Color Your Walls

July 19, 2007 § 81 Comments

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Color is hot. Whether it’s chocolate brown for your bedroom walls, spice for your kitchen, or lime green for your guest bath, color is going up on the walls all over. People move into wonderful new homes with painter’s white walls and wonder why their homes feel so cold. Remedy? Add color. 

Sometimes people are hard to convince that a hint of yellow on the walls will add a dash of sunshine to their lives. White walls tend to pick up the other colors in the room and if you stand back and really look at the “white” walls, they appear grey. Recognizing that really makes you want at least a little color on your walls.

For people with real fear of color, it’s usually that they’re afraid the room will be too dark. Solution? Check the lighting first. In one home, after determining that a velvety navy blue was the best color for this room, we called the electrician and added more recessed cans first. What a difference. Between the additional lighting and the rich color on the walls, the room was transformed from boring to bellissimo.

Sometimes people want what they see in a magazine but upon further conversation and a tour through the home, we discover what colors they really love. Color inspiration can come from furnishings, dishes, a painting, cabinet color, or just about anything. A beautiful backdrop color pulls the whole look together.

Consider all adjoining rooms when making wall color selections to achieve “flow” throughout the home. Color can really transform people’s lives. And paint is relatively cheap!

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§ 81 Responses to Color Your Walls

  • Eleanor says:

    I can’t find where to ask a question so I’ll but it here. My question is…..I’m painting our bedroom and want to paint 2 different colors on the walls, very dark and very light. How many walls do I paint dark. The outside wall has a 5 foot wide bay window overlooking a beautiful back yard.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Eleanor,

    Usually if you’re planning to use two different colors for the walls, it’s good to paint the focal point wall (the wall you see when you walk in the door, hopefully with the bed against it) a different color, say the dark color, and the other three walls the light color. Odd numbers work better in decorating so 3:1 works better than 2:2.

    If your bed is not against the focal point wall, then paint the bed wall instead. It sounds like your window is the focal point and the bed is elsewhere.

    You’ll need to balance the room by bringing some of the dark color over to the light sides by way of window treatments, chairs, etc.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Hope says:

    I have just painted my bedroom walls a light blue and the tray ceiling a taupe. I was wondering what colors I need to choose for my bedding. I want the comforter to pop so I don’t want it to be light blue just like the walls. Are there any colors for bedding that would compliment my bedroom wall color?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Hope,

    Well, one of the trendiest color combinations now is light blue and chocolate brown so you might consider a deep rich chocolate brown comforter.

    See what you think…

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sandy says:

    Help! We are building a new home and it’s time to finalize the paint choices (like this week) I am decorating/color “challenged” and I am panicking. I love color but when it comes to picking out color for my own walls, I have to breath into a paper bag.
    We have 9 foot walls except in the great room where they will be 12 feet. We have a single step tray ceiling in the foyer and will be doing a faux tray ceiling effect in the dining room. The master bedroom has a sloped tray ceiling that is probably 11 feet in the center. The home is just over 3000 square feet…..4 bedrooms, a study, 3.5 bathrooms, formal dining room, foyer, great room, laundry room, kitchen and breakfast nook.

    So far, the paint will be Martin and Seymour…..and….I have picked “bit of honey” for the foyer and great room, with “candelescent” as the ceiling color. It’s a caramel color but not too “yellow-ee”…..more neutral if that makes sense….The “bit of honey” is to be in the highest most ceiling point in the foyer tray. All trim will be “lily of the valley”. The dining room which is to the immediate left of the foyer will be “velvet morning”; a very rich red with the faux tray situated in the ceiling done with crown and trim in the “lily of the valley” and then the “bit of honey” in the centermost portion of the dining room ceiling.

    The great room which is directly beyond the foyer as you enter the front door will be the “bit of honey” except where the fireplace is, that fireplace surround (sides and front) will be an “african antelope” which is a dark chocolate and is in the center of the wall on the right hand side of the great room as you enter…….almost the color of semi-sweet chocolate. This is when I start hyperventilating actually. There will be crown molding in there also. The kitchen and breakfast nook which open up into the great room on the left hand side…will be “clay beads” which is one or two shades lighter than the “bit of honey” and the ceilings will also be the candelscent color with the crown molding in lily of the valley.

    The major hall ways are to be the bit of honey….no crown (money was running out) , as well as the master bedroom with the sloped tray and underside of the ceiling to be the candelescent ….and the highest portion of the ceiling will be bit of honey. We are putting the clay beads in the master bathroom and the study and will be putting in crown molding in the bedroom and bathroom.

    There is a lighter color on the stairwell going up to upstairs bedroom (pumpkin seed) that is used into the upstairs bedroom/bathroom, laundry room as well as the short hallway off the kitchen. I wasn’t brave enough to go with a different color in the bathroom up there and went ahead and decided to have it painted the pumpkin seed also.

    My daughters room and the spare bedroom will be a Don Quiote (spelling?) brown which is 3 or 4 shades lighter than the african antelope brown and sort of a caramel color and her jack and jill bathroom will be a mythological sea (blue) which is not a baby blue (thank god) but more of a grayish blue, very pretty. She picked that out in seconds, obviously she is not color challenged as I. I actually envision a chocolate, pear green, caramel, mythological blue color scheme that could come out of her selections.

    Our cabinetry will be maple, 5 panel mitered door…. with a light toffee stain and chocolate glaze. The kitchen countertops are going to be a chocolate quartz. All stainless steel appliances…. The remainder countertops in the house (excpet 1/2 bath) will be a neutral solid surface color (tan/beige)….The tile is a royal Noce ceramic tile in the kitchen and wet areas except the master bathroom which will be light travertine and tumbled noce marble. All fixtures and lighting will be oil rubbed bronze (except the kids bathrooms where we ran out of money, ha ha). The flooring in the foyer, dining room, hallways and great room will be brazillian cherry and neutral carpet color all the bedrooms and stairs (stairwell is not an exposed one, it’s back behind the kitchen where the teenagers will live), it’s a modified split plan……the noisemakers are where the food is, we civilized grown ups are going to be way on the other side of the house.

