kris_bruesehoff

Whole house color scheme help

Kris Bruesehoff
last month
last modified: last month

We are looking ar painting most of the interior of our home. Most of the rooms flow from one area to the next so I would like to develop a unified plan - yet still have some variety between areas. I think this would be easier in a new home but we do have some limitations with exsisting floors, trim and cabinet colors. Any advice on where to start?





Kitchen is on the main floor with cabinets (sw black fox???) with the light wood flooring throughout. We did repaint the library to SW Naval - which I love and do want to use as accent color for main floor.

Wall out level has the light maple bar and the shown carpet and flooring which will stay for now. There is an open stairway between the two which is why a cohesive plan is important. Trim is a creamy white everywhere.



Comments (63)

  • Jennifer Hogan
    5 days ago

    Couple of suggestions for sampling colors


    Buy a pad of 240 lb watercolor paper

    Prime one wall or section of wall

    Paint your samples on the watercolor paper

    Hang the watercolor paper on the primed wall and look at no more than 2 at a time.


    Painting samples over your existing color makes you compare the color to the existing color.


    Colors don't play alone, they play with the other colors in their space.


    If one of the other colors won't be there you don't want to see how they play together.


    The color in the middle of each block of color is the same color.




  • Kris Bruesehoff
    5 days ago

    I’ll pick up a sample on Tuesday! And add it to my collection. Lol

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  • Jennifer Hogan
    5 days ago

    everdebz - I love color and am prone to doing brighter than most other people, but I picked Austere Gray because next to the tan carpet it does go green, but this is a huge space and if she goes too green it may be overwhelming and overtake the blues that she loves and wants as accents.


    My basement is going to be done with dark taupe on the cement walls and iguana green on the drywall and pipes. The art I have is all Rain forest inspired and it will be wildly bright against the dark taupe, but I don't think that is the aesthetic Kris is wanting.

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    5 days ago

    It’s actually a cool green/grey. Looks warmer in this picture.

    I think it’s fairly close to what is there now actually, which I don’t mind.


  • everdebz
    5 days ago

    But fun in mind, why grey ??? why not a color with bit of grey... ;)

  • Jennifer Hogan
    5 days ago

    it is really tough to do this stuff over the internet as every computer renders colors differently, but I am thinking something like SW Austere Gray.

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    5 days ago

    Ill try some lighter greens then? Something that looks good with the carpet and bar.

    The one furthest from the bar is a soft green but it’s not great with the carpet.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    5 days ago

    My personal opinion is that the Navy/Cream/White colors are beautiful, but also quite formal. In addition to that, natural light is what makes whites come alive, so I would most likely continue the blue's and creams as accents with the beige carpet and gray green walls. I think the gray greens will help tie the blues and beige's together. Mother nature loves green and she is the best color coordinator ever!

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    5 days ago

    Thank you for ideas on TV wall. We definitely need to do something there. I kind of like the wood shelves and built in lighting... especially if it brought the wood from the bar to that part of the room. It might unify he space?

    I agree on new pillows to carry those colors throughout- especially with a bit more vibrancy like Jennifer showed above.

    do you think carrying the same wall color that we did in the living room is a good idea for these walls? Or would you go something else?

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    5 days ago

    Yes we do need more lighting and tables in the lower level. I have considered purchasing new table and lamp for the upstairs and bringing that table down. I did put a sofa table with lamps behind the couch after these pictures were taken which has helped.

    We rarely use the space through the arches- it’s a big home for two of us and that room is quite dark. Previous owners used as workout space.

    We don’t have to paint the game room.. but are open to doing so if it makes it easier to make better overall results. We do have to paint everything that’s currently green as we can’t match that paint and did some patching on the walls.

  • auntthelma
    6 days ago

    If you replace the pillows in the family room with navy, white and beige, it Goes with your favorite colors without replacing the furniture.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    6 days ago

    Some other examples for your TV wall - using color to tie the TV wall and sofa space together.


    Roxton · More Info


    Homefield Road · More Info



    Love this except for the purple - my brain is bothered and my eyes are searching for purple somewhere else.

    Gold Coast Condo · More Info


  • Jennifer Hogan
    6 days ago

    You can bring color in through art, pillows, vases, area carpets.


    I would get rid of the large piece under the TV and replace it with something smaller and simple.


    This is a great example of a designer who started with a whole home color palette to create harmony. Not every color is used in every room, but the same colors are found throughout the home.





  • everdebz
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    I think you need more floor/ table lamps.

    Does nearby game room have windows high up? I don't think you said paint needed there, but would that help in the 'big picture' ? if this room gets sun, and looks ok, is there a bigger need there, for a bright-medium color...

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Walkout faces west., good light but not too bright as there is a porch above the windows.

