June 16, 2009

Color Combinations for Summer

Everything seems in bloom this month.  So just walking around the neighborhood gives me plenty of color ideas. In addition, I'm gathering some photos from vacations of summers past.

All summer, I'll be on the lookout for splashes of color in nature and sharing them with you.  If you come across any beautiful flora and fauna, please send it to me so I can share it with everyone.


Bali 702, Aplomb AF-625, Raspberry Ice 2072-70

Blue/Violet Floral Arrangement: Use Aplomb AF-625 on your walls as the main color that sets the tone for this vivid yet mystical bouquet.  Rather than using the obvious blue-violet, I picked up on the softness of the green in the leaves with color Bali 702 which can be used to create patterns with stencils over the Aplomb or even in accessories throughout the space.  You can find objects made of jade or sea glass to represent this color.  For trim and ceiling, try Raspberry Ice 2072-70 to create a sense of cool reserve.


Rustique AF-275, Anjou Pear AF-425, Soft Fern 2144-40

Rainforest Orchid: Anjou Pear AF-425 captures the vibrance of this orchid without being overstated.  It's a citric green and we all know green is the newest family of neutrals!  Try Rustique AF-275 as an accent area rather than an accent wall.  Here's what I mean:  measure to the center of your wall and mask off a large rectangle that's about two-thirds the size of the entire wall.  Paint just the rectangle in Rustique.  To add a little more interest, use Soft Fern 2144-40 to paint a simple one inch border around all edges of the rectangle and use the same color on the ceiling.  Bring Soft Fern into your furniture peices with saturated pops of Rustique and even try throwing some berry tones in like violet or emerald green.


Autumn Cover 2170-30, Melon Popsicle 2016-50, Florida Seashells 128

Fiery Tulips: This is one of my favorites simply because I feel so energized by tulips and the family of orange hues.  I like the warmth of the color Autumn Cover 2170-30 when it's paired with other warm colors like Florida Seashells and Melon Popsicle.  Adding a little unexpected punch with a bunch of fresh cut flowers in blues (such as hydrangeas) or greens (such as lime green chrysanthemums).


Sweet Caroline 478, Oystershell 864, Barberry 1244

Garden Fresh: This traditional arrangement of flowers inspires me to update it a bit with a contemporary combination of colors that compliment the look.  Sweet Caroline 478 is a soft green that captures the essence of a morning in the garden and can be wonderful as a color for the ceiling and accents.  Barberry 1244  makes a dramatic statement on the walls of any room.  The touch of Oystershell 864 as trim works especially well when you bring it into items like linens or rugs depending on the room.


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Hi! I just painted my dining room with the HC Bleeker Beige. Could you suggest some nice room accent colors to work with this. Such as curtains. The trim is natural wood stained maple. The table is black and wood (early american style).


My other dilemma! What color to paint kitchen?
My kitchen which is open concept to great room and breakfast nook (no window in kitchen)latte tiles and has dark espresso cabinets....with a sort of laminate countertop in browns/black/espresso.........so its fairly dark...with black stove and fridge...I have been leaning towards deep wine/clarinet but would like some input....as this is open to other areas that are painted in Benjamin Moores Beachglass and Espresso (accent walls).
Is there a shade of green that would compliment and tie in with rest of house and Feng Shui?

I recently had Feng Shui done and the recommended color was purple!
I have had the hardest time trying to find a shade that would tie in the whole room with master ensuite. Master ensuite has bone color tub/sink/toilet with latte color tiles on floor and brown cabinet. The bedroom has dark reddish brown shutters(sometimes they look espresso) carpet is silvery/clay pebble with green hues.

