Experimenting with a…

Experimenting with a color scheme for the first floor. I'm trying to stick to historic colors, and we're probably using Benjamin Moore paint (because our contractor gets a good deal on it). But I want some colors that aren't in the BM historic palette, so I've borrowed colors from Farrow & Ball and Valspar's historic lines. I'm told Benjamin Moore can match them if I bring in a sample? (What kind of sample? Will a color card do, or do I need to paint a bigger sample? I'd be doing that anyway, no doubt.)

Anyway, here's an initial thought -- these rooms flow into each other without any doors (and a lot of wide, 5 ft. openings), so the colors need to work together:

  • Foyer: Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray. (There's a lot of silver accents in the foyer, so I think a fairly neutral grey will play off those nicely. Also eventually there'll be two stained glass pieces there in blues and purples and greens. But I'm wondering if this grey is too light, given that the other colors are a bit more saturated? Should I go with a more medium grey?)

  • Powder Room: Farrow & Ball Brinjal (only below chair rail; wallpaper above). (We may use actual F&B here, because their wallpapers are hand-painted with the coordinating paint, so it'd be tough to duplicate that look otherwise.)

  • Butler's Pantry Hall: Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray. (This is also open to the dining room, and visible from that room, so they need to work together.)

  • Kitchen: Benjamin Moore Buckland Blue for some cabinets (maybe just island, maybe just exterior cabinets, not sure yet), Waterbury Green for walls / anaglypta backsplash.

  • Family Room: Valspar Fairmont Blue (this is fairly dark, but I think I'm aiming for cozy with this room; we have two great peacock-colored stained glass lamps that'll go in here, so I'm trying to choose a color that'll complement them

  • Dining Room: Valspar Oatlands Dark Violet and/or Oatlands Velvet Night (one or the other, or both, with a chair rail between) (no idea whether Kevin will let me paint a room purple, but I think it would be splendid. With a silver chandelier (I'm planning to salvage one of the brass ones that came with the house and paint it a muted silver), dark wood furniture, silver and gold and crystal accents.

  • Parlor / Music Room (which then opens onto the Foyer again): Farrow & Ball Chinese Blue (this room has a lot of sunlight, and I'm hoping for a bright, fresh look here

    The total effect, if we did this, would be sort of muted jewel tones, I think. The historic colors are almost all pretty muted, which is no doubt saving Kevin from what I would otherwise be tempted to do, which is paint everything in actual jewel tones. Gorgeously rich, but probably a bit dark and hard to live with.

    Actual colors, in order, here, but of course, screen colors are notoriously unreliable. I'm going to have to do a ton of paint sample painting again to actually pin down colors -- the only ones I know I love are the F&B colors, and the Benjamin Moore kitchen colors, which I've done samples of already. But maybe this will help give an idea, at least. Imagine yourself walking from room to room, going around the house.

    Enter the foyer:

    Stop in the powder room to freshen up:

    Walk through the hall with the butler's pantry (lots of sparkly crystal behind glass):

    Enter the kitchen, stop and have some tea:

    Relax in the family room with some tv or a board game:

    Hey, it's dinner time!

    A glass of sherry in the parlor before you go? Kavi will regale you with "Twinkle Twinkle on the piano..."

    Thoughts? I'm not sure about the transition from kitchen to family room -- maybe that Fairmont Blue is a bit too rich to pair well with the kitchen colors? But it does look nice with the dining room violets.

4 thoughts on “Experimenting with a…”

  1. I love these colors, but the Fairmont Blue is a bit jarring. It’s a purer color, everything else has some grey in it.

    Are you painting the kitchen in semi-gloss? I’m generally a fan of that but it does make the color brighter.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Yes, I think I agree. Going to have to go look at actual paint samples to find the right blue or green.

    Not sure about the kitchen — good point, will need to try semi-gloss sample, I guess, to see what colors look like.

  3. Mary Anne,

    In the past I’ve tried to keep to one or two main colors and then vary the accents if needed. Reason? If the furniture color is matched to the main or base color, pieces can be moved around the house with little clashing of colors. If the furniture is matched to a particular rooms special color, then it is not easy to shift furniture around without having a conflict with the new rooms colors.
    If one is into fabric wall hangings or framed artwork then the wall color should be neutral or white and the color in the room comes from the fabric or painting.

    I guess from my viewpoint, the color scheme should be simple. If a wall surface should be damaged, the new paint will be easy to match.

    If you follow your color scheme, be sure you get extra paint to have for any touch up, e.g. kids crayons on the wall or gouges from moving furniture or appliances.

    And don’t forget lots of painters tape to keep smooth lines between colors.

  4. this is just my opinion, of corse, but I think grey will be the avocado of the 00’s. If you love it and don’t mind redecorating in a few years, go for it. Buut if you want to get the house finished and not paint again for a really long time, I would recommend white or cream tones instead.

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