Playing With Paint Colors: Choosing A Palette for Our Entire House

If you haven’t noticed, we’ve only painted two rooms in our house: the kitchen and the bedroom. And for both rooms, we’ve selected colors that have a touch of gray to them. (If you want to see photos, click here to see the kitchen re-do and click here to see the master bedroom makeover.)

It’s enough to make me wonder if the winter gloom is getting to us or if we’re simply afraid of variety.

But, as I hope you’d agree, I don’t think it’s either of those…

One blog I started reading when we bought our house—and I could finally start indulging those dreams of renovating and redecorating to my heart’s (well, really just to my limited budget’s) delight—was Young House Love. If you’re into decorating, you’ve probably heard of it.

Well, as I was going through their archives, I came across a post about choosing a whole-house palette.

They mentioned how, with their first house, they used a bunch of different colors—nearly every color in the rainbow—to paint just a handful of rooms. It’s a tendency we can all lean toward, perhaps because we feel like we shouldn’t repeat colors or because it will look too boring. But what they found was that they colors were all too different which made the house feel disjointed as you went from one room and one color to another.

Instead, they instituted a color scheme for the entire house, with colors that all complemented one another. Similar in tones or hues, they gave the house the personality it needed.

When I was first thinking about the colors for our house, I kept coming back to a vision of soft blues and grays and creams. But I wondered if it was too bland, too similar. But now, I feel emboldened to trust my gut.

I’ve been doing a little bit of thinking, of palette dreaming. Here are some ideas of what I’m thinking:

(By the way, I couldn't find a cream color that would show up well against the white background, so just imagine it's included in there in the left-hand collection!)

We’ve now painted our kitchen and our bedroom. Next on the list will be the living room and dining room (which we’re making into a library!!). For now, though, we’re waiting to paint these rooms, because we don’t want to jump into slapping just any old paint color on the walls. We want to take the time to wait and weigh our possibilities, to give ourselves time to settle into the space and see what our tastes give way to.

But until then, I’ve got some ideas in mind…

Related Posts
A Look at How We Painted Our Kitchen: Before & After
A Look at How We Painted Our Bedroom: Before & After


  1. Yeah! Go with your gut. I love, love, love all shades of blue. I had never thought of looking at my house with a whole palette in mind. We only have one small wall with color on it,so I'm gonna get busy!

  2. Carmen,

    I like the colors that you're thinking of. They're very pretty. I LOVE teal! And your main colors are so calming.

  3. Thanks, ladies! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has a soft spot for blues :) I can't wait to do even more painting around here!

  4. So not only am I working on cultivating an all-white bedroom right now, I did a gray/blue/cream color palette in our living room, too. Great minds. ;)

    Our kitchen in between the two rooms is "vintage yellow." I picked it because I always liked the idea of a yellow kitchen and also, it's a dark, dark room and it needed something cheery on the walls to brighten it up. I wasn't thinking about the fact you are staring at the kitchen from the living room at the time... luckily, it works! But I'm definitely on board with the color palette idea for future color choosing!

  5. Hey! I had the sterling blue color on my walls in one of our houses--the kitchen and dining room (open to each other) and I really liked it! Very calming and just enough color--the gray in the paint gave the blue lovely depth. Great choices! You can add the deeper accent colors through your accents in the room and easily change if you wish. Looking forward to seeing more of your home...

  6. Oh, I'd love to see how yours turned out, Em! Sounds beautiful, although I'm still intimidated to try an all-white bedroom!

    Labbie, that's exactly what I love so much about the blue! I look forward to sharing more as we continue to make progress on the house!

  7. The shades of blue, gray and cream will definitely give your home a more relaxing and homey feel. According to color psychology, shades of blue tend to make people more productive because these enable them to be more focused and calm in whatever it is that they are doing. ( I think it would be the perfect color for your living room! Your chosen accent colors are also great for they will add a playful mood inside the house.


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