In this post: Are you looking for wall color ideas for an updated light and bright home? Here are the soft and pretty paint colors I’ve chosen for our home.⇒
There’s one question I’m asked more than any other.
That one thing that everyone seems to want to know is the name and source of our paint colors.
I’ve always been a fan of very pale “barely there” colors for the walls and I like them to have a neutral feel. The paint might be an actual color, but if soft and pale enough, it can function like a neutral.
My mother had a rule that each room should be painted every 3 years. So although I carefully selected our paint colors when we first moved into our home, a few years in I realized I wanted to update some of the decor. With mom’s words in my head, despite the fact that our home still seemed new, I decided it was ok to tweak some of the wall colors to work with the decor refreshes.
What follows is a bevy of wall color ideas, including all those I’ve used for the various iterations of my current home.
For a more in depth look at each of the rooms, you can click on the enclosed links, which will take you to the posts where they were revealed more fully.
Original Entry Foyer – Mushroom Cap 177
Entry Foyer Update – Tapestry Beige OC-32
Wall Color Ideas
I took a lot of time initially selecting my paint colors for each room, gathering swatches of much of what’s available in a variety of paint lines. I’m quite decisive when it comes to color and I never bothered with samples or painting sections of walls. I was happy with what I opted for the first time around and I only made changes a few years later when I decided to refine the overall style of my decor.
I think of my house as very white, but in truth it’s not white at all and nearly all the walls bear some color, albeit pale and wispy. I lean toward warm tones and I use them as neutrals, and when we first painted I found a pale banana yellow to be infinitely more interesting than beige or tan so you’ll see a lot of that among my earlier wall color ideas.
In time I moved more toward greige in many of my rooms, and it’s interesting to see how the wall color changes the look of the rooms, as well as how the evolution of the room decor precipitated some of the paint color updates.
The underpinning of paint is an essential mood maker, setting the tone for what’s layered on top. As an eternal optimist I always surround myself with happy colors as I like to be enveloped in warmth. That said, recently those tones are warmer versions of neutral. I find this palette leaves room for more flexibility in the room decor and provides an opportunity to accent with robust color, when desired. It also makes it easy to change the look of the room in no time.
One particularly notable side point is that nearly every wall in our home was painted in a deep dark color before we moved in, so the transition to light and airy made the house look very different. Utilizing paint for this purpose is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to transform a home.
Back Entry Foyer – Mannequin Cream 2152-60
Back Entry Update – Tapestry Beige OC-32
The Main Floor
Much of our first floor was initially divided between two different pale yellows. The first one is Benjamin Moore Mannequin Cream 2152-60, a barely-there yellow that at times reads like cream but offers a little bit more in warmth and color than a straight cream would. The other yellow is Benjamin Moore Mushroom Cap 177. While soft and lovely, it’s more of a true yellow than the lighter one, clean and clear, but lacking any harshness.
As my style evolved from classic French Country into a more modern version of French style decor, my paint choices became more neutral and most of the first floor is now greige. You’ll notice Tapestry Beige used over and over, yet it’s not the only neutral I use.
Original Living Room – Mushroom Cap 177
Living Room Update – Tapestry Beige OC-32
Original Home Office– Mannequin Cream 2152-60
Home Office Updated – Tapestry Beige OC-32
Original Family Room – Mannequin Cream 2152-60
Family Room Update – Tapestry Beige OC-32
In addition to the yellows, I used other subtle colors when we first painted. In the dining room, I knew I wanted a rosy glow, so my choice was a blush color called Bridal Pink 2013-70, also from Benjamin Moore. The paint has just the right hint of barely-there pink while offering the warm glow I was hoping for. This room, too, was ultimately updated to a neutral greige as the decor in the room became more sophisticated. You can see the progression below.
Original Dining Room – Bridal Pink 2013-70
Dining Room Update – Tapestry Beige OC-32
The few rooms on the first floor utilizing very different wall color ideas have been neutral from the start (in fact this is where my love for Tapestry Beige first began!) In these cases the selection of alternate colors was very intentional. The first is the breakfast room, as well as the kitchen, which opens to and can be seen from the family room. This is the one place I decided to go with an essentially colorless shade.
