split entry home w/ open floor plan

mistihayesMarch 29, 2008

I'm trying to figure out how you paint the interior of a split entry home. You walk upstairs & you see the living room, dining room, & kitchen. I want to paint the living room a green but don't want the entry way & all other rooms the same color. How do you blend colors? Or if I use just a darker shade of green...which room gets the lightest shade or the darkest? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanx

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I think the lightest shade should be in the living room and/or kitchen. In my opinion, a dining room can handle a darker color due to the fact that most dining rooms are used mainly in the evenings and dining room furnishings can easily be complemented by darker colors. With an open plan, you might have to create "breaks" to change colors.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 7:02PM
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Many colors go with green, golden browns, creams, the list is endless. I always like using the same color stick with all the coordinating shades on one stick. I would paint the hallways the lightest color since they tend to be low light areas...and therefore will appear darker. If the dining room had a chair rail you can use two shades of green or a darker green and off white. Then do the living room one shade lighter. I dont think there are rules as to which room should be darker, that depends a lot on light, carpet, and furniture too. Can you post pictures of the spaces?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 7:52PM
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I can SO sympathize with you! I have that same cursed split entry. I painted my entry, but it's a bear to paint with those tall walls and having to set a ladder on the staircase. So my first advice is don't paint the stairwells/entry part. Leave them white or off-white and you won't have to repaint them for resale. My son is dealing with the exact same thing at his house and we just had this talk yesterday.

Does your living room flow into your dining room? If yes, I'd advise you leave them the same color and take that color down the hallway... or do the hallway in a very close color, perhaps just a lighter shade?

How about your kitchen? Is it well separated by walls? Or is it open too?

How about posting some pictures? I am so with you on this as it's the same thing my son has in his house and I have in my house and IMHO it's not an easy decorating situation. I posted on my entry a couple of weeks ago and titled it "world's ugliest entry." I painted mine and now I'm wondering if I should have not. I still need to pick out the perfect color for the LR and it is going to have to go through the DR too. My kitch is separate though.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 8:18PM
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I don't frequent this forum, but I can be found lurking over on the kitchen forum as we're in the process of renovating our kitchen.

That said, we have the same split-entry house. We have painted these spaces twice since living here (5 years). The first time was an unfortunate color called "Arizona Sunset" which sadly resembled smushed pumpkin. We ran the color through the entire space (living room, dining room, entry way, stair wells, and down the hall). Too much smushed pumpkin. We repainted using Behr's Sensible Hue. We ran that color through the living room, dining room, and down the hall. We chose the lighter color on the same card for the entry way and stairwells. Our giant living room window faces east/southeast, so there is lots of light pouring into the living and dining rooms. It's worked well for us.

We did not paint the kitchen either of those times as we knew at some point we would renovate. We're there now. We're also tearing down the walls between the kitchen and dining room and kitchen and living room, making it one open space. We're hoping that the Sensible Hue color will work well in our kitchen. If not, I suppose we'll have to paint the whole blasted space again. We're hoping to avoid that!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 8:40PM
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So what color is Sensible Hue, Green? Can you post photos? I'd love to see pics of your kitchen remodel too, if you have any to share.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 8:49PM
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Sorry! Sensible Hue is more of a taupe color. It is quite an interesting color, actually, looking markedly different according to light and location. It's quite a dark taupe down at the end of the hall by the bedrooms. In the living room during the day, it appears to have a very pale yellow tint.

We actually would like to paint the back wall of the kitchen some type of a shade of green. We haven't tried to find the right shade yet. Given everything else, I suspect we'll take the "easy road" and keep what we've got going rather than trying to find that right shade. I'll post pics once we're there.

I have no pics of the kitchen to share yet. Demo won't start for a few weeks. By then, I'll probably be curled up in the fetal position in my bedroom babbling incoherently.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 9:38PM
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Hahaha! I hear ya. It's gotta' be tough to live through a major kitchen remodel. Thank heavens for the Kitchen forum, huh?

Taupe -- I'm thinking that's a grey-beige?

So how are you gals decorating your split entry... I mean when you first step in the door what do you see besides tall walls and steps up and down (boring)?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:04PM
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Oceanna - I just got done reading the thread regarding your split.

