Asked on Nov 19, 2013

Need help on how to paint a raised ranch open floor plan.

Kimberly Noelle
by Kimberly Noelle
I have previously posted pictures of my living room, dining room, and foyer. I have finally chosen the paint color for my living room/dining room area but I'm having trouble on deciding what to paint the foyer and wall that you see at the top of the stairs when you walk in the house. After 12 yes 12 samples of greenish blue paint I finally found the color I've been looking for which is Sea Sprite by Olympic paint. This was not an easy task let me just tell you. I was so excited to find the color I have been looking for but now...I'm having trouble with our foyer and what I like to call "that one wall" at the top of the stairs. I'm not sure if I should just do all of it in the sea sprite or break it up and if so in what color? My sofa is staying which is a dark brown, I want red accents, white trim and railing and a sort of eclectic rustic cottage feel. I do have a pillow that I'm using as color inspiration. I've tried this neutral tan color but I'm wondering if it's to tan? Should I go more brown and less tan? Should I go with a lighter shade of the sea sprite? should I go white or used the sea sprite color through out. I'm just so confused. How do you paint a raised ranch also known as a bi-level home or split level ? I would love advice.
Here is the living room. The small sofas will have slip covers and the rug will change and so forth. The room is not decorated yet but the pillow is going to be my color palette.
color inspirations. Reds, browns, teals.
Here are the top of the stairs from entryway.
Here is the entryway. To your left is the living room.
Here is the tan color
This is the wall the front door is on in the tan and the living room in sea sprite.
  25 answers
  • Z Z on Nov 19, 2013
    I think you are worrying too much Kimberly, but we all do that in situations like this. We tend to over think when in reality it's not that tough of a decision. The break in the wall in the last picture is the perfect place for a color change and I like the tan you've chosen as it works well with the sea sprite and your furnishings. I also agree with doing the wall at the top of the stairs in the tan and continue it down the hallway on both sides. My only change would be not to paint the trim and railing. Since you're going for a rustic cottage feel the wood will help add to that feel were paint trim won't. If you do anything to the wood you might want to stain it darker. Our last home was a split foyer, as was our first home, so I can easily visualize where you are coming from. We had the same dilemma when we first moved in and wanted to add a vinyl wallpaper to the foyer and stairway because our children were young and ran their little hands long the walls.
  • Dcz665 Dcz665 on Nov 20, 2013
    I'd go with the neutral will break up the blue and rest the eye.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Nov 20, 2013
    I agree with the tan!
  • Mak Meyers Mak Meyers on Nov 20, 2013
    I like the tan, great combo/contrast to the blue.
  • Waysouth Waysouth on Nov 20, 2013
    I like the coral red in your cushion, with the blue, like the Great Barrier Reef!
  • 118330 118330 on Nov 21, 2013
    the tan looks nice. If you want dramatic, go with a darker brown but use a either satin or semi-gloss to reflect light. It's hard to tell from a small painted area but go with your gut feeling. You are the one who has to live with it!
  • Dcz665 Dcz665 on Nov 21, 2013
    Me again..Instead of solving my own decorating issues I've been pondering yours! Here's another observation to think about. We have an open stairwell similar to yours. 18 years ago we painted it a green/blue teal color. I like the color but any thought of re-painting is tempered by the effort and cost to do the open stairwell that rises 20 ft above the stairs. In a way I wish the neutral was in the stairwell and then I I could change the adjoining rooms as I wish (doing it myself). I've also thought of doing wallpaper but that's a whole different discussion.
  • Sarah Jackson Sarah Jackson on Nov 21, 2013
    I too like the beige tone or even a deeper version of it, but, if you are hesitant to make such a bold statement (it sounds like you might be) you can easily just add some white to the the blue for a lighter version of the same color and still get a lovely effect while be certain if will not clash with your other walls...or even add some darker blue to it. The main thing to remember is, it's just paint. If you don't like it, it's an easy fix so have fun with it!
