Freaking out about my paint selection :(

pdx7700July 30, 2014

I went to visit the house we are remodeling last night, and I am sick to my stomach that maybe I picked colors that are too dark.

Background - I have very simple taste and do not like a lot of contrast or bold colors. I worked with a color consultant who brought out some more bold choices that I thought were very pretty. I even painted some big sample boards and it looked good. Now that I see some of the colors on the wall, it is so dark and I am completed second guessing myself! I visited at 8:00 last night so it was starting to get dark and there are NO lights installed in the house.

I am hoping that when I visit during lunch today that it will look better. It still won't have lights to turn on, but the natural light will be there.

If I still don't like I make a change right now? Or should I trust the original selection and assume it will get better when the lights go in?

DH supports anything I want to do. BTW, he loves how it looks (he likes more bold colors).

Thank you!

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It would be easier to supply you with some support if there were some pictures to view.

That said, rooms always look different at the beginning then at the end when all the competing objects and textures are installed in the room to distract the eye. Right now you have only one item to focus on, the paint, and we don't know if the paint is grey, black, blue or brown without a picture.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:09AM
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You've got to give us pics.

and it's going to look A LOT different once you have lights, rugs, furniture, artworkâ¦in there.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:10AM
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I agree with the previous posters. Also, looking at paint in the dark at night, ANY color will look really dark except white!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:16AM
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Ok, thanks everyone! I will run over and get some pictures.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:03AM
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I think I'm feeling a little better about the first floor, but I still have some major concerns in other areas.

Here is the living room, with a peak into the dining room. The dining room will have white wood wainscoting.

Picture from the living room looking through the dining room to the family room in grey:

This is the huge attic. They painted a sample of the grey-blue color to help me decide. I am worried that this big room will get such a bold color. Maybe I should choose something lighter?

Master bedroom - a deep purple. Again, worried about how dark and bold it is. Maybe I need something more neutral like light grey?

I would love any input! Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:14AM
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I really love the color in the living room. I think it is just what you wanted-- you said you don't like a lot of contrast or bold colors.

The other colors are nice, but I think they go against what you want. The DR is very dark . . .and I like dark, but I don't think you do. The wainscoting will help a lot, but it will be a lot of contrast.

I agree that the upstairs will feel very closed-in with that gray, esp. since I am guessing it will envelope the room w/the ceiling being what it is. I do think a lighter color will be a good move.

I think you should also go for the the lighter gray in the MB. You specifically do not like bold colors, and I am thinking dark is also off the list for you (since it has a bold presence). Only the LR and family room colors seem to be what you wanted in the first place. Again-- there is nothing inherently wrong with these colors, but it sounds like they aren't right for you.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:54AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Living room/dining - I think you're fine. Especially with the addition of white wainscoting.

The attic area - I see three windows, light coming from three different directions (correct?).

That's plenty of light to support a color of that value. Value as in lightness/darkness. Only thing I'd gut check was that you loved that color. I mean LOVE that color because you are going to feel enveloped by it.

The bedroom - I don't think that's a bold color. It's a dark color, but not bold. From a function point of view, it's a great color for a bedroom. It's going to feel cozy and cocoon-like. It might feel dark during the day because that color is going to keep almost every beam of light that hits it. So, if you use that room a lot during daylight hours, that color probably is not the best choice. If you're in there evening/night only, it could be perfection.

The 'what colors do I like' question is an important one. But sometimes it can help to temper that train of thought with other colors questions. Questions that include stuff like how and when you'll be using the space and what colors are a good fit from that perspective.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:38AM
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I really love the combo of the dining and living. The bedroom looks so cozy. You can definitely get away with the darker color for the attic, but maybe you might want to look at a shade or two lighter? Either way it looks great!!!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:58AM
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The only one I'd take issue with is the attic. There doesn't seem to be a lot of light in there, and there is also a LOT of wall area to paint, and those two things make bolder/darker colors a no-no. I'd go much lighter and less intense in that room.

The bedroom color is beautiful, IMO. I agree with Funcolors It isn't a bold color. Once you get the carpeting, furniture, drapes and artwork up on the walls, it's going to be stunning, I suspect.

Same with the DR. It does contrast beautifully with the LR. Again, get a large painting in that one large wall area, and with the wainscoting, it'll be beautiful, esp. a night.

IMO, the general rule when using darker/bolder colors is to do so in areas that don't have large expanses of wall, but rather rooms that have small wall area defined by windows, doors, and artwork. Those are the times to actually use bold colors.