Our is only slightly different than yours. The window above the door is that 70s bubble glass. I don't like it, but ours is clear bubble glass while all the other neighbors have yellow bubble glass. I feel lucky. We also have side lights on either side of the front door, also clear bubble glass.

We painted the interior side of our door sort of a deep plum shade. I liked it at the time but would rather go with a very deep green now. Actually, I want a new front door, but that's another budget item entirely, and I'm not ready to go there yet.

When we bought the house, the railings were black wrought iron with little gold splotchy things. The rail separated the stairs from the living room. We needed some of that space for my piano, so DH build a half wall from the living room window wall about half way up. On the entry side of that, we've hung two shelves just made of MDF and painted white. Currently there is NO railing from where that half wall ends to the top of the stairs. I was getting on DH's case to get something built there, but the contractors have suggested waiting until they're done with the kitchen. It will give them more room hauling things up and down the stairs.

On that big tall wall over the stairs heading down, we have another MDF shelf that we use for some of my larger doodads. At Christmas, we fill it with greenery and have large glass bowls with ornaments and other Christmas items.

Unlike you, our kitchen doorway sits off to the right of the stairs, so when you come up our stairs you come into a wall.

Oh, our house appears to be a mirror image of yours!

I LOVE what you have down at the bottom of your stairs. We have two boys, ages 12 and 10, and a 100-pound dog. We use that garage door as our main family entrance and exit. For me at this point, I doubt anything nice would stay in that location very long!

I'm really looking forward to the kitchen being finished. Not so much looking forward to the process. My moto is to "keep the eye on the prize." I also have a goal of having enough money left over after the kitchen to replace at least the windows on the front of the house. Unfortunately, ours are original windows, single pane, and you can see the gaps when the wind blows. We live in a part of the country where 60 mph winds are normal in the winter - slamming right into the living room window - ugh!

Oh, we replaced the light in the entry with a ceiling fan with light fixture. I realize it's entirely too modern for your decor, but it suits ours. Besides, I was pretty intent on getting rid of the huge orange globe that was there when we moved in! Also, the house is not air conditioned, and it can get quite hot here in the summer. The ceiling fan helps move the air around the living room quite a bit. Bonus.

So, I don't have any advice for you on the entry. Most people here have really left the entries pretty plain. I would vote for painting the wood part of your half-wall white as well. However, we have spent most of the last five years slowly working on replacing all the "wood" trim in this house with white trim. I put the wood in quotes because it was very, very dark and not good quality wood. I had no guilt painting it!

Oh, in the corner by our front door, we have a 3-foot tall stuffed moose dressed for fishing. Not a "real" stuffed moose, more of a teddy-bear stuffed moose. Again, I'm guessing that's not really your style, but frankly we are a bunch of nut jobs in this household, so it suits us. It gives me a smile whenever I walk up and down the stairs, and everyone who enters the house comments on him (his name is Morty).

Let us know what you decide to do with your entry!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:42PM
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Thank you everyone for your input. This is my first paint project. I have no decorating sense. You'll see once I've figured out how to post photos on here. I'm almost embarrased for anyone to see how bad I am. Wish me luck at posting photos.
OK!! I can't figure it out. Can anyone tell me how to post photos on here. I used Kodak and then have another file I put all my photos in. I just can't figure out how to transfer them. Thanx

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 12:57AM
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Just an aside for getting those tricky spots. We rented a scaffold (Bil-Jax brand) from local rental store much like the one below when doing our bilevel entry. Piece of cake getting to the top of the 14' ceilings in the entry, it put me at eye level for cutting in where ceiling meets wall. It comes in pieces, you just lock them together at home in the spot you'll be working. Don't remember ours having wheels on the legs (or if it did DH didn't put them on). We set it up so one ladder was on the foyer floor, the other was on one of the upper steps, and then the platform was hooked & locked onto the appropriate rungs of each of the ladders so it was level. It's very sturdy and substantial, the parts all lock very securely, I was perfectly at ease. (The other option was DH's homemade scaffold set up between two ladders. No way was I steppin' onto that contraption!) The platform is very roomy, plenty of space for paint tray, tools and not stepping into/on any of them ;D Oh, and in the few days we had it we just left it up and still were able to squeeze up and down the stairs as needed. ;)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 7:30AM
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