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Help picking paint for a dark interior.
lilion
February 17, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My house is rather dark. In fact, we're always complaining about how dark. I'm attaching photos, taken at night but with all the lights on. But by the same token, we would like our walls to have a darker color than they do now. The living room is now painted a barely-noticable beige. The kitchen and dining room is a wonderful peapod green color. (Well, I think it's wonderful...you mileage may vary.) The woodwork is all a nasty 70's builder's grade medium oak, with the exception of the casings you can see in my photos and we're ready to paint it all white. (Yep...it's going to be a chore, we're starting in the basement family room for practice.) We picked a trim color that was Dutch Boy paint today called "popcorn", a barely off-white color, with beige undertones, not green or blue. Of course, we can make the upstairs a bit brighter when we get to that if it looks too dark once it's on.

I guess the problem is I was wanting a medium dark tan, but I'm afraid now it will make our house even darker. The windows sit north (on the kitchen/dining room side and south on the living room side, but there are big trees blocking most of that sun. I think painting the trim will start the lightening, but what kind of tan would go well, as the rooms are connected?

Finally, the kitchen photo shows we've begun tiling the backsplash I formerly painted green...We're thinking of painting the cabinets a brownish red? I'm attaching a photo of a table that has a similar color. Our appliances are all almond/bisque, or we'd go white. Any thoughts?

I welcome any ideas (and please forgive the mess!)
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lilion
Oops...forgot the photo of the reddish table and it won't let me edit to add a picture, so here it is. You can get an idea of the tans I like if you go to my "paint ideas" ideabook. THANKS!
February 17, 2013 at 7:01PM   
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Lkristine
Lighten it up, with neutral, subtle color on the wall. This is Paris Rain by Benjamin Moore, and also paint the ceiling...........
February 17, 2013 at 7:14PM   
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mdamron61
Painting all wood trims is a smart choice. Paint the walls a light yellow. This will take away the dark feeling in the house.
February 17, 2013 at 7:19PM   
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Jayme H.
Are you set on brownish red for your cabinets? Ben Moore Sherwood Tan is a nice tan..
February 17, 2013 at 7:31PM     
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Jayme H.
Pic...this color could be used with many different styles..not just this type. Are u keeping the same countertops in the kitchen?
February 17, 2013 at 7:35PM     
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lilion
No, I'm not set 100% on the reddish color for the cabinets. I just like it and as you can see, the dining set is a medium cherry, so we thought something like that, but I'd be willing to go with something different if it goes with the almond/bisque appliances - there's no budget to change them.

I am, however, fairly set on a tan/beige shade on the walls. I really dislike blues. In fact, other than jeans, I don't even own anything blue. I'm not a fan of yellow, mostly because it looks absolutely horrible on me I think, but in any event, my husband would never go for it. Our taste, if we had the right type of house (we don't) or the money to redecorate (ditto) would tend toward old-world furnishings and decor, even medieval. But we have a 1970's split foyer house and our dream home will have to wait. :) So instead it's a matter of making what we've got more attractive. I do like the white woodwork with a darker wall color, but I know I don't want to go too dark.

