Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Paint Colors


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a call or email from someone needing help with paint colors for their house. It usually happens after the initial meeting at a party or event. Here’s how it goes down….they ask me what I did “before I was a mom”, I tell them I am/was a decorator, then they get a “twinkle” in their eye. I can often see the wheels turning.  They’re making a mental checklist of all the house projects they could use help with. 

Fast forward a month, and I get a call, “Um, I’m trying to paint my bedroom, and I tried a light sage color. It looked good in the paint store, but now it looks like baby food. Do you think you could help me pick out the right color?”

Paint colors give so many people anxiety and frustration. It seems trivial and silly to some, but I totally get it. I am the same way with taxes.  I break out into hives, get extremely frustrated, and feel dumb.

I’ll let you in on a little secret…..I get paint swatches, buy quarts of paint, paint the colors on poster board, paint streaks on walls, and gasp……I’ve even had to paint a room over IMMEDIATELY. Luckily, it was my own house, but yes, mistakes happen.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about paint colors and how they change in different lighting situations. I’ve also figured out which colors I can live with daily. I used to have a red dining room, and brighter walls. I just can’t live with bright, stimulating colors anymore.

If you read “House Beautiful” magazine, you can see a paint color feature every month near the front of the magazine. I have gotten some great color inspirations from there. So you can imagine how excited I was to see this at the bookstore the other day.

It’s a compilation of all the feature articles into one handy book. It’s a very useful guide from well-known designers and they describe their favorite paint colors and how they used them.  

***Disclaimer: Make note that the printing process can greatly change how the paint swatches look on paper vs. real life.


  1. Oh my gosh! Love your new blog design!!! @baltiville

  2. How did you KNOW I was struggling w/bathroom & kitchen color! Know you get tired of people asking so I'll go get a copy of HB!

  3. SUPER fortuitous! I'm responsible for making our townhouse pretty. :)

  4. I have the older version of that book and it's wonderful! (Of course, the one I have features 300 designer favorites, so now I'm wondering about those additional 200 choices!)

  5. Yep, totally agree with you. I have never left a paint store on the first visit with even a gallon of paint. It's always several different quarts because it's trial and error. Even the shopping centers I paint, I have differnet schemes on walls to contemplate for a while.