Apr 29, 2013


First of all, Lana, congratulations on your new home.  It is stunning.  How much fun you will have making it your own!

From the looks of your current home, you have a clean warm contemporary style.  Your furniture is clean lined, and you have indicated you love a fresh light airy feel.
(obviously you know what your house looks like.... this is for me to refer to LOL)

You want wall color in your new home that is lighter and more airy than the color you have in your current home. 

So, a few fun facts about color.  The beige/tan color in your current home is a good neutral and pretty status quo for the last few years.  Life was beige.   Beige, however, often has red/orange undertones and is generally a warm color.  Warm colors tend to come toward you (it feels close) - and with lower ceilings and smaller rooms, you can feel the space is smaller, or feel closed in, or 'cozy'.

Understandably, you want a change for your new home, and so the cooler tones of gray, or gray with a warm undertone (greige) give you the spacious, airy, light filled feeling you like.  Cooler colors recede or move away from you, giving your room a feeling of space, or lighter and airier.  They can make a room feel a little cold, unless warm woods or warm colors are used in the decor, or white trim is used to freshen it up a little.

You chose Classic Gray and Edgecomb Gray.  I think that BM Classic Gray and Edgecomb Gray are good choices.  Edgecomb is a greige or warm gray.  It is still a cool tone but has a warm undertone. 

Benjamin Moore CLASSIC GRAY
 You already love this color.... good choice!

Given that you have 13 foot ceilings in your spacious new home, lots and lots of natural light, and an open floor plan, I don't think that Edgecomb, even at full strength is too dark.   I think that once you put up some samples in these rooms you will have a better idea of the strength of color needed
Benjamin Moore EDGECOMB GRAY 75%

I don't think this is a true depiction of 75% Edgecomb Gray.  I think the lower ceilings and smaller room make this look a lot darker than it would be in your home.

This is Edgecomb Gray in a room filled with natural light with higher ceilings.

and even in a smaller room with lower ceilings with good light,
this color is not dark.

Edgecomb Gray, with a lighter floor, to give you an idea of how they work together.

Edgecomb Gray.

Benjamin Moore EDGECOMB GRAY
Regardless of the color of floor, if you use a fresh white trim it will look fresher.

You mentioned you liked Revere Pewter but felt it was too dark.  Revere Pewter is still on my favorites list, and in as much light as you have, is a distinct color, but not overly dark.

Benjamin Moore REVERE PEWTER

Its a bit of a chameleon and can look warm or cool, depending on the light and height of ceilings. 


Even at its warmest, it is still a definite gray and will never look like a beige.  It is Benjamin Moore's most sought after, most popular color.


and was voted one of the most beautiful


Other light gray choices I wouldn't hesitate to recommend are:

Benjamin Moore ASHWOOD

Dunn Edwards LIMESTONE
(Dunn Edwards is a high quality professional paint now available in Austin)

Benjamin Moore GRAY OWL


Sherwin Williams WORDLY GRAY

Benjamin Moore ABALONE

Sherwin Williams SEA SALT

If you feel it these are still too dark for you, you may be looking for more of a whisper of color.  These next colors are actually considered whites, and will look white in the can - but on the wall they show a hint of color.   The color will be visible against white trim and moldings.  Some of these are just drop dead beautiful.

Benjamin Moore BALBOA MIST

Benjamin Moore HALO

Benjamin Moore TITANIUM

Benjamin Moore HORIZON


The Dunn Edwards color - Whisper Gray - I just finished using and I can promise it is a subtle, lovely, just barely on the warm side, just a hint of color, gray. I included this because Dunn Edwards paint is a professional grade paint we use often on the West Coast and is now available in Austin.

TreeHouse (South Austin)
4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 600
Austin, TX 78745
P: (512) 861-0712
Toll Free: (888) 799-5779

Benjamin Moore GRAY OWL at 50%

I do have a concern that your house might be light enough to make these look like NO color, but you will be able to determine that by trying some samples in your house. 

I don't want to overwhelm you, but I gave you a lot of options knowing that you will be drawn immediately to some while you won't like others.  Try the ones you are drawn to on the walls, and try a range of the colors, both lightest and not so light, so you can see how it looks in your home.
You have a white palette to start with, so any color will stand out - but don't get worried about it, these are all neutrals and will play nicely in the background.  None of these are dark enough to demand center stage.  Once your furnishings are in place, your wall color should become part of the design and not hit you in the face anymore.


TRIM/CEILING COLOR - I LOVE White Dove!  Its kind of a perfect white.  Not too stark, not yellowy (is that a word?), not pinky.  Just soft perfect white.   I would do the trim in semi gloss and the ceilings in flat.  But I like white ceilings.  The pale grays will pop against the moldings and you don't have to worry whether the wall colors will go with the ceiling color.    I also LOVE Sherwin Williams Creamy White.

And definitely one trim and one ceiling color...

GUEST ROOM - Edgecomb Gray - as mentioned above - is a great color.  I don't think it needs to be 75%.  You can take it into the guest room and it will look very different because the ceiling height will be different and the size of the room will be different.  The bathroom will need a little more sheen to it because its a 'wet' area - so if you do flat or eggshell in the rest of the house, the bathroom would need to be eggshell or satin.  The sheen change will make the paint look different as well.  For sanity's sake, I don't think changing color from guest room to guest bathroom will make much of an impact - in fact, with the smaller room and change of sheen you could end up with the rooms looking the same.  This applies to whatever color you choose, not just the Edgecomb.

MASTER BEDROOM - Stonington Gray - good color choice.  


MASTER BATHROOM - Moonshine - another good choice.

Benjamin Moore MOONSHINE

EMI'S BEDROOM - Springview Green - such a nice sophisticated color - love that you are having pink in the room without having every surface saturated with it.  Fresh white (White dove) trim will add freshness and keep it from being TOO sophisticated. 

You can have fun with this, too, if you want to do the ceiling in a very pale soft pink.  It will give the room a lovely glow and add the pink in an unexpected way.  Adorable and so sweet!
Soft Green with a Soft Pink Ceiling

Pink Ceiling!

PLAYROOM - Classic Gray is a good color to add brights to.  White room with white furniture will sap the room of personality.  A color on the wall, even a faint one, always makes your furniture and accessories look better.

Benjamin Moore CLASSIC GRAY

Benjamin Moore CLASSIC GRAY

I commented on this above and showed some examples.  I would fill that area with stone to the ceiling and out to the built ins and end of wall and keep the built-ins and french doors in white.

Travertine would be a natural choice for the hearth area.

I like the simple but chunky mantle in thEse photos, also.   As far as height, it depends on if you take the stone to the ceiling or not.  With a wall of stone, I would put if higher than otherwise. 

My mantle height is 4 or 4 1/2 feet high on an 8 foot ceiling.  It's a little more than half way up.  But you wouldn't do that with 13 foot ceilings.  I can help you with this once you have decided on how you are using the stone.

Although the stone is different, these examples will work with the stone you have.  They are contemporary and will transform that fireplace wall and make it a focal point. 

simple contemporary style with wide usable mantle

I would also want to apply the stone to the base of the kitchen bar/island area to bring some weight, texture and warmth to the kitchen area....  oops sorry - getting carried away!

Good luck, and let me know what you decide.

Best wishes,