Whew.... It's been a busy couple of weeks - but I wanted to answer these questions from blog readers (and may I say thank you for reading! and for your comments) before I head off on a little vacation.

Hello! My name is Jennifer and I have really enjoyed looking at your blog! It gave me some great decorating ideas. At this time, I am trying to get away from my decorating comfort zone of reds, golds, and greens. I am really getting into browns, blues and greys. I absolutely love all of the kitchen color combinations on your 'asked and answered-color help' page. (http://yournestdesign.blogspot.com/2011/04/asked-and-answered-color-help.html) I think I may have made a mistake in my living room though.

 I had some curtains made that are a brownish turquoise with brown velvet strings that make a grid pattern through the blue (I attached a photo of them). I feel stuck with my paint color now! My walls are gold but I am so tired of gold and want to lighten it up. I don't feel like I can do that great blue-grey color because the curtains are a brown-blue. Can you suggest a paint color or should I just call this a pricey mistake and throw out these curtains?!

Jen's curtains

I sooo know where you are coming from.  I am living with a color palette I'm looking to change - I think we all get a little tired of our color schemes after a decade of living with them....(in my case...)
If the color is acurate on the photo, you are not too far from a steel blue - or a slightly grayed-down version of a blue.  If you like you can get away with a very light soft gray-blue for your walls.  Keep the color light - as this blue is a heavier blue and with the brown - also a heavier feeling accent - it could do with a little pop of something light around it.  Your white moldings would still show against the color, but your walls would be background and would not take center stage.  A beige-gray would also work. (Always test the colors on the walls first). You would need to add other accents in this color blue in your living room to pull the color throughout (and a touch of brown as well, to make the curtains a part of the decor) - throw pillows, fabric accents, accessories -  If, on the other hand, you don't love this blue - use it in a guest bedroom ...  if you don't love it now you certainly won't when you have more of it to see. 
Centsational Girl
(valspar, behr, benjamin moore)
here is an example of light blue grays

and a few more from Benjamin Moore on the lower left bottom rows

here's an example of the possible incorporation of the blue into a neutral palette with the brown accents and soft grey walls
Good luck Jen, let us know if you keep the drapes and how it all turns out.

Claudine you are wonderful!!!
Building a house from scratch is ALOT harder than I thought. And just when I thought things were going smoothly my HOA told me they don't like my exterior color scheme....grrrrr I was going for a Stoney Creek tan bottom, Antique mahogany shakes and a candlelit beige trim. shutters and front posts to be stained same color as door (what ever that will be something rich). They said they don't like the Antique Mahogany shake color. I have attached a rendering of the front of the house...any chance you can give me tips on earthy colors (light on bottom contrast in shakes)? tans, greens, dark coffee colors? I was thinking tan bottom, french roast shakes and candelit beige trim or something similar.
Again thank you so much for all your insight your website has been a life saver, I am even sleeping better at night...lol
Let me know

stoney creek

antique mahogany


french roast

Hi Lisa,
First of all, your house is lovely!  How exciting to be in on the design choices from start to finish - but so overwhelming too!  Your color ideas sound good, but remember a couple of things - try not to have 3 equally strong colors or they will not play nicely - I just hate it when colors fight - don't you?  Also, proportions of colors shouldn't be equal. Painting your shake shingle walls the darkest color will cut your home in half visually - and darker colors have a heavier feel and may make it feel a little top heavy.   Here are some examples for you to think about.   Make sure when you put the 3 colors chips together they are pleasing to the eye, (and play nicely) and you should be fine.  A 4th color (or your accent color) can be used on the door and shutters to make it really pop.  Black, for example - or use the darkest color (French Roast) ... good luck!
dark value shakes (cuts the home in half visually)

main color carried to roof
draws the eye up and makes the house look larger

Darkest color (accent color) used sparingly

Good luck!  Of course we want to see photos of the finished product!


I just saw your blog - it's great! Thank you for sharing!   I don't know how to blog, so I'll ask my question this way....What is a good kind of cream neutral yellow you would recommend for kitchen and living room - not too overwhelming, something warm and comfy?

please check out one of my prior blogs for a good selection of yellows - http://yournestdesign.blogspot.com/2011/04/asked-and-answered-wall-color-choosing.html
and here are a few more: 

Benjamin Moore:  Philadelphia Cream

Benjamin Moore:  Provence Cream
Restoration Hardware:  Butter Cream
actually all three of these colors are pretty delicious...
Hope that helps and you find the color you are looking for.... 


First of all I love the website !  We (my husband David) and myself have recently been attracted to gray sofas.  We ended up choosing one that is not a solid gray colour but speckled tweedy fabric, black/white/gray...I can send you a sample of the colour.  Our living room and home has dark wood baseboards and the first room focal piont on entry is the fireplace which we rarely use...it occupies most of the wall and as much as I would love to change all the baseboards and wood to white, I shy away from that...leaning towards working with it.. most of the gray painted walls look so crisp with white trim but this owuld be a huge undertaking.  Now the biggest windows at the fron of the room, facing south, I would love to go into a gray that will look great with the sofas and the wood trim and fireplace.. from your photos I seem to be attracgted to clay beige, soft neutral gray and stonington gray but do not know what affect this will have in the room.. I am a realtor so have certainly been open to many homes/designs/colours and have staged with muslin, but want to stay away from the very warm browns and tans due to the over abundance of teh wood and feeling too dark.. any suggestions?  I will send a few photos if needed.

