The Paint Colors, So Far.

The Paint Colors, So Far.

The Paint Colors, So Far.

Update: you can find my most up to date colors on my Paint Colors page!

The rest of this post was prior to my house being repainted!


Today I wanted to review the paint colors I’m using, since I am about to continue on with the never ending painting fest at my house. What paint colors I have is one of my most common questions on the blog and in email so maybe this will help answer the questions in one place!

It is kind of funny how my original plans for my house have evolved to what direction I actually am going. My plans change over time, I try to keep my options open as I go! I tend to be really sensitive to how rooms FEEL so that inner sense tends to pull me in a direction that ends up being closer to my real self than I might have other wise. If that makes any sense at all.

It is easy to get sucked in by what is popular, what is pretty, what you see online, and I can easily lose track of what is actually right for me. By letting my sense of FEELING take over as I make decisions, I find a style I love to live in and that really suits ME. And I usually avoid making a lot of mistakes that way! Buying to please the style setters could get me into BIG trouble! I just need to be me.

The Paint Colors, So Far.

my mom made my curtains

Tobacco Leaf Paint by Martha Stewart

You might remember it took me forever to decide on a color for my family room and kitchen area. I had to find the one that FELT right, and that is not always easy. In case you missed it, I ended up with Tobacco Leaf by Martha Stewart. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It is such a gorgeous color (to me, anyway!) that works really well for me as a neutral. It feels warm, classy, and has a hint of brown so it doesn’t go all MINTY on me like so many of the greens did at my house.

Icy green and cool blues left me feeling cold, so was drawn to the colors that felt warm. I try to choose colors that create the ambience I want, not just ones that look pretty. And I really am a cozy house girl at heart. It took me a bazillion tries to find this paint, but it was worth all the samples!

Tobacco Leaf is on m kitchen walls, breakfast room walls, family room and in the small hall outside our powder room.

The Paint Colors, So Far.

Martha Stewart Snail Shell – Powder Room

Snail Shell Paint by Martha Stewart

For the small powder room right off the kitchen and small hall, we used Martha Stewart Snail Shell. It is kind of a deep khaki green. We just happened to have that paint as a sample that was rejected for the rest of the house so we used it for the powder room. It might easily be one I might change over time to something lighter, as the rest of the house evolves.

The Paint Colors, So Far.

The plan is to add a white tongue and groove wainscoting on the lower half of the powder room wall (and we might have to step that plan up, since my toilet paper holder has now fallen off the wall leaving giant holes, which actually is a blessing in disguise as a TP holder was not intended to be a part of that wall grouping! HA!). We could change the paint color at that time if we want to. I’ll wait and see what the house feels like when we are further along.

The Paint Colors, So Far.

Dining Room Behr All in One Studio Taupe


Behr All in One Studio Taupe Paint

The Paint Colors, So Far.

For the dining room, I went out on a limb a little bit and chose a warm gray, Behr All In One Studio Taupe and I LOVE IT! This room just makes me so happy! If you love color, I know what you are thinking. You think that gray would be cold and depressing, especially here in the gray NW! Who would think that a gray could help create a warm ambience? I had an inkling it would work, if I found just the right tone.

Something about the perhaps brownish undertone of Studio Taupe maybe that keeps it in tune with the natural scenery here in the NW. When a style doesn’t fight against the outside scenery and sense of light and color, somehow, that makes it FEEL RIGHT to me. I like to feel snuggly and warm in my home.

It is funny how in the dining room photo above, it almost looks like the same color as in the family room, but it isn’t, it is quite a bit darker. But it is a great complement and makes the rooms flow nicely.

Many people like gray for its current popularity, I actually chose it as a classic neutral. I’m picturing this gray being in an old Nantucket beach house (note: I’ve never been to an old Nantucket beach house, ha!) mixed with my NW Craftsman style house.

I wanted something that could contrast with my white trim and furniture (yes, I love contrasts!) as well as something that would not compete with my very colorful stained glass in that room. The gray walls look very much like the leaded pieces in between the stained glass, so that the reason I was drawn to this color in the first place.

The Paint Colors, So Far.

What’s the next step in the painting process?

I’m going to continue on with Studio Taupe, right into the living room and entry and up the staircase!

