Atlanta Homes
I've been in the middle of a client's renovation and I haven't had time to answer my wonderful readers' questions individually.  

So, with apologies to those who asked for help -
(and I hope this isn't too late) 
I will answer them here!


We're renovating our kitchen and are looking to achieve the look of so many of the beautiful, serene, silvery-blue rooms you've pictured .... We're thinking we want off white cabinets with silvery-blue walls, and chrome/nickel hardware. Any suggestions for what colors would work for the cabinets and walls, and

what color countertop would help us achieve this look? I love marble but don't think it would be a good material for our family. Some people have recommended a granite/quartzite called Super White (which is gray and white), but I'm worried it might be too monochromatic. Would love your thoughts! Thanks!

By Anonymous on EXPLORING WALL COLOR: GRAY on 3/22/11

I love the palette you have chosen - your concern about it being too monochromatic is a common one.  The trick is bringing in more texture to keep it interesting.  This palette can be truly beautiful if you take care with just a couple of selections:

House Beautiful
1.  Cabinets - choose a 'warm' white or 'off' white.  Swiss Coffee is a standby I use often - it is warm in the home and not cold or sterile feeling, while still being a definite white. Another is Benjamin Moore 'China White". 

2009 Showcase Home on Park Alley traditional kitchen

2.  Take into consideration your flooring.  I don't know what you have right now, but the kitchen above avoids being too sterile and too monochromatic by adding warm hardwood floors, barstools and a warm wood countertop on the island. 

Wm. F. Holland/Architect/projects traditional kitchen

3. Contrast and Texture: Your personal taste will dictate whether you go for bold contrasts or a more monochromatic look. The kitchen above uses a high contrast counter top to break up the expanse of white and add interest. (Its not the color that makes a room interesting - its the textures and contrasts.) 

Below a dark wood floor grounds a lighter than air feeling room.

San Jose Res 2 traditional

Another way to employ contrast is by painting the island a different color than the other cabinets (see above).  I especially like the backsplash in that soft blue grey subway tile in this photo and the one below.  They have effectively made the tile their wall color. 

You are correct in assuming that a well used kitchen does better with a harder counter top surface than the marble shown above. 

white blue kitchen traditional kitchen

4.  Wall color?:  Better to show examples than just give you names....  Remember, do a tester in your room - even it the photo looks amazing on the computer it could be entirely different in your house.

Farrow and Ball - Lamp Room Gray 

Left to Right:  Sherwin Williams Sea Salt   Restoration Hardware  Silver Sage  and Sherwin Williams Blue Hubbard
The Lettered Cottage

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt
Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Gray

Sherwin Williams Blue Hubbard

Benjamin Moore Smoke

Dulux Universal Gray
Sarah Richardson

Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray
The Nester
My personal favorite is Comfort Gray, but you may want a lighter or darker hue.  Some of these colors will be more gray than blue and some more blue than gray.  It's best to find a couple you think you may like and get tester pots to try them out.

5Countertop material:  the most durable and virtually impenetrable (no places for bacteria to hide) is the quartzite (man made) product.  This product can be solid color or speckled to resemble granite or marble.  As you can see in these photos, a lot of the white kitchens have light countertops.  If you are looking for a little more contemporary feel, grey would be a good choice, or black with a simple straight edge.  Granite is also an excellent choice and is a good buy right now.

Renovation Redux Kitchen contemporary kitchen

Traditional Kitchen traditional kitchen

Large White Kitchen traditional kitchen

Painted Kitchen Island Area traditional kitchen


Blue is another recent trend in painted kitchen cabinets.

House Beautiful
(paint color:  Benjamin Moore Great Barrington Green)

Oakley Home Builders traditional kitchen

As well as blue wall color

Oakley Home Builders traditional kitchen

I hope that helps!   Good luck on your kitchen remodel.

Question #2
I need some help and fast. My husband and I want to paint the living room a lighter color than the dark tan it is in now. I want a blue color and he wants more of a blue/green color. We have a brown couch and med color wood for everything else. Can Anyone recomend a color for us. I have been to lowes 6 times getting samples and they all look so bad. We have a good size living room with a big window. I just need to brighten up the place but not let the walls stand out over everything else. My kitchen in open to the living room and it's a soft grey (if this helps ?)

