. A case in point is the hot high-gloss wall trend, which isn’t for everyone since you need structurally perfect surfaces, but we’ve managed some stunning work-arounds on flawed walls to achieve this look.

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We used C2 Luxe Paint’s Audacious in gloss to amplify the glamor and dimensions of this tiny powder room in a vintage building. Project: Astor Street Residence

09 Jul 2015

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