Who knew choosing paint colors would be so difficult? For the remodel we knew we wanted blue for the kitchen island and grey for the wall cabinets. That should be the end, right? Well, not! There are a million choices for blue and grey. To add to the complexity each color has similar hues, more shades, and complementary colors. And, in this case, there are two people with different eyes and tastes who need to reach agreement. I now know what must keep designers up at night. There was much debate, indecision, and waffling. Thankfully my husband has excellent taste and a good eye for color so it was a collaborative effort.
All our colors are by Benjamin Moore since they are available up on the coast at Norvell’s. Eve at the store was endlessly patient with us and a fountain of knowledge. We must have been back and forth to the store a half dozen times buying samples. In fact we could probably paint the entire kitchen with those pint sized samples (although it would look like a patchwork quilt).
We looked at Blue Danube, Dark Royal Blue, Champion Cobalt (too bright), Gentleman’s Grey (a grey with some blue which was a favorite for awhile), Van Deusen Blue (too blue), and Hale Navy (our final choice). According to the Benjamin Moore website – Hale Navy is a timeless classic, this deeply saturated shade of navy blue evokes rich maritime traditions and storied exploits at sea. Since the house is near the beach, we thought it appropriate. You can see the color and read more here. It’s been a favorite for a few years. Hale Navy looks different in different lights, we will also use it on the bathroom vanity. The color goes well with grey but also with taupe and wood tones, we didn’t really want to repaint the living room and all the trim in the house is redwood. This is quite a small house with an open floor plan, you can see everything from the kitchen (and the kitchen from everywhere as well).
On to choosing the grey for the wall cabinets and open shelving. There is an large sliding glass door on one side of the kitchen which lets in a lot of light (but faces North), the other side tends to be dark especially on an overcast day. I had ruled out white or something too light as I though it would draw your eye to that side of the room too much. You see that kitchen wall from the dining/living room. We wanted a grey with a distinct color but not too dark. Candidates were Wolf Grey, Inglewood Cliffs, Grey Shower, Evening Dove, Pike’s Peak Grey, and finally Sweatshirt Grey (the winner). On their website they describe it thus – This color is part of Color Preview. A collection of bold, saturated colors that brings spaces to life for those looking to illuminate their world with pure, extraordinary color. A great complement to Classic Colors, Color Preview offers a collection of 1,232 hues that excite and inspire with pure, deep, clear colors that create striking combinations. You can read more here.
I have some antique blue willow platters I inherited from my grandmother. I have been meaning to put them on the walls for several years. I wanted the colors to harmonize with the plates.
Hale Navy, Sweatshirt Grey and edge of Antique Blue Willow Platter
You can see that in certain light conditions (such as brighter light in the picture above) the grey is very pale. The picture below was taken on an overcast day and it appears darker. Hale Navy can look almost black depending on the light. Colors are so interesting! You will see the grey in Sweatshirt Grey is more pronounced in contrast to the wall color we chose.
Next came wall color. Currently the walls in the kitchen are a pale yellow, I knew it was a mistake as soon as I saw the final painted room, but it was too late. We needed something to brighten up the space but coordinate with the navy, grey and taupe that is on the neighboring bookcase and in the living/dining area. And again, I didn’t want something too white that would force your eye to that area.
Candidates were Calm (too white), Creamy White (a little too yellow), Sea Pearl (nice but not quite right), and finally Ballet White which we chose. It’s a white with a touch of cream.
Left to right – Creamy White, Ballet White, Seal Pearl. Above on the right – Calm
Here are the colors with a sample of the backsplash subway tile.
Hale Navy, Sweatshirt Grey, Ballet White
What do you think?