Monday, April 26, 2010

White Walls or Bold Color?

I grew up with white walls. I moved on to more white walls. Now we have barely buttercup walls, with white below the chair rail. Now that we're thinking about repainting our living room/dining room/kitchen area, this tiny voice in the back of my mind is screaming "add color"!

But ... white walls are easy! Neutral walls let you change your decor on a whim, completely change the look of the room with a few curtains or pillows rather than having to repaint. Neutral walls are safe, secure.

Color is bold... am I bold? Not always. So we have a decision ahead... bold? Or safe? I'm wondering if maybe some lighter colors would be a good compromise. Maybe a light turquoise for the otherwise white kitchen. Maybe a nice light sage green for the living room/dining room combo.

Here are some inspiring photos that got me thinking.

This is Tony Shalhoub's house... I love the pure white, clean look it has. I love the bold accent colors (that could be changed in a day for little cost!).

monk's dining room
{source}

This is really along the lines of what I was thinking I liked. There's a bit of color on those walls, but not so much that it's terribly bold or overpowering. Our kitchen cabinets are white, as well as a very light counter top and light ceramic tiles. Perhaps a splash of light color would be good for the space?

light blue kitchen walls
{source}

Here is another light splash of color that I really like. Dark wood, light walls with a bit of color.

light green bedroom walls
{source}

But then I see these dark walls, with the white accents to lighten it up, and I do love it. I wonder if maybe a bathroom or powder room would be a good place to experiment with a dark color?

dark blue bedroom walls
{source}

This is another one that I love. We wouldn't be able to do this in our living room since we have dark furniture, but the kitchen is all white... is a dark color too bold for the kitchen? Should I relegate it to the bathroom?

dark blue living room walls
{source}

I'd love to hear your opinion on wall colors! White? Light? Dark? It's such a big decision!

erin

9 comments:

Colleen said...

I also grew up with white walls. I moved and we had white in each apartment. Then in our house we finally got some color. It made the rooms look so much better. We chose a neutral (called natural but very close to white) for the dining room, a tan for 3 walls in the family room but then went bold red with the 4th. My craft room is a light green. Dave's office is a bright blue. The living room is a very pale green.
http://picasaweb.google.com/colleen.michelle.mccloskey/RandomHousePictures# shows some and http://picasaweb.google.com/colleen.michelle.mccloskey/CraftRoom# shows my Craft room.

I think a neutral but not a white is good but yet you can still change your decorations to change the look of the room.

PACountry said...

My hubby is a big fan of white or off-white walls. At our old house he painted the laundry room while I was away for the day and I just asked ANY color! He chose a light purply-pink because the paint color was called "My Fair Lady"! So sweet! I don't like dark colors at all-probably because of the dark 1970s wood panelling in EVERY room when I grew up, but I am awfully sick of neutrals, too. You have awesome taste so I am sure it will be GREAT regardless!

MYSAVIOR said...

I grew up with white walls and when I got married in 1969 - I splashed that color all over the place.

I would truly go with a pale color. I love the greens and aquas. They do go with so many accent colors also.

♥♥♥

Christie Cottage said...

I love color onm the walls!

Just thinking...I have 3 rooms with white/off white walls. All the rest are colored. My most bold is the "heirloom" room. It is purple and green walls. It is beautiful! Maybe I will post a picture of it on my blog one day.

Since I was using my great-grandmother's bed and an heirloom cream bedspread from another family member and a cream lamp that was a wedding present to my parenst, I thought COLOR!!!!

I may actally be repainting the lower half of the walls in theb hallway to the bedrooms on the south end of the house today. I ahd thought about it this morning. You may have just nudged me!

Have a wonderful day!

Cynthia said...

Go with COLOR!!! I FINALLY have color after years of moving all over the world and having white or neutral walls...I NEEDED color and I LOVE it!!! Maybe think about what they do in Germany....3 walls a really light shade of something and the 4th wall a much darker, bolder shade of the same color...it really makes a statement,,then that way when you want to change decor you basically only have ONE wall to worry about and not all 4....go with some COLOR atleast on one wall....it really sets the room off. I am sooooo happy to have some colored walls in my house even though some rooms are 3 walled cream but the 4th wall........ahhhhh COLOR!!!!
You won´t regret it ,,,,really!!!
If I lived closer I´d come help you paint!!!!! Let us know what you decide!!!

Alison said...

A light color in your kitchen would be great ~ think of all that light you get there and a nice light blue or yellow would really glow.
Bathrooms are a perfect place to experiment with paint color ~ not too much space to paint!

AMKreations said...

Most of the "brick" walls here are white...I think it's amazingly boring! I finally added color to our apartment this year, with a bold yellow in one of the kid's rooms...it's like a splash of sunshine when you walk through the door.

I really like color in a kitchen...but I'm not really into the dark dark rooms...like black or navy walls...too dark for me. =)

Rustique Art said...

Well Erin...this a great question. Here's my take on it.
my den-wine red
my kitchen-olive green
my DD room-luscious dark chocolate
my DS room-tan but changing soon
kids/guest bath- taupe w. white porcelain
foyer and library- warm gold
master - deep gray
I live in a patchwork quilt that somehow all blends together. We are in the process of painting the formal dining that is really going to be the kids entertainment room. Still picking colors because...I might change to lighter colors...so my advice today is....

follow your instincts and pick something you love to look at. Picture yourself surrounded in that color...my colors are dark because to me it's comfy and cozy..but then I see those white designer rooms and I think oh wow..I love that. I'm just plain fickle!
I need a house for every personality...LOL!

Kristin said...

We had tons of color in our townhouse - and I LOVED it...now we have cream walls everywhere and I want to paint so badly...but it's so much work...maybe someday! That kitchen photo is like one of our rooms was - the color was called "Blue Reflection" by Behr...I definitely want to use that one again!! My favorite...

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