Nov 14, 2012



Congratulations on your new home!  And thank you for allowing me to help you decorate it, starting with paint!

Color will look completely different in your home than the paint store or the computer, so I tell my clients to NEVER choose a color without trying samples in your home first. Available light in your home, height of ceiling, time of day and closeness of adjacent walls, all effect color.  With that in mind, I selected these colors based on your preferences, the colors you want to use in your new home, and what I felt was liveable and provided a neutral backdrop for your furnishings.

I chose colors to use throughout the house to create good design flow. All are Sherwin Williams.  If done correctly, you can move any item or piece of furniture in your home into any other room and it will look like it belongs.  We have talked about several rooms you want to start with, but these colors can and should be repeated to the other rooms as you are ready to decorate.

I recommend neutrals throughout on the walls.  As you haven't purchased all of your furniture as of yet, we need colors that will go with whatever you purchase.  You are going to live with these colors for a long time, and as you can see from what is on the walls of your previously owned home now, some colors are hard to live with, especially as time passes.  Neutrals will allow you to make changes in your decor over the years without having to repaint the whole house.  When you walk into a room, you want to see the beautiful room - not have the wall color hit you in the face - I tried to avoid colors that may be on their way out in popularity and trend. 

You said you like soft greens, blues, beige/gray, yellow/gold, cream, and that you have a lot of red accents.  I would add black for contrast - not a lot, but accents here and there.  To keep this fresh, lets assume the red is to be used as accent as well, and not wall color.

Here are the colors I chose for the entire house:  These are grayed down wall colors - the colors you bring into the rooms in fabric, accessories, furniture, etc. will be more colorful, but walls should be neutral so they contribute to the room but don't overwhelm it.

(All wall color should be flat, or the next sheen up from flat.  No shiny walls, please)
(All wood trim, cupboards, doors and trim should be semi-gloss)
(Except for Living Room - that should be Satin or Eggshell)
All ceilings are soft white

Kitchen Cabinets / Laundry Cabinets
(sorry, the whites don't show up very well, but there are examples below)
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Trim, Doors, Window and Door Casings, Staircase Spindles and Posts, Dining Room Wainscoat, etc. in  semi gloss
Ceilings in flat or next sheen up
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Guest Bath

Entry/Upstairs Hall


Dining Room


Play Room

Master Bedroom/Bath
Front Door, front and back, semi-gloss
Exterior window trim
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Note on the colors:  If when you put the samples on the wall, you don't care for a particular color, feel free to select one that you do like within the palette. 
Also, realize that these colors will bee strong to you while your house is empty, but should become background and add to your whole room design once you have furniture, accessories and fabrics in your room.

 Here are some inspiration photos of similar looks for your home.  Let me know what you like or don't like and why.  That will help me find out your personal tastes.
Accessible Beige   SW



This is how I envision your entry looking in color and concept.  White spindles and posts with dark brown railing, walls in a gray/beige and white trim (the fresh white adds so much good contrast).  Love the little green stools and the white console table. Notice the stairs as well, dark wood with no carpet, and the framed doorways; these are all things you can add later, but thought I'd show you what the finished space could look like. Let me know if you like this look.
[This example is actually Sherwin Williams Alabaster]
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This photo shows a good example of the wainscoat painted and trimmed.
I think the dining room would be beautiful with white wainscoat and trim with the walls in a soft blue/green/gray.  Dark wood furniture would be wonderful with this.
The dark chandelier will be great with the wall color and the dark wood.  

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I chose to keep the living room with the paneled walls light and airy in creamy white. With the great windows, this can be a beautiful light filled room.
We can bring in color in accessories and furnishings

  I envision fresh blues, greens and a pop of red, and using fabrics and accessories to bring contrast to the room.   Below I painted some of the paneling so you can see how much lighter the room will be.
I couldn't see any walls in here that were not paneled.  So I only  have the one color.  You could put a color on the ceiling, a soft, light, blue/green would be gorgeous, but don't know if you are feeling that adventurous. ):
The creamy walls with layers of texture and soft color will be beautiful
This fabric available from Pottery Barn.  It has all the colors you mentioned

the Panels should be like this and not shiny..
I'd do this with that awful wet bar.....

good example of hanging art on paneled walls...
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SW Accessible Beige 

soooo much to do in this room - yikes

color looks good with white
or with black..
nice pop of white with the wainscote
You probably don't want to dive in to a bathroom remodel right now, but we can make small changes, like framing the mirror with moldings, changing the faucets, the toilet seat, the light fixture, etc

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 You said you wanted creamy cabinets, and maybe I went a little lighter than you were thinking of - but I think it needs the contrast of the creamy white.  If we go a deeper cream color, like this...

then we lose the freshness of the white, and everything starts to be same-toned.  So I opted for a light creamy white because of the colors you want to use in the kitchen - the greeny blue on the island - and I hope you will see why in my inspiration.
first of all, I love this fixture for over the island - its Pottery Barn and looks amazing!
love this color for the island:  Halcyon Green.

but this next photo is my true inspiration
the colors are perfect
the cabinets could be creamier
but the walls are similar to the hue I proposed
and I love the island lighting and the beadboard ceiling...
I also like the corbels holding the island top overlap. 
ah... here's the creamy white on the cabinets
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this green will be fresh and happy with white
the it has just enough blue in it so it is soothing
but check out the inspiration for beadboard and wainscoat ideas to finish the rooms

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You mentioned this was a darker room, so I would use the lighter of the two suggested colors, the Filmy Green, in this room.  It has a lovely gray undertone.  Make sure all the wood trim is Alabaster.

Another color you  might try, if the Oyster Bay is too blue for Steele, is Contented, with a touch of green in it, it may feel better to him. 


Quick fixes - paint vanity creamy white
frame mirror
remove or paint over wallpaper

frame windows in wood trim, painted fresh white

color palette from Pottery Barn fabric.

this is Rainwashed. 

You can vary the shades of color from Master Bedroom to Master Bath, but keep it the same color family (or color strip).  One can be darker than the other, but don't chop the space up with different color stops and starts.

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I added this because it is part of the entry and the first impression of you and your home.
I recommend black or dark charcoal door with white trim -


black or dark charcoal trim on the rest of the house around the windows, etc.

and I'd definitely do the wainscoat in semi-gloss
or raise it higher with beadboard
(but keep the door dark)

Okay, now that you are completely overwhelmed....
Just look at the colors, test some and if you don't like a color for a particular room, select a color from the palette you like better.  I used the fabrics and pillows from Pottery Barn simply because they incorporated the colors you spoke of.  

Hope this helps - please call me if you have questions - or email me!



Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I find choosing paint colors to be one of the hardest parts of the whole decorating process. So much helpful information here. I read this post twice!

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Anonymous said...

OK. Love your blog and your recommendations. I have similar wood color but can't afford to change it all to white. What colors of paint would you choose for the walls, with the woodwork shown in the before pics. Can you use accessible beige?

CBID HOME said...

Accessible beige could work. You definitely want a cooler color with all that warm wood. Also look at Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray. Try a couple of samples to see which works with the wood best. Good luck.!

CBID HOME said...


Mike Stathos said...

That bathroom look so neat and the floors make it look more amazing. I do think that this kind of bathroom design is what I want to do in my bathroom.

bathroom remodeling Austin