powered by
Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Wall color: Should I paint 2-story entry? another contrasting or complementary color above ledge

benel204February 12, 2013
We are moving into this house in a couple weeks and hope to get paining done prior to the move. Not sure yet about wall color, but it won't be white.
I am leaning toward a soft light beige/taupe for wall color in general, but thought perhaps I should do something more interesting in the entry since it has the nice 1/2 story above. Maybe go darker with my beige/taupe on the "lower" main wall and lighter above the ledge? Or go white above the ledge? What else?

The floors are natural maple and we will extend them into the dining room (foreground) but keep carpet in the den.

Any suggestions about paint color approach to the entry?
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
.I'd find a color I loved and then I'd work the colors on that paint strip throughout the space and the house. Use the darker shade for sun-filled areas, and lighter ones for darker spaces. The lightest one on the strip might work for your ceilings.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Terri Symington, ASID
I would keep the wall color all the same ... you all ready get some great variations in the wall color just from the play of light and shadow ... a large painting above the doors would add any color that you need...
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
doconenthusiaste and Terri, thank you for your suggestions!
Interesting idea to put a large painting above the doors. You mean on the wall between door and ledge, right?
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Terri Symington, ASID
The upper section of the wall with the double doors that are open to the next room
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I vote for a taupe. I agree a painting above the double doors of the next room. Another piece of artwork necpxt to the front door would be nice.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Terri, you mean above ON the ledge that is above the open double door (goes to the den)?
Leaning against the upper wall, or actually hanging on that upper wall? Forgive my ignorance, I really am NOT good at interior design.

bevallew, thanks for the suggestion. I do like a taupy-beige. I especially want something to warm up the natural maple floors (wouldn't be my first choice for floors but that's what they are). I was thinking about finding a deep enough taupe-beige to pick up the darker tones in the floor.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Terri Symington, ASID
Hanging on the wall. Having a painting sitting on a ledge that high up would not be a good angle for art work...
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Terri Symington, ASID
And to be more specific... I would do a very large scale painting 5'x5' or larger. You will need to stand back when it is being hung to make sure that it is positioned properly on the wall... not too high or too low.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Anish Motwani Associates

Beige and white above is a good idea.
You can also try mustard color below and Beige above. It will look good and give vibrant feel as well.

Anish Motwani Associates
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I would keep below the chair rail creamy white, but add the taupe or warm stone gray above. I might be tempted to paint around upper window in a deeper gray for contrast and architectural interest
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Is that a pinky beige carpet on each side of wood floor? Would be good to keep undertones in mind when choosing wall colors since carpet is so visible.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
JW and Anish, All very interesting ideas! Thank you for taking the time to comment.
I am intrigued by the idea of "vibrant" color contract, accentuating the architectural "interest" in the upper area with something else. Maybe I can "color" the photo and see how it looks.

nsamm3, the gray carpet in the foreground will be replaced by hardwood. The off-white carpet in the den will be replaced with a warmer beige to pick up the wood tones. What do you you think of that plan?
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Terri Symington, ASID
Benel... what is the look you are wanting to achieve with style and colors for the overall furnishing plan?
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 3:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Terri, good question, I wish I could articulate other than "I'll know it when I see it."
This house is small, but has character and I want to bring that out. We are downsizing from a larger home and I want to retain some of the "casual elegance" I had at my other house. While I could use the same color scheme as the previous home, this house actually has a lot more light (for the Northwest this is amazing) so want to take advantage of that luxury.

When I walk in to the house i don't want it to feel cold or austere, hence not "modern." I'd like to feel "enveloped" and definitely want to accent some of my art, most of which is colorful.

My furniture is less of an issue as we have sold or given away much of it (old stuff). The main "large" piece of furniture that will be right there in the dining room/entry (where the carpet is) is my 6-foot grand piano (glossy black). We won't be using the formal dining room for dining (yay!).
If I had my choice I would have medium brown floors (walnut stain) with crisp white molding and deep but not dark color on the walls, then my art work drawing the eye. But I am kind of stuck with the natural maple, which I am warming up to actually, and now want to create that rich, enveloped feeling with paint.