    My color dilema? Besides second guessing my choices….. The powder room. This 1/2 bathroom I want to be dramatic….the “wow” factor….the “oh wow, this bathroom is AWESOME”………. I am putting the light travertine flooring in there along that is heavily veined in the chocolate…. with a maple vanity in what is called a fire (almost reddish) stain with the chocolate glaze. We are putting a marble vessel sink (that is lighter tan color with the brown veins….heck the one they sell at home depot) on top of a chocolate quartz countertop with a oil rubbed bronze vessel sink faucet. the Room is long and narrow….38″ wide and probably 6 feet long. The sink is at one end, the toilet at the other with the door in the middle. I want to put in two small pendant lights with ORB finish but with a white or offwhite frosted glass globes, the intent is not to light up the bathroom but create that dim, rich, dark lush feeling since all that bathroom will be used for is……..well you know…. and to wash hands. I initially made the decision to put the dark rick velvet morning color (the same red I put on the dining room walls) on these walls to compliment the fire stain on the maple cabinet and I chose the “african impala” (the brown on the fireplace surround)on the ceiling thinking that would compliment the chocolate quartz as well as the oil rubbed bronze ficture and the ORB vanity drawer pulls and hopefully between the two creates the dark, lush look. We are putting in crown molding and so there will be the lily of the valley on the baseboards as well as ceiling, unsure if that would too contrasting or if that would compliment the lighter portion of the travetine? …..and we will get an oval framed mirror for above the vessel sink. My thought for accessories later would be some simple asian influenced accents (red and chocolate brown) with a simple white orchid (fake of course, what could grown in that cave) on the vanity….. but not too busy or cluttered since it is a small space and I wanted the sink/vanity and lights to be the focal point.

    So given that…….I am not sure if I created a dark hole that will be clastrophobic or if I am headed towards the look I want.

    I can’t even decide if the other color choices are ok, I can’t “see” the vision yet, though I do like the colors and have gravitated back to them over and over….. We didn’t match to any existing furniture/fabrics……we are going to be furnishing new, one room at a time for the next decade after we move in. On a positive note…..we do have windows galore. I tried to bring in light everywhere I could. Well ok, the view will be of a mud pit for awhile, but it will be a great view of the good ol’ Georgia red clay.

    But being OCD and wanting to do it “right” the first time……which is probably not reasonable……. given all this rambling, what is your opinon? Am I over thinking this or did I really crash and burn? Am I making some major color mistakes or should I be bolder (and if so, what?)

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sandy,

    Wow, you have done a fantastic job “cross-pollenating” colors around your house so you achieve flow, which is what you’re look for, especially in a large home. Your color selections are terrific (I don’t have a M-S fan deck with me but your descriptions were excellent)

    Most people are so overwhelmed by the choices they have to make that paint choices are neglected. They end up with a big beige (or worse, white) house that feels cold and uninviting. You were very brave and smart to go all the way through the house with your color pallette. You will be extremely happy that you did once you move in. Congratulations!!!

    As for your bathroom, if you’re planning on having low wattage lighting in there for the mood, my thought is that there will not be much distinction between the dark walls and the dark ceiling. What you might consider is doing the ceiling in a dark brown metallic paint that would add drama to the room and take what little light there is in there and bounce it around. That way it will feel less like a cave. Especially if you’re using bronze fixtures which are dark. We need a little sparkle to add the necesssary wow factor. I worked on a bedroom where we used dark brown metallic paint on the walls and a champagne metallic on the ceiling and it came out great (if I do say so). Not cavelike at all. Also add a little sparkle with your mirror frame. That will help too.

    See what you think.

    You will soon have a knock-out of a house that will make all this angst worthwhile. Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sandy says:

    Thank you so much Barbara!
    I have agonized over these paint colors for weeks and now I feel more confident with your comments! I also REALLY appreciate the idea regarding the metalic chocolate paint for the powder room ceiling. As soon as I read that, I could envision exactly what it would look like, to include the “sparkle” needed in the mirror frame! Ironically I was putting considering using a metalic bronze/coppery color accent tile here and there in some sort of way in the tumbled noce backsplash that will be going in the kitchen…..and I am sure I will find other articles to ask your advice (which lighting is another agonizing process) as we progress through the house building process!

  • Jamie says:

    My husband and I have just moved into a townhome that has the exact opposite problem- the previous owner was evidently a big fan of the primary colors. As we are trying to make it our own space we’re going to have to re-do almost every room in the house. The office has slate flooring that is primary a gray/blue with hints of rust, but the current walls are mint green- the colors just don’t jive. Do you have any recommendations of what paint colors we can bring in to accent the slate that would warm the room up a bit? I was thinking maybe some type of pumpkin or rust, but I’m a little afraid to go for it. The master bath also has the slate flooring and the walls are a robin’s egg blue- again, the colors just don’t work for me. Also, the powder room has a 10′ ceiling but is only about 3′ wide and 4′ deep- the previous owner has painted it the worst shade of yellow I’ve ever seen, it looks like a never-ending tower of highlighters. Do you have any recommendations for such a small room with such high ceilings?

    Thank you so much for all of your posts, they have been quite helpful!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sandy,

    Terrific. Good luck with your project. Keep me posted.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jamie,

    I love the idea of a rust color for the office. “Oranges” are quite stimulating and a great backdrop for working hard. If you’re concerned about too much color, just pick the focal point wall and paint it first. Just one wall. Obviously the green would have to go, but you could do the three other walls in a more neutral cream and you’d have a dynamite office.

