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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help with paint color for entry/stairway and ceiling

cusogolfFebruary 14, 2013
As you enter our home the entry looks almost directly up a stairway to the second level "loft". Just to the right of the entry is our dining/kitchen which opens to living room (almost a great room effect). We plan to paint our kitchen/living rooms a medium to light grey with an accent wall in the dining room a red/orange. Looking at the pictures attached number 39 is the stairway off the dining room and entry; picture 36 is the dining room where we will paint red/orange above the window and on wall to right with the two pix and also the hard to see small wall on the left of the window. Picture 35 shows the dining room looking at the entry and the stairwell is to the right. What color should we paint the entry? Color for stairway? Should we paint our ceilings grey or white? Our trim is white and the back splash will be white.
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Have you decided on what fabrics and rugs wil be in the rooms? I find it easier to find a paint I like than to find the other things - is the wall color is the only thing that's going to change in the rooms we see?
An issue now seems to be that each room is a separate really strong color, so you may want to overcome that by painting the same color throughout.How dark a gray are you considering? You probably don't want to paing the ceiling a dark gray. Would you consider a really light blue on the ceiling? Not baby blue, but a sky blue looks great.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:12PM
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I prefer to see accent walls unpierced by any windows, doors, etc. The exception for me is if one wants to paint a FP wall for the focal accent. The current mix of very strong colors seems almost '70's era. I agree with finding a gray you love. Then I'd work the color strip throughout the house using the darker shades for sunny spaces and lighter tones for the darker areas. Might even use the lightest color on the strip for ceilings. If you're not changing the carpet for hardwood, be aware of the undertones in it and how they'll effect the paint colors.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:30PM
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What if you just did the accent wall on the small wall with 2 pictures?
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:48PM
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Thanks Nononanna and decoenthusiaste; I can see where you get the 70's color thing. I am changing out of the bright colors but so far only in the living/dining/hall, areas. We are leaning toward more modern look featuring stainless steel. Our floors are a very neutral tile; beige,gray, off white in the kitchin/dining/entry; our living room is light natural bamboo. We plan to reface our cabinets in the kitchen with bamboo and getting grey/white/black swirly granite in the kitchen. Our appliances are all stainless. I do have a red leather couch in the living room thus my reason for wanting a red accent wall, besides I like red. Our living room furniture is tropical like bamboo/wicker and I will keep the black leather with dark wood dining table and chairs. We may swap out the brown and dark green recliners for a more modern "danish" style leather recliners with ottomans. I have an area rug in the living room that is large floral with muted shades of green/ peachy orange/ off white/ dark brown. We live in Hawaii so keeping some of the tropical theme.

I don't want to do a very grey on the walls but just enough color to know that it is grey. I like going with a lighter grey for the ceiling.

It sounds like you are suggesting using the grey in all areas including the stairway but perhaps varying the shades. My husband will not be happy:) He does the painting. Ha Ha

So the small area above the window and the small wall on the left of the window leave in the grey and just paint the wall where the pictures are in the red?

Thanks again for your time and suggestions. It always helps me to open my eyes to other ideas.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:39PM
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Terri Symington, ASID
I would keep all the walls the same color... and instead of painting an accent wall, do a red tropical print or bold pattern fabric on the windows... keep the woven wood shades and layer some panels over it... that will carry the red over from the living room
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Thanks for another great idea!
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:23PM
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here are some ideas, imagine red if you don't see it in the pictures. some pictures are for color combos, some to work with your red coach (which I think is fun) ,red makes for great accents in your theme you are trying to create
div>Traditional Living Room design by Minneapolis General Contractor REFINED LLC

Tropical Living Room design by Miami Interior Designer Holguin Interiors / Maria Elena Holguin, A.S.I.D.

Tropical Living Room design by Toronto Interior Designer Leanne Mosquite Interior Design

Tropical Living Room design by Philadelphia Interior Designer Beach Dwellings
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:46PM
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oops that didn't work...... well I'll try again later. What I was trying to say is: the plans for your kitchen sound lovely and you take the same look into your other rooms/walls etc. enjoy your space.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:49PM
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Love the idea of a tropical wall rather than solid color!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:26AM
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The Creative Man
Hi, I would be careful with painting the room grey. From the pictures, it looks like you have a lot of shadows and the rooms aren't very bright.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 6:30AM
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greys are terribly difficulty due to the undertones. some look pink, others green or purple. i just sold a house that i used very neutral colors in ( mostly) and all the ceilings were one shade lighter than the walls. i even painted the metal parts and blades of my ceiling fans the same as the ceilings. my house was 1945 era and that lent enough modernization to it to help the furniture fit in which was very contemporary ( could have gone all antiques as well because of the neutral palette. ) i'm envious of your red couch. an accent wall might end up being overkill. pick up that red in your artwork or fabric selections
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:06PM
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As a grey enthusiast, if you are using greys always check their make up. I think you have to go to a paint specialist and ask them to run the sample through a "spectrogram" (in French at least). It will decipher what the make up of the paint is. If it is predominantly blue, it will have a military grey/colder blue, if it has reds - a bit more pinky - usually deep ochre yellow bases seem to work the best. But as oft repeated, try a large swatch on all four walls, let them dry for 48 hours and then judge.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:53PM
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I'm still wondering what my options are for painting the stairway if I go with the grey on the entry walls, etc. I think the really light grey or white ceiling is what we may do.

I have to wait for the granite to be installed to be sure of the grey shade we choose but will take the advice of paint specialist in terms of shades.