YES! A decision has been made! Onward and upward (literally) we go!

The Paint Colors, So Far.

Remember this not so warm and cozy swine room photo (above) from yesterday’s post about all the walls I have to paint? I could apply molding to divide rooms so the colors in the living room could be different from the dining room, that was an option, but I’ve decided to just continue on with the same color as the dining room throughout the rest of the main floor (with the exception of the separate room that will become my new office, more on that in the future!).

My front rooms (the living room and entry) are really bright and sunny so they will look even lighter than my dining room. I’m hoping the gray walls with white trim will make my new craftsman house feel more “old world” and less “new construction” than swine did!

I love having shades of warm neutrals for the walls throughout the house. It is actually a formula I’ve used in pretty much every house I’ve ever had.

I like the rooms to flow together, but I don’t worry about picking all my colors ahead of time for rooms to feel unified. To me, variations in shades of colors can be pleasing and make a home feel less “decorated” and more naturally beautiful. I pick paint colors last so they fit naturally into the background of my whole decorating scheme, rather than call attention to themselves in the room. I think walls should be backdrops, not main features.

White accents, neutral basics, pops of color in accessories and painted pieces, and warm woods —  it is a look I’ve always had — so I guess that is why I keep choosing it! It feels like home to me. I’m a creature of habit. I need highs and lows and mid-tones in a room, not a monotone look where every color and texture is the same soft intensity.

The Paint Colors, So Far.

Tobacco Leaf – Martha Stewart

Here is the post about that dresser and how I painted it!
And as long as we are talking about paint colors, for those of you who want to know about the color I used on my  Blue Table, here is the post that talks about that super fun painted table!

(I know that picture above is awkward and has funky shadows but I was too lazy to go take new photos.)

So what about the colors for upstairs in the hall and bedrooms?

I don’t know yet. Do I ever plan ahead? Of course not.

The good news is my husband says he can paint even our tall walls with his tall ladder, so I’m ready to get going! Well, I’m ready to get HIM going {wink}. Thanks for coming along on the painting journey with me!

related posts:
My favorite Antique White Paint

This post is linked to a paint party at Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss

The Paint Colors, So Far.

Thank you to Diane from Longaberger
for sponsoring this week’s posts!
Check out her January Longaberger sale


  1. oh I love it! All of it but the swine! I have been considering the Studio Taupe and the Tobacco leaf for my dining room and hallway. None of the rooms in my house have good natural light so I need something that will be bright but not white. :)
    Lovely post & I don’t know what you are talking about- that tp holder looked LOVELY as part of that grouping ;)
    -See you at Blissdom!

  2. I love those colors!! Thanks for sharing them! I’ve been wanting to try tobacco leaf for a while now. Can’t wait to try it :)

  3. Love those colors!! I also love that your hubby helps you paint…I am on my own in that department…which is why I DREAD it!!

  4. Lisa Hankins says

    I adore the colors you chose! The taupe (grey) is my favorite! I used it on my family room/dining room combo and it gives such a nice neutral backdrop that everything else is featured and the walls look fabulously simple! I too chose my color by what felt right to me, not by the trends and I’m so pleased with the outcome. Here’s to following our hearts!

  5. I always love it when you show pictures of your house. That’s the true inspiration I take away from your blog. Thanks.

  6. White. White. Pass the white, please. White. We’re going white!

    • I’ve had many white walls in my homes but the wall texture usually is so gorgeous by themselves that they don’t need a color, like my old plaster walls or wood walls. This house has boring old drywall and while I’ve seen drywall work fine for some styles when they are just white, for me I just haven’t felt it would work here! But if it works for your home, WHITE is an awesome choice!

  7. Melissa, I love the colors you chose! Your home is beautiful and you can tell from the pictures that it’s warm and inviting. You’ve inspired me. Now I just need to get my colors right! :)

  8. I used to stick with white or with warm neutrals, however several years ago when needing to repaint a room or two, I asked my husband what colors he would like to see and he surprised me by saying “I like bold colors.” So we found a beautiful red (cut ruby at Lowes) for the hall bathroom and a wonderful yellow (Palace Chambers Yellow – Colonial Williamsburg colors)for our living room/kitchen which are open to each other!

