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Colored Walls

by | Jan 25, 2010 | Decorating Inspiration, Details

Colored Walls

Country Living Keith Scott Morton

I have lived with mostly white or pale walls with color in the accessories look for years and years now (my entire 23 years of married life, actually!). It has always been the look I felt comfortable with, I love the idea of the color in fabrics and accessories being in focus with neutral backdrops.

But, even so, in most of my houses I’ve had at least one room with colored walls. Even if the color is brown, I love it.

Colored Walls Mary Jane McCartyCountry Living

I particularly like white or neutral walls if the walls are wood or plaster so they have some existing texture for interest. We have always lived in older houses, so I guess I am used to walls having a little personality. I really miss a lot of the texture that our older homes had already built in.

Now that I am living in a new house with plain ol’ drywall, I am really tempted to add a cozy color to give them a little more “oomph.”

Colored Walls Coastal Living

I’m thinking about painting my bedroom and bathroom a pretty color and maybe even papering my powder room walls (yes, wallpaper. Hush. Don’t hate me because I like wallpaper).

For sure, though, I can.not.keep the swine walls. I still dislike them. Really really dislike them. No one should have under belly of a pig walls if they don’t like them. I cannot stress that enough.

Colored Walls

This Old House

Colored Walls

Coastal Living

I have never felt totally comfortable making my own home VOID of color. Our life is lived in full color — I would have a hard time with all neutral because my kids backpacks and lunch boxes and sweatshirts laying around would always ruin my decor. Having color makes real life fit in to the decor, and that is important to me.

Other than knowing that I must have color in my home, I can be so all over the map as far as what I like. So much so that sometimes I have trouble deciding what to do in my own home. Never enough rooms in my own house to do everything I love. Now you know why I had to be a decorator…it was either that or buy six houses to play in.

Colored Walls

House to Home

Colored Walls My Home Ideas

Colored Walls


Colored Walls Point Click Home

Colored Walls Southern Living

Colored Walls Cottage Living

Colored Walls

House Beautiful

Colored Walls

Cottage Living

Colored Walls House Beautiful

Colored Walls Cottage Living

How about you? Are you ever indecisive and easily confused by all the color options in decorating?

And let’s talk about colored walls, neutral walls and what everyone likes. Are you tired of neutral walls? Ready to see color? Or are you trying to get rid of your color and craving something neutral? Let’s chat. I’m curious about what you are thinking!


  1. Shannon

    I go back and forth with colored walls and neutral walls. The great thing… paint is a very inexpensive way to most dramatically change a room! When I get bored, I break out the paint brush and get excited about choosing a new color! I think it’s fun to try new techniques with colors you already have at home as well!

  2. Aspirations of a Southern Housewife

    LOVE color but have also realized that I love a more neutral palette- but one with color. But the idea of some bright colors in mostly-hidden places is fun (laundry room, storage closets, etc). Cannot stand plain white walls in my home. That said, when I see all-white rooms in the blogosphere with lots of great textures… I’m tempted!
    .-= Aspirations of a Southern Housewife´s last blog ..For the Love of Lemons =-.

  3. francis

    as soon as we took down our christmas decorations,we decided to add a dramatic colour to our very neutral lounge -AUBERGINE ,we painted the breast wall and added a few purple cushions,the room looks a lot warmer but im loving peacock blue /teal and olive green ….maybe next month…

  4. Dawn-Hydrangea Home

    Great post Melissa. For years I have had color and talked others out of being afraid of color. But I think I need to go neutral now. Of course I’ll still have some pops of color in my accessories, but I need to get rid of my red dining room, mustard den and green kitchen. I’m thinking (hoping) by having some neutral walls, it will calm things down a bit in this hectic house! We’ll see how it goes. I realized I needed this when I looked at my inspiration folders and all of the photos were in shades of white. Have a great week!
    .-= Dawn-Hydrangea Home´s last blog ..NYC and Martha =-.

  5. duchess

    I’m always confused & indecisive about my house. That’s why it takes so long to get a project done. I’ve always been a fan of color but am trying to neutralize the palette a little in this house. I am planning on color in the kids rooms & in the accessories in the living spaces. We’ll see what actually happens when I get to painting (if I can ever make the time). Thanks for all of the inspirational pics & I’m also a fan of wallpaper when it’s done right.
    .-= duchess´s last blog ..A Quick Trip =-.

  6. linda

    I am bringing most of the walls to a neutral. I tend to have color in accessories or a pop of color…like a door, a hood vent. Our Foyer has always been a big blast of color…and am thinking of neutralizing it, too. But I’ll leave the powder room off of it the little colorful jewel box that it is.
    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..And…since we didn’t win the lottery… =-.

