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Posts Tagged ‘Interior Paint Color’

From the Design Files of Heather B – Bathroom Paint Question

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Design Question

We are redoing our powder room with a mahogany vanity and mirror. What lighter colors will make this room feel cozy but not cavey?

Design Answer

Since you want to make the room feel cozy, I would start looking at “warm” colors such as red, brown and orange – softer shades rather than darker ones such as Sherwin Williams – Champagne SW6644, Sand Beach SW7529, Colonial Revival Tan SW 2828, Impatiens Petal SW6582 or Romance SW6323.

I know some people shy away from pink in a bathroom, but I think a very pale rose shade or a warm tan or beige with pink in it would also be a good choice, something like Sherwin Williams – White Dogwood SW6315.

Thanks for writing in. Let me know how it turns out. Next Monday I’ll answer another on of your design questions.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Countertop Color Dilemma

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Design Question

Hi Heather, I’m really having an issue with a color for my kitchen which I have not done anything with for 9 years but I’m ready to have it done before the Holidays. My countertops are Kelly Green and cabinets and wood floor are Oak. I have not changed appliances (not in the Budget) except the dishwasher which is stainless steel and fridge and stove are Ivory. What can I do?  Anything you suggest will be helpful. Thank You.

Design Answer

Thanks for including a picture – it makes it easier for me to visualize what’s going on.

I have a few suggestions for where you can start getting some color choice ideas.

The kitchen mat has colors in it that would be excellent matches for the kitchen island counter tops. For example, there’s a shade of lighter green that might be a good hue for your kitchen. Choosing a lighter toned green that works with the Kelly green is called a monochrome color scheme.

The second option is to choose a complementary color scheme. The complementary color of green is red. Selecting a very pale rose, pink or beige with pink undertones might also work in the space.

The third option is to pick a neutral color such as beige, cream or lighter earth tone shades. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, don’t forget to test the color out in the kitchen itself, just to see how it really looks. Some paint company websites have visualization tools that will let you upload a picture of your kitchen so that you can see what the color might look like.

Thanks for writing in. I hope this is helpful. Let me know how it turns out. Don’t forget to come back next Monday when I’ll be answering another design question.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Wall Color for Finished Basement

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Design Question

In our basement we have two grey leather sofas; blue with a hint of grey ceramic tile floor; and walls are half drywall and medium oak (on the darker side) on the bottom half. I have had a linen paint color in the past…French vanilla is the name…and want to repaint. We are just doing a fresh up as we really do not use the basement any more as the kids are gone. But I have been watching too much HGTV and want to cover the nicks and so forth.  My neighbor says paint it French vanilla again but what would you think? Would a picture help?

Design Answer

I’m definitely with you on wanting to repaint since the walls are showing some wear and tear. However, if the French vanilla looks good in the room and creates the desired effect or mood you would like to achieve, then sticking with the same paint color will save you the time and effort of having to choose a new one. On the other hand, it sounds like you are ready for a change and now might be a good time to introduce some color into the space.

When choosing a color for the walls, it definitely should have some relevancy to other elements already present. Blue that matches the hue of the tile floor, for example, would be an option or if there are accent pillows on the sofas, select a predominant color that appears in one of the pillow fabrics. You could also match the new wall color to your window treatments if there are any. Given that it is the basement, you might want a warm color to make it feel even more inviting. A picture would definitely help me visualize the room.

 Thanks for writing in. Let me know how it turns out. And as for the rest of you, don’t forget to come back next Monday when I’ll be answering another design question.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Daughter’s Bedroom Paint Color

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Design Question

We are remodeling our home and are building a bedroom (11′ by 15′) for our 8 year old daughter upstairs. The room gets somewhat low natural light from a fairly big window on the north wall. The ceiling is flat, but then slants down on two sides and has a natural (somewhat lighter) pine (wood) on it (pine looks a bit darker in photo). We put a forest wallpaper mural (all trees-lots of different greens) on one wall. Some of the greens in the mural are very bright green, which doesn’t exactly show in photo (a bit more yellowish in photo than what it actually looks like).

We are trying to decide on a color to paint the other walls. We are thinking green, only because green would be best with the mural (I think?), although I’ve gotten suggestions of beige instead of green. I would like it to be something more “grown up”, and not look like a little girl’s room. I’d like something that will not need to be changed as she gets older, yet she will like. We are going for a “nature” or “forest” feel for her room. I don’t want it to be too dark or too bright and I want to be careful that it is not too dull of a color. My daughter wants either green, or the color in our living room which is a brown called “County Cork” by Ralph Lauren. I think that brown is too dark for her room (especially since the trim is kind of dark – no white in the room) and I don’t know if it goes with the mural.

