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Posts Tagged ‘Interior Paint Colors’

From the Design Files of Heather B – Room Colors

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Design Question

Hi, My husband and I just bought our second house and we really want to make sure that this one is done right. We have dark hardwood floors and dark wood end tables and entertainment center. We were thinking of a grey blue colour for the walls? And maybe a red for our drapes? Would those colours go together and if not what would you suggest? For paint and drapes and area rug and throws?

Design Answer

Congratulations on your new home! The dark hardwood floors sound lovely.

Grey blue walls and red drapes certainly do go together. A colour might look just fine in the room but, especially if it’s a “focal point” colour (wall, drapes, sofa), you will want to “connect” it to other elements in the room. You can do this by choosing an area rug, throws and accent cushions that incorporate the red of the window treatments.

You didn’t mention which room this was so I’m assuming that it is the living room or the living space where plan relax and entertain the most. Cool colours like blue and neutrals such as grey can make a room appear larger. Red is a warm colour, so you are creating “balance” by pairing it with a cool shade (grey blue walls). Whether the dark hardwood floors and dark wood end tables have more black or brown in them, the cool blue wall colour will be a good “foil” while the red will work well with either black (a neutral shade) or brown (a complementary color of red).

Thanks for writing in. I hope this has been helpful. Let me know how it turns out. Next week I will be answering another design question – please keep writing in!

From the design files of Heather B – Paint Color for Hallway

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Design Question

The front entry to my home has four doorways off of it. The large dark wooden front door (no window on door, just three above), one door to the master bedroom (room is painted Beautitone Heavenly Sky blue with white ceiling and doors and windows), the door to the upstairs (which the stairwell is painted Beautitone Cumberland Fog), and the doorway to the living room (which is painted Tea White Alluring)….which room affects the colour choice of the entry or is there a colour that compliments all of these?

Design Answer

Thanks for writing in! The room which affects the colour choice of the entryway would be the one that you can see first and/or most. Aside from the front door, which of course will be closed most of the time, take into account which of the other doors will be open on a regular basis.

If the doorway to the living room is open, one option would be to paint the whole hallway Tea White Alluring. Another option is to choose a shade that would complement the three colours that you have chosen for your living space. To pick a colour that complements all of the others, since blue is a cool colour, choose a cool neutral with a blue hue. Let me know how it turns out.

Come back next week when I will answer another one of your design questions. Don’t forget to keep sending them to. I don’t have a one-question rule; you can ask as many design question as you want; just remember to send one per email.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Black Mantle Headboard

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Design Question

Hello. Construction on my new home is almost complete. I have in my bedroom cove ceilings and my bedroom furniture includes a black mantle headboard bed. In my bedroom I am also going to be adding a red leather loveseat. Can you give me ideas of what color(s) I can use to paint my bedroom? I am horrible at selecting colors and plus this is a brand new home I don’t want just plain white walls. Any help is so much appreciated.

Design Answer

Congratulations on your new home! Your bedroom sounds gorgeous; I’d love to see pictures of it after it has been completed. Yes, choosing a paint color is not a particularly easy task, but there are ways to simplify the process so that you end up with a paint color that will work for you. I suggest a neutral shade like gray and have selected fo ur just to give you a starting off point. Here are some pointers that will help you find the ideal color for your master bedroom:

  • Match the paint color to something in the room such as the window treatments; a predominant shade that appears in your bedding or a favorite picture or print; or an accessory piece like a piece of sculpture or a vase. For example, a pale hue of green like sage or even forest or silver crest 1583 from Benjamin Moore would complement the red in the room.
  • Unless it is your personal preference to leave it white, plan on painting the ceiling as well; typically one or two shades lighter than the color you have chosen for the walls.
  • Choose a neutral color – this in no way is an endorsement for beige or cream. Colors like gray, silver and hues of navy blue can go with almost anything. While navy blue isn’t strictly a neutral color, it works like one, in that it “plays nice” with most other colors in the spectrum.

Thanks for writing in. I hope this was helpful. Let me know how it turns out. Next week I will be answering another design question – please keep writing in!

From the Design Files of Heather B – Oak Furniture Help

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Design Question

Our oak furniture is too large for our bedroom but I have no choice but to keep it. So I would like to at least make it look different. My original plan was to paint the bedroom furniture black and distress it; paint the walls a steel bluish color; and use white bedding. I am now rethinking that design because I am scared that the black of the furniture will just make it pop and be that much more noticeable that the scale is too large. Any suggestions on paint color for the furniture, paint for the walls both bedroom and bedding? My trim is white and I really would like to keep it because it would be a lot to paint. I also have an attached master bath that I would repaint as well to match or blend with the bedroom. Thanks for your help!

