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 Everyone, I'm having a glitch on this page. Some comments show up here, some on another page entirely. Sorry for any confusion this may be causing-- working to get it fixed!!

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!!

Barbara, you've used one of my favorite greens. Folk Art 528 is a green that's so full of vibrance- I love it! The partners you've chosen can work well depending if you want to go cooler (Stonington gray) or more monochromatic (Early Morning Mist). But with the great description you offered and your initial ideas, I want you to also consider Pashmina AF-100. Very rich warm gray that should work to bring out the warmer tones like taupe/tan/cranberry in your granite and still offer a nice neutral to make your ss apps pop! Plus, it's great with Folk Art. It's a slightly darker color than those you mentioned, but it's not too dark at all and with 3 windows, perhaps you get a good amount of light, too? Don't forget about your trim and ceiling, too. Icicle, OC 60 is a nice choice to add the right amount of contrast w/o being too stark. Let me know what you think!

Comment From Cathy:
I am looking for a peaceful, relaxing color for master bedroom. The attached bathroom is Wedgewood Gray and I love it! We have dark, espresso furniture and blue bedding very similar to the Wedgewood Gray color. I was thinking of doing Edgecomb Gray. I am afraid of doing a blue with fear that would be too much and I am afraid to go too dark with fear that the room with just be too dark. What do you think? Do you have any other suggestions?
Commenter name: Cathy

Hi everyone, there're some glitches we're trying to work out on these pages, so sometimes, the question and answer end up on different screens! Very frustrating....
So, I'll try to repost the question I'm answering, too.

Hi Cathy! Thanks for your question. I think your bedroom must be "cloud nine" for you with the combo of colors. I like edgecomb gray, but would encourage you to look at revere pewter HC-172 (just above it on the strip). It's actually one of my favorite grays and I think it will look great with wedgewood and espresso. This gray is a "warm" toned gray and will really help bring out the richness of your wood w/o being too dark. Definitely try a sample on posterboard in your bedroom before you decide anything! Let me know what you do!

I really need help. My large livingroom is painted in Folk Art 528 green. Now, I've opened up my kitchen/dining area to the livingroom and need another color. Cabinets honey maple, granite light tan, taupe,gray,black,cranberry. SS appliances. I was thinking of Stonington gray or Early morning mist with white trim. I have 3 windows. Would either go well?

I am looking for a peaceful, relaxing color for master bedroom. The attached bathroom is Wedgewood Gray and I love it! We have dark, espresso furniture and blue bedding very similar to the Wedgewood Gray color. I was thinking of doing Edgecomb Gray. I am afraid of doing a blue with fear that would be too much and I am afraid to go too dark with fear that the room with just be too dark. What do you think? Do you have any other suggestions?

Lynne, thanks for your question- I loved the adventure of finding the answer! I didn't find "nordic gray" in our color names, so I found a couple of alternatives:
Clarksville Gray HC-102 is a greenish-gray with similar tone to Quincy Tan, so they won't contrast very much. Also, Indian River 985 is a more reddish gray that also works very well with Quincy Tan. I'm offering both so you can decide whether the cooler (HC-102) or warmer (985) work better with the other things in your space. In general, the cooler color may help to balance out the strong light coming in. Good luck and let me know what you do!

I have a large open great room/kitchen. My home is on waterfront and there are a lot of windows with strong south western light coming. The walls are quincy tan and I want to paint an end wall a grey color but I don't want contrasting colors. Would nordic gray work as a complimentary color? If not could you suggest others.
Thanks so much.

Thanks, Yelena~ I really appreciate your comment! I totally agree- the original design diva is certainly mother nature!!

Wow, you have such a good eye for matching color! The combinations are beautiful - just proves that you can't beat Mother Nature when it comes to creating inspiring color schemes :)


Arta, I too had paneling in some rooms and what a difference when you edit that detail! The colors you already have are quite classic and I wonder if you may be interested in a soft green in the mix? It would be bright, compliment the red and green is a classic neutral, too. Color 522, Dried Parsley is one of my favorite greens. It's tone works well with Desert Tan and Rich Cream so you'll have a unified look. Also, it looks so great with Tucson Red, offering just enough contrast to keep Tucson Red at center stage and the Dried Parsley is sort of like a best supporting Actor. Take a look and let me know what you think.