  • 169756 169756 on Nov 21, 2013
    Since I tend to be bolder in color choices, I'd go with the one wall on the landing chocolate brown.
  • Yvonne F Yvonne F on Nov 21, 2013
    It's paint and guess what, it can be painted over......Hahahah
  • Janet wender Janet wender on Nov 21, 2013
    I would go with a wheat color gold, its calming but gives the room a pop of brightness when there are no windows the color goes with everything.. Tan-ish colors are out and that is a lot of work to do and find in a year your out of style. Golds will never go out it's also considered a neutral color. The new color is a bright whites with black trim. I would accent as much as you could with black iron and coral/redish. Love the color you picked, I have close to the same in my house with black trim. Love it, its s warm and relaxing to come home to. Because of the light in a house the same color of paint in one house might need to be tweak a few times to get desired color.
  • Kimberly Noelle Kimberly Noelle on Nov 21, 2013
    @Yvonne F yes it is paint and you can paint over it but the entryway is very tall and I'd rather avoid having to paint it all over again since I am doing all the painting myself and it is a huge chore. Plus I thought it would be fun to get others opinions.
    • Yvonne F Yvonne F on Nov 22, 2013
      @Kimberly Noelle Yes, I did not know YOU were doing the painting...It is a lot of work and you do want to do it right the first time....Did not mean to sound too flippant!!!!! But I got you to answer me....HUGS!!!!!!
  • Kimberly Noelle Kimberly Noelle on Nov 21, 2013
    Thank you everyone for the opinions. I did get my living room and dining room done and I'm still at odds with the entryway. I would have loved to go grey but my brown furniture would look bad I think. @Dcz665 the high ceilings and many nooks and crannies of the entryway is the reason I'm at odds with this section of the house. It is very hard to paint and not something you want to paint and then realize it's just not the right color. I dread thinking about having to paint that more than once that is why I figured hometalk is a great place to ask and maybe I could get somebody's advice who also has a split-level home. I'm thinking a neutral color but the right neutral that way if I ever decide to change the main living space I can leave the neutral high ceilings in entryway that would otherwise be a pain to repaint. Thank you all so much for your opinions. I have tried a few shades of neutrals and they are coming out very tan or yellow. Any good names of neutrals that work on an area that gets a lot of light?
    • See 1 previous
    • 169756 169756 on Nov 22, 2013
      Have you thought about possibly putting a strip up to divide the big wall. Sort of a high chair rail? I've seen it done and seems it would provide the opportunity to not have to paint such a huge wall, leaving the upper part as is. @
  • Judy Capper Judy Capper on Nov 21, 2013
    Hi, I have a ranch-style cottage and have been going through the same process. I chose Sherwin Williams paint. I love the country-French colors, decided on a sea foam type green like you did for the master bedroom and kitchen. The granite for the kitchen cabinets has brown, biege, and hints of that green color in it. The cabinets are currently white. I bought a version of yellow from Sherwin Williams for the small 8x10 guest room. It's called "White Rasin". Their "Cottage Cream" is also a nice color. I agree with Janet, go bright. The French Country colors are red, cream, sea foam green, many shades of white. It will fit perfectly. I didn't want to go with the bold colors out today. Also, F.Y.I., I found the most beautiful fabrics at Calico Corners fabric store (marked down designer fabrics). Great choices. I am choosing a tapestry with reds for the living room windows. And yellows/greens are "back in" for curtains too (which I bought for the 8X10 White Rasin Room). The color numbers are SW 7685 White Rasin, and SW 7678 cottage cream. Good luck.
    • Kimberly Noelle Kimberly Noelle on Nov 21, 2013
      @Judy Capper Thank you Judy for your input. I'm going to check out those colors right now!