  7. Kristen

    Oh, I am craving some color on my walls! We rent, and painting isn’t worth the hassle at move-out. I’d love to splash some blue all over our bedroom and bathroom and some sort of green in the guest bedroom or kitchen. But I do think I would stay with some neutral tones – a soft brown of some sort – in the living room so it doesn’t overwhelm me too much!
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..Welcome to the World =-.

    • Rosie

      Kristen, it was suggested to me that if you plan to be somewhere for 3 years plus, it’s worth the investment of time, trouble, and cash to paint in a rental. You might consider these alternatives: A large square of paint–allowing a 12-, 18-, or 20-inch border of the landlord’s color along all edges of a focus wall, framing the color of your choice. This method gets some color up while eliminating all the “cutting in” hassle of painting and is easily covered. Secondly, a wall of dummy panels from floor to ceiling in your favorite shade. This creates a focus wall of color somewhere in the room–just remember to sprinkle the color throughout the rest of the room! Last tip: if you do paint, choose a color that looks good with the trim paints throughout, that way you’ll only have to cover with flat and skip doing the trim too!

      • Julianne

        Rosie — that idea of having a 12″ border to avoid having to cut in and therefore avoiding purchasing the tape and spending the extra time to tape and then cut in is genius for a renter!

        We rent and are finally staying in the same apartment for 3 years. Knowing that we would be doing that, the first thing we did was paint our living room, kitchen and bathrooms…I could not handle the idea of white walls for 3 years! I just wish I would have thought of this terrific, time-saving technique you suggest, especially now that we are coming up to the end of our lease and will have to paint back to white! Baa!

  8. Missy K

    In our previous homes, I’ve had LOTS of STRONG color on the walls, and when we moved into this house four years ago, I knew I wanted to go more neutral. And I have, in the hall, our living and dining room, and the family room– those rooms that are “busy.” I also want to put a warm cream in my craft room. But now, warm golds and camels are creeping in– maybe I’ve found my happy medium. . . ?
    .-= Missy K´s last blog ..Today I loved. . . =-.

  9. Karen H

    Personally, I went with color when we moved into our home a few years back. It is a simple ranch structure and the rooms are fairly small. Also, most of our furnishings have simple lines . So, for our situation, I decided color would be what would create the personality and warmth without trying to fill the space with a lot of other “stuff”, if that makes sense.
    .-= Karen H´s last blog ..Is Your Decor In Tune? =-.

  10. Gina

    I am in the process of changing all my colored walls to a grey tone of neutrals. I just couldn’t get the colored rooms to flow from one room to the next.

  11. Melanie

    I will say that I did see the post about the Nester wanting to go neutral and I commented that I could never do it. I LOVE color on the walls. I love neutral rooms too but in other peoples houses. Not in mine. :) I usually pick out colors that I love (golds, greens, taupes) but this new house we bought, I went with a tan because we have a two story great room and I won’t be able to paint it by myself. I am not really happy with it but I am adding color through the artwork, rugs, and pillows. I say paint a nice warm color!
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..This is why I love blogging. =-.

  12. Shelly

    I love color! There is not a single white wall in my whole house. My living room is red, and I don’t think I’ll ever change it. My kids’ rooms are various shades of green. The rest of the walls are various shades of taupe (is that a color or neutral?) that serves as a great backdrop to pretty much anything. I couldn’t stand white walls.
    .-= Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side´s last blog ..The Birfday Boy =-.

  13. Cathy

    I just love the calmness of neutrals. With so many different neutral colors available you can create a different feeling in each room. I have used bold color in the past. I enjoyed if for a time, but I tire of it much more quickly than with a neutral.

  14. Kathleen Grace

    I think that whatever we have lived with for years, it inspires us to try something new. Do I have trouble choosing color? Yes! Right now I am trying to choose a color for the dining room and kitchen and it is so hard! I see so many beautiful rooms in magazines and on blogs and I love them all. Right now my kitchen has been red for about 6 years, I am ready to go much lighter but neutral pastel or white? and what accent colors am I ready for? It can be maddening. I love so many colors and styles, the tough part is just choosing one!
    .-= Kathleen Grace´s last blog .. =-.

  15. LeAnn

    Interesting post Melissa. I see a lot of neutral rooms that I love but I know for me, I have to have color, especially because we have very gloomy weather here in Ohio in the winter and I need to see pops of color everywhere. I have however toned down my paint colors. I used to be quite bold but now more subtle and neutral and bring the color out in my accessories. I’m sure whatever you do will be beautiful!

    .-= LeAnn´s last blog ..Beach Cottage Tour….Part II =-.

