Colorless in Seattle?

Well, something like that :)

Hello Jessamy,

I live in Seattle and just moved into a brand new home. We were decisive in choosing all the details of our home except the paint color- we panicked. I love color and am drawn to blues, greens, grays (maybe a beachy palette) but we chose a very safe khaki.

While decorative accessories or colorful furniture would be helpful, I can’t help but wonder if we should have gone with our first inclination which was to pick a sophisticated and whole house friendly blue/bluish gray. Or, is that just a no-no? I went with it in the master bath and it’s become my happy place :) Or, do I just paint the great room a new fun color and leave the rest in khaki (dining, hallways, stairways)?

AND, A BIG ISSUE IS THE BIG WALL IN THE GREAT ROOM. Do you have suggestions on what I could do here? I’m stuck and looking forward to hearing from you!



Here is a peak at Elisha’s home-

Dear Elisha,

What a cute place, I LOVE it! You have a very beautiful foundation to build upon. I don’t mind your khaki walls, they create subtle groundwork. The khaki tone will go well with the blue/grays you mention. But… let’s add some sizzle! Not screaming sizzle… sophisticated/dynamic moments here and there to break things up and add the WOW. It won’t take much.

I pondered your photos, and here are my thoughts on paint… You know those very debatable accent walls? I think they could really work in your home. I would add one behind the breakfast nook and one behind the hutch in the dining room. I would also paint the entire great room a different color. You mentioned some paint shades, many were pale, grayed down shades of blue/green. I think we can incorporate that color into accents for sure. On the walls however, I would go a little darker/richer. Why? Because darker/richer will complement the khaki walls and dark wood tones you have in abundance.

Here’s the paint/decor color range that comes to mind-

So let’s get into details…

Dining Room.

I already love your dining room. The light above your table is fantastic (the art too!). Also, the little topiaries on the table make me think bright grass green would be a fabulous pop color to add dashes of here and there.

I would paint the wall behind your hutch a color like the above options, Benjamin Moore caponata Af-650 or tamarind AF-120 (2 great shades). Then add a throw pillow on both end dining chairs as well as a patterned placemat in the center of the table. I think these options from Crate and Barrel would flow well.

Great Room

I agree with your inclination to mix up the khaki by painting the great room a different color. I also think we can make a blue/gray work- it just can’t be super pale. I love this one- Benjamin Moore fieldstone 1558. It’s the color of the cabinetry in the room below. I would incorporate the new wall color with accents such as these pillows from World Market, Crate and Barrel, and Tonic Living and rug from Shades of Light.

By the way, that black and white artwork above? Maybe something like that for your great wall! A little touch of modern may ruffle things up perfectly. I found these-

Marimekko wall hanging from Crate and Barrel and butterfly print from ZGallerie.

Also, how about adding a white, low profile storage unit that fills the bottom 1/3 of the great wall from end to end. Something like this (just half the height) from Ikea.

Breakfast Nook.

And last… the breakfast nook. You mentioned switching the chairs to white. I think that would look great as well as this dark option, both from Crate and Barrel. It may be worth hauling a few options home to see what you think. I like the idea of this laser cut table runner from Crate and Barrel too. And of course the accent wall- how about a muddy, earthy, slightly olive, dark gray like the swatch above, otherwise known as Benjamin Moore copley gray HC-104. Will make that beautiful little drum light pop. Oh-la-la.

Thank you all for enduring this looooong post. Elisha, hope these ideas inspire you- let us know how the rooms evolve!

Thanks for writing,



2 thoughts on “Colorless in Seattle?

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