Design Answer

You have good instincts – the original plan you describe sounds simple yet sophisticated. By using neutral (black bedroom furniture, white bedding) and cool (steel blue walls) colors and tying the white already in the room to the bed through white bedding, you are essentially diminishing the effect of the oversized furniture in your bedroom. Cool or neutral paint colors move the walls away from you, creating the illusion of a larger space.

You might have no choice but to keep your bedroom furniture, but does it all have to be in the same room? For example, can you manage with a single nightstand or can the nightstands be replaced by glass side tables that will add yet another “neutral” element to the room? Are there other small changes you can make that will “open” up the room?

Thanks for writing in. I hope this has been helpful. Let me know how it turns out. Return next Monday when I reply to another design question.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Painting Wood Paneling

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Design Question

Hi, I am painting wood panelling on one long wall and two short walls in my basement. All of the panelling starts at four feet from the floor because after a flood we had new drywall put in from the floor to just below the windows of a bi-level house. I have painted the lower walls and all of the drywalled areas of my L-shaped rumpus room/office a medium grey. My furniture is black leather and I have large pictures that may go up that have gold/grey-green “foiled” look frames and grey/green and pinky/red tulips prints in the frames. What color should I go with on the panelled walls? I was thinking a grey/green…

Design Answer

You’re on the right track. When choosing interior paint colors, ideally the color you finally decide upon should have some “context” to something else in the room. A gray/green color like a sage or khaki would be a good choice.

Another option is to match or complement the color of the tulips: I would need to see a picture of the space, but just from your description it sounds like a damask or a dusty rose shade might also work.

I am aware that you will have to be careful as to what kind of paint you select to paint over your wood paneling, but the third option is to paint it the same color as your walls. If you are concerned that it might be too monotone or dark, you could bring additional color into the room through one or two accessories or accent cushions that match or complement the colors in the prints on the wall.

Thanks for writing in. Let me know how it turns out. Come back next week when I will be answering another one of your design question.

From the Design Files of Heather B – He Said/She Said Paint Color

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Design Question

My girlfriend and I are decorating our new apartment. We are currently shopping for new living room furniture. We both like this gray couch, which means the rest of the furniture will be mostly gray. So I want “shocking” walls. My choice is red; I thought it would make a good background for the gray living room furniture. My girlfriend wants to paint the room blue; actually more of a pastel teal. I don’t want blue of any shade and she thinks that the red would be too dark. Which is the right color we should be picking? How do we settle this so that we can both live the color choice?

Design Answer

You’re right – since you are both living in the space, you will need to agree on a color that will be pleasing to you both. In your situation, however, it’s not really an issue of which shade is right or wrong, because both the red and the blue/teal would be good candidates for matching with the furniture you have chosen.

In my opinion, what is a more important consideration is the overall effect you both would like to achieve. Since colors fall into two basic categories – warm colors (reds, lavenders, pinks) and cool colors (blues, greens) – you will want to decide which vibe would best work in the space. Because the sofa and other living room furniture is a neutral shade (gray) you won’t have to worry about matching the furniture color to the walls. The good thing about cool colors is that, unlike warm shades such as red or orange, you don’t have to worry about them overpowering the other décor elements in the room.

Since it isn’t really a matter of whether or not the wall color will or will not go with the furniture, discuss with your girlfriend the kind of mood you would like to create in your living space. If it ends up that you are still on two separate pages in terms of the exact vibe you both would like for the living room, you’ll have to do some negotiating.

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

From the Design Files of Heather B – Wrong Paint Color

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Design Question

Please, I need your professional advice. I have been living in my house for over 8 years and never had the opportunity to paint it. My husband and I went to the store to choose a paint color. We bought “Sand Motif” (Behr) for our living room but when we painted the walls, it was very dark.  We chose white for the “trim”.

We did not expect the color to be that dark but we could not change it. We went back to the store and bought the “Russian White” for our family room and chose the “Antique White RM” (CIL) for our kitchen. We have not chosen our stairwell color yet.

I do not like the “Sand Motif” due to the color. Could you please help me to choose a good color for our furniture; a color that will brighten the family room? Thanks

Design Answer

I’m sorry to hear that the color ended up to be not to your liking. I’m assuming that the white that you have chosen as the color for the trim isn’t brightening up the room enough for you. Other than repainting the entire area, there are some things you can try.

Since you have not yet chosen the paint for the stairwell, why not select a lighter shade that will complement the sand motif color? Then paint two of the living room walls the color that you will be using for the stairwell. The other two sand motif walls will be your accent color.