  16. The Working Home Keeper

    Our walls were neutral (read faded, dingy white) when we moved into our house. We’ve been slowly adding color over the years. The kitchen is now terra cotta, the foyer is merlot, the family room is a warm and cheery Caribbean Sunset. Our next project is our livng room – from dark paneling to a cool, relaxing Eucalyptus Leaf.
    .-= The Working Home Keeper´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday – January 25th =-.

  17. Denise

    You know how much I love color and have been trying to tone my walls down a bit, so I am trying to find the balance between having some color, but not too much…thanks as always for your inspiration!

  18. Lesley

    I have colored walls in every room but I’m always looking at white walls wondering if I’ve made a huge mistake! I love the clean, uncluttered look that white walls can help create.

    I am completely schizophrenic about my decor. I like so many different things. But…in the end…I think I’m happy with my colored walls.

    I have yellow in the living room and dining room, brown in the bathroom and the office, blue in the guest room, and gray in the “master.”
    .-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Giveaway: Inspirational art from Red Letter Words =-.

  19. Jessica

    Loved all the pics. I recently went out on a limb and used a color by Benjamin Moore called ‘Robin’s Nest’…loved it. Now the play/sewing/school room is so bright and cheery, I can’t seem to stay out.
    .-= Jessica @ These Are The Days´s last blog ..Life – Charlotte Mason Style =-.

  20. Sandy

    It’s time to paint the main rooms around here. I have Duron Plantation Beige which is a warm golden color. I’m thinking of toning down the gold to a more neutral beige or a slight bit of sage in the paint. It’s hard to make a big change b/c of all the fabrics and accessories.
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..winter white sales =-.

  21. Myrnie

    :) I am looking at basil green, lilac, and butter yellow walls right now. We’ve always been nervous about color, but we moved into an older house and every wall was already a different color in murky earth tones. I was pregnant and rebelled- now we look like a crayola box exploded and I love it!
    .-= Myrnie´s last blog ..Meal Planning Monday =-.

  22. Christi

    I live in a neutral world. I want colored walls soooo bad but the fear of choosing the wrong color has paralyzed me. So the walls are still builder beige. I want to be brave. I just need to know how to choose the right color. Are their rules or guidelines?
    .-= Christi´s last blog ..Girls Day and Tidbits… =-.

  23. Mrs.Rabe

    We are color, color, color here at Creekside Cottage! We lived with mostly white walls at our old house, and I did really love it. When we moved into our current house, I did a bit of color but softer. The main thing was to just get it painted and move in! After a few years, wanting to freshen up the place, I asked my husband what he would like to see in our house and he said ‘bold color’.
    We have wood floors, white trim on the walls and warm and welcoming color on our walls. I tend to go neutral in the sofa colors – the high end furniture. Paint is cheap. Easier for us to change the color of our walls than to buy a new couch!
    It works for us! Hey this sounds like a blog post!
    .-= Mrs.Rabe´s last blog ..Felling Trees =-.

  24. Oregonsun

    After MANY years of off white wall colors I decided to put up a bit of color in two of our bedrooms. I love it! The color is called Vanilla Latte by Valspar. I do think it is about comfort levels for each of us and there is no right or wrong answer. The pictures are wonderful.

  25. Kim

    As a decorator, I see color all the time, so I’m more apt to go neutral. However, the two smallest rooms in my house – both awkwardly shaped – are painted in deep colors because this helps to “erase” those lines that make the room look awkward in the first place.

    I also love to play with texture and color with removeable items like textiles and accessories. This way I’m never bored and it cures my need to change things without spending a lot of money.

    There are a lot of beautiful medium to dark colors that actually can serve as neutrals so you can get your fix and not be stuck in one color palette. I love BM’s Maple Syrup and Creekside Green.
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..Coffee vs. Coffee vs. Tea =-.

  26. Amanda-TheEckLife

    i have been a painting fool lately! I too had lived long enough with the ugly bright white now gone dirty cuz of kids walls. Actually last night I made a late night run to Home Depot for a color sample of the new Pottery Barn color-Wedgewood Grey- I.LOVE.IT! looks like my dining room will soon get a makeover. When I start to fret about paint colors my husband always tells me “honey, its just paint, you can always change it”
    .-= Amanda-TheEckLife´s last blog ..Happy Birthday to me!! =-.

  27. Connie

    I had to laugh at your comment about “being all over the map” and how your kid’s backpacks “ruin your decor”. I share your thoughts as well. I’m so random…I like old mixed with new…bright, cheerful colors…in a house with 5 kids…calm, peaceful, neutral doesn’t really match our lifestyle. (although I like the look of it and appreciate the serene feeling it gives me.)
    I just painted my spare bedroom tart green apple and it makes me so happy, I turned it into my craft room.
    I think some people just crave color and some crave calm neutrals.

