No Fail Paint Color Pairings!! (Part 1-Cool Color Palette)

It is hard to get paint wrong when dealing with gray and beige.  Yet, one should not limit oneself to gray and beige alone.  Color is the fastest way to give any room a lift! Below are some NO FAIL color schemes to add interest to your rooms.  Every great paint palette consists of a dark , medium , light and pop of color.  With any of these palettes, the colors can all be used as paint applications. However, most of the time two to three paint colors are used and the other colors are brought in through furniture and accessories using these pops color.  As with any changes you make to your home, know thyself!  If your threshold for color is low, stick to the schemes in the first half of this post.  What you wear is a great indicator for your color threshold.  Take a look in your closet.  If you own very neutral (black included) clothing and very little color or pattern, you probably have a low threshold for color.  If you are looking to dip your toes in the “color pond”, start simple by adding only one pop of color to your room.  Painting (and wallpapering) the ceiling is one of my favorite design tricks for adding interest to any room.  However, I would recommend starting a little less ambitiously by keeping dark or accent colors to the bottom half of the room.

Part 1 of this post deals with the color schemes using cool colors such as gray, beige, blues and pinks.  It is impossible to get it wrong with these schemes.  At the end of the post, I will showcase a few bolder palettes for those of you who are more daring.  All of the paints used in the first part of this post are Benjamin Moore colors.

In the room below, the throw pillows and blanket are the dark color, the headboard features the medium color, the walls are the light color and the pillows and bench showcase the pop of color.

paint palette gray pink beige


This paint palette features Chelsea Gray as the dark color, Waynesboro as the medium Taupey color, Muslin as the light, fresh color and Melrose Pink as the pop of color.

This next palette showcases white, gray and blue.  The first room is a bold look that uses the pop of color liberally.  Painting the ceiling using the accent color creates major drama and visual interest.  The second room uses a softer palette with the pop of blue used on the pillows, art and ottoman.  The deep color is used on the rug to anchor the room, and the light color is used on the wall.

Beige, Navy, Gray and Pink Palette


Below is a gray, beige, cream and yellow paint palette. In these rooms, the pops of color are featured using accessories.



For the more daring, here are some pairings from BHG that will really take any room up a few notches.  Notice that all of the colors used are the same intensity.  Choose one color to serve as the main “anchor” color, and use the others as accents and pops to add visual interest.

A caveat to using a really bold color palette like the ones above is that any contiguous rooms should feature a neutral more subdued palette.  In addition, those rooms should have accessories which feature a few of the colors in your bold color room to create coherence.  There is nothing worse than every room featuring a different bold color.  It should never look as though Crayola had too many RBVs  and came home and vomited all over your home……..not good!!  Choose colors like Muslin and Carlisle Cream for the rooms that lead into your bolder rooms.

Next up is Part 2 of this post: Paint Color Schemes using warm colors.  STAY TUNED!!!  Let me know if there are any colors that you have been dying to use, and need help pairing with other colors.

Thanks for reading!

xo Laurie

2016 Paint Color Trends!

Picking paint colors has always been the number one request I get as a designer.  People get very nervous committing to a color from 1×2 paint chip.  It is also nerve-wracking knowing that the same color can look very different in two different homes, during different times of the day or whether it is on sheet rock or plaster.  In addition, choosing a palette for one’s home where one room flows seamlessly to the next,  while having each room still maintain its own identity can be challenging.  One’s threshold for color also plays a role in what color one chooses.

Below are the color trend reports for 2016 from the three largest paint companies; Benjamin Moore, Behr and Sherwin Williams.

Below is the 2016 paint palette for Benjamin Moore:

The Benjamin Moore palette is my favorite of all three palettes.  I love the muted quality in this whole palette.   Most of these colors have gray and black undertones.  Also, the colors in the palette on the right share similar color values and intensity.  Therefore, it will be very easy to mix and match these colors.

Below is the 2016 paint palette for Behr:


Behr 2016 Paint Palette

Behr 2016 Paint Palette

The Behr palette has a very deep and moody tone to it.  I would use this palette in rooms that get a lot of natural light, or in rooms with very high ceilings.  I love the Charcoal Plum, Opus, Black Pearl, Pagoda and Fifth Olive-nue in this palette.

Here are Sherwin Williams’ Paint Trend Palettes for 2016:

My personal favorites are the entire Pura Vida Palette, as well as the Naval and Backdrop from the Nouveau Narrative palette.  I think Sherwin Williams was hedging their bets a bit by including just about every color under the sun this year 😉

All three palettes feature colors that are very muted and have gray and black undertones.  After many years of beige and gray, this is a very safe way to get people to dip their toe back in the “color pond”.

