Color Anxiety

Some good progress has been made over the past few days. Plaster is being sanded and smoothed down, finishing touches on the tile are being done, molding is being added, etc.. Ill have a lot to post about this week.

At this second, I'm unduly stressed about paint colors. The Benjamin Moore paint deck is splayed in front of me and I'm staring at it with dread. We've made countless decisions up until this point - from layout changes to tile selections. Why is selecting paint so damn hard? Maybe its because there are too many choices? Or that I have nothing I really need to match (we dumped nearly all our old furniture since it was mostly hand me down junk we've had since post college days and the rest of it wouldn't fit in the basement we're keeping our crap in)? Or maybe its because I hope to not have to repaint for at least a decade? Whatever it is, this set of decisions have proved to be some of the most nerve wracking for me.

The one thing I did know was that I wanted the trim to have a creamy color not too different from what we found when we bought the place.


So with the exception of the bathroom trim, the trim in the entire house is getting a coat of semi gloss "bone white" which is fairly creamy without being yellow. I think keeping the trim the same color will give some consistency throughout without having to use the same palette. And in the interests of not having to think about it, all of the ceilings are getting china white flat. (We are more than happy to say bye-bye to the other choice colors like hospital green and pepto pink.)

The only new color I was happy to pick right away was a warm gray in the living room. So that was the starting point. Thanks to another home renovation blog, I found this shade called "silver fox". Depending upon the time of day and quality of light, it looks a lighter silver, a darker silver or a medium brown.


For lack of a more creative choice, I'm putting a lighter shade of silver fox called abalone (which is really very light) in the hallways

And moving upstairs, the ming green accents in the master bath's floor tile helped narrow it down to a blue with some green in it.


The connecting master bedroom will have that same color but a shade darker. The blue/green should work well with the original yellow tiles we have in the fireplace.

And then in the hall bathroom, I'm veering from the lighter colors and going with something darker to mix it up with all the white tiles. As you can see, its still a neutral color so it should be pretty calm in there despite the darker tone. There is a skylight in this room as well so I'm hoping the natural light keeps it feeling too catastrophic.

And that's where I am right now. You may notice there are quite a lot of rooms notably absent. That's because I haven't decided what color I'm going to use and I suspect I won't be getting divine intervention. Despite trying a lot of sources for inspiration and help, nothing has really done the job and here I am procrastinating the actual selection. Dart board meet color deck. That's how I'm going to have to select the colors for the rooms I'm unsure about.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy we're getting to the point where the color on the wall is one of my biggest worries. I know this is minor but it feels like a big deal right now.


  1. I think those choices are looking great! I've been very happy with Silver Fox, and I chose a similar pale blue for my bedroom. I prefer your hall color, actually--I used Pewter Silver or something like that and it's ok but not great. My painter used a higher sheen than I'd wanted in our hall and so it looks really lumpy and not nearly as awesome as a flat paint would have.

    I totally feel you on the stress of choosing... I had far fewer rooms than you do and I was *freaked* out. One thing I did that helped narrow down the chips was to lay them out in the order of the apartment to see how the flowed from one to the next. You'll need extra chips of the hall color but it's a helpful exercise.

    I assume you have a dining room? That was the one place where I went with a darker color, and if I were in a big place like yours I'd even think about a really awesome wallpaper. Why not go for drama in a room you're mostly in after dark?

    Good luck and happy holidays!

  2. "Why not go for drama in a room you're mostly in after dark?"

    I completely agree with this statement. Damask, something timeless yet - new - there are so many cool choices out there now.

  3. Thanks Kate. I hope the Silver Fox looks as good in my house as it does in yours. (If you didn't already know, your photos are what convinced me to go with this shade).

    The dining room/kitchen (its one large room which is causing the biggest problem) has been my toughest room. Its got a lot going on with a large wall mirror, appliances, chandeliers, trim, countertops, tiles, etc.. that its hard to pin down to a color. If I had a distinct room for a dining room, Id definitely go dark. But because its such a large room that Ill be spending a lot of time in, I think Im going "safe" and painting it in shades of cream. I considered doing a darker color scheme or even an accent wall and it all comes down to "will I be able to look at this for at least 10 years?" Im not sure Im making the right decision but that goes for everything in this house.

    Id love to do a beautiful wallpaper but Im a bit of a perfectionist and I know my contractors won't be able to do it the way I would like. And quite frankly, I don't want to get into any DIY projects after this is over. I want to rest for at least a year if possible :)


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