    As for the master bath, you could choose a very sophisticated color out of your slate, like a very light version of a warm grey. And then paint the ceiling a dark color (kind of like the rust in the office) to bring it down a bit. If the ceiling seems really high, you can bring the ceiling color down onto the wall a few inches all the way around. That really brings the ceiling down.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sherrion says:

    Hi
    MY question is also about high ceiling in a bath. We brought a lovely old home built in 1949. It still has the original paper in the bath. Half wall, of paper and tile. The tile is a soothing yellow with a half inch ribbon of mint and a darker green. The tile is in great shape along with very high-end sinks ect. So we are changing the lighting and removing the paper for a more updated look. But after removing the paper the room feels like a cave. It is a large room, bright due to a nice window and yellow wall and floor tiles. How can I make this room feel warm. I chose a color from the ribbon an SW color white mint for the walls. Or should the walls be darker. I want to paint the ceiling. I’m not sure. Please help.

    Thanks

    Sherrion

    Longview Texas

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sherrion,

    It sounds like the white mint wall color is just too light to make any impact and it leaves the room feeling cold despite the yellow tiles. I suggest painting the walls and ceiling either a dark green from the tile color or a continuation of the yellow. Enveloping the room in color will make it feel cozier in there.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • arlene coburn says:

    Hi-

    I need help choosing a paint color for my kitchenn. We have oak cabinets almost a black granite for the countertops and backsplah is a mixture of colors;including greens, blues and beige. Also, what would be a great color for a great room…something inviting. We have saddle color leather couches and sage green accent chairs. Thank you!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Arlene,

    I suggest you pick a paint color out of the backsplash, perhaps a sage green since you have green chairs in the adjoining great room. As for the walls in the great room, you might try a rich camel color– a shade or two lighter than your couches. The camel will tie in with the oak and beige in the kitchen and you should have nice flow between the two rooms.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • arlene coburn says:

    Hi Barbara-

    Thank you for your response!

    That sounds great. Would you be able to suggest a paint color (i.e., brand and name)? Thanks so much. :)

  • arlene coburn says:

    Hi Barbara-

    Thanks so much for your response.

    Would you be able to suggest a specific color of paint?
    :)

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Arlene,

    Try Ben Moore’s Powell Buff (HC-35) for the family room. It’s a nice warm neutral. As for the kitchen, you should pick a green that goes with your tile, but Saybrook Sage (HC-114) is a nice neutral green that might work.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara.
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • arlene coburn says:

    Hi Barbara-

    It had said that the first message had not gone through—sorry…

    I was wondering if you would be able to suggest a color for my formal dining room. I forgot to mention before that our ceilings are 14 ft. (if that makes a difference)

    I have an oak farmhouse table with black windsor chairs. What color do you think would look nice?

    Also, is there a way I can attach pictures? Thank you so much for your help—you are awesome! ;)

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi again Arlene,

    Try something warm for the dining room — something like audubon russet (Ben Moore HC-51). That should be a nice backdrop to your farmhouse table and black chairs. And it will also look good with the adjoining rooms.

    You can send a photo by just putting a link to a photo gallery (like Snapfish) right in the blog reply. You can see how others do it by scrolling through some other entries.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Chantelle says:

    HI,
    I am hoping you can help me with some paint colors for my kitchen and great room. We have an open concept kitchen/ great room with vaulted ceilings. The cabinets in the kitchen are maple with an almond wash, that tends to have a pink undertone and the arbright is Jamoca Granite (blacks and beige). I really want a homey feeling and have no clue what to pick!!
    Help!!!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Chantelle,

    If you have a lot of windows/light in the kitchen, you might take one of the darker tones in the granite (perhaps a rich dark chocolate?) and put it on the walls. You probably don’t have a lot of wall space in the kitchen with all the cabinets so the dark will only warm up the area and highlight the cabinets and granite. Then take a medium tone from the granite and put it on the great room walls. More like a camel color. Pull the wall color from the granite and you should be all set.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Chantelle says:

    That dark chocolate would be great on the walls that the cabinets are on. Could you suggest a color to go on the wall behind my table as all of my furnishings are in the dark espresso finish. I also love red is there any way in add that in or am I looking for trouble. Behind my island is a small wall with a buffet & hutch in the same almond color. Would you also do that in the dark chocolate? I really should just forward you a photo so you can get the full idea of my rooms as my descriptions are hard to follow sometimes!!!
    Thanks
    C

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Chantelle,

    It sounds like you can bring the chocolate over behind the buffet and hutch too. Why not bring the family room color into the kitchen for behind the table. That will tie the rooms together without adding another wall color. As for red, I would pick either red or chocolate but not both in the same room. I think it would be overload.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • louise says:

    hi please help, we are wanting to decorate our bedroom and really like red as its warm but i dont think we should should paint the whole room as it would make it feel small. as you go in the door our bed has its headboard on the wall directly on the left, with window wall on the right, so we look out the window when sitting up in bed. you look at the chimney wall as you go in, so shelfs have been put in either side of the chimney breast. the room is slightly off square with the window and bed wall being the longest. hopefully that has described it enough. which walls would you suggest paint maybe a dark red etc and what colour for the rest?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Louise,

    In a bedroom, the ideal wall for a second color is the headboard wall. Unfortunately, that is not the focal point wall — the chimney wall is. So, I suggest you paint the headboard wall red anyway, a red that comes right out of your brick chimney (unless that has been painted wall color already). If it’s still red, use the brick as your red inspiration and put more red items on the shelves to tie those two areas together. Then bring some more red to the window wall area, either with a chair or in the window treatments. I would choose a nice warm neutral for the other three walls.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • jenny says:

    Hi,
    I’m hoping that you can help – I’ve been going over and over this and need to make a decision. We’re in the process of painting the interior of our house and are down to the last room. We’ve spent the last 2 years remodeling our master bath – it has the white subway tile on all the walls (to 4ft), dark wood cabinets, marble carrera counter and marble basket weave floor. We painted the walls BM Stratton Blue and everything has turned out really nice.. the problem is now the master bedroom needs to be painted and that’s not so easy…
    The bedding and curtains are creme and we tried SW Rainwashed as an attempt to bring the blue/green in the bedroom but on a lighter scale. This turned out really light and blue – what I would consider “Tiffany blue” which doesn’t seem to go with the creme bedding. We then got a sample of SW Retreat to go darker than the bath but still bring the color in the room. I’m concerned that this will end up being TOO dark (because our lighting isn’t that great). We also tried a sample of the Escape Gray and it was too gray. Should we stick with the Retreat or go with another color?

