Oct 16, 2014


Hi  Caryl,
Now that I'm totally in love with your new home  and its amazing view, I think I'm ready to make some color suggestions....  I tried to pull colors that would not necessarily be found in the landscape about you, but that would not detract or be harsh against it, no matter the season.

I've added what you wrote to me, and my comments in red below...

My husband and recently purchased our retirement home on 6 acres atop a knoll in Shenandoah Valley.  We will be moving in January and I am trying to decide on a color palette for the entire house. 

My husband says I obsess. (Join the club) Can't say he's wrong, but starting with essentially a blank palette, lots of decisions to make!   Yes!  but you have given yourself lots of time to plan and get it all ready!  Good job!  As far as the new house is concerned, we want it to feel warm and welcoming. Eclectic, comfortable. We want to celebrate the setting.  Absolutely! Its a little piece of heaven...

Normally, I would not worry quite so much about selecting paint colors, because I know it's something I can easily change. In this case, however, with the vaulted ceilings, it's not a task I can accomplish myself. 

The location is pretty amazing and I want to take advantage of that in the color and decor.  
Cathedral ceiling in the living room and master bedroom, lots of light, Bland and dated kitchen. In addition to new paint throughout, I plan to restain the oak floors darker than the current golden oak color, (good idea) possibly doing the stairs and railing in a contrast or at least complementary color, (?? color or stain?)  painting the kitchen cabinets and changing the hardware, (good, love painted kitchens for that farmhouse look) replacing the carpet in the bedrooms with hardwood as well.

I have attached a few photos. After spending hours on your blog, I am considering Hawthorne Yellow for the walls but a bit concerned about it being too bright with all the natural light. Would love to get your thoughts on color selection in this space.

Overall, this is an easy update for you.  Mostly paint, although I would recommend some crown molding to finish off the ceilings in all the rooms - which I'm sure you have already thought of.

The bookcases will go in my husband's man cave.
Caryl, I'm going with a soft gray or gray beige in this room.
It will compliment the woodtones of your bookcases
and be the perfect neutral for any accent color you wish to add
any trim should be white (around windows, base boards, crown, etc.)
The soft gray/ gray beige/  won't fight with any of the colors you may see in your view
Benjamin Moore COVENTRY GRAY
Coventry Gray is a soothing gray with a blue undertone.  It is gorgeous with white trim and with warm woods, and the perfect frame for a view.

Another possible man cave color - Grant Beige
a soothing beige with a gray undertone
Benjamin Moore GRANT BEIGE
or another soothing color with more brown
Tony Taupe
Sherwin Williams TONY TAUPE

Guest bedroom - 
something soothing and calm,

Sherwin Williams  RAINWASHED

One on my most beautiful colors list... I painted this in a recent client's bedroom - everyone who sees this color falls in love with it...

This has some interesting architecture
and lots of room - a Mom cave for sure..

this pull out bed is a great detail

The faux leather cases under the TV are actually file cabinets and will probably go in my office in the new house, or in my husband's man cave.

Sherwin Williams MINERAL DEPOSIT
Mineral Deposit is a soft light gray with a hint of blue.  

Another good choice is a soothing grayed down green - 
soft and neutral
I'm staying with cooler tones as they recede and make the feeling more spacious and easier to live with...
warmer tones move toward you, creating a closer, smaller feel

possibly doing the stairs and railing in a contrast or at least complementary color
I agree that the floors will be more lovely in a darker stain
and that the staircase needs some updating as well
This area can be a real show stopper...
like this one in soft gray tones, fresh white moldings/wainscote and dark bannister with white spindles
Benjamin Moore REVERE PEWTER

as for color - I would stay with a light neutral,
and bring in color in your fabrics, rugs, accessories
any of the colors I suggest below will go with darker floors, and the stone hearth and fireplace wall
I would also do curtain panels on these windows to soften and bring color and texture into this room. 
For the living room, I've included a picture of a leather chair and ottoman. 
these will be beautiful in this room

We also have the matching sofa that we will keep, plus a handmade rather rustic pine coffee table that is currently stored. The coffee table needs refinishing. It's 3ft by 5 ft. I'll be looking for new side tables down the road.
The side chairs I will re-upholster once the new palette is determined.
Benjamin Moore HAZY SKIES
Benjamin Moore SHALE
Benjamin Moore REVERE PEWTER
Have you considered painting the rustic pine coffee table for a fun pop of color?  Nice farmhouse look, and more updated...


