Color Game : Color Palette

Happy Birthday to our house! Twenty years ago today, we moved in. OK, so maybe not a real birthday for a house born in 1990, but still something to celebrate.

The house was a hot mess, well-used and scuffed up. With a white and blue exterior, its hard life was accentuated by a harsh interior - walls painted a semi-gloss grayish white, woodwork and doors a dark gray and anchoring it all, stained gray low pile shag carpet. The only splash of color were all the hot pink mini blinds and brassy light fixtures. We soon painted every room and pulled up the gray shag.

sunroom, 2018


When it came to figuring out a palette for this house, I chose my old favorite pale yellow and its greying sisters. While I love looking at really colorful rooms, I didn't think I could live with that much stimulation. At the end of the day, I just want calm.

office, 2017

The palette moves from the exterior room to room as you can see in my office. This IKEA cabinet is painted the color of the kitchen cabinets. Everything blends. Easy peasy.

kitchen, 2015

The kitchen cabinets are a variation of the main floor wall color.

Christmas, 2019

We've used this paint color in our last 3 houses.

Christmas, 2017

The entry way is the only spot where the wall color is a bit bolder. The bottom half of the walls are painted a bright yellow. The entry sets the tone for the rest of the house - "Hey, we might be neutral but we aren't boring."

To help with making decorating decisions, I use a traveling palette and it's usually in my bag. While there are "apps for that," I like seeing the real deal. On a piece of poster board are paint color chips, swatches of fabrics and floorings. I pull it out when I am not sure if what I see out there will work once I get it home. The answer is quick once I see those colors on the board.

These rooms have had the same palette for 20 years. Sure, furniture gets slipcovered, small pieces get moved in and out and seasonal accessory colors change but the basic foundations are still there. Everything is neutral but amped up a bit. Truth be told, after 20 years, I'm ready for a slight change. I would be curious to see what creamy white walls would do to these rooms. And new carpet and a pale wax finish on the white oak floors and . . .well, you get the idea.

top photo : google

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