Picking Paint Colors

By Hillary | Aug. 01, 2012

One of the more fun tasks in settling into the new house is dreaming about all of the ways that we can make changes to it to reflect our personalities and lifestyle. We are fortunate enough to be beginning with a pretty neutral color palette on the walls, so repainting every room isn’t an immediate priority, but we do want to repaint everything eventually, and I have been having a lot of fun picking out colors.

Our main floor paint colors are currently depicted in the diagram above, and the upper floor looks like this:

Upper Floor Starting Colors

The multi-colored rooms are meant to indicate where accent walls or ceilings are used. I used floorplanner.com to create these. Their interface isn’t always super easy to work with, but it is great for getting a big picture look at a floor plan and does have some 3D capabilities.

When my mom visited last month, we picked out colors for the main level of the house, based on our existing furnishings. We loved the color that we had in our old family room, so we wanted to stick with that. I have also collected a lot of citrus-colored dishes and kitchen items, so we wanted to pick something for the kitchen that would complement that, as well as the oak cabinets and the adjoining family room. We used the tile floor in the powder room as inspiration for the paint color of that room. That left the living and dining rooms, which I wanted to keep pretty neutral since there was so much bright color on the rest of the floor. For now, I am leaning toward a warm gray that will compliment the dark wood furniture we have, and for a punch of color, we think we will paint the ceiling in the dining room and an accent wall in the living room a deep, warm purple. So for now, here is a rendering of what that would sort of look like.

Main Floor Finish

This image looks a little incohesive, but I think that if I bring in color elements from one room into the next, it will all come together, especially with consistency in flooring and with dark wood furniture throughout. If not, another coat of paint is not an expensive change to make.

The upper floor paint palette is also still a work in progress, as we figure out what furniture and bedding will be ending up in each room. Even though the master bedroom and guest room are currently pink-ish (neither Jeff nor I are fans), I didn’t want to pick paint colors until we had the bedding picked out. Well, as of last weekend, we found a bedding set for the master suite that we both liked, so I settled in with the Sherwin-Williams paint deck my mom left behind to start narrowing down options. The bathrooms were easy, because the color had to coordinate with the existing tile on the floors and in the showers. For the bedrooms, I matched the paint colors to secondary colors in the bedding for those rooms. For now, we are thinking of carrying the same warm gray from the hallway (and downstairs) into the office. Here is what that would look like:

Upper Floor Finish

Even without going out of my way to pick colors that coordinated with each other, I think that the colors actually flow really well. I think it’s because all of the shades are muted with gray undertones. I was really surprised at how many times I gravitated back to the Neutrals part of the paint deck; I thought I would pick more saturated colors. It was a good lesson is seeing how much variety there is even within neutrals.

Of course, we may change our minds dozens of times before we actually buy all of that paint, and even more times after we get paint up on the walls, but this is our dream for now. Stay tuned to see which paint project we actually tackled first.