In My Kitchen – November 2014…The best way to choose paint colors

In My kitchen this month is decision central…

In my last post I mentioned that we were getting ready to paint most of the rooms in the house, starting with the kitchen.  I mentioned that we must have just about every paint chip available from all of the major paint companies.  Did you thinking I was exaggerating?IMG_1607

I think the problem is having too many choices and of course there really isn’t a huge difference between say Mystic Cream and Artist’s Canvas.  As for the names of these paints…what are they smoking to come up with names like First Love, Meditation, Woodstock Tan, and Stone Harbor?  I like names that at least have something to do with color – tell me what color do you imagine when you think Meditation?  I also feel like I’m color blind when I talk to the paint experts at the hardware store:

Diane:  “I have a light beige and persimmon duvet cover that I’d like to coordinate with, what do you think of this linen color?”
Paint Expert:  “Well, I suppose you could go with that but aren’t you afraid of the green undertones in that?”
Diane (to herself):  Green undertones?  I see light beige…
Diane (to Paint Expert):  “Oh, of course, I see what you mean, how about Lonesome Dove”
Paint Expert:  “Weellll, I could see it but do you really want to bring the hint of gray in there?”

In any case, I’ve come up with a pretty good way to pick the color for the back hallway and the kitchen.  I wait for a rainy, muddy day and let the dog out.  Once Lola does the test color with her tail I go find the color card that’s the closest to our mud.  Now if you have dogs, you’ll need to do your own test since I’ve noticed that mud varies region by region so I won’t give you any particular recommendation but ours looks like this:

As always, thanks to Celia for hosting the In My Kitchen feature.  Please stop by to say hi to her and if you don’t already, think about joining in next month – there should be plenty going on in everyone’s kitchens during December.

 

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45 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – November 2014…The best way to choose paint colors

    • Believe me it would be so much easier! I have a huge stack of towels in the laundry room for rainy days – for Lola, the floor, and of course to wipe down the walls. As soon as I get everything all cleaned up, she wants to go outside again. Good guess on the Meditation, but alas, it’s a beige with perhaps a hint of gray and First Love probably should be pink but it’s another beige – but that one does have a ‘hint’ of pink in it (or at least that’s what my eyes tell me, Paint Lady would probably have a different opinion).

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  1. I wonder if I can get my cats to do what Lola does – just imagine! I do however have plenty of muddy paw prints on the window sils.
    Good luck with finding the right colours Diane. I would be over in a heartbeat to help you if I could.
    Have a beautiful week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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    • Well, as you know I’ve also got Moe the Terrorist Cat and in my experience, cats would be good if you want that speckled look. You know how they get stuff on their front paws & do the flicking thing? Okay, so you might not just get it on the walls, but everything would be coordinated.

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  2. Oh, that’s my favorite dog breed. She’s beautiful. And messy. I have three small and medium-sized dogs are they’re messy enough! Good luck with the paint. I’ve never been good at picking, especially with whites!

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    • I too love Berners & Lola is my 3rd. It’s like living with the class clown with the things they get into. At 4 months, she ate my kitchen floor. Then one spring when my husband was burning leaves & sticks (she LOVES sticks) she got upset that he was burning her sticks, grabbed one out of the pile & took off into the woods, thereby setting the woods on fire. After my husband hosed down the woods (and Lola), he came in for a break and when he went back outside, found out that she had completely chewed through the hose leaving about a 4′ length from the nozzle. Food is not safe in this house & I can’t tell you how many meals have gone missing. Lola also has a strong herding instinct so I constantly have a nose up my butt, pushing me around to where she wants me to be. I’ve come home to find the kitchen chairs all pushed away from the table & lined up in the middle of the kitchen. Yup, you gotta love Berners.

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      • wow. that’s incredible. that’s the reason i’l never have another puppy. even little ones can eat furniture! the one good thing about smaller dogs is you can leave food out on the counter.

