Our favorite paint colors

This is a topic we all like to discuss ..the elusive perfect paint color..much like the perfect pair of jeans right???!  Always looking for the one that might change our life..make the bedroom more serene, brighten the kitchen, bring the whole room together etc..You get the picture, we care.  So I have recruited some of my favorite people to share with us their color favorites this week… let’s get started.

Tomorrow we will have Seleta from this wonderful style blog as well as Melissa from The Inspired Room!  Wednesday we will have tips from my dear friend Joetta of Shelterstyle and later in the week we will hear from the Nester and last but certainly not least, Joni from Cote de Texas.  So hold on to your paint brushes and get ready to take notes.

Aside from this great line up, I hope y’all will share YOUR favorite colors and tips in the comments..this is the time to de-lurk! I want this to be a wonderful conversation about paint and how it can so easily change our rooms!

To start us off I am going to give my favorite colors.  I did not pull images to illustrate except for this first one : STONE 2 Laura Ashley from Lowe’s.  I apologize for the glare.  Looks like a sad color huh?? You are thinking, she is nuts…that looks like primer! But this room is tiny, and I knew I wanted to layer a lot of fabric and bring a lot in… and I know from many past uses, this color provides a great canvas to start with. So here is a fresh coat of Stone 2 BEFORE the room was loaded…pretty blah..so so, its ok…I means it’s barely there right?

and  AFTER with furniture and accessories…see the difference layers make…the paint looks darker with more white in the room. If I had gone darker to start with it would have not ended with the serene soft feel I wanted.  The point is keep in mind (of course!) what you will be bringing in..don’t just choose the color because it is pretty (I know this is obvious but i have to say) Also really put your swatches up near different shades of white and similar colors to really get an idea of its “true identity.” For instance, the contrast with the white white tree amd chair slipcover show there really is a whisper of beige in the paint…just enough for a tiny nursery.

I hate to ramble about Stone 2 but I want to explain a little more about this light neutral. Of course this is Baby Henry’s nursery. I get more emails asking about this color.  It just looks like off white linen…and unless you have white white trim (my trim is all extra white from SW) it will not even look beige/linen color it will just come off as “off white” or “antique white”..so it is not a rich color..similar but not even as rich as SW “swiss coffee” but our home is very small and I used it in the entry originally, the living room, the nursery and the hallway…it is my default color..and it works.  My theory is older homes that might have shabby/imperfect doors, cabinets, trim..well they look fresh if painted WHITE WHITE… if I was building  new construction I would still use a fairly clean and bright white because I like it but probably not EXTRA White from SW..does this make sense? Joetta will have some trim color suggestions for us as well so stay tuned.  Bottom line, my home is older, woodwork not perfect so I used lots of WHITE WHITE paint on older cabinets, wainscot etc to brighten and enlarge spaces and it works..LAURA ASHLEY STONE 2 is a great light neutral color for walls to work with white white wood/trim in this kind of situation. whewww..hope that made some sense…if you live in an older home, it probably did!

My other favorites..pictured in the top photo are from the Sherwin Williams strip with SW Urban Putty and SW Khaki Shade..my master bedroom is Urban Putty (you can see on my press page article).  It is a great color..works with a lot…these colors were not on the big SW color deck for years but they are back on the cute little fan deck!  So glad to see my old friends taken off the shelf because they are oldies but goodies. Of course they could always be mixed but I love being able to get a current sample swatch strip (or four or five!) Also pictured is what I think is a new color from SW??? Does anyone know..it is called SW Silvermist..very pretty ..reminds me of Restoration’s Silver Sage but lighter.  And while we are talking about SW, be sure and check out their online tool..the color visualizer!  So cool, you can even scan in your photos and then choose colors, click and drag and “paint” your rooms, trim, ceilings..very helpful!  And if you don’t want to upload photos you just use one of their stock room photos.  I am sure most of you know about this but just making sure! And no I dont endorse or prefer SW…I use it a lot and I obviously love some of their colors but I personally think Benjamin Moore has a better range..we’ll see what the experts says as the week progresses!  Check back often!

{edited to say:  I can’t believe I forgot another wonderful color, SW Hopsack, it is a yummy, rich caramel color..I have used in bathrooms (including own and I love it 5 years later), dining rooms and  an entry…it is good!}

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  1. Oh, I love this! For me (a non-interior-designer who just loves pretty rooms) choosing neutrals and very light colors is so difficult. I’m really looking forward to this series– and I get you on the white-white. Our 86 year old house looks so much fresher and the plaster looks smoother when the trim is super-crisp. And I LOVE that Silvermist!