If green is not the way to go, I would be open to consider another color. I’ve looked at lots of greens and some beiges and none of them seem right. I’d like it to work with the mural and the pine ceiling. If I go with beige, I don’t want it to be too close to the color of the pine, as I’d like the pine to stand out somewhat from the wall color. I don’t know if green or beige is better or if I should do one wall green and the others beige? The focus is the mural, so I don’t know if it would look right to have 2 wall colors?

I have gotten samples, put on big poster board and held it up on different areas and nothing I’ve gotten seems right. I have also gone to the Sherwin Williams and Behr websites and put in a photo of the room and tried different colors on the wall, but again cannot find anything. If you could give me any suggestions, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

Design Answer

What a great space! Many parents choose themes and colors for a child’s room that will “grow” with their children so that they do not have to constantly redecorate. A forest theme is a good choice. The room is such a beautiful shape and where you’ve chosen to put the mural provides the perfect accent.

That is the tricky thing about trying to look at colors in photos or in online color visualization programs; other factors come into play, including your computer monitor, settings, etc. Speaking of colors in photographs, I am curious about the green that is on the vents in the first picture. In the photo, it appears like it would be a good candidate for your daughter’s bedroom.

I don’t know which specific greens you were looking at but I selected four that I thought would go well with the forest mural. This palette I created uses greens from Sherwin Williams. You most certainly can use two wall colors in a room. The darker colors like the “festival green” or “pickle” would make great accent wall colors.

Depending on the intensity of the color, if you would like to use beige I would go more brownish than grayish. I would have to see how it works in the room, but I would tend to use cream instead of beige. Again, I selected some creams from Behr you might consider for your daughter’s room. I personally love the “pumpkin cream” because since green is a cool color, I thought that the orange (warm color) hue would provide balance. You’ll have to do your poster board test to see, but the orange cream might make the pine appear too orange. It might work as an accent color, though.

Thanks for writing in. Let me know how it turns out. Come back next Monday when I answer another interior design question. Keep sending me those emails and don’t forget to include pictures if you can.

From the Design Files of Heather B. – Wall Color for Yellow Furniture

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Design Question

Hi, I found your email on a website and I don’t know if you answer personal emails but if you do, then I have some questions. I need to decorate a room that’s got yellowish/beige wallpaper and yellowish/beige floors. I have dark yellow couches and from there I am stumped. I was thinking since there was so much yellow that I would work with grey and dark blue, but what do you think? What colors would complement all the yellow and actually make it look classy instead of boring. Should the carpet and curtains be the same shade of grey, or different? And what colors should the lamps and accessories be? What other colors could I incorporate? Thanks for your help.

Design Answer

Since there is a lot of yellow in the room and yellow is a “warm” color, balancing it with “cool” colors like grey and dark blue is actually a good idea. I know this might sound funny when discussing neutral colors, but if you go the grey route, you will want to make sure that the shade of grey you pick will “play nice” with the beige hues of the wallpaper and the floors.

Pale green is another cool color that will go with your yellow sofas and your floors. The carpet and curtains don’t necessarily have to be the same shade of grey, but they shouldn’t be jarringly different. If you are purchasing either a carpet or curtains or both with a pattern, the ideal window treatments/area rug combination would be to choose a shade of grey that appears in both – again, they don’t have to match exactly but they should be in the same “family.”

Another option would be to use navy blue for the curtains, carpet and accent pillows, gray for the walls and a soft shade of lime as the accent color for one wall.

You didn’t mention what style of living room furniture you currently have in the room you are in the process of decorating. But black and white – white on the walls and black for the curtains and carpet – could work especially well in a contemporary environment. Pairing black and white with the yellow would also be a stunning color combo for a traditional décor as well.

If you have dark wood in the room in the form of coffee tables, accent chairs, etc. adding red and blue to mix, all primary colors, is an alternative to using neutral shades. The rich wood tones will balance the primary hues in the room. You could offset these colors by using white paint for the trim (windows, doors, baseboards, etc.).

From the Design Files of Heather B – Paint Color Choice for Oak Furniture

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Design Question

Hello Heather, I have quite a dilemma in choosing appropriate colors for a house we recently bought and are moving into, so I need some help!!

My furniture is mostly oak wood. The kitchen has oak cabinets, white Corian countertops, the white and gray floor, and white appliances. It is a pretty good size room but is in the center of the house and doesn’t have a window. It is currently painted a dark green and looks very dark. This room adjoins the family room which does have some but not a lot of light and vaulted ceilings. That room is currently painted a very pale bright yellow.