    His thoughts have changed our color scheme for our home but it is truly what we love and makes us feel at home!

    • Good for you!! My husband gave me his two thumbs up for our paint color and the ones he didn’t like, we didn’t choose!

  9. Melissa,
    Before choosing paint color, do you see if the various colors you select for each room go together? My home is a single-story, smallish sized home and I always worry my home will look chopped up if I select colors that are too much different from one another.
    I have to visit the store and look at your colors up close—the Behr Studio Taupe looks amazing.

    • I don’t necessarily lay the paint chips together because I haven’t found it to work that way! My studio taupe and my tobacco leaf do not look the same side by side on a paint card (in fact, they don’t even look the same on the wall as they do on the cards!)

      But I do paint a wall and then step back and see if it looks pleasing to my eye from the adjoining room. That really matters to me! It doesn’t have to match, just feel pleasing!

  10. Beautiful colors. I like – as you mention – the feel of them. The colors in our house tend toward gray undertones. For whatever reason that is the color palette that appeals to me.

  11. The curtains your Mom made for you are fabulous! I normally go on a “feeling” when choosing anything for my home and like you said, “I make very few mistakes this way”.

    Take Care

  12. Love the pic of the new dining room color. On my screen it looks gray, is it in person?

  13. Beautiful colors. I especially love the drapes your mom made. Really gorgeous.

  14. I love your choices! I’m in the same boat…just had to pick colors for an entire house in one week. We’ve painted all but the kitchen and bathrooms (which need complete do-overs). But I actually found it easier to do it all at once. Guess I like to work under pressure…lol!

  15. Beautiful colors! I love warmth in my colors too. But I have to say I like dramatic colors too ~ in fact sometimes I think it is easier to decorate a room with a high drama color.

  16. I like the studio taupe – I have been looking for a neutral color to paint my kitchen currently is navy. I’ve had that for 5 years and I’m sick of it! I want something neutral, warm & inviting! I have grayish counters & tile in my kitchen with oak trim & cabinets do you think Studio Taupe would look good in there??

  17. Your post hit home with me today. As I begin to start a plan for redoing our family/dining room this year I find myself afraid to commit to the color, style, etc…Anyway, just before going to bed last night I was discussing my plans with my husband and he told me that I worry too much about getting it right. He said to focus on what we like, how we live, and who we are and the house will look fabulous! Needless to say I slept well last night. Thank you so much!


  18. Must congratulate you on all the painting. (It’s not an easy chore for me from start to finish. The last painting I did was the very tiny bathroom and that has set me on a “no paint” course for quite some time, I’m afraid. Oh, I was supposed to begin painting the dining room table, but my darling forgot to leave me the sandpaper. Blessed reprieve!) Your home certainly has the cozy factor all over it and I love that you don’t paint all your furniture and accessories, most particularly that beautiful mirror on your mantel.

  19. Amen and amen again! Your 3rd paragraph is brilliant – pure brilliance. I think “getting sucked into what is popular” is one of the biggest problems that blog readers/writers get themselves into. Amen to sticking to #1.what you love, 2. what works with your home and family, and 3. what works with “your outside scenery and sense of light.” I love your WARM color choices. Just you wait and see, in a few years people will be writing…”Why did those builders put light grey on all the walls in those houses?”…much like your swine problem now. Thanks for such a wise post today!

  20. Love it! Your timing is providential because I was just thinking yesterday that I might want to change things up a bit at our house. We have an upcoming adoption and I’m in nesting mode! I do have a question for you: with the lovely color you did in your dining room, do you think it’s too dark for a smaller space? In our entry and throughout our halls we currently have kind of golden cream color. We painted it and installed trim when we moved in 6 years ago, but I think I’m ready for a change. I have a photo of it here:

    You can see the entry in the photo with the stairs on the left and the picture wall on the right. We also live in the dreary (but oh so lovely) state of Washington. Do you think that space is too small for a darker color? I’d also like to keep that deep red that we have in our den, which adjoins the entry. I’ll have to go get a sample of the color and see if it clashes.

    Thank you!

