Paint colors can be difficult to choose. A lot of colors look great as paint chips, but not as great in mass quantity on a wall. We have definitely had our share of colors that seem great, but are atrocious. We have learned a few tips and tricks (some the hard way) about painting.
A few months before Ben and I were married, I came out to Montana to visit. During that visit, we started brainstorming ideas for the first few rooms we planned to finish. We easily agreed to install white trim in every room. Then, we chose paint colors, bought a few gallons and went back home. We chose Ralph Lauren’s Riesling and Behr’s Squirrel. I liked the airiness of Riesling and the moodiness of Squirrel. Ben lovingly agreed. We painted the first finished bedroom Riesling and loved it.
Then we finished the guest room. Then we repainted the living room. When we finally got around to the master bedroom, the tone of the house had been set. Dark, moody Squirrel was out. It just didn’t fit. I loved the color, but it didn’t work with the rest of the house. We tried a lighter grey, but decided we needed a color that coördinated with the finished rooms.
Moral of the Story: When choosing paint colors, first think about if the color will coördinate with other colors in your house.
I am more drawn to colors on the cooler side of the color wheel, like greens, blues, and purples. Red, orange, and yellow are on the warm side of the color wheel. In my opinion, pale blues and pinks are by far the least forgiving.
Our master bedroom color scheme is green with pink accents. When we finished our master bathroom, which is attached to our bedroom, I wanted to switch things up, but not too much. Rather than green walls with pink accents, I wanted pink walls with green accents. Well, I chose a light pink, got home and started painting. Oops! Definitely not a light pink. More like bubblegum pink! Needless to say, our bathroom did not stay pink. Nope, it’s the same color as our bedroom.
Moral of the Story: If you’re looking for a pale color, choose one that you like, then buy the lighter version. Believe me, paint seems to get brighter when you start putting it on your walls.
By far, my favorite paint colors are from Restoration Hardware. Saturated hues toned down with grey equals perfection in my book. Thus, many of the colors in our house are Restoration Hardware colors, color matched at Wal-Mart. Our main bathroom is RH Lilac:
The guest bedroom is painted RH Sea Green:
Our master bedroom and bathroom is RH Bay Laurel:
Our basement and dining room are mis-tinted versions of RH Silver Sage.
The basement bathroom is RH Sycamore Green:
Moral of the Story: When you find something that works, stick with it. I love that most of our colors are from the same line of paint, so everything is cohesive and goes well together.
We use satin finish paint in almost all our rooms, with the exception of the bathrooms, where we used semi gloss. We chose these finishes for durability purposes. Flat finishes do not stand up to the damage our two-year old doles out on a daily basis.