INTERIOR: Painting it Right

A few people who have come to the house have asked me about my paint color selection.  I think to many people choosing a paint color can be a little daunting with the whole rainbow of paint chips to choose from. So, I thought it might be worthwhile to write about my paint selection.

For the exterior of the house, I took inspiration from the midcentury modern paint palette here.  Hubby wanted a stronger darker color on the body of the house, which I agreed would be nice.  My immediate thought went to slate gray, something gray but with a good amount of blue.  I decided on Benjamin Moore’s Smoke Gray.  Initially I thought the whole house would be this color, but then I found out that the stucco had to be redone in some places.  Our contractor mentioned that it would be more cost effective to have the stucco pre-tinted, but warned me that the tinting may result in a different color to the one that would then be painted on to the siding. So, I decided rather than risk a potentially slight mismatch, why not choose an entirely different paint color for the siding.  I chose Silver Spring, which is literally the color one up on the same paint chip.  I was determined to have a yellow front door, but finding the right yellow was not easy.  None of the yellows I found at Benjamin Moore were quite what I wanted, but I found Nugget at Sherwin Williams and it was perfect. Everyday I get greeted by my yellow front door it makes me happy.  If you look at my profile pic in the upper right corner, you will see me with my family in front of our happy yellow door and dark gray exterior.

For the interior of the house I wanted clean, modern paint colors that were somewhat neutral. I decided to stay in the grays in most areas, Benjamin Moore’s Cement gray is was my clear choice for the upper level bedrooms.  It’s a nice true gray that doesn’t go purple or green depending on the light. For the main and lower level of the house, I chose Calm, which our painters thought looked like white.  In truth it is the subtlest of grays, but still gray and when it’s up against white, you can see there is some color.  The laundry room and bathroom colors were really dictate by my tile selection.  I spent a long time agonizing over my tile selection, because I know that replacing tiles is painful and expensive.  Picking the paint colors to go with them was super easy.  One of my favorites is the Woodlawn Blue, it’s such a calming color and using it in the laundry room felt right because it’s a color that also feels very clean.  The Woodland White is a super subtle green that hints at the greens in the Ming Green tile I used in the guest bathroom. Guntmetal was a bold, dark choice but works perfectly in our half bath (see Before & After here). Our painters thought that Sidewalk Gray in the masterbath looked just like the Cement Gray in the master bedroom, but Sidewalk Gray is a lot more blue.  It’s a cooler gray, that works nicely with the honed carrara marble tile.  It’s funny though how our painters, all guys, couldn’t really see the subtle differences in hue. It’s a guy/girl thing, I promise, here‘s the research that explains it.  For the boy’s bathroom, I went with Smoke Embers which brings out the grays in the Marmar tile.

Special Note: All our trim is Benjamin Moore’s Super white, but when it came to the bathrooms I told them to hold off.  Much of the white tiles I used are the standard white Daltile available off the shelf at Home Depot and I could tell the white in the tile has a little more warmth.  I chose Steam white for the trim in the bathrooms so that the white of the tile and the white of the trim would match better. I didn’t want a bright cool white trim, next to a warm white, it would have looked funny.

Seeing all the colors together like this makes me happy.  I put a lot of thought in how they would work together and am very pleased at the outcome.


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