    • Your home is gorgeous! Oh my! I would think this gray would be lovely there, you have so much fabulous white woodwork it would be WONDERFUL! It would make that area a little darker though, since it doesn’t have windows right there. But I would think it would make such a wonderful contrast to the white that it would be gorgeous — the contrast with white makes the white look even more wonderful!! And it will probably look lovely with red! I love that room with the bookshelves, so beautiful!!

    • Eileen,i am not a certified decorator,(am certifiable in other ways,haha) but give me deep reds and anything with a touch of brown in it and it justs feels like a warm waft from a fireplace. If you love the color and feel you need more light maybe a soft wall sconce? Used PRN when the natural light in surrounding rooms changes…just a thought. I have deep red &tobacco brown tote boxes lined up on lt oak shelves in the guest bedrm cum sewing/stash rm,and I just like looking at them! :D -s-

  21. Love the colors you chose. I like ‘neutrals’ on walls & major furnishings and then add pops of color for seasons. Makes it so easy to change a room up, inexpensively!

    And isn’t it interesting how natural light affects the paint colors? I painted my living room (northern exposure) the same Buttercream as my dining room (a cave!) and they looked like totally different colors!

  22. I’m loving your color choices! And what a great mama that she would make those curtains for you. I suspect I’m going to be needing my mom to be whipping up some more things in the future… Have a great 1/1/11!

  23. Thanks for the color suggestions. We’ve bought a new house so I’ll be moving soon and painting may be in order. It’s very bright and sunny and the walls are a chocolate brown. It is beautiful, but I may have to change it. We’ll see. I posted photos a few days ago, if you care to look. BTW, I like your format change here. A lot better.

  24. I love what you say about making sure it ‘feels’ right. I think I stumble in the area of risk, though. But when I do finally take risks, it makes the room!
    Love the warm gray. It is great!

  25. Beautiful colors you chose! Just saw the pic of your toilet paper holder that fell off..mine recently did the same thing! I saw these at a craft show and bought one…i LOVE it. I got mine in the copper finish and they are sturdy too! If you’re interested here is the site..


  26. I LOVE your color palette. I, too, am drawn to beige/grey/taupe colors. With lots of WHITE accents.
    I have a few rooms that NEED painting (my office used to be my son’s baby nursery. Enough said.) and you’re inspiring me to JUST DO IT!

  27. Wonderful colors! Thanks for sharing. I too seem to be forever painting =)
    My next painting porject is the stairway in the cottage….I’ve been waiting on this to build up courage… I think I’m about there.
    Love you style.
    Happy day

  28. Just wanted to weigh in tell you that I love the paint choices. They are fantastic. You have marvelous taste and when it is all finished your house will be really something to see! Have a great one!

  29. Beautiful, Melissa! Hope you’ll link this post to my Paint Color Party coming up on Thursday!

  30. Thanks so much Melissa! And I LOVE your color choices! Could I just be annoying one more time? :-) I’d just like to understand your flow better. Are the Studio and Tobacco Leaf both on your main floor? Do they flow well together if so?

    • No worries, YES, they are both on my main floor. The way I create “flow” is I do not try to match up the paint swatches because they NEVER look right to me, I just try to select paint that feels like it will go together, all in my color palette, and then when I try the samples on the wall, I look from room to room to see if they flow.

      These colors flow well to my eye and with my lighting. Lighting and things like flooring makes everything different though so everyone might see these colors differently in their own home!

  31. I just gotta ask Melissa…….is “Swine” what was actually on the can? Or was that just a nickname you gave it? LOLOL I just have to know!

    I have been thinking a lot about colors lately. Especially in regards to my teal carpet. I hate my teal carpet. I think I am stuck with it for a while though.


    • Bwahaahaaa. Totally made it up. I think it is really something non-descript like “every day beige”, the builder chose it before we could have a say, and I probably threw away the can it was so awful!! :-0

  32. I’m terrible at commiting to color, because I’m so afraid that I’m going to hate it in a year or two. It looks beautiful. The colors make me want to have a cup of tea and read a good book! :)

  33. I love love love the taupe color. I was thinking of using it in my master bedroom. Our room is a little on the small side (maybe 12×9) and we have a king size bed. The ceiling has a small curve on one wall to the ceiling, is flat for about 3-4 feet then slopes to about 4 ft high over our closet. I’m constantly hitting my head on it haha. Anyway, would you paint the whole room, ceiling included, the same color? That is the dilemma I’ve been going back and forth with. Thank you so much for any input. I’m thinking that the tobacco color would look great in our hallways. Now to convince the landlord to let me take down the maroon and navy printed wallpaper – Oooohhh Yeahhhh… The swine would actually be a step up for me. Hahaha. Thanks for all the inspiration!