    I’ve got the painter coming in the morning.. help!!

    Thanks,
    Jenny

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jenny,

    I like rainwashed better then retreat (which does seem too dark and a different shade of green altogether), but what about going with another BM historical color of the same hue value, like jamestown blue (HC-148). I think that color combination is particularly soothing, especially for a master suite. You just have to cross polinate the colors between the two rooms by way of accessories.

    But regardless, I would definitely retreat from “retreat.”

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Stephanie Chatterjee says:

    Hi!

    I would love your advice. I’ve purchased a little house that I am turning into a massage studio. It is about 100 years old and although it’s a mess it has pretty nice well cared for stained woodwork and two double sets of pocket doors. I love white trim but can’t see painting this out. It has wood floors (providing we can sand the glue off). We are taking out cheap paneling and putting up drywall then we’ll have to paint. The ceilings are high 10’6″ I believe and the rooms aren’t huge but have a gracious feel due to the double doors and high ceilings. I’m looking for a restful, relaxing mood with a little wow factor too. The wood trim is a farily dark reddish/brown. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Stephanie

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Check out the grey blues like Benjamin Moore’s Gentle Gray and Silver Mist. They’re very soothing blues and wonderful with the dark stained woodwork, and I would think they would be perfect for your massage studio.

    Good luck with your business!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I have big problems. Our Livingroom has beautiful honey pine trim and floor, we are unsure what paint color would accent the wood. We currently have a dark green couch but are thinking of upgrading that to a warm, brown leather.
    The bigger problem is the kitchen which is directly accross from the livingroom. It has blue cupboards (light blue/green) with a beautiful new slate grey counter-top. The trim in this room is white. Our backsplash is a eggshell color.
    My question? What color do we paint the kitchen and living room? I feel that we are dealing with too many colors. I need colors for each room that compliment eachother but work independently in there space. I love the color of the blue/green cupboards but am unsure how to make them flow with the rest of the house which is very warm.

    Thanks so much ……
    Sarah

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sarah,

    You can paint the kitchen an ice grey blue (which would look great with both the cabinets and the slate grey contertops) and paint the living room a sandy neutral (a lighter version of your trim color). Then use blue as an accent color on your dark brown sofa and elsewhere in the living room and maybe get some creamy yellow/tan dishes and other accessories to warm up the kitchen and bring some of that sandy color in from the living room.

    Plus it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a nice hot accent color into both rooms. How about orange??

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Barbara Osborne says:

    Barbara,

    Hi! I love your website and all the great decorating advice you give. I was wondering if the picture that is on your website called Mistylook is available to be purchased. I would love to have it framed for my new home.

    Thank you,

    Barbara Osborne

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Yes, I like the picture as well. It’s by Sadish and I bet you can find it available online to purchase. Worth a try. (I wish I could claim it as mine but, nope).

    Good luck with that.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Patti says:

    Barbara — I’m so glad I found this site!

    I will soon be purchasing a 20 year old home and my updates will take a while to accomplish, but I definitely want to give a fresh start with paint.

    My main interest is the family room. This room has maple panels (like judges paneling, but only on the lower half of the wall). I don’t know if you call large panels like this wainscotting — but they are only up to about the chair rail level. I don’t want to paint them, as the wood is pretty — but I tend to the more contemporary in terms of design taste. Also in the room is a brick fireplace — the brick has a lot of blue to it and is also very washed out/faded looking. Eventually I’d love to put slate tiles or something over it…but for now, that is another color I’ll be dealing with.

    I’m trying to come up with a color that will appropriately complement the golden-brown tones of the maple and the faded blue-red tones of the fireplace. I was thinking of a slate-blue…but not sure if that is too cool against the maple. Also, what kind of colors would be nice accent colors in furniture. I had my heart set on blues, dark browns, and oranges but when I realized I wouldn’t be able to change the fireplace out…I think it might not work.

    On a side note, this room opens to the kitchen area which has ash cabinets but finished in a similar tone as the panels. The dining room and living room are also on this floor but not wide open to the family room. I will be doing these in tones of dark wood, olivey greens, with gold and orange accents. Shoud I try to keep the greenish tones running through all the rooms and, if so, what green would work in the above described family room but still give it a “pop.”

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Patti,

    I love the idea of a light slate blue, kind of like the blue shown in one of my other posts (Creating a Peaceful Space — Oct 2007). It is so soothing and works great with maple and dark chocolate brown and other blues. I’d go in that direction. But because of the fireplace, you might forego the orange accents for either rusty red or maroon, whichever compliments the brick better. At least for now. Then when you do your slate fireplace, you can go crazy with orange, the perfect compliment to blue.

    Another option is to bring the orange in WITH the maroon/rust. As long as there is a color in the room that compliments the fireplace, you can certainly add to it.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kathy says:

    Hi,
    I am probably not doing this right…I have 70’s rambler with courtyard…no one ever did anything to house. My last childs grad party is coming up and I don’t know what to paint my kitchen. I have the darker maple with choc. wash on the indentations, huge choc. crown molding, choc. island, different colors of beige honed marble 1x1s on the diag. and a few 4×4 rootbeerish stone tiles on diag and something with yellow and rootbeer veins on back splash. I have metal and black appl. I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT COLOR TO PAINT THE KITCHEN. IT IS VERY LONG AND HAS BREAKFAST ROOM AND I HAVE IT PAINTED A MEXICAN YELLOW GOLD AND RUSTIC BURNT ORANGE…I HATE IT…ALSO BIG OVERHANGS AND KITCHEN IS VERY DARK…CAN YOU HELP AND GIVE ME SOME COLOR CHOICES. THE PARTY IS ON JUNE 6TH.
    THANKS FROM WA.

