House Design / Lifestyle

Choosing Interior Paint Colors

house interior colors

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Let’s Talk About Paint

There is an old black and white movie with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy called “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House“. The basic premise is that an overworked and stressed out businessman and his family decide to move out to the country from the super crowded city. The house they buy isn’t what they expect and they have to tear it down and rebuild. (Money Pit is a remake of this movie). Hilarity ensues as they navigate the building process (and all the things that go wrong).

One of my favorite parts of this movie is when Mrs. Blandings is describing the paint colors she would like for their new dream house.

Mr. Blandings builds his dream house - Mrs. Blandings describes her paint colors.  House remodel, paint colors, paint palette, choosing paint colors.

I tell you – if you’ll send one of your workmen to the grocer for a pound of their best butter and match that exactly you can’t go wrong.

Mrs. Blandings

Trial & Error With Paint

It can be so hard choosing paint for rooms, let alone a whole house. I can relate to Mrs. Blandings trying to find the perfect colors. A paint color can look so nice on a swatch, but then you get it on the wall and notice undertones that you didn’t know were there. (We ran into that issue when painting the outside of our house).

At our last house, we chose what we thought was a nice blue color for our office. But we didn’t realize it wouldn’t get a ton of natural light, and every time I went in there it felt dark and depressing. We talked with our painter and he told us that paint colors have different “light” levels – how much light they reflect. This is called Light Reflectance Value (LRV) and measures the percentage of light a paint color reflects. No wonder the office was dark and depressing – the LRV level for that blue we had chosen was really low – which meant it didn’t reflect much light.

We decided to go the opposite end and choose a bright sunny yellow color. (But not too bright, more like a nice soft butter yellow). The paint swatch we chose looked almost white, but when we put a sample on the wall, it was the perfect shade of yellow, with a higher LRV value. We repainted the office and it made such a difference in the overall look and feel of the room.

What We Learned:

  • Pay attention to undertones
  • Look at the paint’s Light Reflectance Value (LRV) if the room doesn’t get much natural light.

Choosing Paint Colors For Your House

  1. Think about your overall style and your furniture. Do you want your paint to be a neutral backdrop to your furniture and art? Or do you want your paint to be the first thing people notice?
  2. Look at the natural light in the rooms. Paint can look different based on time of day and the amount of natural light that comes in.
  3. Look at Pinterest, design shows, magazines. What colors are you drawn to?
  4. Get some sample paint and paint them on the walls! How does it look against your trim color?
  5. If you are painting your whole house, how do the colors you choose look together? Do they have similar undertones?
deciding paint colors, choosing paint colors, paint color swatches, paint choices

Our Interior Paint Colors

For our most recent house remodel, we decided to choose an overall paint palette that was bright and airy, peaceful and inviting. Below is a list of the colors we ended up using.

house interior colors, interior color palette, paint colors for house, house remodel, new paint, choosing paint, revere pewter, white dove, comfort gray, sea salt, silver strand, first light benjamin moore.

We love how these paint colors look in our house. To see examples of these paint colors in our home, check out these posts below.

Paint can make such a difference in how a room feels. What are you favorite paint colors? Any funny painting stories? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Christina
    July 2, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    We are painting inside soon. Please come help me!!

  • ramah
    July 3, 2020 at 8:42 am

    So fun, Christina!! Would love to help pick out colors!

  • Salem Bathroom Remodel
    March 24, 2023 at 12:05 am

    Great article! Choosing interior paint colors can be a fun and creative process, but it can also be overwhelming with so many options available. The key to success is to have a plan and process in place, which may include considering factors such as the purpose of the room, the existing decor and furnishings, and personal preferences. It’s important to select colors that complement the space and create a cohesive design. Testing paint samples in the actual room and under different lighting conditions is also crucial to ensure the color looks the way you want it to. Additionally, considering the sheen of the paint and its durability can help ensure the longevity of the finish. Ultimately, choosing interior paint colors requires careful consideration and planning to create a beautiful and functional living space.

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