Advice on color selection


  #1  
Old 10-07-04, 11:10 AM
TRex
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Advice on color selection

My wife and I are trying to determine a color to paint our foyer, stairs and upstairs hallway. The house is in the country and is designed to look like an older farm house. The foryer is on the east side and about 20'x7' with a stair case in the middle. The floors is white marble with streaks of medium to dark gray. The light fixtures are gold. The trim will be painted some form of white/off white. We want to add color to this room and attempted to do so with a light gray. In the light this new color tends toward light blue and does nothing for the marble floor. We feel we also have to carry this color up the stairs and into the hallway upstairs (which has little natural light) because there is no natural definition between the rooms. Could a dark gray work and if so what would that do to the upstairs? If not can someone make a suggestion?

Thanks!
 
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Old 10-07-04, 11:31 AM
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try to come up with an actual "color" that you can use that will compliment the white & gray marble. if the floor is mostly white with just a streak of gray running through it, i wouldn't give the gray so much importance. gray is a neutral, so lots of colors will work with the gray & white marble - anything in the families of burgundy, mauve, lavendar, and blue. and there are probably others.

the light gray you tried was probably just too pale of a color. a bolder color will work better with the light floor & the white woodwork. i'd go at least mid-tone, if not jewel-toned. especially if your whole staircase is painted, the darker walls will show that off beautifully & dramatically. your foyer sounds fairly stately, so i'd go for something striking there.

also, i'd paint your woodwork white, not off-white.
 
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Old 10-07-04, 11:36 AM
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Thanks for the quick response

We were planning some bolder colors in the dining and living room so we did want to stay with something more neutral in the hall. I like the idea of a darker gray but I am unsure of this dark color being carried all the way up the stairs and into the hall. Do you have a thought on this? Also what is "jewel-toned"?

Thanks Again!
 
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Old 10-07-04, 11:51 AM
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jewel tones are the darker versions of the pure colors, like navy, burgundy, hunter, plum, etc.....

if, for example, you're planning on burgundy in the dining room, and navy in the living room, then yes, i agree this middle "transitional" area needs to be neutral or something that will work with the other colors you're using - for example, a lighter blue in the same family as the navy would work, or conversely, a lighter burgundy (ie mauve) would work. i think a darker mid-toned gray would work, too. i wouldn't hesitate to put it in a hallway, even if it's a darker hall with no natural light. even if you painted white, you'd always be turning on a light in that area, right? so it really won't matter that you're painting it dark (which is also why i say it's okay to paint small windowless powder rooms a dark color).

what's the flooring on the stairs & upper hallway? and are the ceilings high & white?
 
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Old 10-07-04, 11:54 AM
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The stairs and the upstairs floors are all oak with a light (maple?) stain. The ceilings are white and all 8' 2' both upstairs and downstairs.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 10-07-04, 11:58 AM
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Thumbs down gray + wood = ick!

then, since you've got wood floors, i'd steer clear of any gray walls. gray, in my opinion, looks awful with most all wood tones. it seems to drain all life & warmth out of it. instead, i'd opt for a lighter version of one of the other colors you're using elsewhere, or yet another color altogether.

what colors are you planning for the DR and LR?
 
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Old 10-07-04, 01:30 PM
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We are not exactly there yet and are open to suggestions. Two large rooms 14x20 each connected to each other by a 6' framed opening. Stone fireplace in the livingroom. The dining is connected to the kitchen but there is a glass door between them. The living room is connected to the foyer through a glass door also. The furnishings we have now will be replaced over time with the dining getting cherry furnishings (not dark just oiled) with an oriental rug (blue/tan right now) and the living room done with formal (dark wood) upholstered furnishings and an oriental rug (red based now). We plan on replacing both rugs over time. Again we would like to do something bold but staying withing he historical boundries of the house (nothing modern) and had some samples of a colonial williamsburg type blue for the dining and red/burgandy for the living room both from Benjamin Moore's Historical color samples. Honestly we are truly lost and between the two of us have virtually no decorating sense. Any thoughts?
 
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Old 10-07-04, 01:54 PM
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Exclamation

hmmm.......sounds like a big project with no place to start! everything you've got, you'll be replacing, so there's no point in decorating anything to match any of it at this point. i would truly suggest you either invest in some sort of decorating consultation (some nicer furniture stores offer a complimentary service if you'll be purchasing) or don't do anything until you gather quite a few of the elements together in a big-picture plan. doing so many elements in so many rooms is extremely difficult when you do it piecemeal. one decision affects another, which affects another, etc, etc....sort of like a domino effect.

if you don't want to hire a decorator, do this: start with the harder to find items, like rugs and upholstery and drapery fabrics and work your way out from there toward the easier to find items, leaving paint for practically last, since you have The Entire Rainbow to choose from. the blues & reds sound great - keep them in mind, just don't commit to a single color & paint it all over a room. it'll be so much harder to find all the furnishings that way. you can semi-pick a color & carry the paint chip around with you as you look for the other things, but you'll be able to tweek the color (and believe me - you WILL!) according the harder-to-find items that you do find. do you see what i'm saying? actually create a storyboard, with all the samples & pictures of things you find, until you've pre-planned a decent number of major items in the room. then, out of all the elements you've decided on, pull out the perfect paint color to bring it all together.

it sounds like you've pretty much got a blank slate to work from, but you're starting at the wrong point. although i know it would be so nice to paint first and then move all the stuff in, but you'll be making the whole process much harder this way.
 
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Old 10-07-04, 02:15 PM
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That is what I said to my wife. I think you are right about needing a decorator. I am a serious do-it-myselfer and would like to understand more about the pricipals of decorating but this may not be the place to learn. The reason for the repaint is we are replacing all the trim (all nasty orange stained low quality yellow pine) over the next 30 days. It will be a breeze to paint with all the trim off the walls. We can make the investment now in drapes and the rugs although not what we want in quality are where we want to be in color. I think what I am hearing is the blue and the red could work together. Under those circumstances should we go out and find drapes that work for us or just get professional help?
 
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Old 10-07-04, 02:36 PM
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the red & blue are very compatible, but it'll take some pattern somewhere to pull them together - either area rugs or draperies or upholstery or even maybe a wallpaper somewhere. if you can afford it, hire a decorator. or, if you have one of those upper-end furniture stores with the complimentary decorating services, and you can afford that furniture, go there! but being under the gun & feeling rushed won't help anything if you're not comfortable with decorating to begin with! and you don't want to make costly mistakes, so it might be worth it to invest in some help.

although, worst case scenario, you just paint the woodwork white and the walls white for now & then repaint each room one at a time later. with just 8 foot ceilings, painting won't be that big of a deal. and keeping it off the woodwork just takes a steady hand & patience.

i guess i'm just saying it's up to you! there's only so much i can do for you this way - over the internet. it sounds like you have a pretty good idea of what you want. maybe you can enlist the help of a friend who has a knack for decorating. or maybe you can find enough pictures in magazines, etc that you can use as a guideline for recreating the look in your home. it takes a lot of time & running around & shopping to furnish & decorate several rooms. if you both work full time, i'd say you should get a decorator. unless you're patient & enjoy the process of finding it all. do you want it to be done in your lifetime? j/k is this your dream home? or are you just fixing it up to resell in 5 years?
 
  #11  
Old 10-07-04, 02:42 PM
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No this should be it so we want to do it right. This would not be the first time I was told I needed to seek professional help! Thanks for all of your assistance.
 
 

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