  • Liz says:

    Hi Barbara:
    Thank you so much for this service to us color-challenged people! I am redoing my kitchen, all except the cabinets. The cabinets are a light colored wood – maybe red oak? – in a pickled finish, and it has a very slight orange hue. We are putting in baltic brown granite countertops, and a travertine 4×4 backsplash, with a 2×2 glass tile every 2 or 3 feet in a pear color, that picks up the color from the chocolate and pear attached living room (with red oak floors). There is white trim around all the windows and baseboards in all rooms. We have stainless appliances with black trim. My question is this: My husband really wants a darker floor (we currently have white cermaic 12x12s – 325 square feet of it!). We both love the look of V3 type tiles. Therefore, both he and the woman at the tile store have picked Tracce Del Tempo Marrone tile (google it and you’ll see the color.) in a 13×13. I think this looks pinkish, but it seems I am the only one. Am I crazy? Will this clash? I am terrified to make a bad decision, as I have to live with it for at least 30 years! Will it clash with the cabinets, and will it look good with the green glass tile? Will it look weird against the transition to my beautiful red oak floors? We were thinking of brining in the pear green in to what little kitchen walls we can paint, so it must look good with that, too!

    I cant thank you enough for your help. This is causing a great deal of stress for me, a ton of tears and frustration. I just cant make a decision. Please help!

    Thank you very much,
    Liz

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Kathy,

    Wow are you industrious!! Nothing like a deadline with people coming to the house to really get things done. I’m all for it!

    As for your kitchen, I think you need to stay with a neutral palette since you’ve got dark cabinets and molding already. I suggest Ben Moore’s Powell Buff (HC-35) or Papaya (957). Both are wonderfully warm neutrals without too much yellow and they should go great with your honed marble backsplash.

    See what you think. And congratulations to your last child’s graduation!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Liz,

    Yes, it has a pink undertone (not as much as the rosso colorway). BUT, it has so many other wonderful colors like the pear green and gold that I think the slight pink caste will make the tiles look warmer. They’re beautiful tiles. But with that kind of investment, make sure you bring samples home and check them out with your cabinets and other tiles. Some people have a real aversion to anything pink, and you may be one of them. If you really don’t like them, try a different colorway like the verde. Much greener. No pink. And equally as beautiful for your kitchen.

    Good luck. Hope I helped a little.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Liz says:

    Barbara,
    Thank you! You helped a ton… I actually took your advice and went for a different color scheme – I found one that is honey, tan and brown to match the cabinets, ground the room and create a warm glow. Tomorrow I will go find something with a green tint and compare that. I am very, very excited, thanks!

  • marie says:

    I just recently laid an indian multi colored slate floor.It has a lot of burgundy yellows some green on mainly a dark gray background.I also installed cherry cabinets to pick up on the burgundy in the floor.I am now sitting here looking at countertop options and my boyfriend wants to go with a beige countertop that simulates the granite colors Gialloara Bescato just a little darker.I was going to paint the wall beige.I do understand it does look great on the cabinet with the brownish reddish tones but is it too much with this dark slate floor.I feel a black with brown and gray toned countertop would work better and maybe a gray wall.Please give me some ideas.This kitchen redo was supposed to be just flooring and now we are doing everything and if I knew this I would have went totally another way!Thank you…http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c259/nayababy81/SLATE1.jpg

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi marie,

    So sorry for the delay. You may have made your decisions by now, but in case you haven’t… I think your boyfriend is looking for some contrast between the countertop and the floor and that actually might be a good thing. A countertop that’s too dark will get lost with the dark floor and I don’t think you’ll appreciate either one quite as much.

    I like the Gialloara Bescato look that brings in the reds and golds of the floor but it might be a little yellow for you. How about Saint Cecilia granite with Powell Buff (Ben Moore) walls. The look is quite neutral and would really show off the floor and the cabinets.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Karla says:

    I recently bought a house that has an open floor plan between the kitchen, dining nook and great room. I would like to paint the great room one color and the dining nook and kitchen another color, but I don’t know how to transition the colors from one room to the next. Where the nook and great room connect is the middle of a long wall. Can I do my separate colors or will I have to use all one color?
    P.S. House is currently a real light builder’s beige with white trim. I’m leaning towards darker shades, but not sure what colors to use. My couches are kind of a light olive green and tables are medium oak. Countertops are brown/beige/black speckled silestone and backsplash and floor is a beige patterned tile.

    Thanks

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Karla (#43),

    With your beige “bones” you can certainly add some color to your home. As far as colors, I would stick with earth tones for the walls since doing that will make everything flow nicely together (counters, floors, furniture), but bumping up the value to a camel tan or medium taupe will give you some warmth and depth that you’re missing currently.

    As far as the kitchen/breakfast nook, you can think about a light olive green that would tie in your couches and connect the two rooms. The tricky part, as you say, is the transition between the two main areas. As long as you stop one color at a wall edge, you’re fine. But if the transition is in the middle of the wall, you a) paint that whole wall one color, either one; or b) put up a piece of architectural moulding (like 5-6″ white ridged) that would run floor to ceiling and separate the two rooms architecturally. Those are the only options. I’ve seen walls where one color stops in the middle of the wall and another begins. Yuck!!