Do you have enough of the Russian White or the white paint you used for the trim in the living room leftover? If yes, and either one of the whites matches the sand motif, then you might consider repainting two of the walls in the lighter shade and leaving the darker one as an accent color.

As for living room furniture, especially the sofa or the coffee table, again choose a color that is complementary to the sand motif. A complementary color is the color that is directly opposite on the color wheel. For example the complementary color for red is green. Since the living room wall color has green tones, you will want to look for living room furniture that has a light cherry or oak finish. Pine furniture with hints of rose would also be a good choice. The same applies to any window treatments, an area rug or accent pillows you add to the room; select fabric and accessories that complement the sand motif. You can also make the furniture “lighter” by choosing less solid pieces such tables with glass tops or bookcases with open shelves.

Hope this is helpful in giving you a workable solution. Thanks for writing in. Come back next Monday when we tackle 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 – 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.

Country Cottage Design

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Country Cottage Design Style

Although this particular design style originated in English countryside households, you don’t have to be living in England on a rolling hillside to pull off the country cottage design look in your home!

It’s a look that’s popularly used when people are decorating their cabins by the lake to give an old-fashioned, cozy appearance to their vacation space.

However, people are also incorporating the grandmother-approved style into their own homes, wanting the same comforting appeal they get when they visit the old cabin or Granny herself!

Country Cottage Design

North America was introduced to the country cottage design by the arrival of British aristocrats from across the Atlantic. When these aristocrats began to construct their very own country cottages from simple materials like brick, mud, or stone, North Americans took notice of the charming, quaint interiors the British put together inside their homes. To them, the country cottage style was all about simplicity, yet class at the same time.

Country Cottage Designs

Get the country cottage style into your home by starting with the wall colour. What colours represent country cottage? Consider anything pale and fresh, like cream, soft blue or neutral green. The following paint samples are from Benjamin Moore:

Interior Paint Colors

Furnishings made from lighter shades of wood are ideal for a country cottage home. Unfinished pine, maple, or oak is a perfect selection, or any piece that’s been painted a fresh bright white.

White BedLifestyle Solutions Country Cottage White Bed 3 Piece Bedroom Set

Floral patterns are seen a lot in the country cottage style. There are many ways you can incorporate a floral pattern into your home – through drapes, rugs, sofa slips, cushions, tapestries – the list goes on!

Cedar ChestPowell Nostalgic Oak Cedar Chest with Floral Tapestry Top

What are some more popular features concerning country cottage?

Bay window seating

A large wall featuring plenty of shelving to display books, knickknacks, and fresh flowers

Lace – whether it’s hanging from the beds or the windows

Beaded board on the walls

Wall art featuring wildlife, maps, or antique family photos

So if you’ve been wanting a delightful, pleasing atmosphere in your living space that simply says “home”, why not try out the country cottage design style?

Nicolette Interior Design Diva

Interior Paint Colors

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Interior Paint Colors for Your Home

It’s a definite challenge to pick out the perfect wall colour for the rooms in your home. What color do you paint the ceiling? Trim? And what furniture goes well with it?

The following will help you learn what interior paint colour scheme you’re after, what colors go together, and what furniture fits the color well.

If you’re not planning on selling your house anytime soon, why not take a risk with color? If you were planning to sell your house in the next three to five years, you might want to stick with neutral colours so people won’t be turned off by eccentrics if they want to invest in your home.

The following are popular interior paint colour schemes and their definitions:

  • Monochromatic: Using the same colour throughout the room, possibly varying with tints and shades (like mint green and forest green).
  • Analogous: Choosing paint colours that are right next to each other on the colour wheel (such as yellow and orange, or purple and pink).
  • Complimentary: colors that are the opposite of each other on the colour wheel (like red and green, or blue and yellow).

When you’re choosing your paint colour(s), remember these tips:

  • Choose the wall color first, instead of the ceiling or trim. Those are normally accent parts to the room and should match your primary wall color.
  • You’ll need to check the paint swatches in natural light, artificial light, sunrise/sunset, and night-time lighting. The shade may look different in separate lighting, and it might not be the right choice for you in the end.
  • Light colored paints make the room appear more spacious, and do well when applied to long walls of a room.
  • Dark coloured paints make a room feel cozier, and work well on the end walls of a long room. However, they require more maintenance than light walls, and absorb heat faster.
  • White ceilings give off an illusion of more space in a room.

Here are the different kinds of paint types and their definitions:

Flat: It doesn’t reflect light, so it’s a good finish for hiding imperfections. Use flat paint in a room that doesn’t require a lot of cleaning, or gets disturbed with wear and tear.