Hi, I am looking for a classy peaceful colour for my master bedroom. It is a large bedroom with lot of light, but I keep my blinds closed. I have an upholtered king size bed in a toupy kind of colour with velvet fabric. I have light cream/toupe silk drapes. It is a victorian house with 10 feet ceiling and mouldings. I am leaning towards edgecomb grey, but if you have any suggestion would realy appreciate it. I would want to have a complementary colour for the ceiling and an off white colour for the mouldings. PS. I have already used revere peuter in my guest room and I live it.

we have a kitchen remodel going on right now,,,,natural hickory cabinets,linen (white)pained maple cabinets, sapele wood floors,stainless appliances and yellow river granite....not a lot of wall color (white woodwork) but enough ..we started with SW escape gray paint but my husband thinks it loks too pastel..and too safe...he likes more of a bright spring green paint

hi what can you suggest with my living room paint colors i want it bright colors help me...do you have any suggestion


Hi Donna, I think you should look at a classic HC-144 Palladian Blue, 2123-40 Gossamer Blue, and 1647 Silvery Blue (yes, that's actually the name & considering you're looking for a silvery blue, it may be the "one" for you!). Let me know what you think. Sonu

Can you recommend a light blue for a bedroom that does not look like a baby boy room? I also do not want it to look green/blue as I have Annapolis Green in another bedroom. Was thinking of a silver blue but not too cool. Thanks

Hi Lisa & thanks for your question! I went to one of our Benjamin Moore experts, Mike Branch, for the right answers. He has a couple of questions, too:
Mike says: "The answer is yes, you can paint it. The question is what is the substrate? Wood paneling, faux paneling (wood paneling but the top layer is thin vinyl simulating wood) or some kind of plastic? No matter what, the first step is to clean the surface to remove grease and oil. If the substrate is wood you can lightly sand and prime with Benjamin Moore Fresh Start 023 (link at end). Top it off with one or two coats of your chosen color in your preferred finish of paint. If your paneling is vinyl/plastic, that presents challenges in that a primer will stick but never really grab and thus easily comprimised."
Fresh Start 023 link: http://tinyurl.com/22wyyn3
Hope that helps, Lisa! Please let me know & BIG THANKS TO MIKE BRANCH!!

Hi Andrea & thanks for popping in! Look at the color Interlude AF-135. It's a warm neutral that would look rich against the colors you have.
In your entry hallway, have you considered doing any specialty finishes? A faux technique like color washing or strie may be visually forgiving in medium tone colors. Check out www.benjaminmoore.com/fauxanddecorativefinishes for some great ideas. Be sure you use a highly durable paint that you can retouch easily, too. I would use Aura (www.benjaminmoore.com/aura) for the space.
Good luck!! Sonu

I'm moving into a mobile home, trailer. I would love to be able to paint the rooms. i just don't know if it is possible to paint on top of paneling. This paneling is textured and also shiny!

Also what is best for smaller rooms to help make them look bigger. Is it better to go lighter with your paint then to go darker.

I just got a burgundy sofa and am looking for a warm neutral for the walls of my small (12 x 20) living room. I would like to keep my dark gold/brown roman shade. Is there a color you would suggest?
Another paint problem is a very long narrow entry hallway that gets banged up a lot. I thought of adding a chair rail but I'm afraid that would make it look even longer. Can you suggest a paint treatment?

Hi Donna, can you send me pics by clicking contact me on the site? It sounds like there are a LOT of elemnts to consider and we should connect by email. Thanks! Sonu

Hi Sonu,
I am needing help in deciding paint colors for our Cafe. It is in an old warehouse. The seating area has 2 large windows (we actually used two doors on each as shutters-painted a red than a black and sanded to look old)Two lights are a street sign green color with brass (vintage) on two 12" square columns. One chandelier is green wine bottles (pottery barn)and four chandeliers are bronze and a massive four feet!I will be getting about 14 shades for each when I decide which way to go with color. Two walls are a painted brick and two walls are drywall. The waitress station has three walls. One wall is visible to the public. Then beside that is the area the waitresses pick up food,etc. The cafe seating area has the original oak floors and we sanded them and put a diamond pattern on it with watered down black on one diamond and a brown oak stain on the other alternating. My color choices were Olive Branch for the seating area. Peanut shell for the waitress station.Chili pepper for the food pick up area. Those colors together remind me of Army camo so now I am confused. I havent thought about the columns... there are four total. The ceiling is ten feet or twelve feet and it will have a drop ceiling and I am undecided on the color. Although I thought about black or tan. The bathroom has a huge five foot gold star with a eight inch mirror in the center. It is going on the ceiling with trim work and lighting tucked behind the trim. The sink is a glass ocean green color. All drywall walls.I am open to suggestions and I can email pics.Wow! I can not wait to paint. Thank you in advance.
Smiles, Donna