  2. LOVE this nursery, this is your sons? Fantastic! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE paint! I have an embarrassing collection of paint chips! I will be waiting for the next posts, wonderful 🙂

  3. Janice Ratliff says

    this will be a fun week of color!! I love how fresh paint can make a house a home. I’m out all day looking at homes and when I see how people respond to paint it confirms for me how such an easy cosmetic change can make or break a home!!! I love your use of color (or non-color) in Henry’s room. I am sure it would look so much smaller if it were a darker color. You really have the gift!!!!

  4. My paint question is about ceilings…we live in a newer home where all the walls and ceilings were painted the same color (a latte color). I don’t really like the color – I would have gone with less yellow tone and a little more grey, but I digress. I’m thinking about having all the ceilings painted our trim color – KM Swiss Coffee (white). My thought is that it will make the wall color look custom painted and reflect more light into our dark house. What are your thoughts?

  5. This will be all kinds of awesome…I love seeing other’s paint choices.

    I have used Laura Ashley’s Taupe 3 and 4 in every home I’ve owned. Never used Stone, though, as I like a bit more color…but that whole colorway is beautiful. I even painted my lower kitchen cabinets Taupe 4 (and used her Cassia for the top cabs and trim and Sage for the the walls above the beadboard).

    Looking forward to this week’s posts!

  6. LUV this nursery!!! And can’t wait to see everyone else’s favorite colors. What a great idea for a series of posts.

  7. Oh, looking forward to reading…color can be very challenging! I gave you a shot out on my post yesterday! Janell

  8. So happy to see you doing this! I think picking the right paint color is my biggest challenge in decorating. Thanks for doing this, Holly.

  9. Urban putty was throughout our old house – it was the contractor’s “go to” color. So we used it in our new house in a couple of places as well. Great color! Just did my bedroom in sensous gray by SW. Love it! Paired it with all white bedding and crystal lamps, silver frames, etc.

  10. Holly, I have been admiring your blog for a long time, it is by far my very favorite! Question on this topic…Does anyone have suggestions for gradually moving from darker colors on your walls (think mossy green and a deep gold) to a more neutral group of colors without just repainting the whole house and having to start from square one?

  11. Woo-hoo! So excited about your week!! I love paint! My garage looks like the paint section as home depot…its a little embarrassing. 😉
    Really looking forward to whats to come!

  12. Great guest line-up, Holly!

    I love Benjamin Moore’s Wickham Gray. It’s the perfect combo of blue-gray (really looks more blue with all of the light in my house). Love the way it complements my Provence style.

    And I use half formula on the ceilings. In fact, I don’t have a single white ceiling in my house (most are half formula Wickham Gray, though my girls get a soft Angel Wing Pink and a super pale green).

    Looking forward to seeing what others like!

  13. I almost forgot…I’ve seen Silvermist and like it a lot, but also look at SW’s Silver Strand. In the right light, it’s GORGEOUS!


  14. Holly your nursery is wonderful and I think choosing colors that have a sophisticated look even for a nursery just works. Love it and great article on color. Kathysue

  15. Hi there,

    I really like you paint color posts! I was wondering if you could tell me the name of the drapery fabric that you used in your son’s nursery and where you got it?


  16. What an absolutely darling room….the colors are perfect. Especially love the little slipcovered ottoman.

  17. I love SW silvermist. Have it in my bedroom. Looks greenish on te chip but more aqua on the wall. Beautiful. I had my husband break into a model home and sneak into the attic to get the color off the paint can.

  18. I love the baby’s room…So adorable…:) It make sme want another one…:) lol I love the slip on the rocker…Did it come with it? Or did you make it? Come look at my first real slipcover over at SM…Meme

  19. That’s funny! I just painted our master bedroom SW Urban Putty a couple months ago! I LOVE it. It’s so calming. I have SW Sands of time in our kitchen/dining and hallway and that’s been another favorite of mine.

  20. I am installing wide plank pine flooring, staining it cherry. The room is about 700sf. . There is a 1/4 wall dividing this room in half that is a load bearing wall. A bathroom located off the large room that I painted red. Would urban putty be a good color for this room?

    Should I paint the small load bearing wall an accent color?

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