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      • That is true although I did see a video of this clever beagle who would push a chair over to the counter, hop up, and hit the lever on the toaster oven & help himself to whatever was cooking inside. Dogs do have quite the sense of smell.

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  3. Diane, Do you know what is going to happen? I do. You will pick about nine possibilities. You will buy sample pots. Finally, you will decide on the colour(s) and get the painter in. He will paint your walls. Painters are very efficient so he will do a lot of walls in a very short period of time. You will come home and cry when you see your house because you don’t like the colour(s). You will cry a lot and ask the painter how much it will cost to repaint it, which will be a lot, so you will decide not to do it just yet. Then you will forget about the colour of your walls, and after a few years, wonder what all the fuss was about. Well, that is what I do.

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    • Oh no Glenda – so far I only have EIGHT sample cans (and no I don’t like any of them yet). Guess I’ve got one more to go then. Now that I’ve got a retired husband at home I plan to give him the opportunity to perfect his painting skills. I think we’ll probably do about 4 of the rooms ourselves but there are 2 with extra high cathedral ceilings…no way will we be doing those because I imagine they’ll need some kind of staging. I’m thinking going very neutral on those rooms just in case because I know what you mean about picking a color & not liking it after the fact. I went over to see a friend who did her kitchen & had a hard time keeping a smile on my face when I saw the color. I’m not sure if she really liked it or was just resigned to not having to re-do it.

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    • Your husband is a painter? Is he available? When we re-did our kitchen I’d chosen a floor tile with the dog in mind. Unfortunately that was the tile that got completely broken in shipment & the next container was on a ship at sea about a month out. I couldn’t hold up the contractors for the floor so went with a light colored floor so you can imagine what that looks like during mud season! There’s so many ways to choose color, that I figure sometimes you go with the obvious.

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  4. Oh, Diane. I started chuckling when I saw the photo of pain chips — and I hadn’t read a single word yet. Too many choices is right! It can be paralyzing. I’ve a problem distinguishing dark colors — I cannot say how many times I left home wearing one black and one navy sock — so when an “expert” talks of this shade or that, I can only nod and ask what s/he suggests.I then run it by someone whose taste I trust and preferably not a practical joker. 🙂

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    • Ah, then you’re like my husband who’s done the same with socks but unfortunately he wants to be involved in choosing the paint colors. I just pull the same thing on him that the paint experts do to me “yes, that’s a nice color but I’m not sure about that hint of green in there”. Oh course I’m making it all but so far it’s been working.

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  5. I love choosing colours just because of the names – I mean, seriously, lonesome dove? Beautiful but so fun to see how it differs from ‘saucy cygnet’ haha
    I wish I could help you choose, but good luck!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  6. In Georgia, our dirt / mud is orange clay colored….imagine the color names the experts could come up with….mystic rust, orange cream delight, or maybe burnt pumpkin…..no matter what you name it, it is still mud!

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    • Exactly why you have to make sure to get a good sample from your own yard! Orange cream delight sounds like something I’d eat though. Funny but I actually have had a taste of paint on my last painting project. I decided to take a ‘sort of break’ and got myself a cup of coffee. So I had the paintbrush in one hand and my coffee in the other hand & didn’t I stick the paintbrush in my mouth! Not good at multi-tasking I guess.

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  7. I had the same problem when picking colours for my flat… (Not the dog mud issue, I have a cat) but seriously how many shades of white can there be??? I just keep buying colour pots and painting bits next to each other till I decided on the one I liked! Good luck!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Liz x

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    • How many shades of what can there be? Well, I’ll tell you that I’ve got at least 50 to chose from & I’m sure I could come up with more. Your walls must look like mine are now – many stripes but still no decision. I’ve decided to move on & make curtains first, then I’ll pick the paint color. I’m hoping the colors in the material will narrow down the wall color.