I love what you're doing, Pam! A big inviting room for dining and an apres dinner lounge sounds fabulous! With your description, I think the black would add dramatic emphasis to this unique idea of desinging your large room around the library concept. It would even be fun to play with the spines of the books and arrange them by color or have a few visible shelves filled with books on food! I have black shelves, cabinets and a black desk and love the style, actually. Hope you will too! I would suggest that you even look into a sophisticated shade of black that's infused with some color like a blue or violet. A couple of colors to try: deep caviar 2130-20 and black knight 2136-10

Our house was built in 1925 with a family room addition built in 1973. We are getting ready to remove the dark wood paneling from the addition and will be replacing it with plasterboard. Most of the trim/woodwork in the house is White Dove and the family room has a lot of trim (wide window trim, built-ins, fireplace mantle). My downstairs is primarily painted with Desert Tan and Rich Cream (front room: Desert Tan, dining room: Desert Tan above the chair rail, Rich Cream below the chair rail, foyer & Stairway: Rich Cream) while my kitchen is Tucson Red (with natural cherry cabinets). I'm trying to decide what color to paint the family room. I really love the Desert Tan color but also like the idea of bringing a complimentary color into our house. As the home renovations continue, the family room will eventually be opened up to my red/natural cherry kitchen, so those colors must be complimentary as well. Of note, my family room furniture is cream and medium brown leather, hardwood floors with a neutral seagrass area rug, red accent pillows. I'd love any suggestions you may have. My only requirement is I want a light, bright color, especially after living with dark wood paneling all these years!

Dear Sonu- I have turned my living room dining room (open to each other) into a library/dining room. The library cabinets are on one entire wall that has a double window (dining) and 2 windows at the other end. It makes it look like one big room (30' x 15'). I love seeing bookshelves that are painted black but this is pretty daring to me. The lighting will be fabulous and I have asian celadon porcelain. My question is do I dare or will this much black make the whole space uninviting and harsh.
Thanks so much

Brigitte wrote in asking about what whites to use together. She said:
"I want to paint my bedroom, trims, ceiling, walls, 4 doors and window frame in different shade of white. I like it to look modern. The chest of drawers is back. Any idea of what white can be mixed.
Thanks, Brigitte"

I'm having a glitch with this page, so I'm just placing her comment and my response together here for everyone!

Brigitte, Your concept is fun and challenging. Did you see the post I just did on Darryl Carter's Book, The New Traditional? Check it out and also see the post of his fave BM colors. DC is known for making every tone of white work well together in an intersting way.
We have an entire collection of Off White Colors (they're called the OC colors)...140 colors, to be exact! The most important thing is to look at each color next to the other colors when it comes to whites because a "white" only looks "white" until you put it next to another "white". Each Off white has a nuance of color to it- some gray, some blue, some pink, etc. So, have fun with it. Use a gray toned white like Sheep's Wool 857 as your wall, highlight all your trim in Super White or Cloud White OC-130, and, if you're looking to do each door in a different color, play with it and use an assortment of tinted whites to show the spectrum of the color concept. Perhaps try Stonewashed Oystershell 864 (hint of blue), Palace White OC-100 (hint of pink), Meadow Mist OC-134 (hint of Green), and Royal Silk 939 (a creamy yellow white). The black will be striking against any mix of the colors above! Good luck & enjoy the project!

I want to paint my bedroom, trims, ceiling, walls, 4 doors and window frame in different shade of white. I like it to look modern. The chest of drawers is back. Any idea of what white can be mixed.

Hi Carolyn, Believe it or not, Mauves and Grays are "in" right now, so you're in luck! The big question is: What's your style? I may treat that fireplace and the walls completely differently depending on your answers. Feel free to hit "contact me" and email me if you'd like!

Congratulations, Stacy, you've made a MAJOR change and commitment in your home! I think it's an awesome opportunity to start new!!
You mentioned that you've got a lot of green in the house- are you saying you're tired of it? Take it one room at a time and you'll get there, Stacy! Now, If you have golds and greens in the adjoining room and want to compliment rather than mimic, consider something in the red family. It can achieve the warm and cheery and get you away from your other colors at the same time. Red and green, broadly speaking, are complimentary colors or colors across from one another on a color wheel. That essentially means they ignite one another- opposites attract, etc. concept. If you'd like to email me specific colors (green/gold/wood/carpet/tile colors) and styles (traditional, subdued, modern, vibrant, eclectic, etc) you're working with, I'll be happy to try and help further.

However, since you've already spent time and money on this, perhaps you have an idea of which colors you already love and don't so much. Also, consider working with a local color consultant (some BM retailers even have them on staff)who can come to the house and really understand the flow from room to room. Hope that helps- please let me know! Sonu

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