6/26/12

OPEN FLOOR PLANS


COOL NORTHWEST LIGHT

Hi Claudine,  I recently bought a house with some interesting light variations, which I thought would be fun to repaint. I didn't notice that there is no mill work between the living, dining, kitchen, and foyer rooms, so color from one area has no barrier from the adjacent area.






I love BM Camouflage and think that of the dozens of samples I've tried, it works well in the north facing part of the house (living, dining and adjacent kitchen). I should note that the living area is vaulted and the immediately adjacent kitchen and dining (open concept) are very low ceilings, which only contributes to the challenge.


Walking into the foyer from the front door, is south facing and a combination of a vaulted entry area, from which the stairway leads, and a low ceiling area that leads directly to the living room.

Camouflage in the vaulted part of the foyer looks very cool, almost bluish. I've tried to find a different color to use in the foyer, but whatever color I choose, assuming it is on the stairway wall leading to the 2nd floor, would become the accent color on the fireplace wall in the great room. There is no break from this wall, all the way from the stairway to the living room. I've thought about carrying the Camouflage from the living room to the foyer area, via the stairway wall, and then using a deeper color on the wall with the front door, but I just don't see it.

Any help you can give me would be very much appreciated. I've tried Dry Sage, which I picked up from your site, and it looks good in the living area but a bit 70's in the brighter foyer (takes me back to Avocado Green). Love November Rain and was thinking of that for ceilings.
Thanks! Margan



So Margan sent me the photos above and as you can see, the space is lovely and open, and although that is an asset, it is also difficult to know where to begin and end color.   She loved Benjamin Moore Camouflage in the low ceilinged kitchen, but it turned into something bluish she didn't care for in the
Benjamin Moore - Camouflage
brighter rooms.  Unfortunately, there was nowhere to change paint colors between the two rooms.  I suggested working with the bluish northern light in the room by being deliberate with the blue - but she wanted something a little warmer than the grays and blue grays I suggested. 

So, if she needed a little warmer tone, I felt a greige, or gray beige might be the ticket.  One in particular, Revere Pewter, would be perfect with the low ceilings and planned black granite of the kitchen area, look lovely in the brighter light of the living room as well and it would compliment the stone fireplace. 
Benjamin Moore - Revere Pewter

Benjamin Moore - Revere Pewter
 It has a little more 'light' to it, but I still suggested she give the cabinets a fresh coat
of Dove White.  The  Pacific Northwest, I know, is big on the stained and natural woods, but with those low ceilings it can feel cave-like and light is really important in the kitchen,
and in the Pacific Northwest.

I also recommended more greige and beige colors:  Grant Beige, Lenox Tan, Shaker Beige and Bennington Gray.  
Benjamin Moore - Bennington Gray

Benjamin Moore - Grant Beige

Benjamin Moore - Lenox Tan

Shaker Beige - Benjamin Moore
It's best to avoid a chopped up feel by having just 2-3 colors in the major living spaces of a home - it creates flow.  Those colors can be repeated, deepened or lightened.  I recommended that she paint all the rooms with common straight walls that run into each other in the same color.  Rooms that are visible but have a definite stop and start can be a darker or lighter tone, or a complimenting color.  Rooms that have a barrier (a door) can be any color in your palette.  Some rooms, such as Powder Rooms, Dining Rooms, etc that have definite barriers are definite opportunities for a little drama, like a deep dark color, or an unexpected pop of color.   

I suggested neutrals for these rooms.  Neutrals are great background, are soothing, and go with nearly every color.  Neutral paint doesn't tie you down to neutral rooms.  Pops of color from fabrics, upholstery, rugs and accessories will give the rooms personality, as well as contrast from wood tones and trim.  Margan, please let us know what you choose!





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