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Ask Maria: About Pink Beige and Yellow Tone Floors

By 01/25/2013January 28th, 201715 Comments


“Hi Maria, In all my years of design school and working with a designer I have never learned the amount of knowledge about undertones and color as I have from you and your eBook.

My home has Baltic Brown Countertops, with a blue green island, cabinets that are a red undertone and yellow wood floors in the kitchen. Also my carpet butts right up to the yellow floors and have a little bit of pink beige as well.

What do you choose for a colour when you have yellow floors with a countertop that has pink beige in it? Which undertone do you lean towards when you have that happen?”  Dawn S. 

Baltic Brown Kitchen

Hi Dawn,

First, most hardwood floors I treat like a pair of jeans unless they are an unusual colour, so I wouldn’t worry about your floors when choosing a wall colour.

Since your Baltic brown granite has pink beige, black and green gray tones in it and you want to move towards the a cooler grey for your wall colour I would choose a light green beige neutral like HC-81 Manchester Tan.


It will give you the look and feel of a cooler grayer tone which also won’t clash with your pink beige carpet like the golden yellow you have right now (below).

carpet with hardwood

The reason I would stick to a green beige and not go to a green grey or blue grey is  because it would stop looking neutral and start looking like a colour that simply doesn’t relate to a single thing in your space.

As an added tip, when you think about updating your kitchen, I would remove the upper cabinet attached to your hood fan and install one that goes to the ceiling. Install open shelving similar to the look and feel of the open shelving you currently have in the empty corner, paint your cabinets white (CC-50 White Down), remove the 4″ backsplash and install cream subway tile right up to the hood fan and below your cabinetry.

If you don’t to paint your cabinets then I would skip new backsplash tile unless you go with a green that relates to the current blue green of your island. White or cream backsplash tile would not work because you don’t currently have any white in your kitchen and black would be too heavy even though it’s found in your granite.

Hope this helps,


Related posts;

How Important is the Colour of Wood vs. Wall Colour?

Which Backsplash Tile Goes with Granite?

The Best Backsplash Tile for Your Kitchen

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  • I have also inherited baltic brown counters and plan to paint the walls in my kitchen Manchester Tan. I was also planning on painting my oak cabinets Fossil AF-65.

    This kitchen will look great with some of the changes you suggested Maria! Thanks Dawn for sending your picture in for the rest of us to learn from!

  • So interesting (and difficult) figuring out how to deal with conflicting undertones. Great suggestions Maria.

  • cathy Z says:

    Thanks for sharing, I love the Ask Maria posts. Real houses with real budgets with real solutions!

  • kathy says:

    I agree, I love the real house posts. So real.
    Added note, what I have learned about under tones from Maria’s posts has been invaluable.

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    Maria–this was a tough one! You did it again! I was thinking that perhaps she could paint just her upper cabinets, but with ALL the other colors going on in there, the lower cabinets really need paint too.
    Don’t you think that the cabinet above the fridge should be changed to a larger version to the ceiling as well? You are so right with the subway tile (if she paints) because it will tie the whole upper & lower parts of the kitchen together.
    Her next move —sideways– would be to change the carpet someday (when it’s time has come) to a compatible color with her flooring.
    Great job Maria, thinking this through!

  • A-L says:

    Perhaps there was more information from the reader that wasn’t included here, but why is the wall color being limited to a neutral? Although I’m a fan of white kitchens (I have one myself), I think the look of her wood cabinets with the green painted ones looks really nice and is a refreshing change. Even though you suggest the possibility of a greenish backsplash, what about doing a green wall color that’s in the family of the color on her island?

    Whatever color she ends up painting the wall though, I’d make sure the electrical plates are painted over, too. There’s no need to have that bright white drawing attention to them when there’s lovelier stuff in the kitchen to look at.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes good question, she wanted a bluer, cooler grey but that would most likely not work with all the existing elements. The current island colour is more 80’s and she wouldn’t want to repeat that on the walls. Maria

      • Lisa says:

        Hi Maria,

        What if she just painted the island and open cabinetry white, and left the rest of the cabinets as natural wood. Could she then get away with the white subway tile? (and would Manchester Tan still work on the walls in that scenario??)

        • Maria Killam says:

          Hi Lisa, If we just painted out the green it would just look like “Why isn’t the rest of the kitchen painted white?”. Especially because the open shelving needs to be painted as well. An island should be an ‘accent’ colour, If only the island needed to be painted it could possibly be black to relate to the granite but the green open shelving kills that idea. Maria

  • Heather says:

    I love the idea of repeating the open cabinetry on the wall of that empty corner. I can see it creating some nice balance in the space.

  • Carol says:

    Maria, I have Kashmir Gold granite countertops (no 4″ band) and ivory travertine rectangular tiles on the backsplashes. Cabinets are white oak, stainless appliances, navajo white walls. Large room. Any suggestions for a new floor? Thinking about Versailles pattern travertine but concerned it may go pink. Any thoughts?

  • I hope she does all that and sends you pictures, it sounds lovely !

  • Amanda says:

    In our old house that is currently on the market, we painted our kitchen walls Manchester Tan with the baltic brown countertops and have cream colored cabinets and light floors like those shown in the photo above. The effect is great. It was a fast and easy update. In the kitchen above, I think that the Manchester Tan would make the blue island look great, and the countertops will then read more as black. Great advice, Maria!

  • Wendy says:

    YES YES YES…all GREAT ideas, Maria! Nice going! Especially the white cabs idea and eliminating that “floater” over the stove. It needs to be grounded to the ceiling big time.

    May I add a comment?…it’s worth about what you’re paying for it…HA!

    Her blue-green island is throwing me off. I see it as an attempt to counteract all the various earthy tones, but, to my eye, it’s pushing the pink and the yellow and the salmon cabinets. It’s not pulling it together…it’s creating more jumble. If she can bravely paint it all white, including island, I think it will feel far more cohesive. She can feed her love of aqua with art, dishes, linens, towels, teakettle etc.

    Just my input…and thanks for being a practical blog…

  • Tara says:

    Wow. I am thoroughly impressed, Maria. I am sad to say that I “designed” my own kitchen REDO when I had NO IDEA what I was doing and it looks VERY similar to the kitchen in the above photos. The only difference is the lack of a green/blue center island and my flooring is SLATE. A very dark kitchen. I am always struggling to make it look good. I am BUYING your ebook. It is currently painted Raccoon Hollow…a dark color but at least the kitchen doesn’t look pink!
    I am considering painting my cabinets like you suggested to the woman in the above situation. I am afraid to do it because I don’t know where to begin and how to do it. Any suggestions?

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