However, by far, the overwhelming consensus is that 2016 is White’s year to shine!!  White, and all of its shades is being touted at the “it’ color.  Benjamin Moore listed its Simply White as the Color Of The Year for 2016, and  Sherwin Williams listed Alabaster as their Color Of The Year for 2016

My interpretation of these color trend palettes is that people will keep their walls light and bright (think anything in the Pura Vida palette) and use the bolder colors as accents on walls, furniture, pillows and accessories.  I think bold colored painted furniture in hues of fuchsia, yellow and blue will be big for the next few years.

The pictures below illustrate the look of light bright walls with bold accents, beautifully.

2016 Color trends pic -cortinas-amarelas-1

Image via The Fab Guide

Image via Popsugar

Image via Popsugar

2016 Color Trends Maria Barros

Image via Maria Barros

Next up is paint color pairings for walls, accent walls, furniture and MORE!!!…….stay tuned!!!

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations for future posts.

xo Laurie

Tackling Tween Boys!

Tween boys (and Men) are pretty superficial in the sense that there is not a lot of depth in their hobbies and interests.   Their needs are fairly easy to meet.  Most conversations vacillate between sports, food & the ability to burp the alphabet.  One usually does not need to wonder what subtext lies beneath their words. My husband insists that all of these reason are exactly why Men are happier than Women.  I disagree (this is for another post 🙂

When boys are young, the colors used are mostly pastel blue, yellow and green.  The palette I use for tween boys is muted and warm with lots of gray and black undertones.  Also, the hues are richer in color than the ones I use for tween girls.  Tween boys rooms can be just as much fun to create as girls rooms; however, the SAME themes keep emerging; sports, superheros (I amazed by this theme’s longevity) & sports again!! I love the rock & roll theme, the surfer theme and the campy man cave theme (what guy doesn’t love a gilded deer head hanging on his wall?)

Since sports themes are by far the most requested, I created a baseball theme for this post.  Ok, I would like to first state: For the love of all that is holy, PLEASE DO NOT PAINT YOUR SON’S WALLS IN HIS FAVORITE TEAM’S COLORS!!!! I know it sounds like a good idea, but it is not.  These colors might look good on a uniform, but they do not look good on walls.  It is very easy to incorporate team colors in a variety of ways that will let all those who enter know what team your son is a fan of.  The key is to use paint to establish the base, and then add colors and accessories to establish the theme.  Below, I listed my favorite color schemes for tween boys rooms.  I listed the main paint color, a coordinating accent wall color, ceiling and trim color and any other applicable accent colors (either used through paint or accessories).

Below, I created a baseball themed room.  The palette is gray, navy & white with brown and red accents.  Since the colors are muted in the room I added a lot of texture to add depth.  I added a chenille rug, faux fur throw pillow, distressed leather desk and accent chair knit pouf and galvanized metal on the locker style desk and night table.  The brown is repeated on the vintage bats hung over the bed, the distressed leather chairs & the hardwood floors.  The red accents are picked up in the locker, pouf, pendant lights, throw pillow, art, and bedding. The striped euro shams (I repeat stripes on the throw pillow) and zig-zag drapes added a much-needed pattern. I framed the Yankees and MLB logos to add some “art”, and I added the decal between the vintage bats. I am a huge fan of decals (any more than two is serious overkill).  This is such a fun and easy way to add team spirit without commitment.  When you are done with it, just peel it off.

A REALLY, REALLY important element that I add to ALL sports themed room are vintage accessories.  This is the element that keeps this room looking stylish and well done!!!  I can not stress this enough. It is the juxtaposition of the new and old that makes this look successful.  The internet has a vast selection of vintage accessories.  Although I couldn’t fit it in this frame, I added gray wire cubby type shelving on the left for storage (they are from Land of Nod) to add to the vintage vibe.  As I stated in my last post, I really like to add visual tension in the rooms I design.  I did this here by adding the single red locker and the zigzag drapes (which is an unexpected pattern to use in this themed room).

Tween Boy's Room

Tween Boy’s Room

So here are a few tips on successfully creating a themed tween boys room:

  1. Keep colors muted.  You can create interest by painting accent walls or painting the ceiling (which looks amazing in boy’s rooms)
  2. Try not to match every piece of furniture.  I used the galvanized locker style on the desk and night table.  I would NOT also use a locker style dresser.  I would have used a painted gray dresser that coordinated with the bed.
  3. Play with texture.  The texture is more interesting to the eye than color.
  4. Add an unexpected pattern as I did with the zigzag drapes.
  5. Add cubby type storage.  Boys will shove things on or under anything they can.  Cubbies (hopefully) keep things off the floor.

The nice thing about this design is that should he decide he doesn’t want a sports theme anymore, you take the wall decor down and the bedding and this can easily be a skater, ski, or man cave theme.  Also, your son can take the desk, night table & locker to college, and only the bedding and wall decor need to be swapped out to make this a great guest room.

Kid’s rooms are so fun to create!!  Let me know what themes you would like me to create, and I will post on it.  Message me if you would like to know where I got these pieces.

XO Laurie