The dining room and living room are also open to the kitchen and living room. They also have the white and gray tile floors. In those rooms, there is small white dentil crown molding and an oak top on a half wall at the entry. These rooms are painted in gray and tan combination where my son started to paint gray over the existing tan and quit. At least the top of the 1/2 wall is oak and will go with my furniture. The tan is just too much brown with my oak furniture, but I am questioning the tone of the gray.

I need to know what color or tone and color I can paint all these rooms that will be a light neutral backdrop. I have been pulling out my hair trying to figure this out. I don’t want any red or bright primary colors. More understated, simple elegance is my style. I was thinking something like a gray, putty, taupe or stone color. My biggest problem is trying to get the right tone since the oak is so orange. I do like light shades of blue, green, yellow, neutrals and soft muted tones. I am just STUMPED. I don’t want to do this twice! ANY help would be most graciously accepted!

Design Answer

You’re right; the oak is definitely orange rather than tan or golden. But it is beautiful; the cabinetry in the kitchen is simply stunning. However, I do think that because the oak/orange is a warm color and is such a commanding element in the room, it should be balanced by neutrals like gray and cool colors like blue and green.

Color Choices

I also agree that the gray currently in the space doesn’t work with the ceiling – it is my feeling that it doesn’t provide enough of a contrast, making them both blend into one another. Based on the colors you said that you preferred, except for yellow because it is a “warm” color, I picked some shades and hues that I thought would work in all four rooms – the living room, dining room, kitchen and family room. The palettes are loosely divided into gray, green and blue.

Once you’ve narrowed down the color or colors you think you would like to use, don’t forget to test it out by seeing how it looks in the room, either by applying paint samples or using the online tools many paint companies offer through their websites.

Hopefully you won’t have to paint it twice! Let me know how it turns out. Thanks for writing in. Come back next Monday when we’ll answer another reader’s design question.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Moving from the Southwest to Minnesota

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Design Question

I’m from the sunny southwest and I love light and white and comfy inviting places. We’ve moved to *Minnesota!*.  The winters are long, cold, and mostly dark all the time. I miss the light and friends being able to pop over any time of day to drink some sweet sun tea (it’s a major ordeal to leave your house in the winter here).

We just bought our first house and it has good windows/natural light. The big entertainment center will go, the divider wall and entryway tile will go, and all the trim and windows are being installed white. There is gray/tan tile in the dining room and kitchen, and our floor plan is very open – you can see the dining room and kitchen from living room. We need to put down new flooring in the living area – which is where I need help, that and paint colors.

I want a wood floor in the living room and hallway. I can’t decide if I should go with a Scandinavian look with white walls and light wood floors, or do light walls and a dark wood floor. I like the look of both, and I have found lots of photos that seem to “decorate with light” and show white on white, but none with dark couches and dark floors that don’t look cave-like, or light floors with dark couches. I’m having a hard time deciding what would look best and not make my home look dark.

Design Answer

Congratulations on your new home. What a great space! I think you made the right choice to replace all the trim and the dark-framed windows with white. You should definitely make the most of them, especially as you mentioned, come winter time, you’ll be glad for whatever natural light you get in the space.

It is my understanding that you are keeping the tile that is currently in the kitchen and dining room. Because it includes lighter hues, my instinct tells me that light wood floors with white walls would work better with the tile than a dark wood floor. I think this would also be a better choice for the hallway, since from your photograph it appears dark and very closed in – the lighter color choice will help to “open” up the hallway and make it brighter. I know you said that you would be getting rid of the entertainment center, but in terms of color, it does work well with the furniture in the room. In terms of the lighter floor color, if or when you add wood furniture to the space, I wouldn’t go any darker than your dining table or the entertainment center.

If you do go with the lighter colors for both the floor and the walls, I would also consider bringing more color into space, especially warm colors like soft yellow, pale gold, even orange. You may even want to pick two accent colors, one for one wall in the dining room and another accent color for one of the walls in the living room. Because the dining room directly faces your front door, I would pick the wall with the window on it (in the dining room) for your accent color. By placing pictures on either side of the window, or a group of pictures just on one side or adding a piece of furniture like a corner curio cabinet creates a focal point for your visitors and helps to create a welcoming atmosphere.

Thanks for writing in. Let me know how it turns out. Good luck!

From the Design File of Heather B – Accent Color Paint Choice

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Design Question

I need advice on interior paints. Currently I have Fresh cut Grass (~ cream from Benjamin Moore) colour in my living room. I also have lot of Cherry wood furniture on dotted gum (Brown) wood floor. I like to paint one wall with a different colour. Could you please advise me which colour goes with this setup?

