Picking Wall Colors, Part Deux

Picking Wall Colors, Part Deux

Green is the New Beige

Yes. But so is Flora, Weimaraner, Croquet, Alpaca, and Mistletoe. Also-Pashmina, Meditation, Cotswold, Paris Rain, and Coastal Path.

Part of the Benjamin Moore collection, they’re some of the deeper, more saturated colors in their Historical Colors and the newer Affinity lines. They have strength and character, but read warm and nuanced, not hard or flat.

Genderless, they soften oversize leather upholstery, but can work equally well with chenilles or paisley prints, and even look great in a kid’s room; yes, I’m a fan.

Bored with a room? Paint one wall in an accent color

Maybe. It seems like a good way to mix things up, but how do you know which wall should get the different color?

My recommendation would be one that defines a different/secondary function-it leads you up the stairs/down a hall, has a fireplace or headboard on it, that sort of thing. Adjacent walls that have the major seating area in front of it are generally not good candidates for 2 different colors, as that area already has the bulk of the interest in it, and different colors behind it will fight that, and undermine the continuity. 

It’s a Kids Room, let them do what they want

Well, maybe…but chances are if that’s worked for you, you wouldn’t be reading this. . Most dilemmas I run into with kids rooms are either how to make the leap from ducks, bunnies and pastels, or how not to land in the all-purple/NASCAR/Bratz/favorite sports team/etc mode.

You want them to happy, but as the adult who’s paying for this-you’re concerned their fervor for the icon of that moment will fade almost as soon as the paint has dried.

If it’s a specific color that they’re set on, a smokier tone will age better than a pastel; but if it’s got to be Mystical Grape, Exotic Lime or Pepto Pink, consider going for it on one or two walls…OR the bedcoverings…OR the carpet; then cut it with deeper-toned neutrals on the rest of the surfaces. Deep taupe with the purple, chocolate brown with the lime, or a deep cream with the pink will lessen the contrast and also grow  with them.

If there’s a theme, run with the prominent colors on the walls, you’ll need less theme-specific décor to make the point. Our nephew is quite the Dallas Cowboys fan, and his wise parents bought navy carpet, painted the top half of his walls deep silvery grey, ran a 3” white stripe around the room, and then painted deep navy below it. Big wow factor, yet classic; a lot less expensive than filling the room with licensed memorabilia, and easy enough to change should he become, say a Giants fan? (His aunt and uncle can only hope…)

Bottom line: How you’re going to feel about a wall color is very personal. Even if you don’t trust your instincts, at least listen to them. Never choose a neutral by default, but if you are contemplating a perilously new and bold direction, consider spending $15.00 to try a quart of your color first.

If it’s merely a different color that you’re vaguely uncertain about, in most cases it’s best to pick a direction, and see it through. You can cut the impact or tweak the results with art work or mirrors on the wall. But ultimately if you realize that Teal Blast was fun for about 3 weeks, remember that about 75% of the work and cost in painting is the prep, and the trim-which you’ve already done. So get back on that horse, pick another wall color you like, and get it done pronto.

The right color can change your mood, change your space, even breathe new life into your furniture. Allow yourself to try different ideas on for size, and have fun with it. And yes, say it with me– there is no easier, quicker or less expensive way to transform your space.