House and Home

IN EVERY HOME there are elements we can't change - at least not right away.  There are things we need to live with - maybe its a previous owners stone or tile selections, or wood cabinet or floor colors,
but whatever the item - there is a way to live with it if you get a little creative.   Leah was faced with a wall of outdated paneling, a stone fireplace with lots of orange tones, and no idea of what color to use on her walls to pull it all together:

I just purchased a home, my closing date is tentatively set up for 3/11/13. I have been obsessed with finding the right paint colors. Right now, my bone of contention is the attached fireplace/living room. I have been reading a lot about undertones in the beiges and from what I can tell there are orange undertones in this fireplace.

I just read your article about being "fleshy," which I don't want, and I definitely don't want "pinky." The gold tone ones seem to look the best to me, which throws off my plan for the dining room, which is off of this room as I wanted to paint it a gold, ughhhhhh....

To make the fireplace stand out, I was going to either paint the wood alongside a white and add shelving, but was thinking of putting the wall color over the fireplace to tie together. My couch is an off white, light microfiber with dark brown trim, sectional, which I wouldn't of bought it if I knew I was going to be finding this house. So I guess my one question is, what color would work best in this room?
Thank you!
Forever Grateful,

Leah, congratulations on your new home.  You must be so excited!  I hope I can help you make it beautiful.  To downplay the orange tones in your fireplace, I would use a greige or a gray.  Gray is a cool tone that will make your floors and stone on the fireplace stand out and look its best.  A grayed down beige (greige) will never look fleshy or pinky.  Both colors would blend in perfectly with your fireplace as there are many of the same tones present in the stone, and your sofa will look lovely against the wall in those tones.  I would paint the wood paneled walls a creamy white (Benjamin Moore Dove White is an excellent choice), including over the fireplace, and all the trim in the room - around the windows, and mouldings, baseboards, etc.  White keeps those gray tones fresh.  Here are a couple of suggestions for good greige and gray colors for your room.

Bennington Gray has a warm undertone and is in the greige family.  When testing these colors in your home, paint two coats (allowing to dry between coats) on as large a piece of foam core board or poster board that you can - at least 12" square - so you can hold it next to the fireplace stone and also see its effect on the walls.
 Cape May Cobblestone is a medium tone gray.  Works well against orange tones and browns.
Stonington is a lighter cool gray.
Good contrast to the warmth of the fireplace stone color and the wood tones.
 Manchester Tan has a healthy dose of gold in it, so it should not go fleshy or pinky on you. 
SHAKER BEIGE Benjamin Moore
Shaker Beige has a yellow undertone with a bit of gray to keep it muted.  Try 2 or 3 of these colors in your room, as paint color reacts differently in each home and in different light.

I hope this helps you!

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