Help With Interior Paint Colors

By Dan Gregory, Originally Published in Eye On Design

Benjamin Moore's Personal Color Viewer helps you make color choices -- for example, in a bedroom.

The Yolo Colorhouse palette of no VOC paints (volatile organic compounds) is a good place to start thinking about options for painting the interior of your new home.The colors are organized in nature-based categories, from Air to Petal. One advantage of Yolo Colorhouse is that you can order poster-size color swatches (instead of smaller paint chips) to see how the color will look (remember that online paint color is only an approximation and you should refer to a dry paint chip sample before purchasing paint).

Because the range of color possibilities is so wide, I asked architectural color consultant Jill Pilaroscia of Colour Studio, who has directed color projects for Herman Miller and a wide variety of community developers, for her advice on appropriate colors for, say,  mid-century modern homes, like Eichler ranch houses. (Houseplans has several historic Eichler plans in the collection.)

Jill suggested taking cues from the design, the materials, and the lifestyle characteristics of the typical Eichler home: its open plan, use of wood and warm-toned laminates, casual organization and clean lines; its rooms oriented toward and connecting with the garden; and its abundant daylight through window walls and interior transoms.

She says: “All of these basic characteristics set the stage for a range of natural  and organic colors that will harmonize with the building’s given elements. Warm reds, rusts, browns, taupes, olives, greens, buffs, greyed tones that mirror those found in shadowed natural settings look wonderful in these homes. Sometimes an owner will find the colors heavy and oppressive and determine they want to paint the ceiling beams, and paint out the woods.  Subjective color likes and dislikes are deeply ingrained with the emotional connotations. This in no way means this is the only way to deal with an Eichler. Some clients will choose to work in strong colors that suit their personal subjective color needs and can make it work.”

Jill suggested twelve Benjamin Moore hues in several categories as a starting point:

Warm Accents
035 Baked Clay
077 Fiery Opal
194 Hathaway Gold

Softer Organic Warm Yellows to suggest light:
177 Mushroom Cap
186 Harvest Time

Olives:
492 Dune Grass
495 Hillside Green

Neutrals:
513 Limestone

1522 Inner Balance

Metal color:
1547 Dragon’s Breath, for deep metal accents


Deep Browns:
HC-72 Branchport Brown
2114-20 Mississippi Mud

On the Benjamin Moore website you can use their Virtual Fan Deck and Personal Color Viewer to see the paint applied to walls in several sample room photos. For information about colors used in the original Eichlers see CA Modern, the magazine of the Eichler Network.

08/21/2013