Choosing Paint Colors is Draining

Photo by Kevin Pieper

Photo by Kevin Pieper

It’s time to paint the inside of The Little House. There’s 5 very good reasons for embarking on this project now:

  • It’s winter and there’s little else to do.
  • Dale is home.
  • When he is working, he is too busy to do much around the house during the week, and he wants to spend his weekends on the lake.
  • We’re tiring of the “eggshell” white we chose when The Little House was built.
  • It’s been nearly 7 years, so it is time.


Dale is the painter in our family. He painted the entire Little House over the course of a weekend during the finishing phase. The house had yet to get the window air unit, so he worked through the nights in the heat of August that year to get it painted.

My post on Monday shows our bedroom, which Dale painted during his winter lay-off last year. Before we sold our house in the city, our realtor recommended a complete paint job of all the rooms in all the same color. The paint his painter chose was between a beige and brown, not unlike the paint we saw going into new construction at the time.

We loved the color and wanted to paint The Little House in the same hue, but when we went to find the color for the bedroom last year, the local paint store franchise didn’t have it.

We went with the darker color shown in Monday’s photo, which I think is perfect for the bedroom. I like it dark and that color makes daytime naps more shaded and even the blackest of country nights dimmer.

Dale thought it too dark, but I talked him into keeping it. However, we do agree it too dark for the rest of The Little House.

I’ve decided to match the bathroom with a very light beige that is in the shower curtains.

However, we’re at a loss what to do in the combined living room/kitchen. My color scheme is red and black (remember all of those black bears). The kitchen counter is white with red and green splashed in the towels and canister set. My appliances are also black.

We don’t want anything too flashy or eye-popping (Remember, Dale is the safe, white paint type) and we can’t go too dark due to the size of the room.

Any thoughts on paint colors readers?

You may also like...

23 Responses

  1. Kim says:

    I second Susan’s suggestion, but if a green would please you, look at Benjamin Moore’s Great Barrington Green (and the related shades, lighter and darker, on the sample card) and/or Home Depot’s Behr in Caraway. We’ve used both and are very pleased with them. Green’s a good accent w/ red, as long as you stay away from Christmas-y shades.

    The Caraway in particular is very nice and unobtrusive– almost like a khaki or beige in its effect. (I think there’s one pic on my FB wall photos of our office… that’s the caraway.)

    • kerri says:

      Thank you, Kim. I tried picturing even a really light green in the house last night and it just isn’t coming together for me. I’ll most likely go with the light brown/beige. I’ll have to get some color swatches this weekend and bring them home.

  2. S.A.B.L.E. says:

    I feel I’m a creative person, but decoratingly challenged. Good luck on finding just the right color.

  3. We just painted our dining room a pretty green and discovered that black is a great accent. Since you have decor in black, I suggest green as a paint color. You could choose a light shade. You also said you have some reds, green goes great with red.
    Choosing paint colors is a bear for me, too. Last night my husband began painting our hallway with a color I had chosen and I had to tell him it just wasn’t what I thought it would look like. We ran to Home Depot and I chose another color, this time it was pleasing to my eye. He was sweet about it, poor guy.

  4. Bj says:

    Growing up military, I did not realize that there were any other colors painted on walls than white and gunship gray( KI Sawyer AFB) on walls until I became an adult.
    While I still favor the lightest shades, I do tend to lean towards, buttercream, with walnut trim.

    Kerri, I know your pain. Once I finish the building this summer, I too will have to choose paint color. Perhaps, I can just get by with all blonde wood paneling…hmmm….no paint! LOL…
    Whatever you choose, I am sure it will do fine for another 7 years! LOL.

  5. olivia says:

    Me again. DH has now been painting our house since September **sigh**. He has completed the 2 downstairs rooms plus broom closet (still the laundry room to go) and has now moved upstairs to a bedroom. Has been painting that for about a month. Stairwell, bathroom, 2 more bedrooms and a “dressing room” to go. . .

  6. Cindyt says:

    LOL…I feel your pain! I have a decision making procrastination gene…especially when it comes to choosing paint colors. I know it is only paint and can be changed…(but for me it is usually years before I can muster the courage to choose a new color and pull out the ladders, rollers, and brushes). the last time I lived with 4 very large splotches of color on my Liv/dining room walls to try and choose a new color for over 1 1/2 years!!! Everyone thought I was trying to be an avant garde artist! Ha. Finally, my kids for Christmas 2008 gave me the gift of Paint and Free Labor to paint..Who could turn that incentive down? I choose a lovely warmish gold color from the Ralph Lauren palate with an Acent wall of a dark chocolate brown…feeds into my luv of chocolate!!! I just love the colors especially at is just downright cozy. What is really funny…the new place main living areas are painted the exact same colors!!! It was meant to be! I don’t have to choose paint color or repaint!!! 🙂 Cindyt

  7. Alexandra says:

    Ah, paint! Good luck with this project and choosing the color. My husband would paint every wall yellow if I let him. You have had some good suggestions already. Sherwin Williams also has a paint called Harmony that is low VOC. We used it last time we changed a room color and were happy with the results.

  8. Kathleen Winn says:

    We recently remodeled two bathrooms and I think I struggled over paint color more than anything else. Sherwin Williams has little pamphlets with different paint colors and the suggested accent colors shown. You just look for the general color you’re interested in then pick from their selection of booklets with different shades and variations on that color. I had a general idea of the color I wanted, but having the booklets to look through helped me narrow down my choice, then the best accent colors were already selected for me. It worked out great- I’m really happy with the colors and didn’t have to sweat it over making sure the accent colors worked out. Have you thought about doing the kitchen area in a different but complimentary color, to set it off a little from your living space? Good luck with your project Kerri- fresh paint makes a house feel new!

    • So glad to hear your bathroom project went well, Kathy! We do have a Sherwin Williams here. I will have to go into the store. That was the company that had the color the painter used in our house in KC. It was also what we used in the bedroom.
      The kitchen and living space are so combined, I hadn’t thought of using a different color, but your suggestion makes me want to take another look at it from that perspective. Thanks!

      • Susan says:

        Shermin Williams is excellant paint. Check them out for their discount also. Think if you give them your email address you get 10% off, it might be even more. Plus they keep a record of the colors you get. I didn’t like one color I bought and they were able to darken it for me. Anyway I have had good service from my local store.

  9. Gosh, painting is a job that needs done in our house. I want to have the wall paper removed. I love earth tones. One great advange to a small house,it will not take long to paint. I am the painter in our house and I can’t find any spare time. Good luck. Mary Nida

    • When we removed the wallpaper from the house in the city, I swore I would never use wallpaper again! 🙂 The previous owners put it on wrong and half the drywall came off with it. What a mess.
      I don’t know how you have time for anything, Mary. You should hire it done.

  10. Susan says:

    I like the earthy color you have in the bedroom. How about a lighter shade of that color for your living area. If you have any left you could even use the bedroom color for that small wall that separates the bedroom/living for an accent. Well this making me want to paint my house now. Inside and out. Close to 10 years on some rooms.