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    6 days ago

    I tried to show spaces in the quick drawing on notepaper. The tv space is adjacent to the pool table,( which is behind the brown leather recliner... with the bar just around the corner . Through the arched opening on the right is another room where we have table for cards and other games. Photo was taken at Christmas but hope it gives you a better idea.


  • everdebz
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Is walkout basement sunny? is nearby game room? How do people use the rooms - is there back and forth?

    does it work to move the tv away from ga1me room.... just questions.... tv in the game room instead?

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    More pics..






    the length of the room is 35 feet and the width is 12.5 ( not including the Lshape bump where the bar is.

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    Sorry... I should have been more specific.

    Upper level has the new paint, wood floors throughout. Living With the fireplace, dining and kitchen, all open to each other. If it matters ... Adjacent rooms- master suite is a light grey blue, public bath is grey/green library is Naval. Guest suite is a medium green/cream. my biggest concern with this level is what to do with fireplace wall. Do I put mirror or new artwork over fireplace and leave marble and shelves or replace marble and add wood shelf and mantles. Also debating on new coffee table? always open to recommendations and opinions.

    Lower walk out level is what I still need to pick paint color for., need to keep the carpet for now. it has the tan couches that need to stay... the pool table and bar area are adjacent, as well as a seperate room for other games behind the arches. I’m considering all these areas should be same color ( it needs to work with the pearly white as stairway is open.) current color is pewter tankard.

    My studio is through the French doors - mostly neutral colors. Also on other side are two more bedrooms and baths which are currently same green... and can wait a bit to paint. We are trying to decide what to do with the tv wall opposite the couch.

    I don’t mind the bar all the same ... but wouldn’t object to adding a pop with new stools or painting these.

    Funny you asked about sports... every house we looked at here had Green and Gold.... we are huge Futbal fans but can’t display colors as there is not family agreement and I’m not about to inspire the smack talk.

    ‘I’ll try and get a floor plan with measurements...

    I need to apologize as I do have other posts on some of these issues, I realize now that isn’t appropriate, but not sure how to reign it in at this point. I don’t want to delete them as I do look back at the good advice- and I failed at trying to delete one of them anyway.

    Im sorry so long winded but hope that info is helpful.

  • everdebz
    7 days ago

    It's personal: to you, does the bar having the same wood/stain seem too much, too plain? if so, maybe the stools could be chalk painted, an accent color chosen for FR too. Even a bright color.... does family like sports?

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    7 days ago

    Here is family room and bar which is adjacent to pool table shown above ... open for suggestions but need to keep couch and loveseat, carpet, bar and Tv.



  • Kris Bruesehoff
    7 days ago

    ohhh i love that middle one you posted for downstairsJennifer.! But I have exsisting carpet, and furniture to deal with.

    I did consider painting the back to the shelves in Naval for the living room like you showed everdebz..or just changing cream shelves to wood. I figured I’d plan what to do with fireplace first then decide if it needs more. What do you think?


  • everdebz
    8 days ago

    Anybody have a theme? could be incorporated - houzz has cool ideas - here's stencil on ceiling -

    Boys Nautical Nursery · More Info


  • Jennifer Hogan
    8 days ago

    Keep using navy and white, but now you need to add other colors in, make the family room fun and inviting, less formal, but don't abandon the core concept.







  • Kris Bruesehoff
    8 days ago




  • Kris Bruesehoff
    8 days ago

    I just want to thank everyone that shared advice and color knowledge. Marylee your color info was helpful and very interesting and Patricia, I so appreciate your advice both here and in other threads you commented on. Jennifer your posts gave me the confidence to move forward with my white choice as Navy and white have always been my favorite combination and now it is on trend as well!

    I did study all the colors, both online and in the house. I thought I’d come up with whole house color scheme but realized I needed to make a start somewhere and went with doing the upstairs public spaces. I ended up doing pearly white at 115% as it contrasts well with the Naval in the library and my navy rug. It is a crisp enough white that it looks good (I think) with the black fox cabinets and tones down the orange of the floors and the fireplace tiles. Its neutral enough that I am hoping it’s easy to coordinate with for the transition space.

    Next step is figuring out the family/bar/game room color.


  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    In the home I purchased and am renovating there is a slate entry that is open to the main living area of the home.





    Here is a photo of some of the things that I own that make my heart sing . . .




    This is my color selection for my whole home color palette. ( My neutral was just a bit off and I have tweaked it slightly - just a bit lighter than what is in the picture).




    This is everything together:

    It isn't today's White on white trend or yesterday's gray or a the colors from any other decade. It is the timeless, personal color palette that will bring me joy every day for the next 20 years.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    I have a different method of picking whole home color palettes.


    Most of us don't live in perfectly designed, photo shopped homes, we have things that we own that we love and are not willing to part with and things that we simply can't afford to change.