That's probably more info than you needed and maybe didn't even answer your question.
Thanks for listening! (you probably get these dumb answers all the time, huh?)
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
When I built my home, I painted every room the same color, with exception of the dining room. I have been very pleased with it and seeing how well it blends with paintings I hung and furniture I placed against it. The color is Blonde by Sherwin Williams and the ceiling is one shade lighter on the color strip. That wall color is amazing! It is warm and especially would look good with both your flooring and door woods.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Terri Symington, ASID
No, actually this is the type of information that is needed to make recommendations in the design process. The way I approach a design is to take into consideration ALL aspects of the space. It is not a piece meal application... and nothing exists in isolation. When it comes to selecting colors there are several considerations to be made. The fact that you are wanting "casual elegance" and that you are wanting to highlight your art work tells me some very important information in what I would recommend.

You said that you are replacing the grey carpet with hardwood... will you be replacing the wood in the entry as well so that it is all the same? And also, what part of the country are you located in? Because it can also affect how natural light affects colors.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Terri Symington, ASID
Sorry... I see where you already commented that you live in the northwest
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
The gray carpet in the foreground will be replaced with the light maple as shown.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 2:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Terri Symington, ASID
First, let me tell you what I would avoid. If you paint the lower wall section (which looks to be a tongue-in-groove...?) one color...then the middle section another color...then the upper section a third color... then the ceiling another color... you will be creating a lot of horizontal sections. If this is your goal, then that is certainly what you will get.

I have two suggestions for creating a casual, elegant, and sophisticated space... with subtlety being the key in both:

1. Paint the walls all the same color all the way to the ceiling...including the trim and painted doors. what will create the difference in distinction will be the paint finishes. If the walls are done in a matte and the wood done in a semi-gloss then light will refract differently and create a subtle difference in how they are perceived. The grooving in the lower paneled section will also play with the light. then on the ceiling I would use a white with the same undertones as the main paint color on the walls.

As a color palette example I will tell you what I used on a current project that is very elegant, causual and sophisticated...

I used B.M.'s full spectrum paint in the "Color Stories" line on the walls in matte..."Sea Salt"

I also used that same color in a trim paint on the baseboards, door trim and the painted doors. For this particular project I did the trim in a satin finish.

On the ceiling I chose B.M.'s Silver Satin in a semi-gloss.

I will also mention that the ceiling and walls are completely without texture for a smooth finish....the painters and the contractors of course hate doing the extra work that it requires.

Where I have painted cabinetry I chose B.M.'s White Heron in a satin... which goes extremely well with the Callacutta marble.

2. Paint the walls (except the lower section) the same color all the way to the ceiling.

Paint the ceiling either the same color as the walls or a lighter shade of the walls.

Paint the lower paneled section of the wall, trim, and painted doors an off white
that is not too stark... you want a suble transition from the walls to the woodwork.

Keep in mind that when I make paint selections I am coordinating it with fabrics and furnishings.

It is very easy for people to make color selections for you... but you will have to do paint sample tests on your walls to see how the color reacts to your conditions. I will also comment that you cannot always tell from a paint sample on the wall how it will look in terms of value (lightness or darkness) when it is completely painted. For instance, when I did the color test where I selected the "Sea Salt", the sample gave the impression that is was going to be darker than it looks in the finished room. for one thing, the sample was on a white plaster, so the contrast made it look darker than it actually is. I took this into consideration when making my choice.

I highly recomment full spectrum paints because the value is derived from using the complimentary in the mix to achieve the "greying" down rather than by adding black, which is the conventional method paint stores use to darken a paint color. With the full spectrum paint method, the color is much more alive and reacts to changes in light source and light levels.

There is a lot more I could cover regarding selecting paint colors... but that is enought for now.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Terri, thank you so much for your words of wisdom. I will investigate the full spectrum paints as I was not aware of that nuance.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 12:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Benjamin Moore Bleeker Beige is a great color in areas with different levels of light. And Terri thanks for the great info about paint.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 1:23PM
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
need help with wall paint color for my living room
I have vaulted ceiling, lot of windows with cream color...
Beige vinyl window interior frames frustration
Please help me reduce the intrusion of the beige vinyl...
More Discussions
I need to find a mirror to put over the console table
My console is 48 inches wide, I have 9 foot ceilings...
Kitchen remodel - where to start?
We are in the earliest stages of a kitchen remodel....
Paint Colors
Need help choosing my paint colors. Remodeling, Kitchen,...
Living room/ diningroom combo (small space)- Need ideal for a table!
Hi! We recently moved into our new condo and Are trying...
House Colours! Help!
We have a stunning 1850s Greek a revival, here in New...
People viewed this after searching for:
The content on this page is provided by Houzz and is subject to the Houzz terms of use, copyright and privacy policy.
Copyright claims: contact the Houzz designated agent.