Juneau, Alaska.  Look at all those lovely shades of blue and gray. 
Just returned from the cruise, and the colors were heavenly.  And very - manly.
Dear Claudine,
Thank you so much for your color advice! So awesome! My 27-year old son just bought his first house and will be painting the entire interior. It's an adorable modern-type home that has a wide-open floor plan. Walking in the front door, you can see the living room, kitchen/dining area, and loft area to two bedrooms and a bath. Any suggestions for a masculine paint theme that could be carried throughout? The only restriction (if you can call it that) are the kitchen cabinets that are very dark (Kraftmaid color Cabernet). Any advice from you would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

I'd definitely go with some beautiful gray tones, especially with the dark cabinets and a wide open visual space. Grays go beautifully with dark wood tones.  I don't know how high the ceilings are, and if light is an issue, he may want to go with a lighter tone of gray.  If he likes dramatic color, he can choose a feature wall for a deeper tone.  If he likes color, the same is applicable with a bright color on a specific wall.  

The grays are modern and youthful and he will have a wide range to choose from - from blue grays, to beige grays.  Most look wonderful together, so the flow of color when you can see more than one room at a time, will be harmonious.

Here are some color ideas, and recommendations:

Benjamin Moore/Van Courtland Blue
Pottery Barn

Benjamin Moore/Black Bean Soup

Benjamin Moore/Iron Mountain Gray

Benjamin Moore paint colors (above)
Benjamin Moore drapery wall/BRANDON BEIGE   feature wall/STAMPEDE

More Benjamin Moore choices/Pewter, Silver Fox, Thunder, Smoke Embers
Sherwin Williams/Mindful Gray, Tony Taupe and Peppercorn

Benjamin Moore/Phillipsburg Blue
Restyling Home by Kelly

Paint is only part of the masculine look.  Menswear Fabrics are popular right now for decor.  Ralph Lauren has been a master at using menswear style fabrics for home decor.  Not too long ago I posted about using menswear fabrics in home decor - there are a lot of great ideas for masculine decor at: http://yournestdesign.blogspot.com/2012/02/everybodys-crazy-about-sharp-dressed.html
Mary McDonald

Ralph Lauren Brook Street 7
Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Candice Olson
Good luck to you and your son.  I'm so impressed he has his first home at 27 years old.


Hi Claudine,
How do get your answer? I saw my question on the side of blog but could't get answer. I have another question. My bedroom only has two walls I can use. One is sliding glass door the other a wall closet. Also, a door on the third wall. I obviously have limited space for bed and dresser and bed is queen size. Do you have any suggestions on wall color, comforter, curtains etc. Any ideas would be great! thanks, J. Brunty

Dear J. Brunty
Sorry for the delay, I know you are anxious for a reply and I have been behind on getting to my readers questions because of a long awaited vacation, my mother's health (95 years old) and also a sister currently undergoing some health challenges.  So I'm catching up and do appreciate your patience. 

In a small space, the best advice I can offer is that warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows, warm beige, warm browns, etc.) tend to come toward you - making the walls seem closer and the space seem smaller.  

By the same token, cooler colors retreat - cool greens, grays, blues and cool toned beiges, browns and purples.  Another trick for making a room look larger and feel roomier is to use a monochromatic palette - the same color repeated in slight variation without strong patterns on the fabrics.  Pronounced contrasts tend to chop up a space because the contrast catches our eye and stops it. 

Nantucket Gray, Benjamin Moore

Toast Gray - Dulux Paint
Sarah Richardson design
Blue Haze - Benjamin Moore
Pottery Barn

After Adornment
 So, for example, a cool blue gray room with same tones repeated in fabrics and walls and furnishings would feel a good deal larger than say a room in black and white graphic prints.  Here are some examples to illustrate what I'm talking about.  I hope it helps.


Domino Mag


Benajmin Moore, Healing Aloe
Hi Claudine! I am just discoing your blog via pinterset, but can't seem to subscribe?...I love your style and advice and have a decorating dilemma. My open floor plan, living/dining/kitchen area has been Ralph Lauren Sisal for the past 5 years due to my former fear of color. I am ready for change and chose Benjamin Moore Healing Aloe, but am questioning my decision. My floors are med-dark hardwood, my table and chairs are dark wood, couch and side chair are chocolate velvet, my area rug is sisal, and living room rug is a light gold trellis, my curtains are dark turquoise/smokey blue silk, my granite is beige, and my crown molding and kitchen cabinets are white. Once I got the room half painted I stopped and have been doubting myself ever since. It seems a little too pastel green, but maybe I'm imagining it??? Do you think I would be better off with BM Grey Wisp or BM Sea Salt?

Healing Aloe is a nice color, but has a little less gray than some.  You are probably seeing the green in it more prominently because of that.  If you like the green undertone, Sea Haze above has more gray and should appear less pastel than the Aloe.  For another gray green, Gray Horse is a good choice, too. 
Benjamin Moore - Gray Horse
Gray Wisp tends to have a blue undertone, but is still very gray.
Benjamin Moore/Gray Wisp
 Cliffside Gray is a good neutral gray, and Sea Salt is a good gray in a lighter shade.
Benjamin Moore/Cliffside Gray

Benjamin Moore/Sea Salt
As for your question on how to join, (thank you so much),  I'm happy to tell you how.  I do ask that you follow my blog if  you want me to help with color choices or design questions, so I appreciate your query.  Simply click on the 'become a follower' box and join by using a google ID, or creating a google id if you don't have one (its free and quick and most blogs use the gmail identification).  You can also drop down to the next block and sign up to follow via email.  By putting in your email, blogger will automatically advise you when a new post has been entered and give you a link directly to the new post.   Hope that helps!

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