Vanessa Francis, Interior Decorator
Monday, February 3, 2014 6:02 PM EDT
As an interior designer, one of THE most popular questions I regularly receive is “what paint colour is that?”
Choosing a paint colour can be totally overwhelming, which is why after 10 years of being in the design business, I cherish the discovery of a few go-to colours that never disappoint.
Para’s Fan Light Grey (P2103-04) seems to be a colour I recommend when clients want to have a fresher, lighter feel to their home. It’s a light grey that has just enough brown in it to make it livable and not cold.
I used it in my own living room and it was quite a welcomed change from the yellow-beige that I had previously.
It also doesn’t have any blue undertones which can make a space feel cooler. Here (above), it’s a quiet backdrop to the art and vibrant colours.
This is a dining room in Fan Light Grey where you can see how it contrasts with Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White (CC-40) on the wainscoting.
Most people have heard of Cloud White, as it is a designer favourite. It’s a creamy white which is warm and crisp at the same time.
STAGING/SELLING YOUR HOME
Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Gray (HC-173) is probably the colour that I have recommended the most over the years.
Why? It’s the perfect “greige” – a colour that straddles the line perfectly between grey and beige. It’s warm and seems to work in any space with any light conditions.
If someone stops me at the grocery store and asks me for a paint colour off the top of my head, I would probably mention this colour.
It’s also the perfect colour if you are staging your house to sell as it’s the perfect neutral.
Para’s Straight Leg (P5157-75) is a navy blue that is not too dark. I used it in my home office as I wanted the room to feel warm and interesting.
With a large window, bookcase, a chalkboard and a lot of cabinetry, this room can handle the dark colour as there isn’t a lot of wall space.
I wouldn’t typically recommend it for a large room with a lot of wall space as it can be overwhelming.
Finding a soft pink for a girl’s room (or any space for that matter) can be tricky. This colour, Benjamin Moore Pink Bliss (2093-70) has just a hint of pink and it almost acts as a neutral.
It casts a warm glow in my daughter’s bedroom and would be a perfect backdrop for any colour scheme.
Here (above), I paired it with grey, red and coral.
My daughter’s playroom (or hang-out room as she now likes to refer to it) is the one room in the house in which I haven’t changed the colour for 9 years.
That’s because Benjamin Moore’s Woodlawn Blue (HC-147) is the perfect shade of blue that never feels dated.
Not too baby blue and not too dark, it is a soothing colour that would be perfect for a gender-neutral bedroom or nursery.
In this bedroom, we painted the wall moulding, trim, doors and walls all the same colour for a soothing effect.
It is Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray (OC-23), another timeless, fresh neutral which would work in any space.
I love using light neutrals with a touch of blue or grey in bathrooms. Here, I used a favourite: Benjamin Moore’s Wickham Gray (HC-171). The blue undertone provides a restful, spa-like feel to the bathroom.
Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Gray (HC-170) is on the same paint chip as Wickham Gray but just a few shades darker.
I wouldn’t just limit this colour to bathrooms though. I have also used this colour in bedrooms and living rooms as it provides just the right amount of colour (blue-gray) without being too overwhelming.
For bathrooms, I like to use a white on trim that is not too creamy so that it will work well with the bright white fixtures. In this powder room, I used Benjamin Moore’s Simply White (OC-117).
These are just a few of my tried and true colours. Just remember that paint colours come across differently on the screen, not to mention in natural light, so make sure you test out every colour you choose in the room it’s intended for, as it’s bound to look different.