The opposite site of the dining room, in the living room area is a large double door sliding door facing southwest creating quite a bit of light for the entire "great" room.

Not sure how to accomplish the tropical fabric overlay on the window blinds?

Again, I so appreciate all the advice and suggestions.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:08PM
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Cindy Riviere
what if you painted a chevron pattern (or something else that goes with your decor) in white or lighter gray over the same gray paint on the accent wall? It would stay within your color scheme but accent that wall a bit. Maybe even a black and gray? I think a red wall would be too much after you looked at it for while. I would stick with red as accent color and spread around both the dining and living room in small doses around the room to keep your eye moving.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:00PM
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Terri Symington, ASID
Based on the photo of your dining room above... mount a rod about 12" above the (or a few inches from ceiling... I can't determine just from photo). You could do a drape panel with rings with a pleated header or a flat header...or what ever is your preference. The lenght could go floor length... or you could have it fall just below the sill.

You could probably find a window and drapery company locally to help you with fabric selections and the fabrication of the panels. They can also help you with the rod and ring hardware.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:24PM
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Thanks Terri, I have the "blind" lady coming Monday to help us cover a laundry area with new washer and dryer so I will ask her.

Wow, Cindie. good idea. Even if I don't use it on that accent wall, it is something to think about for the loft/office/exercise room. Again....my husband may kill me when I tell him he has mark off stripes! But he loves me and told me so more and more for Valentines...I love him so much.

If I use Terri's idea and spread the red around the room as Cindie mentioned that sounds doable. Because I have teal in the master bedroom just off the living room, I may pull a little teal into the living/dining room with the red and grey.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:17PM
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Tres McKinney Design
If you are going for a more contemporary look then painting all the walls the same gray is the way to go. Since the entry leads right up the stairs they should be painted the same color as the entry walls as there is no natural break in the architecture to change colors. When choosing grays it is better togo with a mid range hue. If you go too light it will just look like a cold white. I would consider updating the stairs as well since that is the first thing you see as you enter the house. I would replace the wall to wall carpet with sisal or wool sisal which would compliment the bamboo floors and tropical theme. If the stairs are wide enough you could install bamboo on the treads and a sisal runner.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:12AM
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small entry looks amazing in a dark grey
Benjamin Moore - Stone - including ceilings
and attached room - Benjamin Moore Silver fox- including ceilings
and everyday take away 6 things from room
for a week...
less is more...
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:18AM
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Again, thanks. Diapollo, as to the clutter....LOL we had all the stuff moved off our kitchen counter for the templating for the granite so it looks rather messy. However, I am going to really look at "less is more" when I get to that part of the decor. Good eye. Does the same hold true for paintings/pictures on the walls? Thanks for the color suggestions and the paint range.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:09PM
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apparently I'm behind the times. I understand that "everyone" is doing wood floors now days and tile shower stalls are old fashioned ( this from my Dallasite sisters who are doing total redos on their gorgeous homes.) SO, yes, I believe the carpet needs to be taken off the stairs and tres mckinney design has that nailed !
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Well the carpet on the stairs may have to take a back seat for a short while but I will keep the idea in the front of my head. I can see what you mean. I hate carpet anyway and would love to do the stairs as well as the loft where the stairs lead! Then......get rid of the carpet int he bedrooms.

What are they using in bathroom showers if not tile. I know I won't convince my husband of that any time soon. This place we have is only 6 years old and all the fixtures, flooring, etc. was decided for us.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:26PM
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the word from the dallas sisters is slate. personally i prefer something softer. we are building and i am using cultured marble with a matte finish. we will probably die in this home so we dont care what is popular. plus that, my parents house was built in the early 70's and the cultures marble still looks great after 4 kids grew up with it. i wish they could change the surface to the matte look. its really pretty and easier to care for ( i was told by the mfr)
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 3:32PM
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Slate gets that weird white look to it quickly, though, and it's so dark and looks absolutely like the year you put it in.

Those rock floors are trendy, but I wil admit we have it in a house in the mountains and I love the feel of it when wet. They're getting a funny look to them too after 5 years of showers, but I don't care because I like to take a shower there...

We have a home in France and tile is absolutely king there, so I never understan why americans hate it. The choices are endless.

gastlysmom- your sisters are in dallas, but where are you? They do have some amazing designers down there, but often it's a little over the top, no?
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:13AM
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My problem with trends is that I don't like to change stuff just because "everybody else is doing it " and that is what my dallasite sisters must do because of the big business they are in ( they entertain)I was in art and framing for nearly 30 years and its always better in my opinion to stick wuth classics. One can always decorate around them. I live in the sticks and prefer my jeans and boots to heels and slacks ( and slate shower enclosures) My new husband and I are building and will have brick floors throughout the main floor except in the living room where hubby wants his carpet. I have my sisters to use as references but I usually use the information as a starting place. I forwarded them both my house plans and you can be sure I got plenty of input. My older sister is in high end interior design so I'll use her to buy my fixtures and such since she has a million contacts
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:03PM
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Perfect! I always want a house that doesn't scream one period or the other, if that is possible, but I have friends in Boston that are involved in what they call "competitive decorating" because they too work for big banks/traders and have to have the newest thing. It's not as much work as marathon running, but more expensive.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 4:01PM
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Terri Symington, ASID
Good design is not dependent on the latest trends... in fact it outlasts the trends. One should consider updating their interiors to reflect the change in their tastes due to the expanding of one's awareness and the refining of one's eye... not to keep up with their friends... or enemies...
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 4:07PM
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