    I start with the fundamental belief that your home should reflect your personality and bring you joy. Colors are very personal. We associate happy memories with the colors that were present when we experienced the happiness. This is not just something we imagine, we actually have an increase in the level of dopamine released when we experience colors we love.


    Gather the things in your home that bring you joy. You usually see a pattern pretty quickly. You love greens and gold with orange, or you love purples or blues or burgundy. There are one or two colors that you are drawn to and keep buying.


    Gather some of these things together. Walk through your home and gather color samples of the things that must stay.


    Get a fan deck or gather a ton of paint swatches from home depot or your paint store.


    Take all of the samples outside on a clear day at about 2:00 in the afternoon - best lighting to see all the nuances in color. Having a large table with a white cover works best for this exercise.


    Lay the things that must stay out in the order in which you will see them as you walk through your home.


    Play with the colors that you love. Lay them around the things that must stay - what colors work well with what must stay? Where can you incorporate those colors? Will it be wall color or bedding or accents or art?


    Do the colors you have selected work together as you go from room to room?


    Once you have the colors chosen it is time to pick a neutral. The neutral will tie all the colors together and allow the colors to sing. It is the backdrop for your colors.


    Last step is to pick a white that works with your neutral and colors.






  • Susan Davis
    last month
    last modified: last month

    We bought an old house when we lived in Chicago and needed color help. I hired a designer who made great paint this room this color suggestions and the house looked amazing.....best money I ever spent because I loved everything we decided on and never looked back. Well worth the money spent. And I have worked with Ethan Allen designers but have only bought odds and ends things from them.....ie. looking for specifics and got the paint advice along the way....

  • Kathleen K
    last month

    I am sure that carpet color changes alot from your photos through Houzz and my monitor too. At least it is not the nasty white shag we had to live with for too long. ( Well it was cream that did go with everything except my 3 kids and pets.)

    You might get lucky and find an old paint can in the garage that might be the color of of your trim. ( yeah we inherit some interesting things in our shed from previous owners.) You could test a bunch paint chips to find the closest shade, then have paint store match it. I have learned to save those lids with the color info.

    Area rugs can hide the carpet and even bring out the color flecks that you do want. The accent colors of your rugs, pillows and curtains will draw you eye away from the carpet.

    I agree about travel, but this year is looking a long staycation.....

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    last month

    Patricia

    I wish I could replace the carpet in the family room... and for that matter the flooring everywhere as well as the kitchen cabinet color. However, we are not in a position to do that financially (Id rather put extra money to travel when we get through all this), nor do I think replacing them at this time is a wise choice for the environment ( which is why I asked how to aproach color with the existing issues). And I do need to repaint as we had to patch the walls in the family room.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last month

    IMO all the chroma, LV are all pretty useless in choosing colors . A color either works or not in YOUR space no matter what those levels are. I would leave all the painting until I replaced that carpet with wood to match the rest next to it. That carpet has a huge effect on color choice and not in a good way.

  • Marylee H
    last month

    Yep! And more! Take a look at easyrgb.com .

    Check out the short videos on YouTube by Lori Sawaya The Land of Color.

    (there’s a band by the same name, just to confuse)

    She will talk you through how to retrieve the info you nee from the website.

    Once you get your head around the process you will be hooked!


    Should you prefer someone else to interpret the measured data for you, you can send the results to a Colour Strategist like me! (But I guess with your background you will be happy to fly with it! 🌈)


    My Instagram account is the_glassroom, so you can see how I interpret & use such data.

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    last month

    Not overwhelming, actually quite interesting, and a bit of a flash back to art class color theory in school like Kathleen mentioned.

    I will take a look at Color Muse.

    Once I know what Hue family I want is there a place to see the various SW colors that fall in that range? Similar to a reverse white pages search, lol?


  • Marylee H
    last month

    P.s. Sorry if I overwhelm! but there is an efficient way of knowing what all those colours are and how they fit. See the Color Muse on Amazon approx $55. It connects to your phone and takes colour measurements. It will give you the Hue Angle for everything. That’s how the rug/Sofa/chair were plotted on the Color Wheel near the top. It’s like taking a snapshot.

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    last month

    Thanks Kathleen. I’m starting with the main floor ( the dark photo posted above. Which has the black fox cabinets and the goldish wood floor. so at least here I don’t have to worry about the carpet. I wish I knew what the trim color was. Don’t you think it would be a good idea if every house came with a book for all improvements done and it’s sources?

    After I pick the main public areas I will need to tie in that carpet and furniture in...with maybe a bit cozier shade In the family room. The carpet is such a chameleon... it’s got several shades to it.

    I do appreciate your advice on it seeming too stark initially... I’ll try to remember that when they start painting!