  28. Mary Habres

    I love your blog. It’s one of my favorites. Could you please send me your e-mail address. I’ve started a blog and I wanted to ask you a few questions about yours without it appearing on your blog. Thanks.
    .-= Mary Habres´s last blog ..Let the Staging Begin =-.

  29. Flower Patch Farmgirl

    Most of my walls fall somewhere in the green-blue-aqua family. I can’t get away from the cool colors – so soothing and serene! Sometimes I feel the pull toward neutral and color-less, but I think I like that idea more in theory than in practice.
    .-= Flower Patch Farmgirl´s last blog ..Garden Dreaming =-.

  30. Katie

    I love a mix of neutral and color, depending on the room. My dining/living and bed rooms are really serene neutrals but I have a bold orange kitchen and I love it! Orange is a great energizing color for a kitchen and it just makes you happy to be in the room…plus it’s a little different from the popular red kitchen. Not for everyone but we get lots of compliments.
    .-= Katie @ Haute Apple Pie´s last blog ..DIY Window Chalkboard =-.

    • Abbie

      I LOVE your orange kitchen! I’ve picked a bright yellow for mine, but am trying not to chicken out now that my brother is coming to rip down wallpaper and paint for me!
      .-= Abbie´s last blog ..Chicken ‘n rice =-.

      • Katie

        Stick with it! You’ll have a whole new reason to get up for breakfast :)
        .-= Katie @ Haute Apple Pie´s last blog ..DIY Window Chalkboard =-.

  31. Rachel

    We have a 3 bedroom rental with vaulted ceilings in the kitchen and living room. We’ve had all white walls for over a year now and I just couldn’t take it anymore. We went to Home Depot and bought a gallon of warm yellow paint and painted my daughter’s room. I love it. I don’t care if we have to paint it all white before we leave, I can’t live without color.
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Outdoor Fun =-.

  32. desiree

    I have always had plainish walls until we remodeled. My husband chose a green for our dining room–our contractor was hesitant which made me nervous–but it turned better than I could imagined. I can’t imagine it being any other color now! Great examples!
    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..Original artwork adds zest to decor =-.

  33. Gina

    I agree about having to have color as the backdrop; every room in my house is a different color and we love it. A real estate agent would tell me to paint it all back neutral before we sell, but I would refuse. It shows the house in a very cozy, creative, inspirational, interesting light! And I love wallpaper, too, and wish it weren’t so expensive to order and have hung…I have a kitchen and 2 bathrooms in dire need of a re-do!

  34. Jennifer

    I love color, too!! I have an older home, one in which all the rooms are VERY individualized. There is no flow from one room to the next in my house, and I love that b/c of our 4 boys, 3 cats and 1 dog. We just painted our living room {FAMILY room, actually} a pretty grey~ish blue this weekend. It’s called Skipper and it’s my favorite Behr brand paint. Thanks for reminding us that neutral is NOT always the most fashionable! {BTW, I did all of this much to the HORROR of my sisters and mom, but we LOVE IT!!!}

  35. Theresa

    I wish we could paint our walls. However, the rules in our current place makes that a big no no. So we are stuck with stark white everywhere! Once we get our first house I’m sure there will be color in every room.

  36. The Tiny Homestead

    I’ve been asking myself this question recently. I love color on the walls, but our rooms are so small I’ve been leaning towards just carrying a light neutral throughout to keep the space feeling open. Hopefully this strategy works!
    .-= The Tiny Homestead´s last blog ..Starting the New Year with a Splash =-.

  37. Michelle "Chaos Caretaker"

    Over the years I have developed a fearlessness about wall color. I am not sure where it came from, because I wouldn’t consider myself a particularly courageous person, however, I decided that the worst that could happen when painting a wall, is that I don’t like it, and paint it again. We recently redid our master suite and although our pictures don’t do it justice, I love the result. And that is what it boils down to. What feels right for you! :-)

  38. Amanda

    I think I like a nice balance between the two. Most of the rooms on our first floor are a nice khaki color with white trim/molding. The Dining room is red with the chair rail and everything below it in white. The Kitchen is soft yellow with the chair rail and lower in white.

    I like colored walls, but after a few years, I’m ready for change! I think it’s easier to have neutrals and change up accessories. My husband isn’t the guy who’s most inclined to mix things up, so repainting can be difficult. Luckily, a friend “owes” us some painting time after all the help my hubs gave him with his new house. I am planning on getting a new look in my kitchen. :)
    .-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly =-.