    Hope this helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • niqz says:

    Hi..
    I have papaya coloured walls in my living room and have ordered dark brown coloured sofas..
    Could you please suggest me a wooden flooring colour? And also a suitable colour for the curtains?
    Thanks

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi nizq (#45),

    I love papaya! I suggest a medium to dark floor as long as you have the light in the room. Then keep the curtains light like the walls. And save the real color for the accessories and art and maybe an area rug under the dark brown sofas. With such a neutral palette, you can pick almost anything for your accent color/s and can even change them seasonally!!

    That’s a great look!!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • debbie says:

    I’m in need of your help! Have medium brown wood floors that have just been laid in my kitchen and family room. I’m having antique linen cabinets with a carmel glaze installed. Now I need to pick out pain colors for the kitchen and family room. I don’t want to make the kitchen any darker in tone. My family room has beige sofa and red coral and brown beige accent chairs. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Debbie (#47),

    Have a look at antique parchment (Ben Moore 959) and ocean beach (958) and see if they go with your beige sofa okay. Those colors offer just enough color to offset the antique linen cabinets without going darker. A slightly grayer version is berber white (955).

    See what you think.

    Another direction you might consider is camouflage (gray green) 2143-40.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • simplyblondie says:

    My problem is that we are starting a project with moving our masterbedroom downstairs into our family room. The problem is the the family room has tongue and groove half way up thewall and it is stain a light pine oak color. My bedspread is amicro suede two shades of brown. I have found some light taupe suede curtains that I really like. I was wondering what you thought of me painting the upper portions of the walls an autumn red. I have been getting a lot of slack, people saying that red causes arguments and is not a good color for in a bedroom. Is this necessarily true? I have autumn red curtains with the bedspread right now in the room we are in and I just love the color combination. What do you think?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi simplyblondie,

    I too love the color combination. And there are two schools of thought about red in the bedroom.

    One is that red has a lot of energy and is not very soothing for sleeping. For those folks with stressful jobs, coming home to a red bedroom might just take them over the edge. For them, a calm palette of soft greens and blues would be the way to go.

    But the other side of red is that it’s a rich, warm, passionate color and again, if YOU really love it, then I would not let anybody talk you out of it. (Note: if you have a nice, calm husband, I wouldn’t worry too much about the ROOM color causing arguments, especially if YOU really love the color. I’m sure my word emphasis is not lost on you…).

    So, if both you and your husband like the color, I say go for it. Especially since the entire room will not be red. Paired with the browns, it’s a winner.

    Good luck with the move.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Mo says:

    Hi,

    We are building a new house and I need to pick a Benjamin Moore paint color for the kitchen and living room and foyer that all flows together.

    We have honey spice cherry cabinets and tan brown granite.

    What do you suggest? I’m at a total loss!!!!!
    Please help!
    THanks!
    Mo

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Mo,

      Check out Powell Buff (HC-35) and Ocean Beach (958). They are both warm neutrals that seem to go with everything.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Mo says:

    Sorry, I forgot to include some additional comments. WE are looking for a neutral color on the lighter side.

    Thanks!

  • Mary says:

    Hi. Thanks in advance for any advice. We are building an apartment over a large garage, with a family room and small galley kitchen connected, bath and bedroom. We just bought some unfinished red oak for flooring. There are sloped ceilings in all areas and it doesn’t get very good natural light. Ceiling height is 10 feet in center-10 feet wide flat part- room 23′ long. We put a few recessed lights into the flat center part of ceiling in family room, and plan on sconces on the wall by TV. We need to decide if stain the flooring and we have fir doors to stain as well as window trim, molding. We don’t have cabinets yet. Any ideas for stain and floors, cabinets, and paint?? I’ve tried a few stains on fir sample and like summer oak (more neutral) or colonial maple or chestnut (more warmth and pizzaz-). I’m going to test the summer oak or just go with a waterbourne coat for the floor to keep it fairly light, considering the lack of great light. I’m thinking of using aged/darkish bronze fixtures. We live in the northwest in the country and want a warm feeling. We plan to live there when we renovate the house someday. We are DIY types, my husband is an engineer and designed and built most of this.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Mary,

      Sounds like a fun project. The summer oak looks really light to me but if you have a modern aesthetic, then that’s fine. I like the warmth of the chestnut and colonial maple personally. Have a look at some of the historical neutrals like Ben Moore’s standish white (HC-32) and powell buff (HC-35). Without being too yellow, they both make a wonderful warm backdrop.

      Hope that helps. Good luck with your project.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Linus says:

    Barbara –

    I am so glad I came across your website. I have yet to find an answer to my kitchen color dilema. I have a kitchen that faces to the North side of our home, which is open to the livingroom. I have Maple Toffee colored cabinets and Cranberry Brown Granite countertops with Butterscotch Bristol Hardwood floors. My appliances are black. I have 1 window and 1 bay window with sliding glass door (in the attached breakfast nook of kitchen) that faces the north side. Other than the 18 ‘ high wall of windows (north side) in the living room, next to the kitchen, there is no other natural light coming into the room. I have a very large brown metal / iron resin scroll / leaf-motif art piece hanging in the breakfast area. I also have a brown metal hanging chandlier over the table. I currently have green ivy and metal iron boxes above my cabinets. I also have 3 other art pieces that have the beige/golden brown and cranberry colored flowers or colors in them hanging in the kitchen. And I recently reupolstered some kitchen bar stools with a Christopher Lowell Joann’s ornate fabric with these colors. I am at a loss as to what color to paint my kitchen in that will bring out the beauty of the cabinet color without making them look to orangey. I want to see the warmer tone come out. I am currently using cranberry/wine, gold, browns, sage greens throughout the rest of my home. I would like to continue this through my kitchen. I am concerened that if I use the cranberry (Behr Red Red Wine or Maleya Red by Ralph Lauren) or sage color (San Antino Sage by Sherwin Williams) on the wall that the room will feel to dark. I found a ‘Taste of Italy’ color by Valspar (golden yellow color) that I like the look / techniquie of the paint, but not sure that it does much for my cabinets. (If I use this color, I am not sure I would actually use the valspar paint. Do you like this paint brand?) I use alot of fall colors (wine/pumpkin/green/golden yellow) in my kitchen during the fall in my centerpieces and replace my ivy with fall garland above my cabinets. I also have a rose color peony centerpiece for my table that I use during the spring and summer. I like to bring in live flowers (roses and peonys in hot pink, red, orange, white and yellow) from my garden during the summer as well. I would like to choose the right colors for the kitchen that would utilize the colors throughout the house, transition to my fall colors and then transition during the spring/summer while still hightlighting the cabinets and granite. (I use wine and gold on my christmas tree also.) I do plan to install a tile backsplash, but have made no decisions on the color as of date. Do you have any recommendations on this also? Do you think the Taste of Italy golden yellow Valspar will highlight the cabinets? Do you have some other color recommendations or alternative golden yellow color? We do like the tuscan style, but I really don’t have alot of walls to hang pottery…but like the colors. I am also open to painting the room in two different coordinating colors. Howerver, I am not sure if the wall with the large art piece or the wall with the bay window should be the special wall in a different color. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you could recommend…including changing my color scheme if necessary. Although, since I have an open floor plan, and the kitchen can be seen from the living room and foyer/staircase/hall, I would like it to all feel cohesive. I think it is just a matter of finding the right hughs to make it feel bright and coordinated. I can’t wait to hear your recommendations. Thanks for your advice!
    -Linus

