For the knitters that follow my blog, they’ll recognize the title as a popular brand of yarn. However, this post is about literally dreaming in color. When we started building our home, I would fall asleep “walking” through the house in my mind, picturing where furniture would go, or pictures on the wall, etc. But it wasn’t until recently that I started seeing the paint colors on the wall, so I knew it was getting close to having to make those hard decisions.
Some people say paint is easy. If you don’t like it, just repaint. Well, first off, that’s true, but it’s also wasteful and can get expensive. Second, we’ve got some seriously high ceilings in a couple of rooms, plus a stairwell that would be downright treacherous if we tried to repaint it. That means we’d have to hire professionals, so I’d like to get it right the first time. I’m not saying we’ll never repaint years down the road, but for now, these need to be colors I can live with. (Fortunately, Robert is color blind, so he won’t mind what I pick, LOL.)
So how did I choose our palette?
First off, as with the rest of the house design, I looked at a lot of inspiration photos on Houzz, Pinterest, and the blogs I read. I knew I wanted the interior to have a beach cottage feel even though we’re in the Midwest, so that eliminated several color options. I also knew I wanted cooler undertones, and that my interpretation of beachy colors may not be everyone’s first thoughts. I also invested in a fan deck of all of the Benjamin Moore paint colors (the brand recommended by our painter).
My favorite kitchen on Houzz had this wonderful grey paint on the walls – Benjamin Moore Storm. Without remembering the name, I managed to pick that exact grey as my first choice for the kitchen.
But when I put samples up on our walls, Storm didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. It was too dark in some spots and too blue-grey in others.
Originally we’d thought that the family room would be a lovely ice blue, much like this photo from Houzz.
However, I had a hard time with the transition into the master suite, so we’re opting to go grey in the family room now. The mudroom and connecting hall are right off of the kitchen, so they’ll be grey as well as well as the foyer, the stairwell, and the upstairs landing.
Since we’d already picked the tile for our master bathroom shower, that paint color needed to work with the tile in there. I originally opted for BM Pale Sea Mist, which I thought played perfectly off of the green in the shower. But once on the walls, that color got the most reviled reactions from friends and family, so I had to buy some more samples. The winner is Fernwood Green, bottom row, second from left, which is right below Pale Sea Mist.
With the master bathroom green, I needed to connect it to the master bedroom, which connects to the family room grey. I also wanted our bedroom to be darker and moodier than the rest of the house, so we opted for Buckland Blue. With the white woodwork and dark bamboo floors, I think it will give that British Colonial feel I’m looking for.
Since blue and yellow are the two main colors that dogs can distinguish, and the laundry room/dog’s bedroom is right off of our master, I opted for blue in there as well. I went two shades lighter on the color card and selected Cape Blue.
One thing to consider when choosing paint colors is to limit your palette. Pick a strong neutral – in my case, grey – and then 3-4 coordinating colors. Not every room has to be different, and it’s actually more budget friendly to repeat colors in other parts of the house, which also lends to the cohesiveness of your color scheme.
Therefore, since the upstairs will have grey carrying through to the landing, we’re repeating Cape Blue in the guest room and office, and Fernwood Green in the guest bathroom.
That leaves the powder room and the sunroom, plus the interior of the closets. The powder room was easy. I put several color cards in the ceramic sink we ordered from Maui and the winner was BM Slate Teal.
For the sunroom, I wanted something light and airy, but it also had to work with our red furniture. Knowing we would also have a Cambria countertop in this room, I used the Paint Selection tool on their website which suggested either Meditation or Revere Pewter. However, those colors were either too brown or too grey for what I was thinking, and remembering one of my favorite Houzz photos I decided to use BM Windsor Cream, which on the walls looks like a really pale yellow. I’ll also have my office, which is right off of the grey kitchen, painted in Windsor Cream.
But it’s not just a matter of picking the colors from the fan deck. You’ve got to pony up and get samples and then get them on the walls. Put swatches on different walls in each room because the light and shadows will hit them differently. And last, check them out at different times of the day when the light changes.
After painting our swatches, I wondered if Storm was actually a little too dark still, so we had additional samples mixed at 60% and 80% intensities. I figured if I liked either one I was good, or I’d know if it had to be in between the shades I had mixed. I also thought I was going to use Storm as the interior of the closets and the garage, but at a much lighter intensity, so this helped a lot. Of course, then it turned out that Storm didn’t work in any intensity, and that’s when I selected Gray Huskie. For the garage and the closets, I went a couple shades down on the color card to Silver Chain, and think that will work very well.
I can’t wait to see the colors up on the walls now!