In thinking ahead, I knew I would be renovating my kitchen to a predominately white room, and I painted the walls a warm greige with that in mind. The color is Benjamin Moore Tapestry Beige OC-32, which was also used in our master bath, another room that was destined for a ‘whitening’ renovation. The renovated rooms are now complete and the color has ‘spread’ to most of the first floor of our home.
Breakfast Room – Tapestry Beige OC-32
Kitchen – Tapestry Beige OC-32 (Cabinets – White Dove)
The butler’s pantry was also newly renovated, where I chose China White PM-20 to complement the cream colored cabinetry in White Dove. In the second photo, below, you can see how the updated neutral hallway color spotlights the white marble of the butler’s pantry.
Original Butler’s Pantry – Linen White
Butler’s Pantry Update – China White PM-20
Original Stairway – Mushroom Cap 177
Stairway Updated – Tapestry Beige OC-32
There are several rooms upstairs where I’ve used a wider array of colors in the individual bedrooms. The master bedroom below is where you can see one of my favorite paint colors, Benjamin Moore Wales Green 2028-50. This lovely green is springy and beautiful, a delightful color to wake up to.
I recently made the switch in this room too, after wrestling with whether to paint over my beloved Wales Green. It took a while to get used to the change, but I have so much more flexibility in the room now that the walls are neutral.
Master Bedroom – Wales Green 2028-50
Master Bedroom Update – Alabaster
Master Bath – Tapestry Beige OC-32
You can peek at the other bedrooms, below, for the rest of my wall color ideas. Most of these have been altered, as well, to allow for more freedom with seasonal decor and “when-the-mood-strikes-me” updates.
The french blue bedroom is our true guest room where I’d chosen Benjamin Moore Sweet Bluette 813 to give the space a real cottage feel.
First, I updated the bedding to all white, which you can see in the second photo and later I painted the room to another almost white. I kept some blue and white accents, but feel they take on a more sophisticated air against a background of nearly white walls.
Origial Blue Bedroom – Sweet Bluette 813
Blue Bedroom Update- Sweet Bluette 813
Guest Room Update – China White PM-20
The one room that wore a more modern darker shade is the grey bedroom, the room we use for my daughter when she visits. Here I used Benjamin Moore Winter Gates AC-30, pictured below. I decided to go significantly lighter in this room and it’s now painted a very pale grey, called China White, which you can see in the second picture below.
Original Grey Bedroom – Winter Gates AC-30
Grey Bedroom Update – China White PM-20
Our third guest room is the room that serves as my son’s room when he visits. Here I used Benjamin Moore Gentle Cream OC-96, a color that reads to me as a warm khaki more than cream, but ever-so-subtly without a touch of heaviness. I’ve lightened this room by virtue of updating the bedding (see the second picture below), but the wall color remained the same for quite some time. I’ve only recently changed it to Alabaster, primarily to make it as light as possible, as it’s the darkest room in the house.
Original Khaki Bedroom – Gentle Cream OC-96
Khaki Bedroom Update – White Dove
Guest Bath – China White PM-20
One of the first things I changed upstairs is the hallway, which like the downstairs rooms went from pale yellow to a simple greige.
You can also get a glimpse of our lower level rooms, the basement rec room which has been grey from the start and our home gym, which is a very pale aqua. The gym is on my list for a simple update, possibly to white or alabaster.
And speaking of white, in case you’re wondering, all of the ceilings and trim are painted in Benjamin Moore Simply White, the most perfect white that I’ve ever found. It soft with no strange undertones, and yet is still a true clear white.
Paint is one of the easiest ways to make a huge impact on a room and create a noticeable difference for a reasonable price. It’s a great place to update often because the investment is low and yet the payback high!
Original Upstairs Hallway – Mushroom Cap 177
Upstairs Hallway Update – Tapestry Beige OC-32
Basement – Revere Pewter HC-172
Home Gym – Irish Mint 2041-70
Whatever you feel works best for your home, there’s no easier way to make quick and effective changes than you can with paint. It freshens up the room, making it look clean and new and it doesn’t break the bank like some other renovations can. Happy painting!!