  39. Sabrina

    I’ve never been one for plain white walls, especially in houses with drywall. It feels bland and personality-less to me, but, ironically, I almost never get around to painting the walls in my house. I think it’s exactly what you described, I become frozen with indecision over all the choices. I like so many different styles and colors, I can never decide what I want. Thankfully, in this house, I painted my living room a warm honey yellow (cheerful, but still pretty neutral) before we even moved in. Now, I have to do all the other rooms.

  40. Aimee

    I love color and must have color on my walls. My living room in 4 different places has been yellow!! Love “Beeswax” by Sherwin Williams…they don’t have it on chips anymore, but the color is in their computers.
    I also love the color “Blue Smoke” by Olympia paints at Lowe’s.
    And my little boys’ room is now painted “River’s Edge” by Behr…a fun turquoise-y color! I use yellow and orange and red accents in there for a children’s vintage feel.
    .-= Aimee´s last blog ..A Cup of Sanity =-.

  41. Vee

    This must be a connumdrum for most of us. Loved seeing all the color above, but I know that there is no way that I’d ever paint using any of those colors. Obviously, I like to play it safe. One thing I really get in a lather over is when some decorator (not you…you’d never say this ☺) says, “It’s only paint.” Ackkkkk! Not in today’s economy. Not in today’s time spent economy either.
    .-= Vee´s last blog ..Up to Somethin’ =-.

  42. Vee

    Connundrum…some days I can spell… others not so much… ;>
    .-= Vee´s last blog ..Up to Somethin’ =-.

  43. Marci

    My husband is a builder and we never stay in one house too long. We have always thought “resale value” so my husband wouldn’t let me put a hole in the wall or use any color paint except for builder beige. We think we will stay in this house for a while, so I got the go-ahead to paint!!! I like neutrals, but I needed color after that long in a neutral world. So far, two walls in my living room are a “foxfire brown”, my kitchen/dinette is a faux painting that looks like aged gold venetian plaster, the kids rooms are crazy colors they picked out, and my powder room is gold – like shiny gold (scary at first but it worked out!) .
    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..Be Clutter Free =-.

  44. Laura Zarrin

    I’ve tried to go neutral with my new house. That lasted for about 5 min. I’m all about color. I have chosen some neutrals, but they’re balanced with colorful accent walls. I’m on a deadline, but still had such a hard time deciding. I agonized over every color choice I made. A whole house all at once?! Way out of my comfort zone. FYI–I have swine colored tile in my master bath. It’s on the counter, shower, floor, and (OMG!) the ceiling. Shoot me now!!!

  45. Sandy

    I told Nester how much I love color, too. That SL kitchen is my exact color (one of my greens). I love color – Yay for color!

    Fun post, Melissa. Happy Monday!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Intentional Family Time: Can you say No? =-.

  46. Megan

    ooh, COLOR! My husband and I just bought our first house last April, and I am craving brighter colors for the spring. I have opted for warmer, richer colors in the main living area. I like the cozy feeling. But I think a splash of bright apple green in my laundry (closet) just might be what I’m looking for! The best advise I have gotten lately is that color is one of the easiest things you can do to refresh your home. I SO agree. I was also wondering if you do home consultations. I too live in Washington area, and I LOVE your blog so much, I check it every day without fail! If you have the time, please email me with your information!

  47. nell ann

    I change my mind all the time {Hence the blog name Domestic Indecision} but lately I have been loving very neutral walls with the color in smaller things I can change out. When we bought our home we painted all the public rooms different shades of tan and brown (from the same paint card) and were more brave in private rooms. Over the holidays I removed all the color from the master bed and bath and went with more tan and light gray! It’s just so much easier that way for all my mind changing!

  48. leslie

    I’ve got some green walls here in one room, and deep plum walls in another room that are begging me to paint them a brown or neutral tan…. (but deep down inside, I know that I need to focus on getting the base of our house outside painted- the previous owner painted the concrete battle ship grey, and it’s got to go THIS YEAR. :) )
    .-= leslie´s last blog ..too cute not to share… =-.

  49. Debbie

    Hi sweet Melissa. This is one of my favorite posts of yours yet! How funny….we are all so troubled and yet moved deeply by color. Just by visiting other blogs you can tell where a woman stands with color….or the lack of it and all things are WHITE! Great pictures you showed…I honestly get drawn to all of them for one reason or another! HOpe you are doing well!
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..Helping my parents remember…. =-.

  50. Michelle

    We have a large front room that is actually a dining room and living room separated by a large archway. The dining room is medium olive green and the living room is lightish olive. The inside of the archway is the lightest color on the color chip that contains the living room and dining room colors. The olive is the perfect “neutral” paint. It adds a splash of color, but people never say so, “Oh! I love your green dining room!” They say things like, “You’re house feels some cozy and comfortable.” I’m happy to send pictures if you’d like.