These colors are like investing in individual stocks: high risk/high returnâ¦or a disaster. I think you made high-return choices. Just the attic, I think runs a risk of being too dark. I'd go lighter there. but then, look at the blue in my MB.

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 6:27

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:23AM
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i like the colors! i wouldn't have a problem with them!
the MBR looks pretty neutral for being purple- i like it!
the attic will look much different once it is all painted- it is abit of a shock to see a deeper color going onto all white walls, but once all done, the color won't seem so dark. you have a lot of light in there and a very light carpet- i would want a deeper rather than light color on the walls too- how will that room be used? the blue gray you chose is a pretty and relaxed and again, a relatively neutral color...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:00AM
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Whew, thank you so much everyone! I am going to keep the 1st floor and MB as is. Still debating the attic. More information about that:

There are 4 sky lights and two large windows at each end. The floor will be a neutral medium brown hardwood (oak). It will be used on one end as an office and the other end as a workout room. All of the holes you see in the walls will be small doors/access panels.

I love the color itself, but I'm not sure about being surrounded with it. Should the pony wall in the middle be painted the same color as the ceilings/walls? What about the "bump out" under the window?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:02PM
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I love all the colors, especially the dining room and master bedroom.

In the attic, I'm kind of liking it white the way it is right now. How about doing white for now and then changing is later once the space is decorated.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:10PM
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What if you did the ceiling, including the slants, and the end walls in that blue, and the bottoms of all four walls and pony walls in a pale yellow? I think that would make it great for a workout room. Maybe a wood railing on top of the pony walls? Not railing, know what I mean. Can't think of the word.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:25PM
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I'll play around with those ideas, thank you! I was definitely going to do some trim on top of the pony walls. I was thinking it would be trim color, but I definitely can stain it to match the floors instead.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:26PM
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Here's the upstairs with the color extended on the walls. I like it.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:35PM
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Thank you Beverly! I've decided to stick with that color. I was planning on painting the ceiling in that color, but now I am considering white instead. What does everyone think?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:13PM
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The attic was the only place I had a hesitation and I was going to suggest that color on the walls but going wither white or a paler version on the sloping portions (always have to decide whether those are walls or ceiling). I would not do the full color on the slopes and flat ceiling. Pale version maybe, but the white looks nice. I think I'd keep the white.

I like all your colors. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 1:54AM
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I like the white ceilings. I think doing the entire room in the blue would have been too heavy and cave like.

I'd then do the pony walls in a creamy, and light, earthy taupe.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:52AM
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I have a question, did you guys add the pony walls or were they already there that way.

I saw this photo and loved it. Its different from what you have but I liked some of the ideas.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 8:59AM
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I haven't read all the responses and am probably "out of line". I LOVE all your colors although I'm not crazy about the living room color. Everything else seems to be in the blue/gray palette while the living room, at least on my screen, looks more greenish/beige. So, I'd go with a warmer gray in the LR, too.

If it were my house, I'd paint the attic white, a creamy white. Then add a lot of texture with furnishings, rug, art, etc.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 9:47AM
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@aktillery - We added that pony wall (along with the entire attic). I definitely wanted a more traditional banister, but there were some code/practicality issues that necessitated the pony wall instead. I am going to add trim to the top and "make due".

@nosoccermom - Yes, I see that green undertone in my picture as well. I don't think it comes through as strongly IRL, but I am worried about it because green doesn't fit my taste/color scheme at all. Plus, I never really pictured beige for my house. I let myself be influenced by the color consultants that I should get something "warmer" in that room. I wonder if a more warm grey or bluish color would help the stained glass windows "pop" more.

This post was edited by rebecca3142 on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 12:19

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:44AM
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I think a soft gold would be great in the LR, with the stained glass and with the navy blue next door in the DR (blue and gold, great combo).

SW has a great strip of colors, it's got Baguette on it. So maybe Believable Buff or Whole Wheat from that strip? With gold, though, you do have to watch out for green undertone.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:48PM
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I think everything is beautiful and if you live with it for a while and then decide about the LR. After all, it's just paint. One room of paint is not the end of the world. I guess I liked the color. I love all that you have done. You asked about the ceilings and based on what I am seeing on my monitor, I would probably do a 50:50 white/blue paint on those ceilings, but I am sort of colorblind, so forgive me if I speak out of turn.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:49PM
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I think I've settled everything except the living room.

Here is how it looked today with no lights. Still greenish, which I am not liking.

Here is the floor sample and some trim.

I thought I would be super smart and use one of the painter's lights in the room. It looks more beige and a little less green.

