How to work with fireplace and mixed cherry floors?
kruisey
April 17, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Our floors are a mix wood colour, primarily cheery wood, we have a big grey stone fireplace and also have a few dark wood beams in the house, like you see on the fireplace. We would like to paint the open area and hallway a neutral colour, as I want to keep it feeling open, airy and clean. We are also going for a country cozy feel. I'm thinking to use an off-white colour, so it's not competing with the fireplace or dark floors. Our couches are also "stadium ivory", so not white white, more of a creamy white. I wanted to paint "creamy white" from benjamin moore. My thing is, will this clash with the ivory/white cream couch or make them appear yellowy? I plan to add accent colours and texture in time... I really didn't want to go dark just to accent the couches.. anything daker than white is too much for me given the fireplace and dark flooring and dark beams... do you think "creamy white" by benjamin moore will do?

Also, do you think I may end up having to paint the fireplace? I feel it doesn't flow with the floors that much, like they should have picked a wood that was in the fireplace stone... Feel so torn.. need ideas and help!
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Ann
I wouldn't paint the fireplace and I might consider a warm gray paint (not too dark).
April 17, 2013 at 1:36pm     
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grout4cake
The floor looks great with with the mantelpiece.Do not paint those beautiful rocks.!
Considering that your fireplace is stone , how about a light gray or tan, hopefully with enough of a hue to make your beautiful white furniture pop.Then add some accent pillows.
April 17, 2013 at 1:45pm     
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Ed
kruisey, I actually like your current colors in your photo. Nice wood floor. We also use a similar wall paint as in your photo, maybe 50% lighter. :)
April 17, 2013 at 1:46pm   
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kruisey
Thanks guys! This is what it would look like with the "creamy white" by benjamin moore. I did it on their site.. I tried a few darker colours but I felt like there was too much going on.. i feel like it has to very light walls, no?
April 17, 2013 at 1:54pm     
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studio10001
This is something you are going to have to test to know for sure. The changing light throughout the day will have an effect on the paint color - something we can't second guess via monitor.
The fireplace is beautiful . Gloss poly on the mantel will draw out more of the gold glow seen in the floor, but will sacrifice texture. Homogeny is not an improvement in this regard.
April 17, 2013 at 1:54pm   
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leelee
Your couch is nice and the floors look great and I like the stone fireplace and mantel. Paint the walls a lightish grey which won't clash with the floors or sofa but will pick up the gray tones in the fireplace. Re-do your mantel using something interesting and fun. That mantel could really be gorgeous. Also, what is the blue I see on the hearth? Is it the hearth itself or a cushion? Think about an small area rug under a coffee table.
April 17, 2013 at 1:55pm   
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leelee
Don't like the creamy white look.
April 17, 2013 at 1:57pm   
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Ann
I agree - not the creamy white. Try a light to medium gray (on the BM site) if you have the time and please post it.
April 17, 2013 at 2:04pm   
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PRO
Tawna Allred Interiors
I really like the idea of a soft gray as well! Here is a photo of an office I designed (before it was finished, of course). The interior wall was a navy blue, and all the outer walls were a light gray with a purple undertone. Trim was a warm white (sorry I can't remember the name of the gray)! The gray had a purple undertone, which I think would work well with your cherry floors. Always sample in real life though! Leave your rock unpainted. I think you can paint over brick, but not natural rock. Good luck!
April 17, 2013 at 2:34pm     
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kruisey
The creamy white is actually a very soft grey too.. the picture I uploaded doesn't do it justice. Here's a picture of the sample of it... see how it has more of a grey-ish tinge to it? We just moved into this house, so we haven't gotten all new furniture yet. There is a baby safety cushion around the hearth right now.
April 17, 2013 at 3:57pm   
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Ann
Try more of a gray color than that and not that light. More like Tawna's picture.
April 17, 2013 at 4:27pm   
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dianahb
I haven't read every post, so I'm sorry if I'm repeating things here. But I LOVE the fireplace and those floors-- so beautiful. Never paint that fireplace.

