Favorite Paint Colors {My Picks + A Series Recap}

Back in August, I invited a few of my favorite design bloggers to share some of their favorite paint colors. Perhaps you’ll remember the eye-catching color of Ashley’s playhouse or John and Sherry’s beautiful bedroom? Those turned out to be some of my most popular posts ever, telling me that paint is a hot topic. It really didn’t surprise me, since paint consultations are amongst the most requested services within my business, and I’m often asked about the latest trends in paint colors. Just yesterday, I was picking up items from the dry cleaners and somehow the conversation led to paint!

When I wrote those posts, I told you I had a list of my own paint front-runners that I’d share with you. Some of them are paint colors I’ve used within our home and others are suggestions for clients that I couldn’t be happier with. It’s always important to keep in mind that, although these are tried and true colors, they don’t work in every situation. Lighting, both natural and artificial, flooring, and other room elements can greatly affect how a color appears on a wall. It’s important to go through a paint selection process to come up with the best color for your space.

My current top pick for an all-over, use almost anywhere neutral is Cashmere, a beautiful soft grey from the Sarah Richardson Collection for Para. We painted most of our basement this color and I love how light and airy it makes the space feel, while providing an element of coziness with it’s warmer undertone. I’m planning on carrying this color up onto the main floor.

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It’s All in the Details {Basement Update}

We’re rounding third base on our basement renovation and I couldn’t be happier. To recap, we started with an unfinished basement and set out to create a family-friendly room for entertaining and relaxing, as well as additional space for when we have overnight guests. To date, with a lot of help, we’ve completed the framing, electrical, drywall, trim work, painting, and flooring. Here’s a sneak peek of our progress.

Our Basement Renovation

Like most renovations, we’ve had our share of bumps along the road, including doors that didn’t match, an obvious slope in one corner of the ceiling, and speaker wires installed backwards (to name a few). However, these have all been addressed and the room is shaping up to be just as we had envisioned.

The next step in our basement journey is re-hanging the shaker style doors, finishing off the snack bar area, and mounting the TV and speakers (in those little niches). I’m also waiting on two ceiling light fixtures to arrive so they can be installed in the stairwell and hallway. Then it’s on to furnishing and decorating the space.

While I was planning the snack bar area, I had trouble deciding on a number of factors. Should the cabinets be painted white or grey? Upper cabinets with glass doors or open shelving? Subway tile backsplash or marble? Overhead lighting or under cabinet? The number of decisions to make for this small area really added up.

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Basement Paint Colors

Our basement renovation is moving right along and I’m feeling a bit of pressure to make some of the decorating decisions, including paint colors. Up until this point, I’ve had a general idea of how I want the final area to feel, but I’ve been slow at nailing down specific choices. Today, the trim work is being finished and the next step will be painting. You can check out Our Basement Renovation if you’ve missed any of the progress to this point.

 Drywall Stage of Basement Renovation

Normally, I go to my Benjamin Moore deck for colors, but I decided to give Sarah Richardson’s Para Collection a try for something different. I like how the large paint swatches make it easy to compare colors and really get a sense of how they will look on the walls.


For the main walls, I was looking for a neutral color with a grey undertone. Cashmere (SR-13) seemed to be the color that read a bit grey, but maintained a bit of warmth.

Cashmere SR-13

For the TV wall, I decided to go with a deep grey color. My hope is that it will blend better with the TV and speakers so they aren’t a main focal point of the room. I also prefer watching TV screens in front of a dark background color much better. Thunderstorm (SR-72)  is a grey that changes depending on the light, from grey to green to blue. I think it’s the perfect complement to the quartz countertop we’re planning on installing in the snack bar area, as well as some of the accents and artwork we plan on adding to the room. [Read more...]

Our Basement Renovation {Part One}

This week I’ve been finalizing the plans for our basement. When we purchased our home 8 years ago, it was unfinished and we didn’t have any intention of doing much with it. Over the years it has mainly served as a place for storage, somewhere to hold my work table for messy projects, a place to work out (sadly, not very often) and the occasional mini sticks game.

As time has gone by and my son has become older, the need for more room in our home has grown. When we decorated our upstairs family room about 6 years ago, my son and his friends were small. Fast forward 6 years and we now have 16 and 17 year old ‘men’ walking around the house and the noise that comes with them is astonishing! (I’m not sure how it happened, but all of his friends are 6’2″ and up. That takes up a lot of space!) Finishing the basement (or at least part of it) seems like the right solution. I don’t know about you, but as a teenager I loved having friends over to watch movies and having a space for us all to crash.

Over the years the main room at the bottom of the stairs has become somewhat of a hangout anyway. As new furniture was purchased for other parts of our home, the old stuff made its way to the basement. Currently there’s an old TV, stand, floor pillows, lamp, side table, and a large area rug. It has all served a purpose, but it’s time to create a proper hangout space.

Throughout the renovation in the coming weeks, I’ll be documenting the entire process. Topics will range anywhere from selecting doors and trim, to paint colors, to flooring, to furniture and accessories. I know it’s going to require a lot of work and decision making, but I know it will be worth it in the end! Here are some lovely pictures of basement family rooms I have found as a source of inspiration:

{Sarah Richardson via HGTV}

{via Sarah Richardson Design}

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Choosing Paint Colors with Confidence

From Hazy Skies and Truffle to Pomegranate and Wisteria, choosing a paint color can intimidate even the most experienced DIY-er. With so many colors, finishes, and brands of paint on the market, it is easy to understand why people live with builder’s beige as long as they do. In fact, when it’s time to repaint, many people play it safe with an off-white that really doesn’t complement the rest of their decor or evoke the feeling they want the room to have. Yet choosing paint colors doesn’t have to be as daunting if you spend some time considering a few factors.

Start with inspiration. When developing a colour scheme for a room, one of the last decisions I make is the wall color. Start with a fabric you love or a piece or artwork. Think about colors you are naturally drawn to by looking in your wardrobe or jewelry box. Take a look through magazines or visit stores and make note of what you are drawn to and the colours they represent. By identifying the colors that you’re naturally attracted to, whether bright or subdued, you’ll start to form a vision of a hue that is perfectly suited for your personality.

Design by Eileen Kathryn Boyd- Lonny Magazine

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