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Linus,

      So sorry for the lengthy delay. Hope you swing back by the blog to get this.

      With your cabinet and granite colors, how about a nice neutral like either Ben Moore’s papaya (957) or Ocean beach (958)? That way, you are free to bring in all the seasonal colors that you use to decorate your kitchen and you’re not tied to a specific palette all year long. I would not go too yellow but it’s okay to have a golden undertone to bring some light into your kitchen. The two colors mentioned above should do that.

      Since you already have a large art piece in the room as well as a bay window (both serving as focal points to draw the eye), I would keep the kitchen all one color and keep it simple so you have room to play.

      As for the backsplash, again I would bring in a richer neutral shade to simplify that area. Tumbled marble works great to bridge the many tones in the granite with both the wall color and cabinets. Also gives a Tuscan feel.

      See what you think.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Maureen says:

    I have an old art deco couch (am thinking of doing in a camel mohair) and then two matching chairs in a camel and dark grey large pattern chenille with camel mohair on the back or just doing them both all camel like the couch). I have another chair that will either be camel mohair or dark grey mohair with camel mohair back and sides. Bottom line I am using camel and dark grey in some fashion on the furniture. I have white trim in the room but could change this and have a fireplace and bookcases on either side as a focal wall). What color should I paint the walls to make the furniture pop? Should I paint the wall with the fireplace a different color than the other three walls?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Maureen,

      With all that luscious camel, consider highlighting it by choosing a very light warm silvery gray for the walls. Look at Silver Satin (Ben Moore OC-26) with Chantilly Lace trim (OC-65). With the dark grey mohair and the camel, that could be really nice. I would consider painting your bookcases and mantle the same trim color and putting a big art piece above the fireplace. Then warm up the floor with a rug in rich browns and maybe different shades of blue.

      See what you think.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Elisa says:

    Hi Barbara

    I would appreciate your help. I have a traditional New England Colonial. Just redid my kitchen with white cabinets, brushed nickel fixtures, stainless steel/black appliances and a golden santa cecelia granite. I will be adding a deep golden biege rustic tile floor. I have a large garden window in my kitchen which lets in lots of light. The kitchen is not especially large. A doorway from my kitchen goes into my dining room which has burgundy walls with white trim. The colors throughout my home tend to be in the sage, warm golden yellow , burgundy and biege tones. What color would you recommend that I paint my kitchen walls? I want to maintain the warmth and have the walls pop a little bit also. If you recommend a yellow tone please provide me with a 2nd option as I love the golden yellow tones but already have my living room/ sunroom and basement all painted various shades of yellow.

    Thanks for your help

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Elisa,

      I love Ben Moore’s Powell Buff with your Santa Cecelia granite, but if that’s too yellow for you, try one of the gray greens, like Bennington Gray (HC-82), a very sophisticated color that would look great behind your white cabinets and other earth tones.

      See what you think.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • dede says:

    Hi,
    i just found your blog and thought I’d ask a question from this older post of yours. I have an expanded 1932 bungalow. All the trim is original gumwood, including built-in cabinets, windows and interesting beams on the ceilings(arched doorways etc). I am struggling with wall color choices, especially in a small TV room that seems so dark. Any ideas for fun colors to brighten up my spaces and still coordinate with the reddish brown trim?
    Thanks for any ideas you can share!

  • Marv says:

    i just made new cupboard doors for my kitchen out of hard rock maple and am struggling with a color to paint the main body of them now. Right now they are a dark walnut which will be a big clash….any ideas??

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Marv,

      Take the door to the paint store and ask them to get you a color that is either two shades darker than the maple or a coordinating color from the rest of your kitchen. (I like a dark rusty red with solid natural wood doors personally, but the color needs to come from your kitchen.)

      Good luck.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Aimee says:

    Hi, I am in need of help with changing the way our one bathroom looks. It isnt a large bathroom…has a stand up showed in the back corner of the room. The floor is a dark green tile with a little bit of cream in it…a very little bit. I love how blues and greens look together in the bathroom with accent pieces/towels, but I am unsure what color blue to put on the walls. Any suggestions?

    Thanks…Aimee

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Aimee,

      I suggest finding the color of your green floor on a paint chip at the paint store and moving up the paint chip to a very light version of that color. Doing that will blend walls and floor and make the room appear larger (green walls recede anyway). Then you can bring in lots of white and different shades of blues for your towels and accessories.