    • Yes! Especially with a small room I would paint the ceiling! You’ll love how that feels!

      Good luck with that wallpaper :-)

  34. Hi Melissa, I love all the colors in your home and especially the Tobacco Leaf. I have a sample of the color now and have been stressing over what to paint our bedroom.

  35. Oh thanks so much for this post! I am wanting to get our stairway and downstairs repainted this year and that tobacco leaf looks perfect!!!!!!!!!!! It seems to be just what I had envisioned. I, too, love warm cozy colors. No pastels for this girl! I love all the colors you have chosen. Happy painting….well, to your hubby:):) XO, Pinky

  36. Wonderful color choices! I had a favorite color that I used a while back in a different house. It was a Ralph Lauren paint called Khaki, I think, and it was so warm and calming at the same time. It was warm in the winter and cool in the summer, which made it just perfect! I wonder what kind of idiot came up with that stupid swine color and decided that should be the paint of choice in new construction homes?

  37. Beautiful colors! Our all new home was bright white, thankfully no swine. But I was all too happy to cover up the stark with a soft buttery/tan yellow. Can’t remember the name of the color but I love it! Your home is looking great, can’t wait to see it all come together with the new colors!

  38. Your colors look gorgeous with your decor&furnishings,Melissa! I love the khaki in the powder room&bet the wainscoting will brighten it just enough to make u happy. What’s cracking me up lately is I decided to go “nuts” with color and have picked out all my color combos in advance based on the light,75yo natural woodwork& hardwoods,+furnishings (lotsa warm woods). Picked up House Beautiful’s paint color book& new trends issue. Here I thought I was gonna be bold, different &TOTALLY”eclectic vintage kitschy antique camp cottage” with non-trendy wild colorways & the new upholstery &slips would be the neutrals. Turns out they are *copying me* and dont even know it! Too funny. And sad,cuz I didnt wanna be trendy. :( but they are the colors I love & will set off collections, furnishings & art. And bold colorsin hi-gloss are happy,so I want em anyway,right down to the aubergine dining rm & turquoise/teal pieces/parts armoire. (sigh) -s-

  39. I am SO glad I popped in and saw your *paint post*! I, too, have a few rooms that need refreshment. Your color choice advice is timely. Thanks. I’m actually wanting to paint a concrete floor in the garage in order to use the space more efficiently, which makes me think of your *house goals* post…also timely. I LOVE visiting you here!

  40. Love the neutral colors you’ve chosen! I especially love the gray in the dining room. I went with a warm beige color in my living room (Olympic’s Ponytail) and I love it. We’re considering moving in the coming months though, so I’m anxious to see where we end up and what paint colors I’ll choose next! :-)

  41. I love the paint color choice! It does have a cozy feel to it, but its still sophisticated!

  42. We’re in the process of painting my kitchen like a giant banana split. Well, at least it looks like that for now. Hopefully, when we’re done – it will all make sense.

    Soon, all will be revealed – literally and figuratively.

  43. Little Miss Goodtaste… you can pick a paint color! All your colors are inviting, comforting. They scream ‘home’ to me! It never fails, I always leave here inspired!!

  44. I laugh to myself when I read about your swine paint. I carried around the perfect paint sample for over a year. My husband works at Lowes and we have a connection to “Dan in Paint” as we call him. Many times I’ve been able to purchase a mis-tint gallon for around $5 and Dan in Paint will adjust the color to match my choice (it’s nice to have friends in high places). So I found a basic white in a five gallon bucket for $20 and asked Dan to match it to my long awaited living room color. It was a neutral tan with a slight yellow undertone. warm and mild. However when I got home and started painting, I realized the paint in the bucket was slightly different than I had hoped for. He did his best and since you have to work with what is already in the bucket before you start adding more tint to the paint, I ended up with the color that I call “Cover Girl, Creamy Natural.” I kid you not, it looks like my walls are covered in cosmetics. I feel your pain. Swine, meet my rosy-undertoned makeup walls. You can’t put lipstick on a pig!