Satin/Eggshell: Both names are interchangeable. This paint has a delicate shine that is indicative of a fresh eggshell. It is a step up from flat paint – it’s more stain resistant and longer lasting.

Gloss: Hard, shiny, and good at hiding brush strokes – that’s gloss paint for you. However, it may draw imperfections to the walls. It is the most stain resistant paint, though, and the easiest to clean.

Semi-Gloss: If you want the look of gloss but not the imperfections that may come through, try a semi-gloss. It’s good for rooms that go through a lot of wear and tear, because it’s simple to clean and relatively hard.

Now that you know the basics of selecting paint, it’s time to select your colour! Look through the different shades and colour combinations from Benjamin Moore Paints to see which one will work in your home.


Dusty Rose PaintMonochromatic

Red Home PaintAnalogous

Red Interior PaintComplimentary

A unique way to accent red walls is through gold-tinted furniture.
Gold Floor LampAF Lighting Candice Olson Logan Gold Floor Lamp
Gold Tapestry RugL.A. Rugs Platinum Style Gold Tapestry Rug
Gold MirrorMurray Feiss Viola Leaf Gold Mirror


Blue Interior PaintMonochromatic

Blue Home PaintAnalogous

Blue Paint IdeasComplimentary

To compliment a blue room, white furniture really pops out.

South Shore Platform BedSouth Shore Furniture Newbury Collection White Platform Bed
White  Dining TableKlaussner Furniture Treasures White Dining Table
White Leather SofaGlobal Furniture USA 757 Series White Leather Sofa


Green Interior PaintMonochromatic/

Green Home PaintAnalogous

Green Paint ColorComplimentary

Warm, wooden furniture in maple finishing compliments any shade of green.
Asian Platform BedAtlantic Furniture Manhattan Platform Bed with Open Footrail
Cocktail Table SetStanley Furniture Sunset Key Rum Round Cocktail Table Set
Maple DresserStanley Furniture Provincia Maple Dresser in Golden Distressed Finish


Yellow Interior PaintMonochromatic

Yellow Home PaintAnalogous

Yellow PaintComplimentary

Espresso-treated hardwood contrasts well against the bright yellow, but isn’t as harsh as black.

Queen Platform BedHillsdale Tiburon Bentwood Queen Platform Bed
Brown Leather Sleeper SofaKathy Ireland Home by Omnia Furniture Leather Mirage Brown Leather Sleeper Sofa (multiple finishes)
Trestle TableHomelegance Daisy Espresso Trestle Table


Purple Interior PaintMonochromatic

Purple Home PaintAnalogous

Interior Purple PaintComplimentary

Since the purple is so strong, going with black furniture won’t overpower it.

Black Platform BedFashion Bed Group Kyoto Modern Black Platform Bed
Black SectionalAlphaville Le Corbusier Grande Chaise Black Sectional (2 finishes)
Black DresserLifestyle Solutions Ebony 9 Drawer Triple Black Dresser


Brown Interior PaintMonochromatic

Brown Paint ShadesAnalogous

Paint BrownComplimentary

Silver or chrome is a great accent colour in a brown room.
Super Nova Floor LampAF Lighting Supernova Floor Lamp
Brown FutonBrown Futon
Brown Bar StoolBrown Bar Stool


Grey PaintMonochromatic

Grey Interior PaintAnalogous

Grey Paint IdeasComplimentary

Bright red furniture will really stand out in a silver or grey living space.

Red Leather LoveseatArmen Art Furniture Roc Red Leather Loveseat
Shade Floor LampStyle Craft Nantucket Shade Floor Lamp
Red Bar StoolHillsdale Red Bar Stool


Pink Paint IdeasMonochromatic

Pink Interior PaintAnalogous

Pink Paint ShadesComplimentary:

With pink, try furniture finished in mahogany for a rich, colourful room.

Mahogany Platform BedFashion Bed Group Contemporary Mahogany Platform Bed
Coffee Table MahoganyGlobal Furniture USA 728 Coffee Table Mahogany
Mahogany MirrorModus Canyon Mahogany Mahogany Mirror


Black Paint IdeasMonochromatic

Black Interior PaintAnalogous

Interior Black PaintComplimentary:

Purple is a fun way to really showcase a black room

Purple ChairSkyline Furntiture Curved Back Upholstered Purple Chair
Upholstered BedSkyline Premier Purple Border Upholstered Bed
Purple PillowMystic Valley Traders Profiles Plum Square Pillow 18 x 18

Have any paint questions or need some help matching shades with furniture just ask I am happy to help you with your interior paint colors and furniture!

Nicolette Interior Design Diva

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