Please help with my paint choice dilemma!
May 25, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hi all,
have just moved into (hence photos are haphazard!) an 1860's property and looking to update the living room (see photos attached). We love the floorboards, the wooden windows/shutters/doors etc, the existing fireplace, our red/black/white floor cushions (picked up whilst working in the middle east) and we need to keep our existing furniture (due to budget), but want to repaint and add some bold artworks to the walls.

Any ideas for colours for a new paint appreciated - don't want there to be an overarching "browness" from all the wood and beige walls. Also, think we're likely to put up relatively contemporary, bold coloured art (although I suppose we might not, if there are other options out there)

Thanks in advance!
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HI - I love the iron fireplace . Take your color cues from the pillows. Maybe paint the fireplace wall the red that's there. The rest of the walls can be Benjamin Moore " gentle cream OC-96 "a great background for art. Remember not to hang your art too high. Have you tried the two sofas in the switched spots? Find some bigger lamps for better light.
May 25, 2012 at 6:23PM     
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Thanks, I like the idea of the red wall. Would you recreate it in the other end of the room (photo 3) too, maybe between the bookshelves? Also, great point about the lamps, we're looking for some contemporary large lamps.
The photos make it look like the existing colour is grey - it's actually a moss green colour, but I have been mulling over grey, but not sure of any examples where it works with lots of wood?
May 26, 2012 at 3:48AM   
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I love simple off-white walls to set off beautiful woodwork and your bold colors and ethnic designs. They turn the focus of the room onto the art and the wood. Personally, I'd paint the whole room Benjamin Moore White Dove or a nice cream color and then celebrate having such beautiful woodwork and art!
Some examples of creams and whites with natural woodwork:
Craftsman Cottage: Open Living Spaces
Mt. Shadows
St. Simons Island, GA
May 26, 2012 at 4:51AM     
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love the space so much potential and that iron fireplace I am crazy about it. I agree the picture about the fireplace is way to high. Bigger sofa to me needs to go where the love seat is. Red accent wall sounds great
May 26, 2012 at 6:19AM   
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SPKCreative Abstract Art
Paint the fireplace wall the same shade or slightly darker than the red in your pillows like Lefty47 suggested and use the same color on the spaces between your bookshelves. Take Feeny's suggestion for a cream color on the rest of the walls--gray won't look as nice because of the shade of brown in the wood (judging from the photos, the wood seems be honey with a very strong yellow undertone)--that coordinates with the red. You can find good lighting at CSN Lighting, Lamps Plus and YLighting 9all online). For art that would look nice in your room, I recommend "Passion" and "Desire" or It's Even. If it's in your budget, you may want a more modern desk chair like and new window treatments.
May 26, 2012 at 9:46AM     
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I live in a farmhouse and just painted the walls in my dining room Benjamin Moore Decorators White. I have dark Stickley Mission furniture, colorful artwork and an oak floor. Everything in the room pops now. It's very white, very fresh. I love it. It would work well with all of the dark furniture, wood trim and color in your room.
May 27, 2012 at 3:24AM     
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I would paint all the walls a soft buttery yellow - Restoration Hardware's Butter would be perfect. New window covering in the alcove could be a roman-style roll-up blind (you can find good inexpensive ones at K-Mart) that would pick up the tones from the wood floors and shutters. Art with red, gray and yellow matting hung in a grouping over the fireplace would add a classy touch. Your current furniture needs to be re-arranged in an attractive, more intimate way. Turn red rug the long way in front of fireplace and place couches across from each other on either side of the rug. Store some of the red striped cushions. Attractive but too many. Unclutter and re-arrange the items on the shelves. Rebecca
May 27, 2012 at 5:16AM   
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Personally, I think a greeny-yellow would really liven this space up and work well with the wood and pillows. Artwork with bright colours would look awesome on it, too. My favourite green right now is Benjamin Moore's lemon freeze - we have it in our dining room/family room, and it is the happiest colour I've ever had in my home - not too bright, not too soft, cheery and soothing at the same time.
May 27, 2012 at 9:42AM   
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I would go with a taupe that leans toward olive for your walls. It goes great with that deep red as well as the wood tones and the black fireplace, and it will "hold" the time period of the space. For lighting, have period wall sconces installed; they will allow warm light without taking up floor space. For art: black frames with that red as the mat for whatever you choose -- I would choose classical art, not too large.
May 27, 2012 at 9:57AM   
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love the room, hate the dark color of the furniture. sheer curtains and some plants would make a big difference.
May 27, 2012 at 4:27PM   
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I would go w/ Benjamin Moore Gray mirage, Horizon grey, or Edgecomb gray- I get the red accent wall, but if you want bright, graphic artwork I would stick w/ neutrals.
May 27, 2012 at 7:03PM     
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When I read your comments and saw your pictures the first thing I thought was "white walls". I always suggest color but this time I think one of the recommended soft whites (think yellow undertones instead of blue undertones) with the red accent walls would be amazing. I would look for an earthy red (there's the yellow undertone again), something rich that every time you look at it you smile.

Curtains on the "office" side: I would look for a pattern that hints at a stripe effect in a color similar to your final wall color choice. Just enough to add texture in a color that will not contrast too much, which will let that end feel a bit more spacious.
May 27, 2012 at 10:29PM   
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Bella Designs
I would definitley consider 2 shades of gray with red accent. Your new art will look fab!
May 28, 2012 at 6:44AM   
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Ok, I am just going to say it - I think a purple mauve - I know it sounds crazy but this color with red - is wonderful. Sherwin Williams color called Mauve Finery is a soft muted purple almost a heather. It looks great with red and the dark colors of the existing furniture and the orange/gold tones of the wood. I know ... I just had to say it!
June 16, 2012 at 8:56PM   
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