One paint color that I mentioned on another discussion-- I seem to be mentioning it a lot, but it's such a great color-- is Ben Moore's Wind's Breath. It's a beige/gray-- with no undertones of anything except beige and gray. I used it in a bathroom, and really love it. It looks good in all lights. Not too dark and not too light-- it's a really nice color that would go well with both your floors and the fireplace. I can see why you don't like the current wall color; it looks quite yellow on my screen and doesn't mesh well with the cooler fireplace stone (my opinion).
April 17, 2013 at 4:43pm   
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leelee
That creamy white seems to have a lot of yellow undertones so I'd stay away and lean toward a gray-beige that won't detract from your great sofa. You could go even one step darker gray--just a small shift to a little bit more gray and really make the couch pop.
April 17, 2013 at 6:02pm   
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kruisey
Ya I see what you guys are saying with the grey, but I really wanted to go for a neutral, close to white so I can accent with any colour, especially red or country-ish colours. As soon as I go more gray I feel like my accent colours would clash, grey is more modern too me. I wanted to go for more pottery barn clean airy white look.. and accent with white picture frames and such.. I dunno I guess I just have to play around. Thanks so much for your advice everyone. :)
April 18, 2013 at 5:04am     
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dianahb
Well, check out Ben Moore's Wind's Breath. I really think you might like it. I'll see if I can attach it. You could get a sample, and see what you think. It might mesh really well with the fireplace stone. I used it, and it's a color that seems to go well with anything-- but a bit more complex than white. And it's not as tan as it's showing up on my screen here, either. It's just an interesting neutral color with no weird undertones.

It's similar to what you uploaded, I think, though when I look at those two together-- yours has more of a pink(?) undertone to me, rather than gray. But they are similar. So hard to tell onscreen. I understand what you mean by wanting a neutral, though.
April 18, 2013 at 5:12am   
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leelee
My home is traditional and the walls are a taupe/gray and it definitely doesn't look modern. Since you want to go toward white, I would take small cushion from the couch to the paint store and have a paint matched to it. That way you won't have any undertones of a color that would make your sofa look yellow. Since your couch looks fine with both the floors and the fireplace then you should be able to expand on your PB look. I hope your brain is quietly thinking of mantel ideas?
April 18, 2013 at 5:23am     
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kruisey
I don't know what to put on the mantel yet... that stuff in the picture is just birthday cards and a house warming flower gift... we just moved in so I threw that stuff up there.. it's all down now... I was thinking maybe an antiquey picture in a frame, leaning up against the fireplace, not hung.. gives it a relaxed look maybe..
April 18, 2013 at 5:28am     
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michigammemom
I hope you won't paint your split stone fireplace. Choose a putty hued wall color that echoes the tones found in your stone. Keep in mind that you will most likely add an area rug which will help your fireplace to "flow" with your floors.
April 18, 2013 at 5:35am     
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brody1313
Love your fireplace, floors and white furniture.....definitely the walls need to change......keep Pottery Barn as your guide and it will be great...........try the white on white look and if it does not work do the gray, its just paint....and elbow grease.........good luck..........
April 18, 2013 at 5:42am     
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kruisey
You guys are so helpful, wow! First time on this site, thank you very much. I didn't want to pain the fireplace, that really scared me, but a family member mentioned it, and I'm the type of person who listens to everyone and considers what everyone has to say... but I didn't want to paint it, thank god you guys agree.
April 18, 2013 at 5:46am   
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aimran
how about a rug? towards the fireplace side so that fp-wood clash is minimized. try fabrics at home as a replacement for mockup
nice sofa, nice floors!
April 18, 2013 at 5:50am     
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kruisey
Yep, totally getting one of those... thinking a light colour again, and thinking one of those old railway cart coffee tables would look sharp there.
April 18, 2013 at 5:52am   
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dianahb
Great photo michigammemom posted. Take a look at the surrounding wall color; against the fireplace and the white moldings-- looks great. Nice composition of items on the mantel, too.
April 18, 2013 at 5:53am     
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kruisey
michigammemom - I was looking at your picture again, it looks great, but I think it's a different style than I'm going for. I attached a picture of the feel I'm going for, more of a lighter feel. Since my fireplace is a bit darker, the floors are dark, if I do the walls any daker, like in your photo, I feel like I'll lose the light airy country feel I'm going for.. they're so much heaviness in the room already... I tested a paint colour that was more simliar to that and feels so dark already..I just don't want to sacrifice the light white feeling I'm going for just for this big stone fireplace... darker would look nice too but it changes what i want.. if that makes any sense..
April 18, 2013 at 6:28am     
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leelee
Love the look!
April 18, 2013 at 6:31am   
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decoenthusiaste
Maybe your "creamy" white should have blue, not yellow, undertones. That way it won't be in harsh contrast to the grey in your FP stone and hearth. It will also work better with your white sofas. Do you remember the old trick of adding "bluing" to the wash? It was to enhance whites whiter and the trick still works, even with paint.
April 18, 2013 at 6:36am   
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dianahb
It looks like you get a lot of great light in that room already, so it doesn't translate as dark to me. The photo that you show above-- while painted white, this room has innumerable french doors and windows-- it's completely open to the outside, with white beamed ceilings as well.

You might also take a look at their wall color in the pic you posted. It is NOT white; in fact, it's a taupe-tan/gray. It's the white trim that stands out-- and all those french doors that make it airy-- well, that and the white rug and white furniture.

