Paint Color Consultation Answers, Mixing Metals in the Bathroom, and More

Today I’m answering some of your color questions.

Question 1:

We recently bought this townhouse. The accent wall was painted green. I would like to replace the fabric chair with possibly a navy blue chair. The green wall needs to go! What color would you suggest?


I agree, the green should go! If you can paint all the walls, look at Sherwin Williams Zurich White. I almost never use Sherwin Williams paint, and I’m not as well-versed in their colors as Ben Moore. But I discovered this color a few years ago and I’m a big fan. Your room photos look dark, so I think  Zurich White would help brighten the space a ton. I love this color and recommend it more than any other light neutral. It’s truly neutral (and will work with the colors you have as well as the future blue furniture), slightly gray, slightly beige, and very light. Here is an example:

Question 2:

I’m a blogger and also a cabinet painter and could use your advice. I’m painting these cabinets for a customer and we are trying to figure out a color. She’s wanting a light shade of gray.


For a true clean light gray I’d say consider Stonington Gray (below- although the counter here doesn’t look great with it, your project will look better):

I also like Gray Owl for this project:

Obviously any lighter gray is going to brighten up that kitchen. But given the dark counters, I really like the lighter grays like these for the cabinets.

Question 3

Looking for advice on mixing metals in our renovated powder room. Below is an inspiration pic to give you an idea of the color scheme. Please tell me how to mix oil rubbed bronze with either brushed nickel or brushed brass. The only metal in the room right now is an oil rubbed bronze doorknob. I’d like to mix the pendant lighting, faucet, mirror, hardware, towel ring, and toilet paper holder. The powder room is close to our kitchen which has brushed nickel hardware and faucet and brushed brass lighting.


Here are a couple of examples of mixing metals. The key in my mind is balance – do 1/2 and 1/2 or 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. So, in this case, I’d do some oiled bronze to match the doorknob, say in the faucets, and then some nickel in the mirrors and other hardware. Here is a 50-50 example:

I think another effective strategy is to do one color up higher, and one lower – one metal on the cabinets and another on the faucets/mirror/lights (or in thirds like this photo, but with each color in it’s own space). What goes where doesn’t matter, as long as you’ve followed the balance rules:

Question 4

I am currently trying to paint and redecorate my living room. The adjacent room is our kitchen which I recently painted Breath of Fresh Air by Benjamin Moore. The bathroom is green and so is our mud room. I am not in love with our current living room color and this color extends into our hallway and up the stairs. Would love your advice on a color for the living room. Our house does not get a lot of natural light.


It looks like you are moving toward cooler colors like the blue in the kitchen, so let’s continue that – it’s important for flow to carry the tone as far as you can throughout the house.

I really like Gray Owl, as mentioned above, and think it would look good with both the green and the blue. Also check out Revere Pewter for the living room. It’s a tried and true neutral and helps with flow when you are going from one color (blue) in one area to another color (green). It’s not terribly different from what you have up, but little changes can make a big difference.

Here are some Revere Pewter examples. Note how the color changes based on what is with it:

Question  5

I recently moved into a more contemporary home. Trying to reinvent my furniture without buying all new and recovering. I had my dining room chairs painted and the color came out too pastel for me. I really wanted a blush color that you know is pink and it’s a lovely surprise but without looking juvenile. The chairs used to be white washed and felt a little too distressed and I really just wanted to make them different for the new house. Any thoughts on a pretty blush color? The current color is called April pink 2091-70.


I totally get what you are trying to do, and love it. The whole space looks amazing. I think on the pink, it’s just a little too far up in the fan deck. Try 2097-60 (Misty Blush). I think it will look similar to this:

You also could go bold (photo 2) or coral (photo 3), but I think I like the muted you are trying for better with your room:

Question 6

I have a large tapestry I inherited and a large family portrait painted by a friend in Belgium that I must always keep. The living room is SW Believable Buff and the dining room is SW Camelback. I had furniture that was a bronze green before, now it is a creamy color. My question is there anyway to get away from the greens and yellows and still keep these two large pieces? I do like blues but feel I’m trapped with the greens and yellows. There is not another room to move these large pieces..


I hear you and have had that situation myself. In a nutshell, I think you can do other colors, but not blue. The Believable Buff you have now works really well, but I understand the desire for change.

So, the good news is that I think there is enough gray in both the tapestry and the portrait to bring that color out, and it will look great with your furniture. Some people don’t mx beiges and grays, but I am 100% in favor. I show you guys this living room I did often, but here it is again to show the mix of those two colors – gray sofa, beige walls and accessories:

For your room, you have a lot of beiges already, so let’s try a light gray like what appears in the man’s jacket in the portrait. I can’t tell if the tapestry is all green undertones or gray too, but I don’t think it matters – if I’m seeing the overall color correctly I think gray will look good.

I like the grays I mentioned above for clean, light grays (Stonington and Gray Owl).

I also think you could use Ben Moore Balboa Mist:

or ben Moore Edgecomb Gray:

I considered Ben Moore Wickham Gray, but see how it is a little more blue? I think it’s better in this case to stay with a warm gray like the ones above. This is to show you the difference:

The grays I am recommending in this post are all very popular, tried and true. In person I might do it a little differently, but for photo consultations it’s good to go with what you know works!

Question 7

We have a north facing center hall/foyer colonial. I am interested in changing living room wall color to a lighter white, grey, or blue color. The present wall color is  SW Biltmore Buff and the trim color is Decorator’s White. Should I also change the furniture, rug, etc.? The dining room (Mindful Gray) and foyer opposite are for reference.


I agree that the current living room yellow is a little dated and not the best flow with the more updated adjacent rooms. I also agree that the way to go is a neutral.

I don’t think white is the best answer. It’s neutral, but I think it would loo too stark next to the other rooms, which are substantially darker.

Gray is an obvious choice. Just like in the question above, warm gray is a better choice for flow with your other rooms. So those colors (Balboa Mist or Edgecomb Gray) would work. Revere Pewter would also work because it generally works with warms and cools and is a good transition color.

I also love Ben Moore Rodeo for this room:

Or Ben Moore Athena:

Blue is also an option, but because of all the color in the rug, I’d go more neutral (gray/greige).

Speaking of the rug and furniture, you asked if you should change it. I think you could, and could definitely get a more transitional look that works well in homes like yours. However, I see that the rest of the house is pretty traditional, so you’d be biting off a lot if you want it to flow. I’m all in favor of that, but if you are in love with your current rugs and furniture, keep them!

I do have a ton of thoughts about how we could make this home more current/transitional if that’s what you want. It’s too much for this post, but I am going to try to address it separately in the coming days.

I thank you all who sent photos in, and am really grateful that you participated in this series to help keep me distracted and busy! I hope you enjoyed it too.

A Few Barstools I Recommend: