Wednesday, June 20, 2012

True Colors

Paint is one of those things I'm extremely picky about.  Never mind a wedding, I'm all about staying true to the color in my head.  

What I mean is that I've been known to paint a room 5 or 6 times with different colors just to get the shade how I envisioned it to look.  Light changes everything.  Natural light, that is. Northern light being the hardest to work with, since it tends to be dark. Sure painting swatches on the wall or on a large piece of cardboard helps.  But even a five foot paint swatch is not going to show you what a northern light looks like at 3pm on all four walls.  Adding artificial lighting only helps with temporary shadows and laser focusing the color where the light casts. 

The thing I love most about paint is finding a color that doubles or triples as other colors.

Take for example Kalamata Olive by Martha.  It can look plum, it go go brown, and it can look grey, all depending on how the light hits it - the intensity and length of light and what direction the light is coming in at all effect the shade.

Another favorite of mine is White Mint by SW.  I can't jock this paint color enough.  I have it in my living room/dining room/kitchen and depending on the time of day, it moonlights as a white, a mint green and aqua blue.  A true chameleon.  

Perhaps the attachment comes out of my futile first efforts to get a whisper of an aqua on my walls.  I have intense morning light from the east, but very little afternoon light because of the shade.  I was dead-set on painting the room Organza by Ralph Lauren and paint, I did.  It lasted about two months, until I walked in after a week's vacation and saw it as a little old lady blue.  Bleghk.  So I stalked my favorite vacation eatery and asked them to share the paint they had on the walls.  It was a white with a minimal tinge of green.  Perfection!  Turns out it was White Mint.  A few coats later and some eyes rolls from Mom and Hubby, and I was back in business.

Some of the best advice I've read regarding paint was from editor-in-chief of Southern Living, Lindsay Bierman, who relieved many a neutral-fan around the globe when he said (and I'm paraphrasing here) 'Let me save you some trouble.  If you're looking for a wonderful warm white, without the yellows or peach tones, try Ivory White by Ben Moore.  I've searched high and low and this is IT.'

I love a good chameleon paint color.  What better deal can you get than four shades in one can?  What are some of your favorites?


Thinking an interior design consultation is too expensive?  We have design services starting at $50!  Contact us for a listing of our services and prices; we'd love to work with you to make your home uniquely 'YOU'. 
xoxo  Nancy and Bethany


  1. I have S-W Wondrous Blue in my bedroom. It is a chalky blue, sometimes lavender, and sometimes grey. I love it and it looks great with bright white trim and my mahogany furniture.

  2. Great tips, Bethany! Paint colors can be so tricky and it looks like I'm in good company, guilty of painting a bathroom 3 times in 3 days! :)

  3. I want to try the white mint! I love this Kalamata Olive too!
    Thanks for the tips, Bethany!
    Happy Wednesday.

  4. Hi Bethany ~

    Thanks for your comments on my Swedish gardens post :-) I love it when you stop by.

    Are you missing mom? Tell her I said hi!!

    Great post on paint colors. I didn't know about Ivory White by BM. I'm gonna look it up tonight cuz you know how much I love whites ;)

    Thanks a bunch!!

  5. Great ideas (as always). I love Ivory White, and I hear White Dove by BM is also a winner. I wish I had a million rooms so I could use all the colors I've been thinking about.

  6. Ivory white is one of my go-to's ... am using it right now in a client's home for the trim. I also happen to absolutely LOVE BM Concord Ivory - yellow/gold/cream ... depending on your light. I have to say I have used Martha Stewart's home depot paint on two rooms and hate it. I hate to bash. But it takes coats and coats and coats to cover ... a waste of my time!!

    1. i feel that way about any HD paint - the Behr and the Glidden, its a waste of money and I'll gladly pay double for paint that is true to color and goes on well.

  7. I find posts like these to be so informative. Paint is so tricky and so hard to get a handle on.

    I've been looking for a good coral. Does Serena and Lily really have a paint line?


  8. yes they do :) check it out - their colors are dreamy


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