By Anonymous on EXPLORING WALL COLOR: GRAY on 4/8/11

Your soft gray in the kitchen will play nicely with a blue or blue/green provided the color is grayed down a bit. Adding gray to colors makes them more muted, more soothing and softer hued. It also neutralizes them a little, making it easier to add furnishings and accessories.   Too saturated a color blue will get old really fast as it can be overpowering or in the lighter colors, look completely juvenile.  Gray matures it and makes it more liveable.  Even though the paint has gray, it does not necessarily mean it will darken the room.

 Here are some examples of grayed down blues:
Autumn Fog by Valspar; Flint Smoke by Behr; Silver Gray by Benjamin Moore
(from Centsational Girl - she has a marvelous post on her own house colors in shades of blue and green)

Benjamin Moore Escarpment


Benjamin Moore Sea Haze

Benjamin Moore Winter Solstice
Emily A Clark

Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray

Cote de Texas

Kenneth Brown


Lamp Room Gray Farrow and Ball

  2:  Add lots of white for a fresh look and to keep the light in the room.

Berman House (color is similar to Aganthus Green by Benjamin Moore)

also from Centsational Girl
Benjamin Moore  Tranquility

Benjamin Moore 'Nightingale'  (Pottery Barn)

Valspar's Seafoam Storm (Centsational Girl)
 I hope you find these colors and suggestions helpful.

Really like the greys...I am struggling as most males do, with a remodel on my townhouse. I have new dark espresso floors with a light beige leather sectional in the family area. I also have darker cherry kitchen cabinets which adjoin the family room. Really want a grey, possibly stonington, for the main colors, but want a little darker color on the accent wall behing the very light almost tan leather sectional. I have dark entertainment center, beautiful antique Indian door made into table in dining room which I am doing picture frames in, which will also carry down hallway to family room. What would you recommend for a little darker accent color behind couch? Thanks so much for your help

By Anonymous on EXPLORING WALL COLOR: GRAY on 4/12/11

Your remodel has some wonderful elements.  I'm especially drooling over the antique Indian door/dining table!

I like Stonington Gray, and I'm posting some photos here of other grays you might consider, both for walls and accent wall.  It all depends on how bold you want to go.

Benjamin Moore Silver Fox would be a good accent to Stonington Gray
Apartment Therapy

More dramatic?  Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron or Trout Gray

Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray
This should help you visualize a darker wall behind your light tan couch.  

Benjamin Moore Shaker Gray

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray

More Benjamin Moore grays

 Every hue has a grey. Some are warm and some cool. Some with a green undertone, others with blue or brown and even lavender.

Benjamin Moore Storm Gray

 Find the gray that you like best for the accent wall, and then follow that up the paint strip to a lighter hue for the rest of the walls for a perfect companion.

Benjamin Moore Pigeon Gray
The Goods Design

I need some help in picking out a color for a nursery. Creme/french white furniture and the bedding is restoration hardware cloud blue, dark brown and tan. The color I thought I was going to go with is Bleeker beige (BM) but having second thoughts.

Benjamin Moore Bleeker Beige

I think I'd rather have soothing Grey beige like you pictured above nursery. Help! I need to paint this weekend!

I can't think of a more soothing color for a nursery, and as baby gets older, a perfect neutral palette for bringing in more stimulating pops of color for playing and exploring!  Here are some paint suggestions for achieving this look.

Gray Beige colors from Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore Gray Cashmere
Southern Accents
 I'm a huge fan of this soft gray beige!

Rae and Johnny
 A nursery from Rae and Johnny blog - love the wide horizontal stripe on the wall.

another lovely choice
Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray

A great warm white - also from Benjamin Moore:
A truly lovely gray beige - and their most popular:

Best wishes to you and your little bundle of joy!  

To all of you:  I hope I was able to help.  Please send photos!   I'd love to see how it all turns out...

Best wishes!


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