In the 15+ years I’ve owned my house, I’ve gone from one extreme to another with my paint colors. I was exhausted after scraping dated wallpaper off every room in the house when I moved in, so I painted the entire house a warm ivory color. I just didn’t have the mental capacity to come up with anything more creative, you know?
It looked a little bland but worked fine until I got the urge to repaint during one brutally cold and snowy winter. I covered every room in the house with deep, dark, rich colors. I loved it until warmer weather came around and my small house looked positively depressing. And don’t even get me started on the “caramel” color I slathered all over my living room and up the stairs. It was an unfortunate shade of orange that made me feel like I was living inside a jack-o-lantern.
During this time I moved out of my house in order to put my son in a different high school. I couldn’t handle emptying all the crap out of my house and I knew I could furnish a small apartment on the cheap, so I rented my home fully furnished to a university professor. Crazy, right?
We moved back in a few years later and I wanted a fresh start. I had so much upheaval and stress happening in my life that I really needed the house to be a calm and serene oasis. The dark colors were just too cave-like for my tiny house.
I realized that the decor I was drawn to in magazines was overwhelmingly neutral with a lot of texture, so I decided to redo the entire house. Let’s face it – given the size of the house, I wasn’t doing myself any favors having my rooms painted such deep hues.
I was a little nervous about picking out paint colors for adjoining rooms, but there is a fool-proof, easy way to do it – let the paint company do the work.
Every room in my house is painted one of these 3 colors from Lowe’s:
- Cliveden Leather – Livingroom, kitchen, front and back entryway, sunroom, stairway, upstairs hallway, spare bedroom
- Holmes Cream – Dining room, master bedroom
- Lovely Bluff – bathroom, office, living room fireplace, kitchen cabinets`
The doors in the house were all the original dark varnish, so I primed and painted them white along with all the trim. It took FOREVER, and more coats of paint than I care to remember. When I moved in the trim had already been painted, so I’m not sure why they skipped the doors.
I’ve never looked back and I have to say, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made with my house. The rooms flow seamlessly into each other and when I want to give a room a fresh look it’s easy to move furniture and decor around – any piece will work great in any room.
The main color of the house (Clivedon Leather) is the perfect works-with-everything shade – it’s dark enough that it doesn’t look washed out, but still neutral enough to go with just about anything. Right now I don’t have a lot of color in the house, but this palette makes a great backdrop for a more colorful scheme too.
Staring at thousands of paint chips can be completely overwhelming….sometimes having too many choices can paralyze you. If you’re stressed out about choosing a color palette, keep it simple. Pick a chip with 3 or 4 colors and stick to them through your whole house. They are lighter and darker versions of the same color and it’s guaranteed they will work perfectly together. If cream/tan/brown is not your thing, this would work equally well with a gray color scheme.
Give it a try… just remember you still need to test the colors out in YOUR house with YOUR lighting conditions.
I’m linking this post up at some terrific blog parties – you can find my complete list of places I party HERE.