You have a gorgeous room, though. I would exploit the inviting warmth and coziness of this room by not trying to make it something it isn't. You can keep it airy and light with wall color and furnishings, but painting the walls white would be a mistake, in my opinion, and detract from what you have here..

One thing I would do in this room, and it will make a big difference-- the white molding around the window to the left there looks insufficient (visually). I don't know what all your other moldings in the house look like, but you might think about having a carpenter make some wider, more substantial looking window/door moldings. That's getting into a whole other thing, but having wide white moldings can make a difference, too.
April 18, 2013 at 6:38am   
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michigammemom
kruisey, the wood beamed ceiling and darker furnishings definitely give the photo I posted a less airy look, but to my eye the BM Creamy White is too yellow for your stone...perhaps you could find a less saturated putty color that will complement your stone as well as satisfy your desire for a sunny room.
April 18, 2013 at 6:39am   
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decoenthusiaste
Another vote for blue undertones, not yellow, from michigammemom.
April 18, 2013 at 6:42am     
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kruisey
We are replacing the windows too, since it's an older home. Great tip on using a thicker trim around the window, makes sense since the window is so big, needs the right balance. It's so hard for me to see the yellow undertone in the creamy white? I have a test sample on the wall, and it looks very light grey to me.. I'm not an expert though. Gee this is so hard...
April 18, 2013 at 6:48am   
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kruisey
Okay, I'm probably going to confuse myself more... but I just took pictures of the sample paint we did last night.. the lighter is the "creamy white" I keep talking about, and the darker is "natural linen". Both by BM. I know it's hard to tell against the old yellow paint and in a picture, but just to show you guys... Just a reminder that I want to use this colour throughout the main part of the house and dining room, so I want to like the colour in other rooms too. I love the creamy white against the white wainscoting in the dining room... please ignore the random TV and stuff, we just moved in so things are just thrown everywhere...
April 18, 2013 at 7:01am   
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decoenthusiaste
I think you'll do better to test the paint on a white poster board - leaving a border of the white to help see the color purely. Then move it around to all the rooms and watch as the light changes on it. Just by looking at the two colors with the FP they both seem to work in the living room. You do know that you can have that paint tinted a bit differently for each room if you want. I think the darker shade on the right of the FP will enhance the sofas more and provide the right contrast with your white wainscot in the DR.
April 18, 2013 at 7:15am     
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curlycook
I wish I could see the samples in relation to your floors, but I vote natural linen. It seems to have more presence against the stone and floor, and contrast with the white wainscot and couch. Beautiful home!!!!!
April 18, 2013 at 7:16am   
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Ann
Of the two, I like the natural linen much better.
April 18, 2013 at 7:54am   
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kruisey
Sorry I didn't get the floor, I should have. For me the natural linen doesn't match the floor, it has kinda of purple/grey tone to it that clashes with the redish wood flooring.. i think it looks better with the fireplace... but the creamy white works better with the floor cause it's lighter and kinda has that creamy tone to it which goes better with red/brown floor.. I guess I have everyone's input now, just up to me now.. thanks again.
April 18, 2013 at 9:19am   
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studio10001
Guys, I'm a little concerned about swaying kruisey one way or the other on this: she (?) has said a few times that she really likes the pale shade, and she can watch the effect throughout the day - we're all looking at a snippet of time on our monitors. There isn't a bad choice here, and either can be balanced through furnishings. Best if she looks at it awhile and goes with her gut on this one, don't we agree?
April 18, 2013 at 9:26am     
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kruisey
Awww thanks studio10001. :) I appreciate everyone's input, I really do. I think both are nice.
April 18, 2013 at 9:46am   
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leelee
kruisey, as long as the creamy white doesn't make your sofa look off colored then go for it! In the first & second pictures you showed creamy white and on my screen it looks like it has a tinge of yellow but maybe it's not like that in reality. How about a collection of birdhouses for your mantel?
April 18, 2013 at 9:56am   
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Ann
It does seem like kruisey has her mind made up about paint color. Probably not worth posting as a discussion if your mind is already made up. It sounds like most would go a different direction with paint, but it isn't our house. On the other hand, it also sounds like the great fireplace won't be painted and, if so, the discussion was quite worthwhile.
April 18, 2013 at 10:58am   
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kruisey
leelee - I find the creamy white actually makes the couch look whiter and brighter, now that I see it on the wall... when I look at the darker colour I find my eyes go to the wall, and not the couch.. I think that's my whole thing here, I don't want the walls to stand out, I want my furniture and fireplace to catch your eye, not a darker wall. I loved hearing all your input, this site is great! I think we'll try the creamy white and who knows, if it needs to change we'll change it down the road.
April 18, 2013 at 12:37pm     
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leelee
Sounds like you've made a good decision...please post finished room.
April 18, 2013 at 2:14pm   
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