Design Answer

You’re definitely starting off on the right foot. When choosing an accent color for a living room, you want to take several elements into consideration: the main paint color choice (fresh cut grass); the predominant color of the furniture whether it’s construction material of the furniture or the fabric of the sofa/chairs; and the mood you would like to create with your paint choice. Another thing to remember about choosing an accent color is that many people think that it must be bolder or darker than the main color that has been chosen, but it all depends on your personal taste and the effect you would like to achieve.

Warm Colors

Warm colors are red, orange and yellow. They, of course, include any shades, tints and hues in the red, orange and yellow color families. Warm colors have specific characteristics that contribute to the overall mood of the living room and how it interacts with the rest of the living room furniture. A warm color has the appearance of “moving toward you” which is why bright reds, yellows and oranges have a tendency to make a room look smaller in the cozy sense (not the cramped sense). Because warm colors are closely associated with fire, they energize a room. 

Cool Colors

Cool colors don’t mean “cold,” but they do have the opposite effect of warm colors. Cool colors include blue, green and violet. A cool color looks like it is “moving away from you.” This will make the room seem larger; contributing a sense of distance or space in the living room’s décor. Cool colors have a comfortable soothing and tranquil vibe to them.

Even if we are conscious of the affect that color has on us, the color choices in a room does contribute to the overall mood. So, it really is a personal preference, depending on whether you would like your living room to energize (warm accent colors) you or to soothe (cool accent colors) you. However, from the description that you gave me of your living room, but without seeing any photographs, I would be drawn to warm color choices.

I hope this has been helpful. I answer your design questions every Monday, so keep sending them in! I love to hear from all of you.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Furniture Color Question

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Design Question

I am currently in the process of redoing the family room, since it’s just a mishmash of mismatched furniture with a large plasma TV on the end wall. Because it was previously painted not even two years ago, we’re not planning on doing it again. So the color of the walls are light blue. Same thing concerning the carpet; it’s still new enough that we won’t be replacing it. It’s a soft cream color. I want a contemporary look for the family room, something casual but still smart looking. With light blue walls and cream colored carpet, which would look better, white or dark brown furniture?

Design Answer

The short answer is either white or a darker brown like espresso or chocolate will work perfectly well in a room with light blue walls and a cream colored carpet.

The longer answer is that both choices have their pros and cons. Some people would shy away from choosing white furniture for a family room because it can be easily stained; especially white furniture that has white or lighter colored upholstered seating or accompanying accent cushions. However, white furniture can look smart, especially contemporary style living room furniture. It has the added advantage of being able to go with virtually any other color. White furniture can be a great backdrop for accent pillows of different colors. Or you can implement a standard contemporary color scheme by starting with white basics and accessorizing with black fabrics and other decorative items.

White in a room, whether it’s on the walls or it is the color you have chosen for your family room or living room furniture also has the advantage of opening up the space and making it seem roomier. This is a plus if the room you are redecorating is small to begin with.

On the other hand, choosing furniture with finishes that include chocolate, java or cappuccino will give your family room a much more sophisticated look and feel. Particularly in a room that has an area rug or carpet in a light shade, darker colored furniture will create a pleasing contrast, while adding warmth.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Yellow Color Choice for Contemporary Room

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Design Question

I have a very large great room facing north with lots of windows. I want to paint my room a warm yellow using Benjamin Moore paints. I have sampled many and I was just wondering if you have a particular yellow you often recommend. I don’t want it to be too flashy – I have used ecru the past made by c2 but it doesn’t seem to have enough warmth…..any recommendations? I looked at “man on the moon” by Ben Moore and it’s a bit light…..I have white trim, contemporary style furniture……”morning sunshine” by Ben Moore is too florescent…..any ideas?

Design Answer

No one has asked me for recommendation me for yellow color recommendations before – blue, green, neutrals and earth tones, but never yellow. Man on the moon looks too beige to me – I would want something more yellow.

You mentioned “morning sunshine” as being too neon.  I actually liked this one, but it does tend to be cooler than what you’re after. I was wondering if you meant “good morning sunshine” because then I would have to agree – I did find this one too bright.

However, in some of my previous blogs, I have chosen shades of yellow that I am   personally fond of. “Winter sunshine” has the warm tones you are looking for, possessing a little more depth than “man on the moon.” “Light yellow” is warm and lighter, yet still is soft. I like the earth tone appearance of “You are my sunshine.” For something with more traditional primary tones but is soft and brighter, another color I’ve used is “yellow lilies.”

Thanks for writing in. I hope this has been useful. Please let me know which one you picked.

Keep sending me your design questions, and especially if you’re asking for advice regarding wall color, tips on rearranging a specific room etc., include pictures if you can.

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