Love your photos and layouts,
Sandy... Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
I'd love to see a photo - however, I can recommend a few things based on your question.  The grays you are
attracted to:  Clay Beige, Stonington Gray, all would be lovely with the dark woods.  I wouldn't go too dark on
the walls.  You could even go a little lighter than Stonington Gray if necessary.  Grays look amazing with warmer 
colors - and you certainly will want to brighten things up a little with the abundance of dark wood around.  Keeping 
a neutral palette and adding pops of color as accents throughout is your best tactic to brighten the room.  Yellow 
looks fabulous with gray, as does pink and coral.  Don't forget to add pops of white, as well, it will wake up the 
room and make it look fresh.  Here are some examples of gray with darker woods, and colors that go well with 
<><> </> <><> </> <><> </>
Gray with Dark Wood Tones
Nell Hill Blog



Claudine, Thank you for your help and yes, I do mean the greens and blues that you mentioned. I love the idea of a neutral wall but wonder if you can give me some color examples for a greige? And you think this will go well with dark brown leather and tables? My mind is not good at picturing how something will look so it's hard for me to see it. I would love a few specific color choices if you wouldn't mind as I love every picture you have posted! :)  . . . I finally found out the colors of my yearly beach house vacation home's great room - the walls are Shaker Beige but I was told the accent wall(behind the book shelves) is Jaquail Blue. Not sure on the spelling. Have you heard of a color anything like this? I don't have the brand name. It's a light, beachy-type blue. I'm assuming the Shaker Beige is the one from Benjamin Moore even though it was in a 5 gallon Sherwin Williams paint bucket labeled "Shaker Beige." I should have brought paint swatches with me to the beach! ugh! :) I'm so terrible with this color choice thing! Thank you!!! Jen
Hi Jen,
I can find no color close to Jaquail Blue from any common paint manufacturer.  The only color I can find that is slightly similar is Tranquil Blue -
(Tranquil Blue - second row, third up from bottom)
is this close to the color?
I have a small concern with the walls all being beige or griege - a beach house in my minds eye should be full of light. I would definitely bring in lighter colors like White Wisp above, or Gray Lake, or any of the 'whites' in the Benjamin Moore charts above on some of the walls. Paired with trim in Marscapone or another white it will look fresh and beachy. White canvas slipcovers on furniture will also add to that beachy look, and be easy to clean and care for and allow for pops of color in pillows and accessories. The dark wood furnishings/floors will add a great contrast. Let me know how it goes!

driftwood gray cabinets
Tobi Fairley
Traditional Home
Vincent Gremeillet
Domino Magazine
so is this the look you want?
for a beautiful griege try:
All gray/beige (griege) colors
All gray/beige (griege) colors

Hi, what great ideas for the color gray, but now I am more confused. Question. if my color scheme thru out my house is gold walls, with red, black, gold and creme colors in furniture and fabrics, cherry furniture. I wanted to redo a bedroom with a gray duvet ,white bedding, and accent color of raspberry. Is that going to be way off for the tone of the rest of the house? You do not see the BR from any part of the house till you walk down the hallway.And if its not too much of a color variation should I use a warm gray with brown undertones on the walls ? the room has many windows so lots of light. I guess the question is what color gray should the walls be or is gray not the right color to use. Or to make it flow with the rest of the house better should I pull in yellow or golds. See I am confused on what to do .

Feel free to decorate that room any way you wish if it is not visible from the other rooms and you are able to close it off with a door.  To have it flow with the rest of the house, however, you can bring a little gold into the room, or red, with fabric - as gold and red both look great with gray.  Not sure about the raspberry since it is nowhere else in the house, but the grays are neutrals and shouldn't look out of place.  Usually in a color scheme one color becomes primary, one secondary and one or two an accent.  I'm assuming your gold is the primary, creme a secondary and the rest accents?  If so, you can take one of those colors or a value of one of those colors as your primary in the bedroom - say the creme or gray, and bring in black, red, gold as accents - with the gray or creme being a neutral as the secondary color,  your house should still feel pulled together.

Here are some examples of the colors together:

gray with a touch of gold/yellow

gray and white bedroom with black and gold accents

gray, white, black with gold/yellow accent
with red and black accents
 Good luck! 
Hi, I love your site and your taste!! I want to repaint a few rooms in my house some greyed down blue colors to update the look. When we built our house 2 years ago I loved the warm golds and reds so most rooms are a warm gold tan color and all of the trim is Navajo white in BM. I want to mix the cool colors in, to update the overall look, but don't know what will work without looking totally off with the other warm colors. What suggestions do you have? Also, I want to repaint my 2 yr old daughters rm an off white that isn't yellow while keeping the trim navajo white and do the ceiling a greyed down turquoise blue. Her furniture is all stained mahogany dark brown. Any suggestions for colors? Thanks so much for your help. I am so overwhelmed with options!

Hi Catherine,
I found a few photos with the gray/blue walls accented with golds or reds for you to see what your color scheme may look like.  As with all decorating - scale is a big factor here. 
Benjamin Moore - Storm

 Red and gold actually look great with grayed down blue colors. The warmer colors complement the blues - especially red/orange tones. Some lovely Benjamin Moore colors are also listed here.

BM Silver Mist
Sherwin Williams/Restoration Hardware/Sherwin Williams
Benjamin Moore - Smoke

For your daughter's room - BM has some wonderful whites - here are a few that will be wonderful with your ceiling treatment. 

Benjamin Moore Whites
whites on  the second row from the bottom will work nicely with Navajo White (top row)
and have you considered a striped wall?  I think it would look amazing in alternate stripes with Navajo white - very subtle - and amazing with a greyed turquoise ceiling...

Best wishes for a lovely summer


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