  51. Jennifer

    I’m a color girl! I just painted my bedroom Hinting Blue by Sherwin Williams, the perfect barely there blue. It even looks white in the can!

  52. Jocelyn Stott

    Loooooove these photos – especially the pale blue from the This Old House pics. I especially love the little chair in the corner. Peaceful.
    .-= Jocelyn Stott´s last blog ..An Open Letter to the Nincompoops =-.

  53. Tracy

    I don’t hate you for loving wallpaper, unless I buy your house. Every house we have lived in, has had hideous wallpaper which for one reason or another has been hard to take down and get a nice smooth finish back to paint over. Even though I hated the previous owner’s stenciling in the kitchen, it was easy to paint over. Wallpaper is a nightmare.

  54. Gina

    Color is tricky! I had some color initially in our home, and not too long ago painted a soft neutral over it-but I’ve found that I’ve been adding punches of color in the accessories. I kind of like it that way-accessories are a lot easier to change than paint, and I hate to paint! I do have a few spots of color in a few different rooms, but in the main living area I’m drawn to neutral-it’s smallish and neutral seems to just “go” better. But I love your inspiration photos!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Dear Saturday =-.

  55. Jill: The Welcome Home

    I lived with bland beige walls for years!

    I painted the walls in my current home a variety of related warm colors. The house is shaded by mature trees and dark most of the time. I knew I would be using a lot of artificial light (which can look cold) I also knew that painting everything white would just make it all look dinghy (sp?).

    I like to say that I “embraced the darkness”. I love my warm and cozy home. The colors reflect the personality of my family and it makes all oft he wood furniture look great!
    .-= Jill: The Welcome Home´s last blog ..DIY Costruction Progress at the Beach House =-.

  56. Mary Joy


    This blog post meant a lot to me. I love color in a room. I have a new challenge that I am dealing with though. My almost 7 yr old has a lot of special needs and we have to make sure that we have a calming environment at home. That doesn’t mean no color, by any means. It means that I have to be careful about using large amounts of strong colors. In addition we are getting ready to move into a new house as we get closer to our wedding. We will be renting. I would love any suggestions you may have for our situation. Thanks again for all of the inspiration. I “LOVE” the photographs in this blog. The rooms are gorgeous and inspiring as ever!

    Mary Joy: Life Interrupted’s last blog…
    .-= Mary Joy´s last blog ..A Peek Behind The Scenes In Our Wedding Plans =-.

  57. Sara

    Oh how I love Yellow. That is what I had my house painted when we built. The whole house is a pale butter yellow. It is neutral yet color at the same time. Now, slowly I’m adding different colors to different rooms, such as laundry, powder bath, and baby’s room….but the creamy yellow still runs through the house maintaining a livable neautral.

    I also love green. Green can also be neutral as you now, I’ve seen you post some lovely greens here before.
    Have fun. I know it can be difficult….I can sleep through a hurricaine, but paint choices keep me up at night!!!

  58. heidi golden

    melissa- i wish you were my neighbor and i could have you over to give me TIPS!!! i always love EVERY and i mean EVERY photo you post – it seems!

  59. Brenda

    It is so easy for me to help friends with color because the decision is logical. When I am choosing for my own home it becomes very emotional! I end up with several sample colors on the wall and it takes for ever to decide. I love both colors and neutrals!!!!!!

  60. Grace

    That blue bedroom from This Old Home is my dream bedroom.

    I mostly decorate in pastel colours as well, but have included a medium blue-gray colour in a feature wall in the front hall. We get so many compliments on it.
    .-= Grace´s last blog ..Giveaway =-.

  61. Mary Joy


    I love lots of color but have had to scale back on the brighter ones lately because of my son who gets over stimulated by large blocks of color. We are doing it is smaller bits to see if that will work ok. I so miss my deeply colored rooms but its worth it. Any suggestions for colors for a boy that are soothing but not feminine?

    Thanks for your help!

  62. Rachel

    I grew up in a home with winter white/navajo white/antique white walls. ALWAYS WHITE. It was easier to paint over, and besides, then there’s no trouble figuring out “what color” you want to put up, or risk getting the wrong shade, etc.

    My “neutral”? A yellow shade from Valspar–YEARS ago…called “Ivory Castle”. I put it on the walls in our first house, back in 1997. Had it as the “cohesive” element in that tiny 1950s ranch, to try and make those rooms seem a bit less choppy, and a bit more connected…

    Now, in our “new” house (a late 1970s rambler, 3 xs the size, praise God), I’m using that color again (still had the paint chip!). In my dining room and the open to it adjacent family room/back doorway area. Oh my. I love this color. Depending on the light coming in the windows, it can be bright yellow, or a more brownish parchment color. LOVE. IT! It worked with my cute cottage kitchen in NC, and its working with the country French ‘thang’ I’ve got going now. It works well with the red and white toile kitchen…and once I finnnalllly get the curtains ‘mistreated’, lol…that will completely ‘blend’ the look.

