Paint samples: comments please?

When you live alone, you can get away with almost anything. This may not be a  bonus. I have just blotched my living room wall with these paint colors. There are so many of them that I had to do a little sketch with a legend. My justification is that the apartment needs a new coat of paint but really, this stuff is for Nalliers. I have to give some thought to what I can live with. Right now I like all the colors but I have my doubts about which I will still like after a year of daily exposure.  That nice blue off to the right, Borrowed Light (all these are Farrow & Ball), that could be most of the ceilings. But then would I need to paint the walls a nice, clear color? Most of the "stone" colors go with the Oval Room Blue, the darker blue, but I don't know that I want that blue on anything.  My office in California was a Benjamin Moore variation on the green, Lichen, so I know I can live with that. There will be a place for that but what goes with it? Maybe that little square off to its right, Purbeck Stone, or should I keep looking for a ceiling color? That one to the left of it, Elephant's Breath, that's all-round pleasant, a super-light grayed lavendar. Maybe I should bag all this testing and just paint everything that color. I'll be looking at these for weeks and probably adding a few blotches. I don't know. Any opinions out there?
When you live alone, you can get away with almost anything. This may not be a bonus.
I have just blotched my living room wall with these paint colors. There are so many of them that I had to do a little sketch with a legend. My justification is that the apartment needs a new coat of paint but really, this stuff is for the house. I have to give some thought to what I can live with. Right now I like all the colors but I have my doubts about which I will still like after a year of daily exposure.
That nice blue off to the right, Borrowed Light (all these are Farrow & Ball), that could be most of the ceilings. But then would I need to paint the walls a nice, clear color? Most of the “stone” colors go with the Oval Room Blue, the darker blue, but I don’t know that I want that blue on anything.
My office in California was a Benjamin Moore variation on the green, Lichen, so I know I can live with that. There will be a place for that but what goes with it? Maybe that little square off to its right, Purbeck Stone, or should I keep looking for a ceiling color? That one to the left of it, Elephant’s Breath, that’s all-round pleasant, a super-light grayed lavender. Maybe I should bag all this testing and just paint everything that color.
I’ll be looking at these for weeks and probably adding a few blotches. I don’t know. Any opinions out there?

18 thoughts on “Paint samples: comments please?

  1. Elephant’s breath looks great in any aspect room and has a slightly warm and very soothing tint
    What aspect is your living room? Borrowed light can look a bit cool in north facing room
    Also like top left splodge, what is that?
    And Crown period paints come in some good colours, I am currently weighing up one of their soft blue/greens

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    1. The living room and kitchen get afternoon light. All my rooms face east or west: no windows on the sides of the house. The top left splodge is, wait, let me consult my diagram, Stony Ground, same as that little spot down and to the right of the green, Lichen. I’ll look for Crown paints. My contractor flat-out loves Farrow and Ball, which is why I have just been looking at theirs.

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      1. Farrow & Ball great but quite a pricey option I find for large areas.
        Borrowed light actually looks more grey than blue in west facing rooms, just a thought

        I have used both and found Crown Period colours pretty good, plenty of pigment and good coverage, worth sending for colour card
        Laura Ashley paint comes in some good chalky, soft shades too.

        It’s a big quandary , colours in a renovation project , I have been trying to find the right “aged off-white light stone ” shade for panelling in kitchen for three years …maybe I will just leave the sample pot splodges up there as a design statement

        I ended up mixing up my own grey/parma/lilac for terrace bedroom as double aspect makes colour completely different throughout day!

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          1. That will do it. I have about the same experience in the States but the brands I liked, Benjamin Moore and Pratt & Lambert, are not generally available here. The light is so different in France — lots of humidity and clouds, while it is dry and sunny in California, not to mention that France is about a zillion miles to the north — that it might not matter. There would be a significant learning curve, no matter what.

