August 13, 2013

A Whole-House Color Palette

When Nekos and I moved to Nashville (for me, it was moving back to Nashville since this is where I was born and raised), we rented out one side of a duplex in the 12 South neighborhood. Among other decor choices, we hung three shelves in our living room. One I painted electric yellow, one teal blue, and one sherbet orange. In that same room there were red, Asian-inspired curtains. All of this I shudder to think about now. I still love color, but I'm pretty astounded by how much my taste has changed over the years. Equally as offensive: When we bought our house it was in the final stages of being flipped, and the guy we bought it from let us pick out the paint colors for every room. We literally went to Home Depot and picked out every single color within 15 minutes, and they were all insane colors. I remember we thought we were so cute when we told friends that we chose "spring colors" for downstairs and "fall colors" for upstairs. What that meant was that every room in our house was a deep, saturated, sometimes headache-inducing hue, and none of them went together at all. Over the past six years, I've slowly been undoing some of the bad paint color choices we made that day at Home Depot while in our early twenties. Now, one of my favorite things to do is research paint colors. Yep, I just wrote that. Man, my life is apparently incredibly exciting. I can happily squander hours online Googling different paint colors and seeing how they look in different rooms on different surfaces in different lights.

Prior to last year, I didn't even know there was such a thing as a paint color palette that one should abide by in their home, and I never gave one iota of thought to color flow. But blogs like The Decorologist have really schooled me, and as I've steadily repainted most of the rooms in our house--and plenty of the furniture--I've felt what a tremendous difference just the right color can make in the way our house feels. For instance, taking our guest bedroom from a caribbean blue to a more muted yellow (this room has since become Tessa's bedroom) and our kitchen from an overwhelming butternut to a minty blue-green made our whole downstairs feel less intense and lighter. And taking the nursery from dark brown to deep purple to greige? Equally as soothing. And, see? I still adore color, but my taste has changed big time. It's sort of scary to think what I might think about my current choices five years from now.

In the meantime, I'm still working--with every new project I take on around here--on reconciling and blending the colors of our home from room to room. For instance, now the blue of our front door can also be found on the bench in our upstairs hallway and on the mantle in the master bathroom. The mint in the kitchen can be found on the two pendant lights hanging in our living room, and the yellow on Tessa's bedroom walls will soon grace our front porch swing.

Here's a look at our house's still-pretty-much-all-over-the-map but much more toned down color palette:

1. Benjamin Moore's "Wyeth Blue" - On front door, on mantle in master bath, on bench in upstairs hallway
2. Sherwin Williams's "Antique White" - On front porch and on stair risers
3. Sherwin Williams's "Perfect Greige" - On front porch
4. Behr's "Salty Tear" - On living room walls
5. Sherwin Williams's "Plum Blossom" - On dining room walls
6. Benjamin Moore's Cool Mint - On walls in kitchen, on pendant lights in living room
7. Behr's "Pismo Dunes" - On walls in Tessa's room
8. Annie Sloan's "Antoinette" - On furniture in Tessa's room
9. Behr's "Sled" - On walls in guest bath
10. Behr's "Porcelain Skin" - In hallways
11. Sherwin Williams's "Studio Blue Green" - In office
12. Benjamin Moore's "Cromwell Gray" - On stair treads and railings
13. Benjamin Moore's "Revere Pewter" - On walls in nursery
14. Annie Sloan's "Paris Grey" - On corner hutch in kitchendresser in master bedroom, bench and chair in dining room

I plan on painting all the wrecked hardwood floors upstairs (under the equally-as-wrecked carpet) the "Antique White" color. Then I look forward to picking a new paint color for our bedroom. A year and a half ago I painted it white. Like, straight-up white--right out of the can with no tint. It's turned out to be way too antiseptic for me. I have a feeling I'm never going to get the paint colors "just right" around here. And thank God for that. What will I do then?


  1. Your house has been lovely since the beginning. You and Nekos are quite good at decorating!

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