Professional Help Needed (I'm Lost on the Color Wheel)

beekeeperswifeJuly 28, 2010

Well, I'm not sure what kind of professional help I need, so I'll just lie down on this GW couch, and take the expert advice that is available here!

I think we all must be painting our foyers because there are a lot of questions about foyers and paint colors lately.

Can I get your opinions please? My foyer is 2 stories, not very grand, kind of the smallest 2 story foyer possible. When you enter the front door, the dining room is to the left, painted "chocolate candy brown 2107-10)and cream, the living room is to the right (just a small doorway to it, nothing grand--color: to-be-decided (either Pigeon Gray or Dior Gray). Straight ahead is the kitchen family room/great room--will be painted Pigeon Gray (2133-50), which is a Gravender.

The Pigeon gray goes nicely with the dining room's chocolate, so that is good.

Here's the question, I love this Pigeon Gray, but with lots of light in the foyer, it can read "Lavender". I'm not too crazy about a 2 story foyer painted Lavender. I really want the space to have color, so white and cream are not options, but I need this color to be neutral enough and different enough to go with the other rooms. I am shying away from a gray that would be about the same "tone" as the Pigeon Gray because when the 2 walls meet, it might look odd that they are so close, but yet not the same.

So what do I do? Do I just go with this Pigeon Gray in the foyer too? Or do I try and find a charcoal color, but if I do that, maybe I should think about a dark brown like the dining room? (I don't want to do the Dior Gray in the foyer (which is the next color on the chip, it reads "deep purple" in the foyer)

I've also considered "Sweatshirt Gray (2126-40), more steel blue undertones than purple-can this be combined with the Pigeon?

My head is spinning, the painter is working 2 doors away, so I really need to figure out what to do because my time is coming sometime.

I can't figure this out. If you have paint color suggestion that would be great, or if you just have some sort of color "theory" to apply to this situation that would be great. I suppose in my head I think "resale", which isn't really even on our radar. I also suppose if we did need to sell, I could just get this foyer repainted again to something more mainstream so as not to scare away potential buyers, right?

Thanks, I'll get off the couch now, I feel a little better.

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Hi Beekeeperswife,

Hope we can help! It can be so stressful picking paint colors.

I just pulled out my BM color deck to look at your colors. I would choose another shade off that same color card for your foyer. Either sidewalk gray, tundra or even dior gray. I would get a sample of each and try them out. If your foyer is really bright, the dior might look perfect.

My SIL is a interior designer and she always uses colors off one card to make rooms blend. Also, I would not choose another similar intensity gray(sweatshirt) as it looks like you couldn't make up your mind which gray to choose. This is what my SIL told me when I choose two similar greens in my house.

It will look beautiful!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 11:03AM
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Echoing what dawnp said, I wouldn't choose a color too close to the gray you have already used. I don't have a BM fandeck, but explore the possibilities on the same strip, and consider the lighting. Try a sample area on the wall or on a piece of large posterboard.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 12:32PM
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How about black? That could be really dramatic. Or use the gray as the base color and stencil over it with the brown to get a wallpaper effect.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 12:44PM
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Today at lunch I went to see my buddy at the BM store. I don't want to use the Dior Gray in the foyer because despite it being a really nice color, it really reads Purple to me in that space. So, I went to the continuation strip, and the next darker color is "days end" 2133-30, and I asked about mixing it at 50%. He looked up the formula and said that this color does have only a very very small amount of magenta in it. So we won't know if it would work or not without actually mixing it up.

But then we got out the fan deck to look for a color that would compliment the Pigeon Gray, not look like I'm trying to match it. We looked at this one and that one "too blue, too purple" then we found "smoke gray" 2120-40, similar in tone to the dior gray, but less purple. It looks like it will work next to the chocolate brown too.

If you have a fan deck, check it out and let me know what you think.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 2:19PM
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Honestly I think that it may go purpley on you too. I'm not at home w/ my fan decks but looking at it on the monitor though.

I think that this is one of those situations where if you see the color that you think is 'it' you may want to take it down a notch. Once the color is on all 4 walls it's going to reflect any tones back on each wall and potentially intensify. Tricky situation.

