Let’s talk about paint colors – downstairs

You already saw ideas I have about paint colors upstairs and how I plan on painting the trim throughout the house. Downstairs I have 3 more spaces to figure out what to do with. But first I wanted to clarify the color of the marble in the front bedroom. It’s more brown than pink. This picture may or may not help.

bedroom dresser

In the living room, I have this rug. I loaned it to my mom and she’s gonna be sad to part with it. It matches the exposed brick. So it’s kinda decided that however I paint the walls is going to have to look good with brick red. You could have guessed that before.

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I have enough furniture to make the house function, but it’s likely that most of what I start with in the living room will be temporary. These two pieces probably won’t be.

Cedar Chest

living room chest

The cedar chest (which might be my favorite of everything my grandmother gave me) is going to be a coffee table; the chest will go along the brick wall by the stairs. Then there’s one more architectural detail in here that you haven’t seen before: this very nice stained glass transom that my mom had made for her old house in Jersey.

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Inside the vestibule looks like this. I’m going to put nice paneling over that glue. Eventually I might pick out a kind of crazy wallpaper for the tiny amounts of actual walls in this room, but for now it needs a color. Unless I just use leftover paint from somewhere else.

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And then there’s the kitchen. Like I said before, I’m installing deferring cabinet doors till later, so we don’t need to worry about what they look like just yet. What we do need is a color to put on all the walls and ceilings that looks good with the beams. I’m thinking some kind of neutral, and I’ll put color on the other stuff later if it feels boring. This is a pain to paint so picking a color I won’t get tired of is important.

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So now you’ve seen every part of my house and enough furniture that you should get an idea of what it will look like. You’ve also seen how generously my parents are storing all my stuff…

One thing – I don’t necessarily want my decor to look old fashioned. I thought I’d get some mid century modern pieces to fill in the gaps and come up with paint colors to keep the place not stuffy. I’m also tempted to keep the living room on the airy side and go cozier in the bedrooms. But that’s a concept, not a color. I think I mentioned before that it might make sense to hold off on painting the front bedroom till Phase 2. I might hold off on more just so I can keep doing things by the seat of my pants. But the best thing would be if I could do everything now and actually be happy with my choices forever.

So tell me what you think I should do. I’m all ears until I buy the paint.

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9 thoughts on “Let’s talk about paint colors – downstairs

  1. Joyce J.

    I prefer to stick with neutrals, white off whites.(especially small dark rooms) Bring in color with the décor.

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  2. curt

    I’m with Joyce on this one. We have used different shades of whites in our renovations. Look at BM Dove Wing and if you’re using white trim – look at BM Ice Mist. It is a blue-white, but when paired with the warm white of Dove Wing it works out really nice. I like to add color with art or accents – it makes it so easy to change the look of a room without having to repaint the walls.

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  3. Nina

    Hi Chad,
    I agree with Joyce and Curt. Get used to your space before you add colors. A lovely white–nothing that glares–will set off all the moldings and doors, and will help with light reflection. It will help you live in your space comfortably, and later you can refine with colors.
    I’ve followed your posts and appreciate your honesty about the process. Your house is just great; love what you’ve done.

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  4. Jo

    Your rug is a good place to look for colors you might want to use. You don’t have to have the colors in the same intensity. For walls I would say “always pick the duller, greyer, foggier, lighter (you pick the adjective that speaks to you) shade” for a wall color because it automatically gets intensified. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music P.S. The obvious color for me that goes with brick is denim blue. Jo

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  5. CindyH

    I’ll be the outlier. I LOVE COLOR! I say go for what you love. If that’s neutral, so be it. But if you love color, embrace it. My first house really came to life when I went from the neutrals to the bold colors. And if you hate it, you can paint over it.

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  6. CindyH

    I’ve read that historically, people didn’t worry about matching rugs because paint pigments were so limited. I’ve seen designers use oriental rugs almost as if they are neutral. I think your good eye/taste will come up with something fun and can’t wait to see it!

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