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          2. Very true about learning curve, my initial thoughts on what would work didn’t! ( and I am generally spot on!, in the UK!)
            I have to have a loosely related colour palette in the rooms as house only 125 sq mtrs- 150 sq yards

            Spending time& different seasons in the village has helped me get it right.
            We have a pretty sunny climate (40+ degrees possible May-September), with about 300 bright days a year,and periods of cloudy days in spring and autumn- & it does go very cold in January/February .
            Are you near the coast? I gather that the Vendee weather is brighter on the coast (obviously)

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          3. I am in the southern Vendee, just minutes from the coastal Vendee. The weather is pretty consistent all year round with 250 sunny days and little frost. When I first saw the house, in November, the roses were just fading. I am looking for related colors, too, just because I don’t like the jarring aspects of a lot of contrast, nor do I like flat white. It was clear from the beginning that California colors would not work. There we can use stronger colors because the light is so strong. Here, no, better to scale things back. Doing that without making a room seem drab is a challenge. That whole scheme I see in England, with the reds and the golds, I don’t know. I don’t like how it looks here but maybe I just don’t have the right reds and golds. Anyway I have begun to steer clear of them. I can’t afford wallpaper, given that every pattern I like is made by Sanderson — I choke just thinking about the price — so I have to make the paint work.

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          4. Ha!
            I know you fell upon my marathon confessional blog- fest fairly recently , so you won”t have seen “Episode 28-Bad Idea” which sums up why red & gold don’t work, at least in our French house!

            I did consider trashing that particular post- as very embarrassing- but as I am against self-censorship in principle and this is the warts&all blog I left it in.

            I don’t like flat white either, and I am have yet to find the elusive sort of faded old nearly white and just as light but not so glaringly stark shade I want here.

            Lots of folks here seem to like to wallop every wall and ceiling white after renovation and I have opened my mouth and put my foot in it a few times when asked my opinion on their decor

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          5. Right, I missed it and can’t find it now. You just inspired me to look for a Search function for my own blog. I can’t believe people would ask you what you think about the decor. It’s like asking what you think about their kids or the dinner they just made or Marine Le Pen or something. Give the wrong answer and it’s Friendship Over. Do they really want to risk that? Besides, how many people immediately have the money needed to furnish a place just right? Give it time, give it time.

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          6. Whoops
            The bad decor post is under”Archived posts December 2013″ if you have nothing more exciting to do this evening which I’m sure you do.I’ll bet Jacques is up for a long walk around the block.

            People asking me about rooms goes back to my first little Georgian cottage which got picked up by a local history/period house society and I got involved in re/creating historical interiors (with modern plumbing of course – no-one ever wants to slum it when it comes down to the nitty gritty )

            Having lived without proper plumbing during this particular renovation project I would prefer all the proper facilities myself in the future, but this may be our last fixer-upper!

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          7. I’m with you. It’s important to know when to stop. Will this be my last fixer? I don’t know. After doing fixers for 40 years, it’s kind of in the blood. I have to say, though, I never went without a toilet!

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    1. Sue, you mean understated, right? I agree with that. A little color goes a surprisingly long way. I may well wind up with an assortment of those soft, blued, gray tones and not much else.

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  2. Heres my tried and true trick. Once I narrow down my choices to 3, I paint a large cardboard sheet or paper or whatever you have and move that paper around the room at different times of day so I can see the way the light affects the colour. I look at one at a time, putting a colour beside so many others can confuse the eye about what you are actually looking at. and can even bring out a tone you wouldn’t normally get if it was by itself. Good luck! and don’t worry too much…it’s just paint

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    1. Good point about putting so many colors together. Now that I have a few finalists I am thinking of creating a new canvas, painting some patches white and then just putting up the one or two that made the cut. I don’t actually have a bunch of boards around, though I like that idea.

      Yes, it is just paint, but it is paint on a 3-meter-high wall. I think that makes it paint I’ll have to live with for a long time. Yikes.

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