    • That is so funny, wow….WHY do we have these colors on our walls? It just isn’t right. I cannot wait to rid myself of swine and finally feel at peace in my house! Good luck with your Cover Girl, Creamy Natural. LOL!! Too funny!!!

  45. Should paint be this difficult. NO I say. But it is. I makes me crazy that you almost have to have a degree in light and color to put the right paint color on a wall. I too have swine or maybe they are Cover Girl, Creamy Natural walls, I’m not sure. I think a support group is in order. It actually makes me feel better to know that more “artistic” people than I have paint issues. And that in the real scope of things that I am very very very blessed that I can actually bemoan my circumstance. Aren’t we all a big fat silly mess. LOL Happy painting to us all.

  46. I used to stick with neutral colors before because I’m afraid of experimenting colors that I might end up not liking it after the end product. When I red your blog, I find your colors so inviting and relaxing. I wish to have those colors too. Can’t wait to have my house re painted,you gave me an idea and I just can’t wait to see it.

  47. I love your colors. Can’t wait to try out the Tobacco Leaf in my bathroom. It looks like just the color I have been searching for!

  48. Thanks for sharing your colours! I was just browsing your blog and came across a picture of your family room with the green ladder and I HAD to know what your wall colour was. I figured you must have posted it somewhere, and I was right! I want to do a warm neutral for my main floor, so I’m collecting ideas.

  49. Oh, help! I am trying to cover an old MS color of a minty green with Tobacco Leaf in my front rooms. I want to do wainscoting under a chair rail, too. I was inspired to see that your came out so nicely, but I am feeling a little nervous over how dark it is. Did you find that to be so in your house? An opinion, please, if you have the time!

  50. THANK YOU so much for this post. I recently painted our bedroom from blue to cream… hated it and then painted it Pure Earth which is similar to Studio Taupe and it looks better than the cream, but it is not perfect yet. I found myself back at Home Depot looking for another paint color that leaned more grey and I selected Studio Taupe before reading your post and your blog is affirming that I should repaint while my husband is out of town… because he’d kill me after helping me paint the master bedroom and bathroom two times in three days. Thank you! P.S. Your home is beautiful. :-)

  51. The biggest painting conflict I find, my husband is a builder, is trying to make oak trim look good with any paint!! I am currently painting a bedroom white on white and we acually painted the oak– simple white (BM)
    This is the hardest to get right. Any suggestions?

  52. Hello I just found this site by mistake. Thank Goodness!!
    I am redoing my kitchen, just painted all cabinets black. Just love it. I love the gray you picked out and was looking at grays for the walls. (how I found u) How do you think blacksplash in tan will look? Sounds bad I have tan walls now and it looks great with the black but I have repaint and I really want gray. Any suggestions would b wonderful. I love all the colors u have choosen so far. Thanks deb

  53. “It is easy to get sucked in by what is popular, what is pretty, what you see online, and I can easily lose track of what is actually right for me.”

    When we started looking for the right paint color for our living room, it took us FOREVER to find the right color, for just the reason you stated. I don’t want to paint my home for other people…I want to paint it for me. In the end, we got EXACTLY what we wanted (Valspar’s Green Tea Leaves) and even after several years, we still love it! Now if I can just apply the same principles to picking out a bedroom color! : )

  54. WOW! You are so smart! My father and I live in a brownstone
    built in 1872. My father was trained by Michael Greer ( He decorated the White House) and my father paints everything in
    antique white. Long story I love your house. I have a
    morning room that overlooks my garden. It is all white. I use
    this room as bedroom. What color would you paint. The magazine says Russian Olive and sisal for the trim. C2 paint
    company…………..wait…over $50.00 a gallon…crazy….Nov 2010 this
    Old house magazine.

    Please let me know when you are in NYC. A cup of jo on me!



  55. Your new house colors are beautiful. What color is your woodwork. I saw that you had used antique white on almost everything in your old house. Really liked that as well but it looks like you used a much lighter shade of white in your new house. Hope to hear back.


  56. Christine says

    Hi. Love your blog. Is tobacco leaf on the walls of the very first picture on the Jan 11th blog post?

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