Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent warn against this fundamental paint mistake

Neglecting this tip may change how your space looks 'every hour' – here's what the top designers do instead

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent
(Image credit: Living Spaces)

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent from TLC's (aptly-named) Nate & Jeremiah by Design understand the transformative power of paint – and its influence is very much on their minds at present. The designers (who have partnered with Behr to offer a veteran family a home makeover) sat down with H&G to discuss all things paint-related. 

Understanding how to use paint is only effective if you know what to avoid, too, they say. So, what is the biggest error you can make when painting a room – and how could this paint idea negatively impact your home? Both designers agree: the answer comes down to your lighting. 

'People often choose their paint color without considering the lighting of their actual space,' Jeremiah says. 'What you see in a store with fluorescent lighting is very different from the natural light that will change with every hour in your home.'

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent

(Image credit: Courtesy of Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent / Behr Paint)

Nate Berkus emphasizes this, reinforcing that color reads differently depending on the time of day and your choice of lighting ideas – something many forget when experimenting with paint swatches. 

What should you do instead? 

Simply being aware of the transformative power of light is the first step in avoiding this common paint mistake. However, the process doesn't end there.

'I recommend gathering swatches of paint, putting them on the wall in the actual room you'll be painting, and watching how their hue evolves throughout the day,' Jeremiah says. 'There, you'll get a clearer picture of how the paint will read in the room.'

Plus, instead of committing to a single color in one room, Nate suggests playing with multiple color options to see what a color looks like at various points in the day. 'Experiment with a couple of color options and live with them for a day or two,' he suggests.

Blank Canvas by Behr

(Image credit: Behr)

Choosing the correct shade for your space is another way to guarantee success. While color trends can often fluctuate, Nate recommends decorating with neutrals to ensure a failsafe backdrop that will work seamlessly in all spaces. 

'What I love about neutrals is that they provide the perfect backdrop to then make the room what you want it to be,' he says.

'Whether that’s bringing in a certain design style or color scheme. A neutral palette literally provides a 'Blank Canvas' (the aptly-named Behr 2023 color of the year). I’m not the hugest fan of bright paint colors or accent walls; rather, experiment by painting niches, like shelving.' 

With this advice, how can future renovations ever go wrong? 

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.