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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Color My Worlds -- Part One


I am a color junkie.

3 years ago when a painting contractor handed me the giant Benjamin Moore fan deck of hundreds of paint chips and told me I had a day to choose the colors for the rooms here at That Old House . . . it was one of the scariest, and happiest, days of my life.

Looking back, that seems easy.  I was choosing to please myself.
If I goofed, I had only myself to blame, and I'm not that harsh a critic.

Kitchen and dining area, our beach house.

But now we're choosing colors for the family beach house, my sister Peggy and I.  We want beautiful sand, sea and sky colors, we want them neutral enough that if we sell the house we won't need to re-paint, and we want everyone to love them.

Here are our front runners; I'd like to know what you think.
Please note that the colors on your monitor won't be accurate;
they are prettier in person!

For the kitchen, dining area, living room, and the stairs
from the first to the second floor, Benjamin Moore Rich Cream. 
Rich Cream
For the second and third floors, with the high peaked ceiling and huge windows, 
the limitless views over sand and sea. . . 
View from the third floor loft.
Luckily the vaulted ceiling doesn't need painting!
 For the second floor, we will probably use
Benjamin Moore Philadelphia Cream.  It is just slightly more intense, more yellow,
but still neutral.  It will reflect the beautiful light, well, beautifully.
Philadelphia Cream
Rich Cream paint at the bottom; Philadelphia Cream in the middle.   Top color too white; out of the running.
 In the bedrooms, we get more adventurous.
Oh my, that sounds exciting, doesn't it?
Well, we also get adventurous in the bathrooms.  With paint, at any rate.
I like these mild greens; Peggy wants something sprout-i-er.  See below.
Italian Ice
Lido Green
 On second thought, maybe those greens are too minty.
 So for the first floor powder room, a sprout green it is; our Mom had decorated this room with dozens of frogs, and we'd like to put a few of them back.  Green seems to work in this small bath.
Pale Vista -- a light spring green

For the first floor master suite -- bedroom, bathroom, walk in closet -- a clear and cooling blue.  This room has southern exposure, and the afternoon sun heats up the walls something wild; right now they are a dusty pink, and they glow.  We are considering several colors.  Not pink!
Summer Shower
Morning Sky Blue
Baby's Breath -- looks very gray on computer. Less gray in person.

Upstairs, in the hall bath, what else but a dreamy aqua blue?
The color of the water in a deep bathtub at an old spa hotel in Europe.
Maybe one of these two:

Crystal Blue -- I like this one a lot.

On the second floor, the former sewing room will be a bedroom with twin beds, and that also has southern exposure -- so another blue room.  I might like to repeat the bathroom color in this room; they are across the hall from one another.  Crystal Blue looks a good bet to me for both rooms.

The corner bedroom, with a double bed and a crib, will be in a sweet yellow.  Light and floaty.
Lemon Ice; very reflective and glowing
Or, we could try what might be Moore's best yellow, a rich creamy color from the Historic collection:
Hawthorne Yellow -- looks very dark on computer, not so in life.
The twin bedroom at the end of the upstairs hall, a north-west exposure -- well, maybe green.  Maybe blue.  Not decided yet, but here are some possibilities:

Glass Slipper

Gossamer Blue

Ocean Air
Sea Foam


We are trying to keep our colors gender-neutral.  No sweet pinks or misty lavenders.  We don't want it all the same color, as if a contractor came in and slapped Linen White on it all.  We want blues, greens, off whites and yellows -- with shots of color in the furnishings and accessories.

Sound like a plan?

If you have an inspiration for colors in the Benjamin Moore palettes, please share!  We don't want to get into color matching and would like to stay with the Moore colors, even though there are some fabulous colors from other sources.

We've chosen the painter; now we need to choose the paint.

Happy Thursday to you all.  I hope you will enjoy watching the transformation of our beach house unfold, beginning with the walls and floors, and seeing how much can be done on a shoestring.

We have to bite the bullet and hire painters, what with needing things
like scaffolding and time  in order to do this ourselves.  It's a big house.

Visit Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursday (click here!), and please keep checking back to see our progress!  We've got plans for slipcovers, painted furniture, nautical touches . . . my notebook for the beach house is almost as thick as my notebook for Alida's wedding!
Tomorrow:  Color My Worlds -- Part Two.
That Old House Is Getting The Full Beauty Treatment!
Help her choose her palette.  -- Cass


  1. I love that Hawthorne Yellow Cass. Oh to have someone paint for me...priceless!

  2. that I know you are a color junkie as I have to try Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on your furniture. You will be in love!
    I just sent you an email about it and I would love to send you a color or two to try.
    Check out Miss Mustard Seed's Blog and she can fill you in on must how magical our products are.
    I enjoy your blog and progress.
    Cheers, Anne

  3. I like the paint palate that you've selected.

  4. I totally partial to the yellow and any of the beige as long as they have a yellow undertone. Happy cheery neutral colors that go with everything. Hugs, Marty

  5. I like summer shower!!! Anyway are all nice colors!!!Not easy choise!!!

  6. Don't worry so about the color - - - it's all just a pigment of your imagination anyway.

    Hehehehehehehe, I'm so punny I just crack myself up.

  7. I love the cream colors and the pale blues the best, Cass. I think they will give you that feel of summer, sun and sand! And the pale green will go marvelously with your mom's sweet frogs!


  8. I am not a good one to ask advice about paint colors. It takes me forever to make a decision.
    Have a great weekend.

  9. I LOVE anything Benjamin Moore ... that's all we use. Your creams & soft blues are perfect!

    Have a beautiful weekend ~
    TTFN ~


  10. You can't go wrong with any of them.
    They are all beautiful.

  11. BUT ....I am partial to Bejamin Moore's Opal.
    Have five rooms painted that color. ;0)

  12. I am such a color junkee, I want to come in and take control of your project. I will be a good girl, however, and direct you to a blog I've found - It is pure coincidence that The Ranch was featured today. Good luck and have fun choosing!

  13. Cass,

    I think it's wonderful that you and your sister are giving the family beach house a face lift. All the shades you picked are spot on for a beach house. We use Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, a new favorite of mine is Sherwin Williams Sea Salt color SW 6204. I agree with you commenter above (Anne) that suggested you try Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on your furniture projects. I just discovered them and I will NEVER go back.

    Your Friend,

  14. Yes! That color!!!! They are all so perfect!!!!!! I love them all, seriously you cannot go wrong.....I have to get one of those BM color fans! :) Sandy

  15. A painting contractor once told me - when you put paint samples on the wall, don't put them right next to each other because they draw their color from the other patches. Put them on opposite sides of the room - or as far away as you can from each other so that you are looking at each one for its own merits. It worked great, I was able to make better decisions about the colors. Happy painting. Same was true for carpet colors, when looking at all those so-similar samples in the show room I was confused - too grey? too yellow? too blueish? - but a few samples at home - viewed one at a time and I made the best choice for our house very easily.

  16. Hi Cass!
    I love the colors you're considering for the Beach House. Remember when we chose colors for this old house? I think anything from the Benjamin Moore Hysterical Collection (haha) is good, but I really do love your selections. Good luck with the painting! Hope to see you soon.


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