For the dining room, I have a rather unique 60" square dining table that seats 8 comfortably. When it is extended, it becomes a 72" square seating 12.   Yes, and I love your table.  I love a little more drama in a dining room - a deeper wall color, richer fabrics...plan on draperies in this room too, including flanking the french door.

Sherwin Williams MEGA GREIGE
Sherwin Williams SILVERMIST

Sherwin Williams SILVERMIST

Benjamin Moore COMFORT GRAY


Master bedroom really needs some full length curtain panels that extend beyond the windows
and a soothing wall color

Sherwin Williams RAINWASHED

Sherwin Williams AGREEABLE GRAY

Benjamin Moore COMFORT GRAY
You can frame out this mirror in nice chunky molding to compliment your bed/mantle
and I'd definitely paint this cabinet...
looks like there is space here for a nice storage cabinet...
the bath can be a little more intense in the same color tones as the bedroom

Sherwin Williams OYSTER BAY

Benjamin Moore THUNDER
For the master bedroom, the headboard is a reclaimed mantle from an 1832 plantation house in Alabama, actually, the house I grew up in.  (Love that!)
I will re-upholster the center section to complement the new color palette.  As for the Klimt print on the mantle, I would like to use that either in the master bedroom or the master bath.  
The print will look great against any of the colors I have suggested above.  Will really help it to stand out.


Bland and dated kitchen. In addition to new paint throughout, I plan to restain the oak floors darker
than the current golden oak color, possibly doing the stairs and railing in a contrast or at least complementary color, painting the kitchen cabinets and changing the hardware.

Depending on what color you want to paint your cabinets... of course if you go white, the wall color is easier to decide.  If you choose a color for the cabinets, wall color will be more tricky.


Benjamin Moore STONE HARBOR and IRON MOUNTAIN (Island)

Benjamin Moore ROCKPORT GRAY

Benjamin Moore WHITE DOVE
Obviously there needs to be a decent contrast, so if you go with white or one of the darker grays, Revere Pewter, Grant Beige or Edgemont Gray would be a good choice.  
Benjamin Moore GRANT BEIGE

Benjamin Moore EDGECOMB GRAY
I did feel that Hawthorne Yellow was too much pigment and would make the space feel smaller because of its warmth, but here are a couple of warmer colors that will go well with the rest of the colors, are a little muted, but will still provide a warmer backdrop if you desire such.
Sherwin Williams WHOLE WHEAT

Benjamin Moore DESERT TAN
please try paint swatches and don't rely on your computer monitor for color acuracy


I don't know where I will use the hutch yet, but I am kind of attached to it and don't really want to leave it behind.

My husband and I have been married for 3 years. Both in our 50's, we have 4 children (25-28), two are married, one is engaged and the fourth is in a "serious" relationship; one grandson, 2 years old. All of our children will be within a day's drive, so we hope to have a full house on a frequent basis. 

We chose the Lexington, VA area for our retirement for many reasons.  It is absolutely beautiful, peaceful setting, with rolling green pastures and stunning mountains. Lexington is a small town that is home to 2 of Virginia's oldest colleges, so there is a strong cultural element to the town. This area of Virginia is also a growing viticultural area, one of our hobbies. My husband plans to try his hand at growing grapes. 

I love to garden and to cook and I also keep honey bees. In our free time, we like to golf and hike and entertain friends.

Well, that was quite a ramble, but I am I figured having an idea of who we are might help get the ball rolling. 

Let me know what we should do next.

Look everything over in this first phase of suggestions.  Let me know if you feel strongly for or against any of the colors - 
My belief is that wall color should be part of the design, but that it shouldn't shout or upstage your beautiful furnishings and fabrics.  I like it neutral so that just by changing accessories and fabrics you can change the look of a room without having to completely redecorate.  You may not feel the same as I do, and if you do not, I will do my best to come up with colors that are more to your design aesthetic.

I have given you more than one suggestion on each area because color performs differently in different light, room size, and geographic area..  When you try samples, make sure you leave a white border on poster board so that the existing color of the wall doesn't influence the new color and you get a decent idea of what the color will look like.  I realize you can't do samples just yet, but you can narrow it down a bit.

Get back to me with any questions, comments, ideas, etc.. 

Talk to you soon!