It may just be that a brand new year is here, but I have a tremendous itch to feather my nest
a little.  Everywhere I look I see things I want to change - for instance the interior paint I've been living with for about 10 years. (This is where my sweetie looks up and rolls his eyes).

I find that making a list helps me focus my priorities. It's more just the act of making a list - putting thought to paper - sometimes I don't even look at it again until months later.  (Sometimes that's because when I look at it I hyperventilate a little) - who knew a list could get so looooong.

This year, I'm planning some big changes and some small changes.  A lot of my clients are doing the same, with bathrooms reigning supreme as the most popular remodel, and paint color as the most popular quick change.

From the emails and comments I receive, many of you are making changes too, and some have asked for my help. Here are a few of the questions and my answers:

Hi Claudine,
I recently found your blog through pinterest and you have such stunning ideas in decorating and in paint choices. I was wondering if I could get some help with choosing a paint color for my bedroom. I recently purchased the Pottery barn sienna paisley/ blue duvet cover. It has tans, blues, greens, and white in the color palatte.

Pottery Barn Siena Paisley
Right now, my room is painted SW- camelback.
Sherwin Williams / Camelback
I was thinking of a muted grayish blue, but nothing too babyish looking and something that I could live with and not get tired of for awhile. I have black furniture and recently purchased 2 bedside tables that are covered in glass. Could you please recommend any colors that would go nicely in my bedroom? I'm open to anything, muted tans and grays! Thanks so much for your help!

Dear Alicia:
I have two absolutely beautiful paint colors for you.   Dunn Edwards Fine Grain is a beautiful gray beige. It is a 'go with anything' color and one you won't get tired of easily.  If that has a little too much pigment, try Crisp Muslin, also by Dunn Edwards - it is a perfect color on the cool side of beige and fresh and light filled.  It is still dark enough to make white trim pop against it, but not dark enough to be in your face - much like the Pottery Barn photo above.   In the blue/gray/green tones, my current favorite is also from Dunn Edwards - Rainy Season.  Everyone who sees it falls instantly in love.   Its more gray than blue or green, but sooooo beautiful on the wall.   

It should go well with the bedding you mentioned.  (Don't go by the color you see on your monitor - (mine is way off) - order a tester pot and try it out.)  Paint two coats on white poster board to try it out, leaving at least 2 inches of white border around the edges so that your current wall color doesn't influence the new color. 


I have a tricky design question. I am painting my living area to include the entry, the halls, and for the most part all of the common used and seen areas sw grassland.
Sherwin Williams - Grassland
I have dark brown leather sofa and distressed black cabinet which is quite large and center of room. I also have a rattan/wicker truck as a coffee table. I have a antique rocker that my husband had recovered in black/cream houndstooth, which has to stay in the room. How can I incorporate my idea of natrual-calming, cottage decor into my room with the houndstooth chair and my desire for soften grey-green walls? Also I would like to have the greyish-blue color as an accent color. Is this possible? green/blue/brown with black
Grassland (Sherwin Williams)
Grassland is a nice grayed down neutral green.  It is a soothing color and your brown sofa and black cabinet should go well with it.  While the walls will be soft, the furniture has a lot of weight to it in the brown leather and black and houndstooth.  The combination should work well together, but be sure to incorporate plenty of white for the 'cottage' look you desire, which is mainly achieved through the use of painted furniture in white or lighter tones along with some wood tones and lighter fabrics. Here are some examples of houndstooth as a design element.

Add your touch of blue/green you mentioned in accent fabrics as seen here on the houndstooth chairs and perhaps in the fabric you use at your windows.  

I personally love the houndstooth check - and I love it in high contrast rooms.  If your room is smallish, you may want to lighten your wall color a little.


I really like your blog and wanted your advice on some color choices. I have to repaint the whole house. Right now its a brown and I was going to go with the stoneington bm and then on one wall storm bm above the fireplace and mantel.. 
 Stonington Gray (Benjamin Moore)

 Storm (Benjamin Moore)
My house has dark wood and hardwood so I want to lighten up. Do you have any advice on a boy room I was thinking the stoneington and then on one wall a dark navy. We live in the northeast and it gets cold and dark so need to brighten it up a little. I was also thinking hudson bay for a boy room on one wall.
Thanks, Allyson

Dear Allyson,
Stonington Gray is one of those colors that goes with anything, and one that you never tire of.  It will lighten your home.  Storm is a little heavier and darker, so limiting it to one wall is a good choice.  To further lighten your room, make sure you have adequate lighting - both overhead and ambient.  If you want it warmer, you can try a gray/beige in a warmer tone, like Shaker Beige (Benjamin Moore) or Papaya (Benjamin Moore)
Benjamin Moore Shaker Beige
Benjamin Moore Papaya

 Hudson Bay may have a little much pigment - could overpower as an accent wall in a boys room.  I would go with a slightly grayed down color blue such as Cloudy Sky or Booth Bay Gray (Benjamin Moore) both have enough gray undertone to be a good choice for an accent wall.  Again, add more lighting as boys bedrooms tend to be smaller. 
Benjamin Moore Booth Bay Gray
Benjamin Moore Cloudy Sky


Hi Claudine, Wonderful blog, thanks! I'm FINALLY getting ready to paint the kitchen/dining area. I think I've settled on Revere Pewter, but I'm also considering trying the CSP "sea salt". I understand it's the closest "match" to Revere Pewter, but lighter. Is this true? Also, might you suggest a ceiling color? I've read that painting the ceiling the same color as the walls, but perhaps lighter will make the room feel more cozy? We have standard height walls. Lots of built-ins and cabinets painted "simply white," honed absolute black counter tops, red island w/white Carrara marble top, "standard" oak floors, stainless steel. One end of room has southern exposure, the other end north east, but w/skylight over island.

Benjamin Moore/ Sea Salt

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
I'd so appreciate your suggestions. Our local Benjamin Moore store is not very helpful nor particularly knowledgeable. Love your color and design sense! Also, this same area is open to the living room, which has Persian rugs (red). Intend to paint this room too, and I'll want it to feel warmer because of its north eastern exposure.
Thanks again. Sonoma County Susan

Dear Susan,
As you can see, Sea Salt is close to Revere Pewter.  So close, I'd have to actually see them painted side by side on a wall to tell which is lighter.  These are both good choices for 'lightening' a room and will go well with the rugs in the adjacent room.  You are on the right track, but do a tester first to make sure you like it in your room and in your 'light'.

Hi Claudine, I love the color beige in the 2nd picture (the one of the kitchen) and want to paint one of our bedrooms that color.  Any idea on the color?  Great blog by the way!

Unfortunately, the color was not given for that photo.  However, here are some alternatives:

Benjamin Moore / Shaker Beige

Sherwin Williams / Whole Wheat

Sherwin Williams/ Whole Wheat

Hope that you have great color success!  
Best wishes,

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