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  8. Decisions, decisions! At least you now have a lifetime’s worth of experience to guide you. When we installed our first kitchen floor, I was just 24 and stupid. I thought a shiny white floor would be just the BEST thing and I spent the next 12 years cursing the decision. When it came time to replace the floor, I brought home a square metre of tumbled mottled green tiles. I laid them out on the kitchen floor and emptied my bread board crumbs all over them. Then I poured olive oil over the top. When I couldn’t see the mess in the midst of the camouflaging green, I announced to Pete, “these will do.” 🙂 I can’t see the mess, but I can still *feel* it, so now I wear slippers in the kitchen. See, problems are easy to solve if you just think creatively.. 😉

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    • Ah Celia, that’s exactly the floor that we just replaced. We built the house and the real estate broker convinced me that an all white floor was stunning. Um, yes for about a week. In trying to hit at least one of the chintzy builders allowances I gave in to putting down a vinyl floor and the first time that I moved the refrigerator to clean, I ripped the vinyl. Then I dropped a butcher knife while miraculously landed point down into the vinyl – which was actually quite amazing when I think about it. Then when we got Lola as a pup, she decided to start working on the floor and ate a good section of it. All that led to replacing the floor which as you know ended up replacing the island, which led to replacing the entire kitchen.
      I love your way of testing a floor though and you’re right, you just have to get creative and think outside the box. Those tiles sound really interesting though. Maybe some time you could sneak a photo of that in one of your IMK’s. you know…in my kitchen is a floor (and then I’ll get to see what those tiles look like.

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    • Well the kitchen’s done – boom! I like it although it’s not quite a match for our mud but a darker shade than what was up so maybe it won’t show quite as much. I’ve moved on to the master bedroom & found a great sheer material with a thread pattern that I love & will make side panels in a darker oatmeal color. The idea of doing that first was prompted by the woman at the fabric store who reminded me that they could do color matches based on fabrics so I was sold. Plus I think I’ve got a lot more options in paint color than I do with fabric.

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  9. Its sounds like you need to meditate in an upside yoga pose to make a decision on your kitchen pair colour. All that blood flowing to your brain will either help you make the best choice or just make you not care anymore because you are in so much pain. My only suggestion is to keep your colour selection light so that your kitchen photos can reflect off the light and it is easier to paint over , if you don’t like your paint choice. LOL I am the worst person to make those home decorator decisions. You should consult with the experts. Best of luck with that. Take care, BAM

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    • Any suggestions on how I might get out of that position? I’ll let you in on a little secret weapon I have – the kitchen designer. She stopped by & I laid out my final selections while kind of point at what I really liked. She agreed with the choice but then I could then honestly say to my husband “but this was Mary’s suggestion”. Since he adored what Mary did in our kitchen, he never even questioned that we might be in cahoots.

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      • So did you get your kitchen painted in time for the holidays? I know you first had to get out of the yoga pose, but once you have there will be no stopping you. Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season

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      • I surely did! I even like it too which is a bonus. Now, it’s on to the master bedroom (although I should do the dining room) but I just got my samples of linen for the shades I’m making & then I’ll pick the paint color for that room. Winter’s a great time for sewing & I need to do tons of window treatments.

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  10. If a paint expert ever mutters the words “Lonesome Dove,” my entire interior and exterior will be painted in that hue. As it goes, our dining room is currently “Meyer Lemon” but is about to be re-colored… Not sure what the name is, but I’d rightly call it “sand from the Sabine River.” Not to mention, our floors are very quickly becoming “pecans that have dropped and squirrels have eaten them.”

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    • And this is why I adore you Adam…a man who knows his colors. Most guys would go with yellow, brown, some kinda blue, but nope, you are poetic with colors and I think you could be a consultant with Ben Moore. Now Sand from the Sabine River sounds lovely and I’d guess has an interesting texture but your floor color – now that has color, texture, and let’s call it depth (how do I sound? We just visited the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and I heard people talking like that).

