Wall color often presents a decorating dilemma for our readers. Sometimes they know what they want but can’t figure out which color chip is the best for meeting their decorating goals. Other times they are not sure how or where to even start the process of selecting a color. And sometimes they’ve been “surprised” by way the color ended up looking after the walls were painted.
Today a Your Decorating Hotline reader asks for help selecting a color direction for her daughter’s room. There are a numer of factors impacting her selection and she’s not quite sure how to prioritize them. She’s taking into consideration a mural, pine wood accents, a log bed, orange painted walls adjacent to the bedroom, natural light and more!
Here’s the Situation
We are remodeling our home and building a bedroom upstairs for our 8 year old daughter. I need help finding the right paint color for her room. We put up a forest wallpaper mural on one wall and the room gets medium to low natural light from a big window on the north wall. The ceiling is natural pine and the trim is all medium stained oak. I am having trouble picking a paint color that works with the mural and the pine.
I was looking at green, but now I don’t know if green would be right. I’ve also been looking at light brown (beige), maybe with a very slight grayish to it? I’m really not sure. Any browns with an undertone of green tend to look muddy (I think?) . The mural has a misty background that is mostly green with a hint of gray to it, but a bit of it has a very slight brownish hue. The photo is off in color and the misty background looks much more beige (brown) in the photo than it actually is.
My daugter keeps changing her mind and can’t pick a color. She told me to just pick one and get it done. I know she does not want anything too bright or anything that looks like a child’s room (too babyish). Also, whatever I choose will probably never be changed because my husband does the painting (I’m horrible at painting) and if I don’t like it, he won’t change it, so I’d be stuck with it. That’s why it’s taking so long to find the right color.
The color not only has to go with the mural and pine, but also her log bed which has a medium coloring to it (we varnished it and it brought out the redish and yellowish-mostly red hues in the wood). We will pick a neutral lighter color carpet after painting. I’ve gottten a lot of suggestions of medium or light sage, but most sages are either too bluish or grayish. It would have to be a yellowish sage that is quite light (I think), yet not too drab of a color since the room doesn’t get tons of light. I’ve also gotten suggestions of lighter beige, so I am totally confused.
I don’t know if it matters, but when you first come upstairs, the hall is an orange color (a bit darker than pumpkin orange) and her room is right off of there, so when her door is open, you can see both room colors. I am sending photos. I am looking at Behr, Sherwin Williams and Martha Stewart paints. I have gotten several samples, put them on posterboard and looked at them on the different walls in different light and still have no idea. I would like to paint as soon as possible, since I’ve been trying to find a paint color for almost a year now. Any suggestions of an exact color or two to look at would be greatly appreciated!
Your Decorating Hotline Solution
What a fun room you’re creating for your daughter. The mural and the log bed and all the wood trim all ties together so nicely and will be such fun for her.
Based on what you’ve written about the room and seeing the photos, I think a light green with a yellow undertone is a good direction to go for painting the walls. An easy way to do this is to pick the color from the mural. You said the photo color is off but it appears there are yellow greens in the art. Match one of the yellow greens to a paint stick and then go two colors lighter on the color stick as the color will be darker on the walls when the paint is applied.
The yellow undertone is important as the room has low light (northern exposure) and the yellow will help keep the light moving about the room (yellow actually reflects light more than white). Pine also has yellow undertones in the wood so the wall would look good with the ceiling – which is a big expanse of wood – and the doors. You’re on the right track by painting samples and viewing them around the room and throughout the day as the light changes.
If you want specific paint colors recommended I would have to do a color analysis with better photos and/or a sample of the wallpaper. You would need to purchase a color consult from YourDecoratingHotline for $30 - here’s the link so you can learn more about it http://yourdecoratinghotline.com/consultation-payment/.
I hope this information helps.
Wait – There’s More!
Do you think a light green is the way to go even though there is orange in the other room? ”
I think a yellow green is the way to go in the bedroom because of the mural. Bedrooms are considered “private” rooms and as such, each one can be individually decorated without concern for the rooms next to it. In public areas where the rooms all blend from one space to another and are open to the “public”, it’s important to consider the color flow. A bedroom, however, is like a little island because its access is limited to the individual occupant and not the public – and you can close the door and separate it from the rest of the house.
That aside, in theory a yellow green and an orange can go together (both have yellow undertones) but how well they go together depends on each of the specific colors selected.
Thanks for the reply. When you say a yellow green, are you saying something fairly bright? Or more yellowish sage? Or????
A yellow green is any green with yellow undertones (as described in the first email I sent – and in that email I also suggested it be a light green with yellow undertones). The actual color and the intensity of the color is up to you. My suggestion is you pick a yellow green you like from the mural, find the color on a paint stick that matches your selection from the mural and then buy paint samples that are two shades lighter and three shades lighter on the stick. Paint these swatches in the bedroom in a couple different spots in the room to see how the light impacts them during the day and at night – from that pick the one that looks the best all day/night and go with it.
I haven’t heard back from Kathy so I don’t know what she decided to do for her daughter’s room. Key take-aways to this reader’s dilemma, however, are to consider undertones when selecting a paint color, know that a bedroom is a world unto itself and so it does not have to relate to color in the adjoining spaces unless you want it to, paint big swatches of the paint colors you think would look best in your space, and examine how they look in the context of the room over the course of several days.
P.S. Don’t forget to use the Comment link below and you’ll be entered today in our 500th post give-away celebration (see yesterday’s post for details). You might win a fabulous handmade item from Desmond Brown Design, chalkboard Labels by Bradens Grace, or Your Decorating Hotline’s new e-book – How to Successfully Use Color in Home Decorating.