We couldn’t be more excited to announce that we now offer custom color consultations for anyone who’s in desperate need of some crucial color advice. From kitchen cabinet and wall color questions to entire home color schemes, we’re whipping out our paint swatches and putting on our thinking caps to create some pretty foolproof color palettes. Take Cori for example, who wrote to us for help with the second floor addition that she popped on top of her one-story rambler (although we’re sure it was more complicated than we just made it sound). Here’s her letter:
I’ve got a giant white canvas of a new second floor that I need to choose paint colors for- help! The whole house has a light, bright craftsman feel to it. I’ve attached a photo of the new exterior. The first floor is mainly creams and tans, which sort of match the outside. I’d like the upstairs to feel light but still have some color. There are plenty of windows which should really help keep the airy feel without having to stick to just whites and creams. My one color must is Benjamin Moore’s ‘Caponata’. I’d like to use it running up the stairway wall so that it’s visible on both floors. Other than that, I’ve got nothing. I need paint colors for the following spaces: the family room downstairs that connects to the stairs, the staircase itself (which I’d love in Caponata), the sitting room upstairs off of the stairs, the office off of the sitting room, the master bedroom to the right of the staircase (pic attached), the hallway from the bedroom that leads to the bathroom (and eventually back to the office) and the bathroom itself. The bathroom is going to have light gray tile with gray-blue veins. I’m wondering how to pull the rooms together and still have some color. I keep heading toward blues or sea green, but that doesn’t work at all with the Caponata so I stop in my tracks. When our 9-year-old Lily saw the bedroom remake on your Decorating Advice page, she said, “OMG, that’s so awesomely cool now.” Can you do the same for us? Thanks! -Cori
What an accomplishment! A blank canvas to this caliber excites us like nobody’s business. So here’s the handy dandy paint chip palette that we whipped up for Cori’s light craftsman home with a bit of the color she craves:
Here’s the color scheme breakdown.
1. We’re suggesting five colors, all from the line, to tie the whole second floor together (while working seamlessly with the first-floor’s color scheme as well). Although you’ll see six swatches above, one of them is actually repeated in two of the spaces (so we included it twice so Cari could see how the rooms would flow). The first color swatch is for the downstairs family room that connects to the staircase. We picked Benjamin Moore’s Pensive because it’s the perfect neutral tone to tie into the cream color in the adjoining kitchen and it also works beautifully with Cori’s “color must”, which is the deep plumby brown color called Caponata that she’d love to see on the staircase wall in the space.
2. Speaking of Cori’s brilliant paint pick, here’s her beloved Caponata in all its glory. We love love love the deep rich tone and the fact that it will be seen both upstairs and downstairs (since it’ll be on the staircase wall) so it will keep both floors feeling cohesive while injecting a ton of moody sophistication to the entire house.
3. Now with such a deep hue joining both spaces, we really wanted to go the extra mile to ensure that the upstairs and the downstairs felt cohesive, so by carrying the color from the downstairs family room into the upstairs sitting room (again, Pensive by Benjamin Moore) both spaces will feel cohesive and balanced so the stairway accent wall can really pop without any other competition in either space.
4. Off of the upstairs sitting room is Cori’s office, where she mentioned that she’d like to have a little fun. She also said she was yearning for some green and blue tones but feared that they wouldn’t work with the Caponata accent wall, but here’s where we go and make all of her dreams come true (well, not all of them, but hopefully this one). This chic gray-green tone (with a hint of blue going on) is called Flora, and it’s perfect for a dash of color that still works within our palette and will definitely still feel airy with all that natural light thanks to an abundance of windows upstairs. Green is actually the complement to purple, so the deep plumby-brown Caponata was actually crying out for this shade a few rooms over, and we’re glad that we could add the greeny-blue tone that Cori was coveting.
5. This is a soothing cream color that’s actually quite close to a lot of the cream colors that Cori has going on downstairs. It’s essential to maintain a semblance of balance and cohesion when you’re bringing in deep tones (like Caponata) and subtle color (like Flora), which is why this restful cream color will work fabulously with our upstairs palette while referencing the color scheme downstairs as well. It’ll serve as the perfect “neutralizer” to keep things from looking too busy and bold, while tying everything together with subtlety and sophistication. We’d suggest using this color (Jute, also in Benjamin Moore’s Aura line) in both the master bedroom and the hallway that leads to the bathroom and the office. It will create an open and airy feeling in both a big space (like that gorgeous master bedroom with the vaulted ceiling) and a smaller space (like the hallway that connects a few of the other rooms)… all while making sure that the upstairs relates to the first floor.
6. This magnificent blue-gray tone is called Amsterdam (again from Benjamin Moore’s Aura series). And boy will it bring out the deep gray-blue tones going on in the bathroom. But not only will it complement all the bathroom accents and accessories, it will perfectly round out our color palette for the entire floor. This is another one of those blue-green colors that Cori was craving (this one is more on the blue side while Flora is more on the green side) and the gray undertones will ensure that it fits in with the rest of the color story. Then all Cori needs is some white trim paint (try Benjamin Moore’s White Dove) around the windows and baseboards and the entire space will look cohesive, current and oh-so-Cori.
Of course the actual paint swatches themselves will be even more vivid and exciting than our 2D representation of them above. Hopefully the finished product will elicit another “OMG” from Cori’s daughter. We can’t wait to hear what they think! And we’d love to know what you guys are thinking too, so feel free to sound off about our very first color conundrum. Happy painting!