It’s taken me awhile to admit this to myself – like a year and half, almost two, but my biggest design mistake is the paint colors I chose for the living room, hallways and kitchen. In certain light, I like the living room/dining room color the most, but our hallways are super dark with zero natural light and the color starts to take on WAY more gold than I ever wanted. The kitchen color was supposed to be a lovely, warm mocha brown and it turn out more like … mud? And, the kitchen was supposed to be several shades darker than the kitchen/hallway and they look almost exactly the same; the living room/dining room has more pink undertones and the kitchen, yellow, but they are still way more similar than they were supposed to be. In hindsight, here are some of the thing I could’ve done differently – learn from my mistakes, folks 😉
- Take your time: Truth is, I didn’t really have a whole house vision right after we moved in. While we were doing the kitchen reno, I was also picking colors for the rest of the house and didn’t really think about the big picture. We had a housewarming party coming up, the current walls were in really bad shape where the previous owners ripped things off the wall before moving out (like smoke detectors and glued mirrors) and I was making snap decisions. Some were good – hello Wheat Bread Behr! – some were not. If I was able to do it over again, I’d wait until I was in the house longer to get a sense of vision for the whole space before investing in professional painting.
- Match paint samples: So, funny story – for the three rooms where I love the paint colors (master bedroom/bath, hall bath and man cave), I chose solely based on the paint chips. No samples, no problem. However, for the main living spaces, I bought samples, dutifully brought them home and painted swatches on the walls in multiple places. However, two issues here that I think made a difference. The paint samples I bought were flat paint in Behr. The paint we actually put on the walls was Behr Colors mixed in Sherwin Williams (kitchen) and Benjamin Moore (living room/hall) semigloss. I know in theory, the colors should be the same, but that’s the only explanation I can come up with for the samples being so different from what went on the wall. So, if you can, make sure to get samples from the brand and even the finish.
- Test in multiple locations: Test your swatches in at least 3 locations, if not more. While I tested in the dining room and living room, I completely failed to test in the hallway or entryway, where we get very little natural light. The end result is that the paint looks soooo much darker in those spaces. Read tutorials! I’ve since read a lot of great tips about choosing paint colors and painting samples on white paper so you can see the true color and not compare it to the current color. Pinterest has a ton of really great tips and tricks – pin away and go back and read them.
- Say something: I take full responsibility for this design misjudgment – not the fault of the painter or anyone else. For the hallway color, I saw it and I KNEW it was too gold and I didn’t stop it. I tried to convince myself that it was just because it was against green paint, but had I asked the painter to stop painting, I would’ve been able to change it. Yea, we might’ve had half-painted walls for a few days while I chose a new color, but now, given the high ceilings in the living room, we’re going to keep what we have in here for a while.
- Repaint: The good news is that it IS only paint. While we won’t be repainting our living room and dining room anytime soon (and I’m ok with that), I did decide to start testing new colors for the kitchen and hallway, which we can do ourselves. And I’m taking my time on making this decision – I have samples in the right finish and various poster boards that I can move around the house to see the different light. Once I’ve narrowed it down, I’ll paint a few samples on the actual wall to see how it goes.
Below are the new paint colors I’m considering. With the neutral warm tones in the kitchen, I want to keep it on the warmer side of the greige family. I’m currently leaning towards Oatmeal (top one) for the kitchen, and then the same color, but at 75% for the hallway to keep it light, but not look like a totally different color. While I think I can get away with the living room/dining being one color, and the kitchen/hall another, anymore than that may start to hurt the eyes! All of the below are Valspar, but open to other suggestions! Any paint colors in this family that you love?
Shared on Metamorphosis Monday.