  • Kathleen K
    last month

    Fascinating information Marylee. It is kind of a scientific digitizing of what I learned in Color Theory classes in college and most of that by experimentation which used a lot paint.


    Kris I can relate to the struggle of dealing with previous owner's "poor choices" as we say in education. My advice from that would be coordinate with the colors you are stuck with in carpeting, cabinets and counters. Also consider your furniture and especially the lighting of the room. It looks like you have nice warm toned furniture and cool grey carpet that will be tricky to tie together. I would lean toward a warm white that works with your trim for most of the walls. If you know the trim color you could start from that, changing the finish of the same color from semi-gloss trim to flat or eggshell walls will give a subtle contrast because of lighting. Likewise the same color will change from room to room based on its natural light. So test those poster boards of your favorite samples in several rooms at different times of day. Also even when you have picked that perfect creamy shade, it will feel bright and stark until you start adding Artwork, window coverings and decor. So don't panic. Also if you already have Artwork those might give you a hint on color choices.

    Good Luck I hope this all this info isn't too overwhelming.

  • Marylee H
    last month



  • Marylee H
    last month

    This is just something to keep an eye out for, in that it has been observed that low chroma, near neutrals in the zone above, can shift and look purple/lavender/plum-brown in certain qualities of light.


    It does not mean it will happen in your space, but it’s something to be aware of and look out for.


    In many homes those colours (the type we have been discussing) will look just as their colour notation describe - near neutral greys/beiges.


    But in some lighting situations, colour shift can happen. Lori Sawaya (The Land of Color) observes that it appears to be in light short of wavelengths from the warmer spectrum and perhaps with light which has a spike in the blue wavelengths. (dimmer, north facing?)


    It does not mean these colours are purple, or have what people describe as fixed purple ‘undertones’. It is simply an effect of light and context.


    If a colour you like either on a paint chip or in a larger sample, shifts purple in your space, using the framework of colour measurement, you have a couple of options.


    1. Try a similar colour from the same Hue Family neighbourhood but with a higher chroma. The more chroma a colour has, the stronger it is and less inclined to be bossed about by the light.


    2. Stick with the same Lightness (Value) + Chroma but move clockwise on the color wheel to find something similar, but from between 90° to 110°.


    Please don’t be put off by this. I think it’s just helpful to be well informed!

    (Lori has great, accessible mini videos on YouTube explaining this and other things -

    The Land of Color)

  • Marylee H
    last month



  • Marylee H
    last month

    Hi Kris. I think it is always harder when beginning with items you haven’t chosen yourself!


    But even knowing that you are looking for something with a high value + low chroma clears a lot of colours out of the running. And knowing in which Hue Families your key elements lie, allows you to play with that complementary pairing to the max!


    There is just something I want to flag-up. Not to alarm you, but to arm you!

    I will attach a couple of points about low Chroma colours from the 40°-90° section of the Color Wheel.



  • Kris Bruesehoff
    last month

    Thank you both so much! I have always loved playing with colors, more so in arts and crafts and have been a go to person for others in choosing colors for their projects. I think its a bit harder here because I am dealing with colors that are not my pick to start with (floor and cabinets.) and because its on such a bigger scale. My goal in the upper level is a light neutral feel with navy accents - with a focus on the window and lake view. So I think what I want for the formal rooms is a light value low chroma...I'm guessing keeping it in the yellow hue would make the Navy contrast ( opposites attract?) the best?

    Thanks for the whirlpool suggestion - I will look into the SW alternative since we are in a small town and its either SW or Menards.

  • Marylee H
    last month



  • Marylee H
    last month



  • Marylee H
    last month




  • Marylee H
    last month

    You can use colour notations to give yourself a ballpark idea of what you do or don’t want. For example with Barren Plain. Ask yourself,


    If you want something lighter, then you know you need a colour with a higher Value.


    If you want something with more colour then you need a higher Chroma.


    If you want something nearer neutral then you need less Chroma.


    So straight away you arefiltering out lots of colours.

  • Marylee H
    last month

    Whirlpool is a very pretty. It sits at 220° , which would be introducing an additional Hue Family to the mix.

  • Marylee H
    last month



  • Marylee H
    last month

    That’s not a silly question. It’s a great question! The framework can offer you a lot more flexibility than that. But 75°Y gives you a great place to start.


    You might begin looking at colours you like within the Yellow Hue Family in that neighbourhood.


    But you are so close to the end of the Yellow-Red Hue Family too, so another angle of approach would be to consider colours you like between 5YR to 5Y.


    I can help you look.

  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    last month
    last modified: last month



    B.M. Whirlpool…(basing this choice on my monitor). Try a subtle, lighter tone which will compliment the colors you add with fabrics.