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  11. hehe thanks for the laugh!
    Good luck deciding on which colour to pick – you really do have a huge range to choose from there!
    It can be so hard when a lot of the colours are so incredibly similar with just the tiniest difference in tone!

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    • Well Sandy, with Lola around the house we all have to keep a sense of humor. I’ve had dogs and cats all my life but never had such a creative dog as Lola nor as ‘interesting’ a cat as Moe! The two of them together spells some kind of trouble just about every day.
      Thanks for stopping by…and the kitchen walls are now done. On to the master bedroom.

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  12. I keep meaning to post an ‘In My Kitchen’. I’ve got several sentimental items I’d like to photograph and share…. well, some day soon. (I, too, am a big fan of Celia!) I loved the idea of matching your hallway color to the color the dog ‘drags in’ when it’s raining. That’ll sure make your life easier. I’m disorganized and messy etc. – but I do make decisions quickly. Even with paint colors. I used to tease my husband that the only decision I was never really sure about was HIM !!

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    • Oh you definitely should do an IMK post – it’s always interesting to see what everyone else has in their kitchens. I’m usually very quick with making decisions, yes, even on paint colors, however I’m really trying my best to include my husband in this. Whenever I do that it becomes a long drawn out process until I sometimes forget what the original project was!

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      • You made me laugh with your comments about including your husband in your decision-making-process! Yup – even one more person involved makes the outcome a bit more difficult to arrive at. I remember being on a ladder painting our bedroom pink when we lived in Villanova. My husband walked in and stated, “Oh, you’re painting the bedroom pink”. It was then I realized I had – not even for a second – thought about asking him if HE wanted to have a pink bedroom… (He probably would’ve asked for the colors of the Montreal Canadians!!)

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      • Oh Cecile, it’s been one of the biggest mistakes of my life! The only way we survived the kitchen remodeling was thanks to our designer – she and I were on the exact same page and it didn’t hurt that she was very attractive and charming so she was able to easily convince John that many of our ideas were his. It worked like a charm which was how we arrived at the kitchen wall color so quickly…all I said was “Mary liked this one the best” and BAM! Done!!!
        I hear you though about how guys pick colors. Of course here we’d have everything black and gold. Sorry, but Bruins fans in this house since my daughter was a Bruins Ice Girl for 3 years (she was even lucky enough to get a Stanley Cup ring the year they won).

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  13. Oh my gosh, Diane, you made me laugh so much! I renovated my entire house a few years ago and we had to move out for 6 months. The daily decision making almost drove me crazy, lol.
    Letting our two yellow labs into the house after it was done was so painful! lol. The house is in the country and they are constantly muddy too. Every time I heard that wagging tail hit the wall, my shoulders would hunch up and I would brace myself as I turned to see the mud across the brand new paint!
    Good luck to you! It’s so much fun, too!

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    • Oh dear, and I thought just doing the kitchen was bad enough, but your entire house? Wow! The layout of our downstairs was the tough part and we were basically living in the foyer and dining room with the refrigerator blocking one doorway into the kitchen to keep Lola away from the work (although she still managed to sneak through the back door and skid through the gunk they laid down for the tiles…now that was a mess!).
      You’ve got TWO yellow labs! I love labs but you have got your hands full – those are high energy dogs usually. The mud on the floor and walls doesn’t make me cringe quite as much as when Lola swats at the cabinet that has her treats.

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  14. God, that sounds exactly like us except once it’s on the walls I say, “but that’s not the colour”. I just can’t visualise and it dries my husband nuts! What a hoot about the mud. Made my day!

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  15. God, that sounds exactly like us except once it’s on the walls I say, “but that’s not the colour”. I just can’t visualise and it drives my husband nuts! What a hoot about the mud. Made my day!

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    • Well we at least & at last got the kitchen walls painted. Not quite an exact match to our mud, but I found that we’ve got a few different colors of mud in our yard – there’s back yard mud, there’s swamp mud, and there’s drainage ditch mud. So hard to make a choice!

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