    I have had green, and purple, master bedrooms (the purple was where I learned the “go at least two shades lighter than the one chip you think you want” adage). I’ve done all sorts of lovely faux painting treatments, and loved the look.

    But I love color. LOVE IT. And am trying to gradually get rid of the ‘okay, blah” light tan nearly every wall in my new house was painted before we moved in…

    My mother still has heart palpitations when she thinks about me having to repaint it. I don’t care. It’s called “primer”. :-)

    I’ve got a blue shade picked out for my bedroom, a pale green for my girls’ room (they are pushing for orange..ahhh, no), and the boys’ room will probably stay tan (because we’re going cowboy in there…). Not sure about the rest of the house, but the kitchen and dining rooms are done, and now it is time for the family room….

    White has a place–as trim and an accent, but for me? That’s all…kind of like black. I’d not want a black room. A splash of black here, or there, but not the whole package.
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Ever want to run screaming, into the streets? =-.

  63. ~Melody

    Ugh…this is such the question for me. I look at rooms with bold colors and sometimes I just WISH I could do it. I’m such a light, bright and airy type of girl as well as a monocromatic (sp?) gal. I’m just proud of the fact that green and purple are now my official favorite colors because before that title went to beige and taupe. lol


    P.S. I’m glad found your blog again…I used to come here often when I was blogging @ Pennies In My Pocket. LOVE your blog!

  64. Sara

    All of our bedrooms have color—pink, lavender, red/blue, blue, green. Our main floor uses colors off the same paint chip (I wish I knew what they are!). We used the darkest shade, a deep gold tan, in the living/dining room and on the ceiling too. I love the look! The middle shade is for the halls and family room while I marbelized the backsplash and one wall in the kitchen. I love how that pulls together the kitchen!

    Our powder room is the big surprise—it has textured wallpaper and is painted “grape jelly”. I works great with the golden hues and is kind of fun!
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..Happy Day! =-.

  65. Janet

    I LOVE color but not on the walls. I have to have neutral walls, but I have lots of color in my home. I have a RED sofa. My secondary bath is turquoise, orange and green. I decorate with turqouise and red pottery. Well, you get the idea…

    I think I was turned off to color on walls when we moved into our home. Every room was a different color, it was nauseating. I think it ruined me. ;)
    .-= Janet´s last blog ..SPCA and Pets on Furniture =-.

  66. kathysue

    I love color on my walls. I keep them in the cream to butter colors, sort of light to medium values. In my master I have always had a blue room, I had a color formulated by my tinter that I just love. Color can be hard for some so neutrals seem safe,but in my home my neutral is the ivory or butter color. I think it is important to reallllly know what you can live with. I remember when red walls were all the rage 7 yrs ago and I had clients wanting to paint their rooms red, I talked quite a few out of that choice after consulting with them and realizing it was not a color they could live with for long term. I like swatching on large poster board with minimum of 2 coats to get all the true color to come out,I find by moving it around the room throughout the day it really helps to make the decision. Great Post, as always!! Love your blog,Kathysue
    .-= kathysue´s last blog ..Design Quirks or Sensibilities? =-.

  67. Kelly

    Just chiming in because I really like the photos you selected! (Especially the first few.)

    I’m also glad that you mentioned the personality older walls have. This ( ) is our first really old home — built in the late 1920s — and I didn’t realize that I was subconsciously selecting pale colors specifically because of how well they work with the idiosyncrasies of our old walls. I know so many people who prefer to smooth out the textures in older homes. While we’ve done that on the ceilings, there’s something sort of organic about it on the walls. I can’t really explain it. And all this time I’ve felt like I SHOULD dislike it — but I don’t!

    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..Walk Away? =-.

  68. Abbie

    Moved into our first non-off-white non-rental this summer! It’s a hundred-year-old house that is all wallpapered in flowers I don’t like.

    So far I’ve removed the paper in two kids’ bedrooms and painted bright, deep pink and blue … and I LOVE it! I want a little more subdued, but still rich, deep colors for the living spaces. The deep, rich colors scare me a little, but we have 9 1/2 foot ceilings and big rooms – especially the dining and living rooms. So I don’t want a light colored neutral that would make the rooms look bigger with huge, blank spaces on the walls. So color it is.