BUT, the manager at the paint store said that the painter's lights are halogen which causes more cool tones to come through. My lighting will be this was not a great test.

I either need to just wait and see how it all looks together...maybe it will be more neutral, maybe not. Or, make the correction now.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 7:15PM
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Progress in the attic! I really love the color, and I'm liking the white ceiling. I think it will look good with the white trim we will be using throughout the room.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 11:56AM
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How about don't the living room in the same color as the family room?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 1:02PM
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What furniture, rugs, etc. do you have for the LR?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 3:54PM
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I have no furniture yet for that room. I was going to wait until after all the finishes are done before I buy anything.

I am still crossing my fingers that my lighting will wash out the green color. I went to the paint store to try and find a yellow or subtle light blue and now I am gun-shy for picking a different color. I am strongly leaning towards just waiting until the floors, trim, lighting, etc is finished before I change the wall color. My painter is wonderful and said he would come back if I'm not happy and not charge extra (I'm assuming if it is only a room or two).

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 6:53PM
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I agree w/ pps7...I like the family room color in the living room.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 7:39PM
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My bedroom is BM Camouflage and it is very similar to your living room. It was very bold of me to use anything other than vanilla custard on my walls. It's very chameleon-like depending on the time of day and I love it. is green. If you don't like green, I wouldn't count on the paint in your living room changing completely with lighting. At some point, you will know it is green.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 8:09PM
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Love all the colors except for LR, I would paint that the same color as the family room.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 9:15PM
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Yeah, I'm not getting my hopes up that I can make the living room color work. I'm just nervous about picking the right color in a very dark room (no help from the room color....) with no lights installed. That's why I am thinking of doing that last, after everything else is finished. I am open to suggestions on how to pick a new color now.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 9:56PM
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Suggest repeating a color you have somewhere else, to help with the flow of the house. I would not paint every room a different color.

Was in the same position, no lights, so I bought one of these with different high watt light bulbs (cool white, warm white, soft white, daylight) to check how the colors looked.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 10:48PM
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I really like the LR color and the flow of colors you have throughout your house. Maybe it's because my LR and DR are the similar to your LR. My lighting is similar to yours. I have eggplant, teal, and orange incorporated with my accessories such as pillows and art for which that color works perfectly. Not every neutral color works well in that type of lighting, It took a whole lot of samples some of which are highly used and mentioned on GW to get it right for our rooms including many of the grays.

When my neighbors and friends come into our home, the first thing they compliment is our wall colors. They want to know what we used. You'll see when it's all said and done. You will have the same reaction.

I think your color consultant did a great job for you. Have fun decorating.

My only suggestion is that you keep all your furnishings neutral with fabrics that have textures and have fun bringing in all the colors with your accessories and art.

You have a beautiful home.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:14AM
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Was the lighting different in he photo with the flooring sample? It looks like the deep warm brown is pulling or reflecting more brown in that photo. The current floor is looking a bit pink -- and the green is the opposite -- wonder if the current floor is part of the reason you see more green? Lighting does make a difference too. I had to change the bulbs in my DR so my paint didn't go purple.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:04PM
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Thank you jerseygirl! I was just at the house and it was the brightest I've ever seen. It washed out some of the green (or maybe I have a wishful mind) and I am feeling better about it. I am going to reserve my final judgement for after floors get installed and stained, trim and ceiling are painted, and lights installed.

lascatx - The lighting was the same, but I think I took it during a different time of the day so there was more natural light. The floor that is in the pictures is just the plywood subfloor (all except the one with that small sample). It will be interesting to see what happens when more finishes happen!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:54PM
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Your colors are very similar to what DD has used in her new home, although she initially wanted bold *bright* colors. My suggestion was to add the *bright* with accessories such as pillows, accessories, etc.

While your chosen colors are deep(dark), IMO don't consider them bold, and will be easy to live with. When I think of bold, red, turquoise, cobalt blue come to mind, colors not so easy to live with.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 5:36PM
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I absolutely LOVE your color choices! I'm a boring beige type of girl and your colors have really inspired me.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:19PM
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@patty_cakes - My husband keeps politely scolding me that the colors aren't bold. I would correct myself to say that they are much more saturated that I originally planned in my head.

@april_love - Aww, thank you! I am boring beige too (well, boring grey is my favorite) - if I can do it anyone can. Just be prepared for a week of freak out right after you do it. :)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 1:06AM
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I don't think the colors you chose were too dark. i think everything looks great!! You should be proud of yourself haha! :)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 1:40AM
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