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30 September 2010

Help me pick paint. When I moved into my house I chose paint colors really quickly. Most were win, but one room in particular needs to be redone because it sucks. [More:]

Here are a couple of photos of what I ended up with. Chocolate-brown paint with
cafe-con-leche contrast walls.

(For some reason MeCha is giving me errors with the flickr code that we went over with pjern recently--illegal tag: img)

So instead of photos here are the links:

Den #1

Den #2

The couch is dark brown with red and gold pillows. The chair is a goldenrod/yellowish color. The third chair doesn't matter because I'm planning to get rid of it.

My main complaint is that the room is crazy-dark now. The windows are all on the wall that faces the long brown wall.

So given the fireplace colors and the furniture colors, what color do you think I should go for?
I'd be picking one of the reds from the pillows but then I'm wild like that.
posted by gomichild 30 September | 05:49
(I'm going to be out of internet range most of the day today, so don't think I'm ungrateful if I am not commenting till later)

The contrast color, upon reflection, is pinker and lighter than cafe con leche. In this pantone table image, it's the top right color or one down from there.
posted by Stewriffic 30 September | 05:49
Do you want to keep the contrast color? If not, I think Benjamin Moore Westminster Gold would be very pretty. I love the earthy tones you have in here. It's very inviting. The Westminster Gold would still keep it warm but lighten the room up a bit. This color is a classic and will look good year round.

If the Westminster Gold clashes with the chairs (I don't think it will) pick a straw color to coordinate with the chair and pillow.
posted by LoriFLA 30 September | 07:17
I was thinking of something along the lines of the color LoriFLA linked to, except I'd go a little darker to keep from matching the carpet.
posted by punchtothehead 30 September | 08:16
Maybe a cooler, lighter brown like the ones in the third row up here? When I was painting my place I was able to get a CD-rom with the option of using ones own photos to test colors.
posted by brujita 30 September | 08:47
I, too, would be going for something in the red/orange zone. Pumpkin, maybe, or red from the pillows (red with orange to it, not red with blue undertones). My admitted bias is that most neutral looks and too much brown bore me.

I know this is simply horrifying to say but since the trim is already white I'd be thinking about painting the fireplace brick white. It would definitely lighten up the room and make it look more modern/clean. If I decided not to paint it, I'd redecorate to a light blue or white wall. Again, my bias - I'd want to de-emphasize the brown tones.
posted by flex 30 September | 10:14
I first thought a muted, sagey green might be good, but then I re-read the part about the red pillows. Hrm.
posted by youngergirl44 30 September | 10:26
I also think red or a gold or straw color would be pretty. Maybe even an orangey peach?
posted by occhiblu 30 September | 11:05
I first thought a muted, sagey green might be good, but then I re-read the part about the red pillows. Hrm.

Red and green are complimentary. Sage green looks excellent with red. I was going to suggest green but decided against it since you have other colors going on that you want to keep. That being said, I still think green would work beautifully. Sage green is a neutral. If you like the color green you probably won't tire of it and a sage-y green goes with just about everything. claims that the best green is Ryegrass from Sherwin Williams. See how nice it looks with red accents?

Ryegrass is nice. I went one chip lighter and painted my home office Shagreen by Sherwin Williams. I love it.
posted by LoriFLA 30 September | 11:34
hmm, I am a big fan of the neutral we are using all over our (small, dark, 50s ranch) house right now to lighten up the interior. It's called "French Vanilla" but it's more a very light neutral yellow/gold.

That might work with your red / gold / brown theme and lighten things up considerably, or it might be too "peachy" for you. Might be too warm to go with the light brown accent too, unless you repaint the whole thing.

posted by lonefrontranger 30 September | 12:01
I'm with flex. Something orange-ish red would be great with the brown couch and yellow chair.
posted by deborah 30 September | 14:20
Thanks for all the input folks. I like the idea of a spicy, orangey red, but I'm still concerned it would leave the room too dark. I'll chew on this for a while, I'm sure.
posted by Stewriffic 30 September | 17:56
Based on your pictures, I'm wondering if this is in a basement - there don't seem to be any windows. With no natural light, I would go as light as you feel comfortable with that isn't totally white. I like yellow ways (cherry!) so I would do a very light yellow. May be tough to get that done over those dark brown walls, though.
posted by jeoc 30 September | 21:21
Not a basement, but the windows are only on one wall. It's south-facing, so that's good, but I'm still concerned about the darkness. And yeah, there will be much priming and many coats of paint to cover up the brown, I fear.
posted by Stewriffic 01 October | 04:54
Every Thursday at 11 the Washington Post online Home section has a Q&A. It's called Home Front. I tune in almost every week. Anyway, there was a basement paint question yesterday and the guest designer reccommended Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore.

Since I tune in every week I have noticed a trend with the two staff designers that field questions every week. They always going with a color that you love. I agree with this advice. Paint can be very tricky but if you go with a color that you love, half the battle is won.
posted by LoriFLA 01 October | 06:56
link to yesterday's discussion:
posted by LoriFLA 01 October | 06:56
I like the idea of painting the fireplace brick white to match the trim. You'll have lots of people telling you that you shouldn't, but it looks pretty seventies and dark to me. And then I'd paint the brown wall in a rich, warm red — something similar to one of the reds in your throw pillows. It would really lighten and brighten your living room and make it look more pulled together.

It won't be that hard to paint over the brown, by the way — two good coats of primer should do the trick. I've heard red paint can be the devil to apply though, and that it can take numerous coats to get a even tone.
posted by Orange Swan 01 October | 09:50
yea red paint is extremely translucent, even over primer we'd be talking like four coats. it will PISS. YOU. OFF. been there, done that.

A coat of KILZ primer will stop the brown from bleeding through in one coat.


former dark-accent-wall painter in a rental home.
posted by lonefrontranger 01 October | 10:51
huh another idea with that brown base coat might be to get a couple cans of glaze and a lightish colour that you like and just go with the faux.
posted by lonefrontranger 01 October | 10:52
I wouldn't like red cause red wall - black-couch reads as ..I dunno S&M dungeon to me.

I'd paint the fireplace black to watch the trim and go for a deep, rich green. Combined with the yellow chair ir could look very Deco.
posted by The Whelk 01 October | 11:39
I love the idea of a painted white fireplace and the gorgeous green color that LoriFla linked to. It would change the room completely.
posted by toastedbeagle 01 October | 12:56
I can suggest a white paint! Behr's swiss coffee. It doesn't sound like it would be white, but it really is the best white ever.
posted by youngergirl44 01 October | 13:50
Wow! Y'all are rock stars. The couch is actually a deep brown, not black, but if it were black I'd be going black lacquer, mirrors and lots of red satin, for that oh-so swinging look. ;-)

And for a white, sounds like Swiss Coffee is the way to go.
posted by Stewriffic 01 October | 15:05
Tea & Crackers: || Happy birthday to oneswellfoop!