    Except I’m starting to lose my nerve as we near the next project! We’ll see what happens!
    .-= Abbie´s last blog ..Chicken ‘n rice =-.

  69. laurie

    I am one of the colored wall girls. However, I am really loving the cream ans white look lately. I think the biggest reason why I have been so drawn to colors on the walls is the many years of rentals. During that time we had such limited funds and hand me down cream over stuffed leather furniture (yuck). I also had a fear of putting money into something until I owned a home.
    .-= laurie´s last blog .. =-.

  70. Jennifer

    COLOR! When I see picture of all white rooms they make me think of a blank canvas that hasn’t been decorated yet. The furniture seems to sit on top of the white & I like things to feel warm & cozy. do like white cabinets though. I have been holding on to an inspiration picture since ’91 & in two more weeks they will finally be here! Really like wallpaper `just not the work involved in changing it. Don’t have a problem choosing paint. Usually just find some art work or window treatment or linens I like & the color comes from there. happy decorating!

  71. Pamela Hooker

    I feel your pain about the “swine-colored” walls! When we moved into our house, The former owners must have picked up a 5 gallon bucket of clearance paint , that happened to be pale pink. EVERY room was this color! We have slowly been repainting all the rooms, and now that we are almost done, I feel like I picked a few wrong shades and now want to go back and repaint some rooms (my DH is not too happy about that!).
    Thank you soooo much for all the great inspiration! I visit everyday, but this is the first time I felt compelled to share my dark secret….pale pink walls…..

    • Melissa

      ooohhh…so glad you understand my anguish over the swine walls. you must be so happy to have covered them up. even if you made a few mistakes along the way, nothing could be quite as sad as swine walls. :-)

  72. The Nester

    Now I want to paint my walls all of those colors.

    I’ve noticed that walls look so much better with color when there is thick, magnificent millwork painted a nice cream or white. Our new house has hardly any molding and what it does have is wimpy. No window casing and barely one room of thin crown molding.

    If you have thick, glorious millwork paint looks so SO good!
    .-= The Nester´s last blog ..Elements of a Working Office :: A Giveaway =-.

  73. Laurie

    We live in a house that was built in 1908, so it hasd plaster walls, and I love them. We had “band-aid” colored walls in our living room and dining room for years, and we finally repainted them. My daughter convinced me that they did NOT have to be the same color, and so the dining room is a soft sage and the living room is something called “wooden spoon” – it isn’t brown, its’s sort of cream with a hint of something that makes it go with the sage. We painted our entry a soft yellow, and all of this seems to go together well. When people walk in, they actually comment about how they like the colors, even people we have not met before, so I guess we got the choices right! All of our woodwork is white and that ties everything together throughout the house.

    Although I love to see bold colors in other people’s homes, I cannot live with it. My favorite color is in our bedroom; it is a soft blue-sometimes-looks green color, and it is very vintage-looking. I would repaint every room this color if I could! It is lovely to wake up to in the morning.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose for your new home!
    .-= Laurie ´s last blog ..Outdoor Wednesday – Bubble Bath =-.

  74. The Fickle Nickle

    We recently moved into our very own house, and I am anxious to paint a few of the rooms in color. I have always had white or cream walls, and so making the decision to add bright shades to the walls intimidates me!! These pictures helped me decide to just GO FOR IT!!


  75. Minnesotamom

    I have a huge great room, all done up in beige (was that way when we moved in). I’d love to set apart the dining area a little by doing the wall next to it in blue…but I haven’t yet decided which blue. Right now it has a neutral wallpaper, which I despise but everyone else who visits think is okay.
    .-= Minnesotamom´s last blog ..Markus, 2 weeks =-.

  76. Tay

    I like color on the walls. We’ve been renting for years now and haven’t been able to paint the walls. I can’t wait until we get some place where we can add some color.

  77. Melissa Miller

    Melissa thank you so much for this inspiring and gorgeous post!

    I was starting to think I would be banished from the blog world for enjoying warm colors on on my walls and throughout our home. You rock my friend!

    ~Blessings, ~Melissa :)

    • Melissa

      Ha, good then! We’re a team. You stick with me girl, I’ll never banish you from blogworld! :-)
      xo & blessings!

  78. michelle starling

    I’m so glad you wrote this. My living room,dining room, and kitchen are all open to one another. When we moved in 5 years ago, I painted all the walls “Regal Red”. It’s a beautiful color. Recently, I’ve been drawn to lighter colors and have wanted to paint over the red. My husband, on the other hand, is insistent that the walls stay red. I’m planning on posting some pics soon of my red walls and I’d love some feed back.



  1. A Simple Alternative to Crown Molding - [...] and Melissa does a wonderful job of finding them!  One that she posted recently in her article on colored…

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