Hi Dale! The good news is you're starting with a completely open and neutral palette. The challenge is figuring out which direction to take. Based on what you've described so far, you can take on just about any color family. Can you share what colors you're drawn to naturally, what the rest of your home looks like, what kind of light you have in your kitchen, do you have any interesting art or objects to work from? In general, the white cabinets can work to your advantage and allow you to use some bold colors in your small space because the white will offer some balance to any color you add to the wall. Hope to hear more details soon! Thanks for writing in!

Hi! I want to repaint our small kitchen. The cabinets are a medium wood grain, but the doors are white. The floor is a medium-colored wood laminate. I'm looking for a wall color that will work well with both the wood and the white (our backsplashes are also white tile). Right now the walls are white, but we want some color. Because our cabinetry is outdated, I'm having trouble finding any sample photos with the wood-grain cabinets with white doors. Any suggestions on a good wall color that will work well with both? Thanks!

Hi Liz, This is such a great question! I do need a little more info to give you specific advice-- do you have windows on the walls- are they tall or wide? Do you have any architectural details like chair rail or crown molding? What color are your walls? What style is your furniture? Of course if you have photos, it's best, too. Please do email me by hitting contact me on this site so I can offer some advice.

Hi, Sonu. I wanted your take on a space/paint color challenge that I haven't been able to find answers to anywhere else. How do you de-emphasize a low ceiling? Our 30-year old home has two rooms (the family room and living room/dining room) that you step DOWN into by descending two stairs off the main level (a modified split-level design). This means that when you're standing in the main level, the ceilings in the recessed rooms appear to be about 6 ft tall when they're actually 8 ft tall. Do I just paint those ceilings a standard white or is there some other color I can use to make them appear higher?

Hi everyone, I'm having some issues with this page, so not all the comments I receive are showing up. As I respond to the ones I get, I'll copy the text so you know what I'm talking about as I go on and on in responses to your lovely questions. thanks for reading along! Keep the comments/questions coming!! Sonu

Nancy, Thank YOU so much for writing in and letting me know how your bathroom turned out (her message is at the bottom). I sooo appreciate the feedback. Sometimes I wonder if the colors actually help and or make it to the actual walls. I used to wonder if design made a difference early in my career. I'm surrounded by people who change lives, save lives, and live life to the fullest. Your feedback helps me remember that design makes us feel good in our spaces and that peace of mind is important, too. So, thanks again for writing. If you're able to send me some before/after photos, I'd love it, too...

Nancy's message: "For the life of me I couldn't remember how to find this page so I could write to THANK YOU -- but I found you again - yea! I wrote you January 6 regarding paint colors for a tiny (5 x 8)bathroom we've waited 10 years to rennovate. I'm so glad I could re-read what I wrote, because I thought for sure I must have told you that our contractor planned to use Antique White for the grout color because you matched it PERFECTLY, but I hadn't. (Truthfully, when he showed me the Antique White color I thought he was crazy, but it is perfect too.) You are a wizard!! You could not have done a better job suggesting colors if you had been standing in the bathroom!!!!! The Cloud White matches the Kohler toilet perfectly and the Baby Fawn matches the Antique White grout and the muslin vanity perfectly too. I don't know how you did it, but I will be a Benjamin Moore customer forever as long as you can suggest colors. I was going in a completely different direction and could have really created a "sour" note in this tiny space. I never would have found these colors myself. You and the tile guy and the universe have created a beautiful space -- THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!"

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