For the paint junkies

After three trips to the paint store(s), we have some samples on the walls! And because I know you guys have been anxiously awaiting an update in the color selection process, I snapped some photos today to share. As always, these may look different on the screen than they do in real life – I know my monitor at work makes everything look psychadelic neon, which is unhelpful when I am trying to procrastinate grading by looking for house inspiration on Pinterest.

Steven and I met yesterday to talk colors, and came up with a paint chip palette that we were decently happy with – or at least happy enough that we were going to try to find some samples in this general viscinity.

From left to right, we were looking for a greeny-yellow for the main living area, blue for the guest bedroom, green for the guest bathroom, and an orangy-red-tan (yes that is the technical term) for the dining room. That would cover the whole first floor, but leaves the upstairs rooms TBD.

So today I added to the collection of paint samples on the wall. Here is the living room by the windows on the south (river) side:

From left to right these are Cypress Grove (388), Sweet Pear (389) and Fresh Cut Grass (2026-50), all from Benjamin Moore (as are the rest of the colors in this post). I loved Fresh Cut Grass most purely as a color – it is so cheerful! – but once it was up on the wall I realized how bright it was. I told Brandon that it almost verged on a shade you’d find in a highlighter marker. The other two are less saturated, but I think Sweet Pear may be a little too dark, and Cypress Grove a little too yellow. Sigh. Not in love with any of them yet, although I took this with the Cypress Grove still wet, so I am holding out hope for that one… Anyway, here they are by the dining room (the corner furthest from the windows), with Cypress Grove on the left, Fresh Cut Grass on the top right, and Sweet Pear on the bottom right:

As you can see we also pulled some samples for the dining room. Here they are closer up:

From top to bottom these are: Copper Mountain (AC-12), Davenport Tan (HC-76), Peanut Shell (2162-40) and Pecos Spice (AC-14).

Copper Mountain and Davenport Tan:

Peanut Shell and Pecos Spice:

I like both of the top two far better than the bottom two, which I thought to myself as I painted looked “fleshy” and “porcine,” respectively. Not ideal words to pop into your head in the dining room… and maybe a bit of a terrifying window into how my brain works.

Moving on to the guest bedroom:

From left to right, these are Fiji (AF-525), Hemlock (719) and Seaport Blue (2060-30). I bought Seaport Blue first and had another “oh wow!” moment when I opened the paint can and realized how darn bright it is. Still a beautiful color, but I love that Fiji still has a bit of turquoise in it while being less “in your face.”

Now for the downstairs bathroom:

These are Dill Pickle (2147-40) and Dill Weed (481), which I thought was hilarious. I kinda like both of these, but I think if we go with a more yellow color for the great room (e.g., Cypress Grove), that Dill Weed would work a bit better with it. We’ll see…

And finally, you can laugh at yet another OMG-bright selection by yours truly for the upstairs bathroom:

These are Passion Plum (2073-30) on the bottom (Take 1), and Bonne Nuit (AF-635) on the top (Take 2).

So that’s what’s on the walls at the moment… I think I’ll take the dogs over to run around and then I can see how these look in the evening. I am trying not to stress out, but the GC would like both bathrooms painted this weekend (!) so that the tile guys can come in next week, so we have to make decisions pretty quickly!


  1. Have you considered BM pale avocado for the livingroom? My sister in-law has it in her kitchen and it looks great. Picking colors is so hard – good luck!


  2. Thanks for the suggestion Margot! I am thinking there's got to be a happy medium between the too-bright Fresh Cut Grass and the too-mellow-yellow Cypress Grove. I just found another on the BM website called “apples and pears” that looks good on the screen… I will add pale avocado to the list for the next paint store trip!


  3. ok: the two non-grass greens could have promise (I told you that grass color looked like one of those evil ones that does weird shit). But. I don't think they're going to look good with any of the dining room browns (davenport tan, maybe…. and that's my favorite of the browns independently, but I'm just not seeing the two color sets looking right next to one another).

    I like the two non-seaport blues. but again, have to think about what will happen when you're sitting in the living room looking in and seeing blue– and vice versa.

    I kind of like the bathroom greens too– but need to see them against the living room colors– here too, not sure how the transition is going to go.

    the plum-y color is a bit wild, but maybe not totally bad? I almost wonder if the really dark bathroom would be a nice accent for the downstairs– it's off the living room, right? I've come to like really richly colored half baths– but will you be happy with such a dark color as your main bath? for getting dressed, I personally like colors that reflect light and keep the room bright.


  4. Make a fairly quick decision on the bathrooms if you must – they are reasonably small rooms that could be easily repainted if the chosen color doesn't work out as well as you hope. Paint them this weekend to keep the other work on schedule.

    Take your time with the main room color – it is a massive amount of space that is not easily repainted if you get it wrong. Also – it looks like the dining room is open to the main room – so you'll want those colors to play nice. Put up more swatches in main room, dining room & bedrooms and take enough breaks from painting to get a good look at them at different times of day. Maybe even write notes with times noted – you're gonna forget what looked better or worse at each time of day.

    Congratulations on your bold use of color! Wish I could offer advice about the choices – but everything looks really dark on my monitor.

    Orlando, FL


  5. I love your bold color choices. One thing I would mention from our recent experience is that even though a painting swatches on the wall is much much better than just looking at chips, it still doesn't give you a very good sense of what it will look like. As you know, we had approx 3ft x 3ft samples on our house, and even so I was a little surprised to see it when a whole wall was painted. In hind sight, once we had chosen the color, I think it would have been helpful if we had painted an even much bigger area with that color just to make sure. We did still have about 90% of the sample paint can left over, so I'm not sure why I didn't think of that. If we'd done that, we might have gone with a slightly different shade, or maybe still the same one, but at least it wouldn't have been shocking to see it once painting was seriously underway and there was no going back.


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