Asked on Sep 16, 2018

How to choose paint colors?

Mindy Henderson
by Mindy Henderson

our kitchen and living room run together I’m trying to figure out house to paint these areas without having to paint them all one color help!! I don’t love dark colors and would really like to stay with neautral ones! All of our trim and doors will be replaced/painted white.

q choose paint colors
q choose paint colors

Front door and entry to the living room

q choose paint colors

Wall separating the kitchen and living room, notice the open area at the top

q choose paint colors
q choose paint colors
q choose paint colors

Opening to the dining area

q choose paint colors

bar area and looking into the kitchen

q choose paint colors
q choose paint colors

Sliding glass out into the back yard

q choose paint colors

Dining room with the bar that separates it from the kitchen

  13 answers
  • Lori Kelly Lori Kelly on Sep 16, 2018

    I bought a 5 gallon bucket of yellow (think sunflower) and a gallon of white. My rooms are together like yours but my kitchen is close to the dining room, so it got painted too. All walls in kitchen got the same color as well as two walls in the dining room. The show wall (where I hang my pictures) got the sunflower yellow. The kitchen part I used another bucket and poured part of the white paint in. Then I added yellow to the exact color I wanted. Try to keep the amount recorded of how much. Moving to the living room, I used another bucket and did the same but it’s a very slightly color yellow. Down my dark hallway (26 feet) got the lightest yellow. It’s all in the same family and easy to change out decor. It just flows easily.

  • Beth Beth on Sep 16, 2018

    I am a retired interior decorator, and I would always tell my clients that one color from each room should flow into the next to create continuity. Also, the color scheme of a home begins with an inspiration piece -- and there is none pictured here. Is there already something in place in your kitchen that we can start with? Or is this a new-to-you home that is essentially a blank slate? In that case, find a picture/painting, a fabric, a rug, something that has the colors you want to use in your home and select the most neutral (since you like them) color in it, and paint a pale shade of that on the walls in the living room. The kitchen can be a deeper shade of that color, or a different color entirely as long as it coordinates.

    What Lori, above, suggests will also work in any color from your scheme. Use flat or eggshell finish in the living spaces, and eggshell or semi-gloss in the kitchens and baths.

    Also, build an overmantel for that pitiful fireplace, LOL! An overmantel continues up to the ceiling from the sides of the fp and can be white wood like the home's trim, or stone or tile, or whatever. Check out some decorating magazines or look on Pinterest for ideas.

    Hang your drapes a good 4"-5" above and [as many inches out from the windows, as you have from the window on the left to the wall]. The panels should not cover the glass much at all.

  • Dee Dee on Sep 16, 2018

    Great advise above, but I would use a greige color for the entire area and build from that.

  • Jessica Wynne Reilly Jessica Wynne Reilly on Sep 17, 2018

    You don’t need to paint it all one color. Stay with one basic color and play with different shades of that color for different walls. Keep in mind how light will effect the colors. Get some paper swatches and tape to the wall for a day or so to see if the lighting and sunshine change the color.

  • Karen Brunck Karen Brunck on Sep 17, 2018

    Choose your favorite neutral color in the lightest tone. Pick your favorite happy color, one or two values darker than the neutral, for all the walls in the front entry area. Choose your favorite opposite the happy color on the color wheel, for the wall with the window and sliders in the kitchen/ dining area, in the same darker value. Have fun with it, it's only paint!😊

  • Melissa Raymond Melissa Raymond on Sep 17, 2018

    You have a lovely home and the best part is it's a blank canvas. I believe it should be a warm color to make it more inviting. I love yellow but it's the most difficult color to get right and ends up looking terrible. Remember that in nature most colors are "neutral" so don't be too shy. The color I would choose is Terra Cotta. Just don't go too dark. Terra Cotta goes with everything and especially blue pillows, etc. Get some small samples and just paint on a wall until you find the perfect color. Best way. Good luck.

  • Lbr24389409 Lbr24389409 on Sep 17, 2018

    I’ve made my share of painting errors in my time, but I’ve found a way to select paint colors when I’m repainting a whole house that really works for me.

    my main color is alway some form of beige, typically slightly yellow or grey in tone. I stay away from anything with pink, green or orange undertones. Not that those colors don’t work, but they just aren’t to my taste.

    If I’m keeping the flooring, cabinets and counters, I then lay out the colors and start culling what doesn’t work. You can match the tones or do contrast, it really depends on what you like. Remember that the light in a room changes over the course of the day so a color can look different in the afternoon.

    i also try to keep any furniture color in mind as well. My stuff is all pretty neutral so it will work with different color groups. But if you have strong colors that can be a factor to consider.

    I tend to tape the colors to the walls And look at it for a while, then I do samples and paint squares on the wall.

    Once I pick my main color for the house, I then pick accent colors 3 to 4 shades darker. I tend to use the accent colors sparingly, I am not a fan of rooms with more than 2 colors, but that is just me.

    I painted the base base color in my condo a color called almond paste from Lowe’s. Cherry chocolate cabinets, and travertine floors. The accent color was also from Lowe’s called pony tail, it was a peanut butter color. With a bright white trim. Tons of compliments when People walked through when I showed it for sale. This was a yellow toned neutral, think the color of the inside of an almond.

    I helped a friend with her paint selection, she wanted to go grey, but still wanted a warmth. we picked a Home Depot color called perfect taupe. It worked with her grey cabinets and the warmer wood she brought into the home. I thought it was a great grey beige.

    Paint color selection is hard, half of it is figuring out what you like without too many errors.

  • Rose/Miros Rose/Miros on Sep 17, 2018

    You could run a strip of molding down the wall between/behind rooms so it would look more like separate rooms. Between the kitchen and dining room, I'd line it up with the bar. Paint or stain the molding to match your other woodwork, which might give you the continuity from room to room. For the living room, you might just need to somewhat arbitrarily set the cut off.

    Yes, choose very similar colors or mix your base color with white or a tiny tiny amount of black or gray. Use some bright colors as an accent, table cloth, placemats, drapes, sofa pillows, etc.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Sep 17, 2018

    The one thing to think about is what colors are you going to introduce into your décor. I am sure that you have furniture that you already are bringing in or that you are purchasing. You want to make sure that your wall color will look good, where it is a touch of your main color or to go with your accent colors, make sure it won't clash. Not everything will go with every color unless you go with true colors, like light gray with no red or blue tint, etc. My walls are all the same color throughout the house, a bit off white, but with all the trees shading the house, they look more like a beige color and don't bring in any light. I would have preferred white in the dark house, but it had been freshly painted and new paint wasn't in the budget.

  • Meredith Meredith on Sep 17, 2018

    Sherwin Williams Color Snap app. Lets you use you phone’s camera to try any SW color

  • Ruth Ruth on Sep 17, 2018

    I just finished our basement a cool grey and did and accent wall with a darker grey .... I’m very happy with the results

  • Twyla J Boyer Twyla J Boyer on Sep 18, 2018

    Paint the shared wall all one color - one that will coordinate with things in both rooms. Near as I can tell from the photos, it is only that one wall that is shared, so paint the remaining walls in each room whatever color you want - you won't see them from the other room.

  • Linda Linda on Mar 09, 2020

    This post has instructions on how to pick paint colors for your house along with popular colors.