Originally, when we started painting (the kitchen and dining room) I had an inspiration fabric...all the designer shows say have an inspiration piece after all. It was the fabric I'm attaching. I love this. In case the colors don't really show well, it's a dark chocolate brown, with golden tans, maroons, pinks and dark and leaf green. I chose the green from it for my walls. It's on my dining chairs and the kitchen valance and I have about 10 yard of the stuff left I haven't been able to figure out exactly what to do with. But you can certainly see my medieval influence there. I know our taste isn't everyones and we can't go dark-dark, but we'd thought a tan and we could add touches of the other colors here and there.
February 17, 2013 at 7:59PM   
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ann
I would use a creamy yellow thru out, with red and gold, black accents
February 17, 2013 at 8:00PM   
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lilion
Oh! The countertops are new. We had horrible yellow marble formica and harvest gold sink. We changed them recently. Now, the countertops are painted - Giani granite countertop paint, and I could redo them, but I really don't want to any time soon. They have a lot of lighter tan and brown in them, even some gold flecks, they aren't as black as the photo makes them look.
February 17, 2013 at 8:02PM   
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Lkristine
kitchen idea----
February 17, 2013 at 8:29PM   
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Jayme H.
IDK if reddish is the way to go with the cabinets...I would think an off white/ creamy color, light beige or brownish tone. Your fabric is quite lovely. Being u have mentioned an issue with darkness, I would stay away from a darker wall color and stay with a more medium color. Esp. if lighting is an issue, paint colors often appear darker on the walls than they do in pics and swatches....
February 17, 2013 at 9:11PM   
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lilion
Ok...so kitchen question. Would cream be too matchy-matchy with the light tile and the almond appliances? The counter and accessories would be the only dark spots. I suppose I could do something with a rug? And...if I go with a cream color on the kitchen cabinets, should I do the same with the rest of the woodwork? Or should that still be white? And what about the kitchen window, that it literally touching the cabinets to either side? I thought about a glaze to add some age and color, but with the busy counter and the mottled type of color variation in the tile, I'm thinking more of a solid color. Thoughts?

I do have a cupboard in my kitchen that is already painted a reddish brown. I don't remember where we got this particular paint, but it was called "cowboy suede" and was probably Lowe's or Wal-Mart. I'll attach a picture. (I was drying herbs...that's what's hanging there.)

I actually have a cabinet with three BIG doors I can practice on that we took out and is just sitting in the garage. So I will be able to figure out how to do this before I do it.

I'm looking at the living room now in daylight. Granted, it's a bit overcast, but this is about as bright as it gets in here...we even have lamps on. Maybe the beige we have on the walls already will look less off-white with true white trim?
February 18, 2013 at 8:08AM   
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Jayme H.
I have not seen many kitchen cabinets painted reddish brown, I prefer white, off white, creamy colors.( even some greys) for painted cabinets...but that's me...here are a few pics of looks I like and feel look good.
February 18, 2013 at 8:46AM   
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mamaloulove
pale daffodil by Benjamin Moore.....candle light atmosphere...with sun, even better..
February 18, 2013 at 9:05AM   
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Jayme H.
And white trim can really change the look of a room...so you may see a difference if u paint the trim white or put in new white trim..In a few of the kitchen pics I posted u can see how good the wide, white trim looks with a medium taupe-like wall color.
February 18, 2013 at 9:09AM   
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lilion
Reddish cabinets are definitely not the norm. I have seen several on Houzz and will try to attach photos.
[houzz=Hunting Lodge - Oxford, Maryland][houzz=Kitchen 1][houzz=][houzz=Kitchen 2][houzz=Day Residence Interiors][houzz=Red Painted Kitchen][houzz=Kitchens] I really like the green with white or off-white cabinets, but with the tile we've chosen and the almond appliances, I just don't know how it would work.

How do you people get the photos to show up without text in the comment?
February 18, 2013 at 9:09AM   
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Jayme H.
Can't click onto any of the pics..I usually have to add pics to an idea book, then backtrack to my "feed", click on the pics, save them to my computer, then go back and attach to the thread...I am sure there is an easier way then I am doing it!!!
February 18, 2013 at 9:27AM   
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lilion
Jayme, I'm right -clicking the photo and using the "word press shortcut" to embed the photo.

I've spent a lot more time on this, and I think I do agree with cream. [houzz=
] I hadn't really considered that, but it will blend nicely if I get the right one.

