HGTV's Jenn Todryk uses this paint sample trick to achieve a perfect finish – in every light

The designer has a way of ensuring we achieve the color we desire every single time, and it's changed how we decorate

Jenn Todryk
(Image credit: Lindsey Carpenter Photography)

Paint is perhaps the most powerful tool when looking to transform a room, but that makes choosing the right hue all the more crucial. Deciding on color is one thing, but choosing the perfect shade is another – because while one tone may impress in one light, it can exhibit undesired undertones later in the day. This is where Jenn Todryk comes in. 

The No Demo Reno designer is evidently also no stranger to the problem we all face as painters, but she has a solution that guarantees we make the right choice every time we decorate. Her secret is found in paint samples, or rather, the way she uses them.

'I'm big on paint samples, especially with these creams and tan colors that are becoming super popular in color trends. However, these shades are a little risky because some shades can turn more yellow, and undertones might not turn out as people expect,' she begins in an interview with H&G.

Cream living room painted in Farrow & Bal Stirabout

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

'To avoid any surprises, I swatch every wall of the room and watch it in the morning, afternoon, and night lights to see how it shifts. I want to see if it turns funkier over different times of the day,' Jenn says.

'In season three, I even left a camera rolling all night to see how the shade changed because I couldn't be there in person.'

Jenn Todryk
Jenn Todryk

Jenn Todryk is the creator and owner of The Rambling Redhead, a blog focused on a mom sharing her life on the internet. She has a love for home decorating, which led to her show, No Demo Reno, on HGTV. She shares her home with her husband, Mike, and owns a local coffee shop, Armor Coffee, located in Allen, Texas.

Not sampling on every wall, or worse yet, forgetting about paint samples, is one of the biggest mistakes we can make when redesigning. However, it's not the only error Jenn urges against.

'I hate to say it, but the biggest mistakes I come in contact with on my show are clients who were inspired to do a DIY project, and it goes really badly: they don’t like the quality, they're mad at themselves, and then they feel like they wasted money.' 

Undergoing DIY projects without a professional can be unsuccessful, and unlike choosing the wrong color (that can be fixed with a relatively easy repaint), some larger-scale projects can be much harder to fix. 

Jenn Todryk

(Image credit: Hailey Walls)

The solution, however, is simple: we should ask for professional input from the start.

'In many cases, it would have helped if these homeowners had asked for an opinion from a designer or a general contractor to help. Working closer with professionals means you can go in with a little more confidence, which leads to a better level of quality in the work in the long run,' Jenn explains. 

'The internet is a great thing, but it can also make us really overconfident, and I run into lots of things that don't work out as the homeowner intends.'

As Jenn mentions, the new season of No Demo Reno is out now, but we can't help but also catch up from the very beginning on Amazon Prime now. If watching will save us from yet more DIY disasters, best believe we'll be watching with a notepad in hand. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

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 while 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. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.