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August 02, 2011

A House Full of Cool Colors

Lucianna Samu

I heard a news story recently which proclaimed 85 percent of the U.S. population live in air-conditioned 'circumstances.'  'Circumstances,' is probably the operative word here, and my particular circumstance is not air-conditioned.  While the debate in my house over whether the benefits of a constant breeze and fans is the equivalent of whole house climate control rages on, Grant Beige, HC-84 is adding a cooling and calming contrast to my side of the argument.  Turns out it's indisputable; you can cool a room with a cool color and improve your circumstance dramatically while you are at it.


Here in the southern Adirondack Mountains where I live, architects and builders endeavor to site a house for the most solar gain.  Makes sense, since it's mighty cold here for six months, and a sunny house is a warm house.  If you factor the landscape into the equation, the summer heat can be reduced with trees situated for shading the roof and sun glare.  If all this climate planning is done well, the result is often a house like mine, where the seasonal changes are so dramatic, the winter and summer atmospherics are equally dramatic.  My color choice, a very neutral cool beige-y-gray--Grant Beige--fixes all that and then some.

I suppose 85 percent of my visitors still think I'm crazy because I don't have air-conditioning.  I can say that 100 percent of them love the look and feel of the monochromatic and neutral surround, which I've punctuated with all the colors I love and see in the landscape.  The colors will not only warm the house again when the leaves fall, they will keep me company on a snowy winter day.  Here's a re-cap of how I worked each changing color in my landscape into my whole house palette.  You could easily do this yourself, once you begin to approach your color planning this way.

The Bonne Nuit AF635 ceiling color in the entry foyer was taken from a winter sunset view.


Budding green, grassy green and brassy winter green is reflected in small furnishings painted Paradise Hills Green 550 and accessories.


Pink dots the landscape throughout spring and summer and looks swell as a foreground color to the sweeping green lawn outside the windows.  Wild Pink 2362-40 did the trick for me!


Simplifying the kitchen palette to match my mother's china ensures a basket of red delicious apples on the counter will look just as yummy as freshly baked holiday breads.


I've referenced the whole house palette in its entirety in small details, which will make the transition to a more colorful second floor feel effortless.


My tiniest inspirational piece, the diminutive life-like sculpture of my black & white goat, acts as my single consistent core color throughout.


I've packed my paint boxes, and Andy the painter is way ahead of me on the second floor.  Hope you come see the color ideas we'll use to change the atmosphere up there?  Bedrooms are the place for very personalized color decisions, and breaking a few color rules is great fun in small guest or children’s rooms.  As usual, I'm on the hunt for inspirational references to make all my color-dreams look beautiful and feel comfortable.  So while it's cool and breezy here today, I'm already thinking about the ensuing winter debate; a thermostat set at 64 or 72 degrees!


Stay colorful!


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You can take advantage of the human mind here. Colors are one of the best ways to create an illusion of something... for people to hang on to a particular state or emotion. What's more, this is a great opportunity to start rethinking of the interior as well as interior coatings of the house!

Well, it just shows that air conditioners are becoming a necessity for others. Anyway, the colors you are suggesting here can have a cooling effect on homeowners. I admire them. ;-)

I really love a house that full of cool colors because its looks cute and attractive, I'm also a person who confused about good color combination because I starting to apply new color on my living room and kitchen and I would like to know one of my option are black and white.

Great article, we reposted this, you have some cool ideas here.

Hi Pam. The black+white repetitive theme is turning into such a fun addition to my color transformation. I was lucky to have my goat for inspiration. Greeting cards, dishtowels, even a pair of woolen mittens have all served me well in the past for color ideas--you never know what will spark the next big color combo! Let us know where you look for color inspirations.

Hi Marcia--we really appreciate your comments! The Kohler Karbon faucet is so dreamy and makes a fantastic companion to the bronze pantry door-another small color change that made such a big difference.

Happy to have you with us Diana. You can buy samples of all the color we talk about here if you follow this link: http://store.benjaminmoore.com/storefront/prodPRM01A.html

Which colors are you going to try?

Hi Peter and welcome! Sounds like you know your way around the fan deck. How we can improve our health and well-being with color is a great topic to add to my blog posting to-do list.

Hope you'll share you insights + color success experiences with us here.

Little Jerry as a colour inspiration! Go figure...

All a big yes Lu - Color also impacts your thoughts and moods. Love that new kitchen faucet - so cool

I'd like a sample of paint that you have on line.

Colour is one of the most powerful components of our lives. Everything from heartbeat to mood is affected by the presence of colour in the form of light energy. In terms of interior design, it is the biggest single design statement that you can make and, as such, will have a major impact on how you experience both your home and your health.

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