I grew up in a household with all white walls. My father's furniture business was very contemporary so color was pretty minimal. The color was brought in by accessories, but never on the wall. My first two places were rentals so I wasn't allowed to touch the walls there. I did the best I could with adding color elsewhere. When the time came and my husband and I built out first house, I finally had my blank canvas. I went to town.
Shocked? Don't worry, I'm not that bold! I started with the living room/dining room. It was one big room running from the front to the back of my house. Two half walls with columns on either side separated the spaces. I put up Benjamin Moore's Honey Wheat on the walls.
|Benjamin Moore's Oklahoma Wheat|
It wasn't overwhelming but it locked me in on what other colors I could bring into the room. My curtains were a burgundy pattern with flecks of gold mixed in. My sofa, which I already had, was green leather and very dark. All my accessories were somewhere in the mix. Pillows were gold, artwork had burgundy in it. The carpet had a little of both. My furniture was dark cherry. I was in a rut. I liked the way it looked back then, but unless I did an overhaul of the whole room, nothing was changing for a long, long time.
Moving on, we had the office. It was a very small room, about 12 feet x 7 feet, and what color did I decide to paint it? Three coats of Benjamin Moore's Raspberry Truffle.
|Benjamin Moore's Raspberry Truffle|
I was in love. I had my color and I was happy. I don't know how my poor husband let me do all that, but he likes what I like. He's a keeper.
I kept the furniture white, which was my only saving grace. It was small, dark and only looked good on a bright sunny day.
The half bath had a bit more balance. I chose Benjamin Moore's Hunter green.
|Benjamin Moore's Hunter Green|
I toned it down a bit with white wainscoting going up about 4 feet from the floor. Overall it wasn't bad. Did I mention this bathroom had no windows?
The rest of the first floor was an open plan kitchen/breakfast nook/family room. It consisted of tons of windows and light. I chose a neutral, Benjamin Moore's Shaker Beige.
|Benjamin Moore's Shaker Beige|
It was the most versatile room on the floor. I altered window treatments without a second thought. I could shop for accessories in any section of the pillow aisle. I didn't have to head straight for the end of the aisle at HomeGoods, where the burgandies' , golds' and green's were. My rug had blue in it. You read that right, blue!
Then two years ago we moved. We bought a 55 year old home with a traditional feel to it. We had moldings, built ins, room to grow and blank walls to paint again. I went with neutrals. Shaker beige for the living room and kitchen. Muslin for the entryway and upstairs hallway. Bleeker beige for the dining room. Shabby Chic for the master bedroom. Just to name a few.
Now I wasn't playing it safe. It might have looked like all different shades of beige. All the people working on the house before we moved in were looking at me like I was nuts. They were just colorblind.
I picked warm beige and cool beige paints colors. Did you know there was such a thing? Look at your color and then squint. It's an old graphic design trick I use to get an overall feel for a piece I am working on. If you squint you don't see the details, just the overall balance of white space. If you squint at a color, you see the basic undertone. Warm or cool. Yellow, blue, green or red. Try it!
I am free to accessorize in any way I want. I can pick any fabric I want to make some window treatments. I can change it a week later. I can hang artwork up and not worry about it clashing. I can buy any rug and know it will fit with the room. I can also shop anywhere in the pillow aisle.