Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Color me undecided


The girls are going to spend a little more than a week with their grandparents in Pittsburgh after school is out. (Why yes, half of me is jumping for joy and half of me is sobbing at the thought.) This leaves me with a brain full of possibilities. All of the things we can do without having to consider short people. A few of the possibilities don’t even include dates with my husband or sleeping late. One thought I’ve been toying with is slapping a little paint on my kitchen walls.

We didn’t paint anything before moving in because 1) the whole house had been painted prior to putting it on the market and 2) I didn’t want to. When we bought our house in Pittsburgh, we spent months with paint brushes in our hands. It left me with a strong desire to never paint another wall. Ever. Ever. Never. Ever. So I convinced Steve that we should live with all of the colors in the house for awhile before making any decisions. Most of the colors are quite pleasant. There isn’t a speck of builder’s beige. And while there are several colors, most end up reading pretty neutral so it isn’t a crayola box in here. But.

BUT…the kitchen has been wearing on me. It is so…brown. Brown floor. Brown cabinets. Brown walls. Take a look (the first is one of the MLS photos before we bought it):

The kitchen and living room are both the same mocha brown – the second looks truer to color to me. I just can’t take it anymore. I want to pay someone to paint it. A child free week would be the perfect time to complete this task. That leaves me with the question – what color? I want to do it green. But unless you are a man and only see 1 shade of green, that narrows it down to 3,547 choices. And I’m afraid green won’t mesh well with the yellow in the dining and sun rooms. So here is where you all come in. I know colors are hard to capture on computer monitors and with cameras but give me some thoughts here oh blog readers with fabulous taste (you must have fabulous taste since you read my lovely blog). Here are my attempts at capturing the yellow in different lights with the swatch (lime sorbet) that I’m considering.

(Last one is another MLS photo.)

It is a warm (almost mustardy but not that brown) yellow with just a slight tinge of green undertone in certain lights.

Other colors we are considering for the kitchen are a very light periwinkle or very light aqua (toward the green family). I want a color that is light(ish) and cool to brighten things up in there. HELP! Does this paint swatch look like it might work or I am completely off base? And if it sucks, what would work? I’m usually pretty good at this but for some reason I’m finding it difficult with this open floor plan.

posted under House stuff
12 Comments to

“Color me undecided”

  1. On April 6th, 2011 at 1:09 pm Loulou Says:

    Hey. Sherwin Williams has a green that I love called Ryegrass. I had it at my other house. There is a color above Great Green on the color swatch, but I can’t remember the name. I’ll look. Rainwashed by SW is a GREAT blue with just a hint of green. I have it in my kitchen and dining all the way through my living room. It’s so cool, and blue is actually a neutral. You’d be surprised at all it goes with. I have a SW color deck. Let me know if you want me to look for another green. I agree that the kitchen needs some color. The floors are gorgeous, but they will really stand out with some contrast. Let me know if you want some help.

  2. On April 6th, 2011 at 1:13 pm Yo-yo Mama Says:

    Whatever color you decide, you definitely should get a large colorful area rug for the floor. Something that can take a beating and will be easy to clean. That’ll help neutralize all that wood.

  3. On April 6th, 2011 at 1:38 pm burghbaby Says:

    I always like to pick colors from things that I love that will be in the room. Like, a piece of art or a rug or something. I don’t go for super-matchy-exactly-that-color, but something similar that will make that thing I love more prominent.

  4. On April 6th, 2011 at 7:33 pm dana Says:

    Yellow and blue are complimentary colors and they pop when together. The contrast is really nice too. If your room is like a mustard (mine is gold and very similar to yours) and I was going to go with blue drapes the color of the sides of your blog here. Love those two colors together! I went with sheers colored deep purple (also looks good with yellow) burgundy and some gold. Sometimes I wish I went with the blue.

    If you want it to be a lighter tone then I would look for slate but a lighter version. I’m not sure the green and yellow work for me. You have alot of yellow orange in your kitchen between the floor and the cabinets so I’d bring in a blue tone altough there are other colors that I think would work but they tend to be darker colors.

    My kitchen has light (yellowish natural) oak cabinets (hate them) and the only color that looked good with them was a blueish purple. Again I think it’s the blue yellow complimentary color thing.

    I also like the carpet idea to break up that floor and cabinets. I know a little about color since I have a BA in art and I own a custom frame shop. Can’t wait to see what color you go with. I hope your pink and black bathroom is still the same. Love It!!

  5. On April 6th, 2011 at 9:41 pm Sophie~Bug's Mom Says:

    My kitchen is green and I love it!! It is a Sherwin Williams match of Porter Paint’s Basswood Green. It looks a lot like the swatch you have but is hard to tell on the screen.

    My yellow neutral for my den is called Wheat Straw (Porter). Not saying that you should pick my colors… but like that you are thinking similar colors that I love too!

    I love color… but have found myself neutralizing over the years. Good luck! I promised myself that I would never paint again either… but may end up here in a couple months since I am on the move.

  6. On April 7th, 2011 at 6:55 am Ruthie Graham Says:

    I like the limey color, but it may be more yellow than you can stand after a while. Our den is painted yellow, our dining room is a mossy green color (open floor plan). I have no idea the name now! You know, it’s just paint…go with your gut on a wall and live with it a few days! Then decide!

  7. On April 7th, 2011 at 9:46 am Sonia in MO Says:

    I like the lime green, too… it would certainly pop against the yellow. Sage green might be a bit softer. I had soft yellow and red in my kitchen – I loved the colors together. But I’m so bad about picking paint colors – it’s taken me 6 months to decide on new paint for my living/dining/kitchen. I had to go with a boring beige/cream color, because I’m putting our house on the market next spring.

    Check out http://www.valsparpaint.com (sold at Lowes) because at 9 am each day you can pick a sample of a color for free and have it sent to your house, and they include a little roller, tray, and coupon. I did this and bought two other small samples (they are about $2-$3) , and painted big swatches on the walls & lived with them for a few weeks before I chose. It’s easier to decide then than with those little tiny paint chips!

    Have fun!

  8. On April 7th, 2011 at 9:59 am Larry Tope Says:

    RED! Pick out a most beautiful rich RED! I would say it could go anyway you would like, from the lightest to darkest. Check it out.

  9. On April 8th, 2011 at 8:04 am Andrea Says:

    Whichever color you’re leaning towards, my sister is an interior decorator, and she says to get a sample size and paint a 2X2 square of whatever color you want. Colors look different at night then they do in the day, and what you love in the store may not look so great on your wall.

  10. On April 10th, 2011 at 6:19 am Bobbi Says:

    Andrea has a good idea!! But, I like the lime green. And, if you don’t like it, it’s just paint. You can easily change it. It’s work, but you can easily change it. We have gone bolder here lately (my husband has had to adjust!!) Once we got everything back on the walls, and accessories to blend, it was nice and we were glad we did it!! Keep us posted, ans how pics!!

    AND, a week alone……….oh, the possiblities. You will be like newlyweds 🙂

  11. On April 18th, 2011 at 10:35 am Michelle Smiles » Blog Archive » Trading cotillions for terrible towels Says:

    […] […]

  12. On August 23rd, 2012 at 3:35 pm Michelle Smiles » Blog Archive » Playing catch up Says:

    […] You might recall that just before I announced we were selling the house and moving back north, I asked for color assistance. I finally found a color that didn’t clash with the weird yellow in my eat in and sun room […]