  • Jody Jody on Nov 21, 2013
    My front window lets in alot of light and I live in a crayon box. And love color so we went with Knightly Straw its a cross between yellow & gold In hallway went 2 shades darker Jute Wheat more of a gold. They really make the colors pop my formal dinningroom my office is Tiffany blue. My kitchen is like a cantalope . So the golden is my neatrl and love it. the brand of painr is Farrell Calhoun
  • Merry D Merry D on Nov 21, 2013
    If it's the lack of a visual divider, perhaps consider a piece of corner trim to visually break the color line. Paint it as the baseboards and add a cap to the top so it integrates into a pretty detail. The colors are very restful and a nice subtle contrast. I think you'll be pleased when you get it tied together!
  • Kate Allen Kate Allen on Nov 21, 2013
    Hi, I would stick with the "sea" color you like in your living room. If you don't need the off white drapes that are now with your brown print living room drapes, I would just take them down. You will get a cleaner look. You can always go to Bed Bath & Beyond and buy inexpensive bamboo shades to replace them. You'll get a cleaner look. The tan will be fine going up the stairs and I would paint the whole thing the same color. It will visually enlarge the space. Good luck! The most important thing is that you love it! Kate
  • Buster Evans Buster Evans on Jan 12, 2014
    I would probably paint the entire foyer area in the tan all the way up to the corner where it turns down the upstairs hallway (where the large flower picture is) just tie all of the foyer walls and the stair rails together with the tan or even an eggshell color (but the tan is fine if you have already bought it) You can add some wall art or Pictures with the similar colors to the walls that would blend it to the sea sprite or to the wood tone handrails. The tan and the sea sprite merge well at the corner (in the sample)where the living room and foyer meet. The sea sprite is a good color choice and can easily be accented with other like colors of fabric and or accent pieces.. its your space... experiment and make it comfortable for you and yours ... when you do that you know you've made the right choice..
  • Val Val on Jan 12, 2014
    Hi Kimberly. We have exactly the same floor plan as you, with super high walls in the stairway. It took us a long time to make up our minds, but we finally chose a very pale ice blue for the entire area, and continued it into the stairway. The tan is pretty, and we had considered it for the stairway, but because there isn't as much light there we continued with the ice blue. We've thought of changing the color every time we repaint, but always come back to it. I like your idea of going with a lightened version of the sea sprite. Love the color plan you have chosen! Val
  • VL. Morris VL. Morris on Jan 12, 2014
    Hi Val, Let me really mix the pot. I would use a lighter version of the Sea Sprite, painting the entry way, the top of the stairs and down the hall to the bedrooms. Otherwise, you chop things up to much.You don't mention the dinning room, which in my split was part of the living room so I would paint it Sea Sprite, too. You have plenty of opportunities to use the brown, tan and red in your accessories. I would also paint the ceilings, stair rails and trim a "bright white" a recommendation of Sherwin Williams. I have taken a variety of paint questions, samples from other companies and pics to Sherwin Williams and received expert advice from every person. Good Luck, Vickie
  • Debbie Chapman Debbie Chapman on Jan 13, 2014
    I like your color scheme & the whole process going on! Where did you get your pillows?
  • Cathy Smith Cathy Smith on May 12, 2014
    I will be the odd man out. I love the beige with the green. Not only would I paint the wall where your sample is but I would also paint the small wall section to the left of the stairs as well. Also, there is never a color that is out of style as long as you like it. If you think of the colors from the 70's you will see that those colors are and always will be popular all though the saturation. tint etc... have varied over the years.
  • Mary L Mary L on Jul 15, 2014
    Stick with the pillow colors, you can't go wrong. Don't be afraid to put the accent colors on some walls. A good rule of thumb is "dark furniture against light walls and vice versa".
  • Louise Louise on Aug 03, 2014
    Sit that pretty pillow in the upper hallway and take another picture with your colors. You might try one of those paint boards so you can sit them by the pillow and easily see the different colors. That might help you decide.
  • Sue Ryan Sue Ryan on Oct 10, 2016
    I would paint all of the walls the same color. That will make it look bigger.