      See what you think.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • chavonne says:

    my furniture is all chocolate ,,. I have a few gold peices on the wall already ,. I wanted to go with the blue and brown look but i am so confused on the color to paint the wall , the curtains color (i did purchase last naight at jc penny some panals brown adn cream to try and offset the brown , i just need the blue sheer) which now i am second quessing myself. I need help with curtain color and type, paint on which wall or all, throw pillows ,.,. The furniture is a micro fiber material that looks velvet like,. I want to lighten it up but i really want to use the blue and a little gold ,.,.,
    Please help if you can,.,.chavonne

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Chavonne,

      Try Ben Moore’s Gentle Gray (1626) on your walls. It’s a wonderful gray-blue that looks terrific with dark chocolate. The brown and cream panels are fine for the windows. Skip the blue sheers though. If you need some light filtering, install some woven wood roller shades or roman blinds (also from JCPenney). For throw pillows, you can add a warm color to the mix or move into the silvery blues/greens (quite easy to find these days at the home goods stores). You’ll have a luscious room!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Joyce Berman says:

    Hi there,
    I am redoing a bathroom and have purchased a marble countertop for a white cabinet. It is a very small room that has already had a grey tub and burgundy tile around bath/shower (yuk). I am trying to lighten and still meld the two so I don’t have to pour money into new tile since the old is perfectly good and in good shape (except for ugly color).

    Any thoughts on what color to paint walls? I was trying to avoid white, but it is seeming more and more likely in the absence of any great plan. The grey in the marble counter and floor seems to work with tub and tile for now.

    Thanks for your comments.
    Joyce

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Joyce,

      I would definitely go with a light gray for your walls. Just pick the color right out of the marble. It will make the marble look great and blend the tub and floor. Then you can use white towels and throw in a little burgundy on the countertop (maybe a soap dish — not too much). I think your bathroom will look terrific.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • tracy says:

    hi i have behr paint brown rabbit 300f-5 and a english saddle colored microfiber couch on the way i wonder how you feel about those two colors together and what kind of color to make everything pop (maybe teal) i am not good with design and wouldn’t even know how to make it pop (even if that color would work) help
    thanks

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Tracy,

      The paint color has a lot of gold/green in it but it should be fine with any brown neutral couch. I would add some dark brown to the room (tables) or black (if it’s a modern living room) and then add your punch of color. Try rich reds/golds/browns — autumn colors. Throwing a little bit of teal in (a pillow or two or a vase) will shake things up. That should look great!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Nancy says:

    My comforter is a few colors of blue possibly a lilac color thrown in there. What colors can I add to give some pop to the room?

    Thank you.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Nancy,

      Try lime green for summer and a rich orange for winter. And lots of white.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Heather says:

    Barbara,

    I am struggling to decide on a paint color for my master bathroom. We moved in just a coupla months ago and attempted to fix the brown/taupe color that existed on the ceiling, walls, trim, moulding, and a closet door (yuk) with a light shade of blue and a fresh white ceiling, moulding, trim etc. Unfortunately, it now looks baby or robin’s egg blue depending on the time of day. The room is a decent size and a window opposite the vanity/mirror brings in a good amount of natural light. My biggest hurdle is that we can’t afford to remodel at this point and the following is what I have to work with: almond color countertop, off-white vanity, white sunken tub/tile and white separate shower stall, white w/ gray streaks vinyl floor, and brushed nickel accents… I was thinking maybe I should go with a gray to tie the walls in with the floor? The countertop makes me second guess that idea too. My master bedroom walls are painted Behr’s Ultra in Quiet Veranda should that matter. I was originally thinking “spa,” but now I just want it to look cohesive and clean. Thanks for any and all advice you can offer me!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Heather,

      Try Gentle Gray (Ben Moore 1626) in your bathroom. It’s a gray-blue that is not the least bit “baby” or “robin’s egg” and should coordinate nicely with the cream in your bedroom.

      Thanks for posting.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Meaghan says:

    Hello, we are building an A frame house that is wide open, we have medium brown gray laminate on the floors, white doors and baseboards, dark backsplash and counter in the kitchen and white cabinets. Any suggestion for a main colour that will go in our entrance, kitchen, dining room, living room and loft?

    • Barbara Meglis says:

      Hi Meaghan,

      I’d love to see photos. But try Ben Moore’s Edgecomb Gray. It will look light and airy but will coordinate well with all your grays and white.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • I wanted to paint our 4 level side split home, right now as you enter the front foyer, it has 12 x 12′ white tile, Louisanna Hot Sauce paint color on walls and the foyer is 9×12, then we go up 7 steps to our living room, dining room and kitchen which has walls and cupboards not much wall to paint in kitchen, then 6 more steps up to the bedroom areas. I wanted a nice soft flow of color. The living room is a soft soft yellow also all up the stairs in same color, dining room a Dijon Mustard Benjamin Moore and on the same pallet of the DR. color is the color in the kitchen a little lighter than the Dijon Mustard; also wanted to paint all three bedrooms and main bathroom up there. HELP!

    • Barbara Meglis says:

      Send photos, Annetta. bmeglis@yahoo.com

    • Barbara Meglis says:

      Hi Annetta,

      To create flow throughout your house, pick 5 colors that are the same “value” (the same position on the strip of paint colors in the fan deck). For maximum light in the space, choose values that are no darker than 4 levels from the lightest tone.

      The hues (colors) should relate to the furnishings you already have, art on the walls, or other inspirations. OR just be 5 “neutrals” that you would like to have in your home to create a relaxed environment. Neutrals do not have to be beige. They refer to the less-vibrant shades and tones in a given colorway — the “grayed-down” versions of colors versus the “Crayola” ones.

      With that palette, you can spread the colors around from room to room knowing that the colors will blend beautifully and create flow between rooms. You should be able to stand in one spot and look at multiple colors that coordinate harmoniously.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

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