Now to figure out the rest of the house. I appreciate the suggestions.
February 18, 2013 at 9:49AM     
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Jayme H.
Things that are not easily changed, like cabinets, floors, etc..I just personally like to keep more neutral as I tire of things...then I can change accessories or wall paint instead of having to spend a lot...Cream would work well for you I think...
February 18, 2013 at 9:57AM     
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PRO
February 18, 2013 at 10:01AM     
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lilion
My goodness no Karen...at least on my computer that's very pinkish. The popcorn color we bought for the trim is the color of popcorn, a creamy white color with a definite beige undertone. Now we may just use that in the basement and go brighter white upstairs. But the family room can be different, so we'll make up our minds about that after we see it down. I can't actually find an on-line photo of the paint that doesn't look pink or beige, which isn't the actual color.

Looking at the paint chip now at home, it may well be too beige. I may end up using it as wall color in the basement and buying more pure white for the trim.

That is the only peapod green I can find. Mine is a little less sage and a little more spring leaf - almost like a lighter version of the green Houzz uses on this website for its logo.
February 18, 2013 at 10:12AM   
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carolins
You could of course paint the bottom cabinets your reddish brown and the top cabinets an (off)white so your kitchen will not be all that dark.
South Austin Bungalow
Addition: Kitchen
February 18, 2013 at 11:09AM   
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lilion
I think I'll paint the some of the doors on my "practice cabinet" and see what I think of the cream. Sounds like a plan. Thank you for the ideas of color for the walls....I think whatever we do, I'm going to get samples if the paint store offers them and try them out to see what happens. While I poo-food the yellow (Hubby would never go for it - I asked) I might talk him into a nice light golden tan color. Of course, the white trim is going ot make a huge difference. Thanks so much for all your help. I'd have never thought of cream for the cabinets...and I may try the two-tone...have to think about that.

If anyone has any more suggestions, I'll happily listen. Thanks again!!!
February 18, 2013 at 4:12PM     
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judianna20
Something easy and foolproof. Paint all your walls BM Linen White, matte, and all your woodwork Bm, Decorator's White. Always works.
February 18, 2013 at 4:14PM     
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judianna20
K P I, I am not sure if you are aware of your posted suggestions above, which included lilion's personal photo's, but when I clicked on her room, with your name on the pix, it came up suggesting you decorated it. :>) May be confusing for your followers….
February 19, 2013 at 2:27PM   
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PRO
karen paul interiors
judy, what a riot! Hell, I don't care. I'm just tryin' to help out. I've been saving my thinking material to my ideabooks, so it comes up with me having designed it? Thanks for the heads up gal. U are the best! :)
February 20, 2013 at 12:07AM   
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lilion
Oh Ladies, I don't think anyone looking at photo's of my house would think I had a designer help! lol I'm pretty sure that's painfully obvious. :)
February 20, 2013 at 8:35AM   
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mamachers
My livingroom and halls are manchester tan by ben moore it is a beautiful color.
February 20, 2013 at 10:06PM   
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bumblebee728
Can you cut down that tree that's blocking your sunlight? I hate to see a tree lost but sunlight is a great thing too!
February 22, 2013 at 10:45AM   
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lilion
Bumblebee, Our front yard has a large bed of hosta and other shade plants and two very large, mature honey locust trees. While I'd rather have about any other type of tree, I'd never cut them down. They're likely 30 or more years old. I actually don't know that it would be very helpful anyway, except for a few hours a day. Our house is what I guess is referred to as a "raised ranch", with a split foyer and the roof overhang is quite deep and only windows on the front and back, not on the ends. Quite a lot like this one:
We've been thinking quite seriously about putting in some of those tube-type skylights.
February 22, 2013 at 10:57AM     
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bumblebee728
You do have good reason to keep the tree(s). Better lighting was going to be my second suggestion, so the skylight sounds like a wonderful idea!
February 22, 2013 at 11:28AM   
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bumblebee728
When I have more time I'll try to join in on help with color ideas.
February 22, 2013 at 11:32AM   
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lilion
I really do think a couple of those skylights, at least one in the living room and maybe one in the hallway, may have to be our next major project.
February 22, 2013 at 11:54AM   
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