Along the same saturation range but less purpley or bluey I saw Heather Gray 2139-40 and Storm Cloud Gray 2140-40. It looks like Storm Cloud Gray, is getting close to some brown ranges too.

Twilight Gray 2137-40 is also pretty.

2 tips: Hold that green color of your chairs next to the chip to see what colors it draws out of the chip. Sometimes you see big things that you never noticed before just looking at only the chip and no other color around it. It can take on a totally differnt color.

Second: Look at the neighboring color strips and cards around the color strip that you're looking at. What colors are they leaning towards? Do you like what you see? The strip that you are looking at may well have varying intensities of those colors.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 3:18PM
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ttodd, you are awesome. I'm sure I must have those other color strips at home. Soon, I will have an entire fan deck of my own, Just need to attach them together. I will look at the smoke gray when I get home next to the chair, I did just hold it next to a green 3M strip at my desk and I can see the purple in the Dior, but not in the smoke gray.

If you can look when you get home and tell me what you see IRL that would be great.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 3:33PM
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ttodd, just wanted to let you know, I don't have those paint chips at home that you recommended. But, when I look at the BM Color Viewer, I see that Heather Gray and Storm Cloud Gray are both on strips with colors with the word "green" in them. eeek, that's what I'm trying to escape from. I wish I could trust the color viewer tool more, but since I have a real sample of the Pigeon gray in front of me and it looks violet on my monitor, I'm not sure what those other 2 colors look like.

I do find the Desert Twilight to be of interest that you mentioned.

What do you think of Texas Leather AC3? Wonder if that would work. Any opinion?

Thanks, Bee

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 6:48PM
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Not so wild about the colors when I looked at the chhips IRL.

Currently I'm looking at Whitestone 2134-60 (1 strip over from Pigeon Gray) and Bunny Gray (2124-50) and Thundercloud Gray (2124-40). BG is looking a little pasteley to me though.

Colorstrip 1611 from the Classic Colors deck is very similar to the Pigeon Gray strip less a bit of purple tone. Really pretty colors there.

Smoke Embers 1466 is way warmer, still gray and the colors at the bottom of the strip seem to be going cool taupe/ brown.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 9:45AM
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thanks ttodd, I guess I'll visit my bf at the bm store again today. He usually greets me with his hands on hips and one raised eyebrow.

There are a couple of colors I want to pull in addition to those you listed, I want to see IRL Granite AF-660, Fusion AF-675, Winter Gates AC30, and Storm AF700, and HC166 Kendall Charcoal.

Here's a question you may or may not know the answer to, but since BM's samples run around $7 a pop, can I get these made at Lowes? I know their samples are much less.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 11:03AM
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Call Lowes and see if they carry the BM formulas. It's worth a shot. I stopped colormatching a few yrs. ago. I want the exct color and so many places seem to carry the formulas of other manufacturers now.

Kendall Charcoal is very pretty. I have a qt. of the lighter shade on the strip Chelsea Gray from yrs. back.

How pretty is Winter Gates?!

I've yet to actually see any of the AF colors!

Do you want to go lighter, darker or the same as Pigeon Gray?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 2:58PM
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I want to go darker! Lots of light in the 2 story foyer. I just have to keep in mind the dark chocolate dining room that is right there off of the foyer.

I bet Lowes can make up the samples, I called yesterday to really test them...remember the Pittsburgh Paint Pewter Mug at 1/2 strength idea? I was asking if they thought they could do that, she said she could try. (They have the forumla for their sample size) So if they have that formula, I'm sure they have BM, since BM has formulas in their computer for others, and so does Sears (found that out when I was looking for the MS Mercury Glass,but they only had the Lowes version)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 3:42PM
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So what would happen if you mixed the Chocolate Brown and the Pigeon Grey together as an experiment? Then try lightening it up with some white, try doubling the grey and half the chocolate, etc. Just be sure you measure and write down each time, so you know what your final mix is.

Otherwise, I would be inclined to do something dramatic in the foyer, especially if you have a lot of light. A warmer deep purple, or perhaps an olive green with a brown undertone.

Some of this, of course, depends on your flooring and furniture that will live in the space.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 11:57PM
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