Skip to main content

I’m conducting a Colour Advice Poll

By 09/26/2009January 26th, 201736 Comments

This post is for you my lovelies. . . what are your burning colour questions? 

 My favourite colours [especially my newest crush-kelly green] all in one sunset

Leave a comment with your question and they might turn up in a magical colour post coming soon 🙂

Stunning header from One Perfect Bite

Have a great weekend (how can you tell, I’m busy and need dinner and a movie night—tonight 🙂 I’m watching a Julia Roberts movie I haven’t seen, Duplicity!  Okay, let’s not get off track here, don’t forget, a comment [please] about what you’d like me to share with you about colour!

Related posts:
Box of Knowledge [My header was inspired by Julia Roberts]Happy Weekend [A quick inspiring video to watch]Happiness is. . . Being Uncomfortable [when you pick the wrong colour]

While you’re here, subscribe to this feed so you don’t miss out!
0 pins


  • ceedeedee says:


    I have a furniture set that is turning out to be a very odd color. What is the process for picking a wall color for my living room?

    The couch is sort of a grey green, but the chair is striped beige and brown. I have read your posts about beige, and I am still having trouble figuring what tone my beige is.

    I know you probably won't be able to tell me a specif color, but if you could walk me through a process to pick one I'd be eternally thankful!

  • ceedeedee says:

    Oh! I found a picture of my living from an old blog post. Here is the oddly colored furniture…

  • Fafali Gallery (Art|Luxe) says:

    Thanks to technology, new colours are being created all the time. I still believe we have nature to THANK for all the amazing colours she gives. (Love the salad range)

  • Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP says:

    That fork full of food is how my daughter likes to eat salad – she calls it 'rainbows in my stomach'.

    Ok question – how do I choose a colour for a wall in a basically neutral house – eg. cream walls, brown couches, not much in the way of decoration (small kids).

  • yodafatkitty says:

    Not sure if this qualifies, but I'm wondering if all the, 'white baseboard and trim-work w/ softly colored walls', that I'm seeing in the decorating mag's are just a fad or what?

    Rarely do I see baseboards that are in a wood tone. Seldom, for that matter, do I ever see walls that aren't some shade of beige. And if they are, it's a pastel hue.

    Maybe, I'm just looking at all the wrong magazines. What should I be looking at?


  • Jane says:

    Choosing a color for my dining room and living room has been a real challenge. In the daytime, the light (or should I say, the lack of natural light) makes the walls appear grayish, no matter what color is on the walls. In the evening, with incandescent light, the walls are rich and warm. How can I "warm" up the daytime appearance without having all the lights on? (The master bedroom has this problem, too.)

    Also, what is the best color for ceilings? How do you choose?
    Jane (artfully graced)

  • Annie@A View On Design says:

    I've got so many questions tho!!! lol

    But I'll start with one that is currently making me loose sleep. As you know I'm currently building my home, and I've bought a gorgeous (pricey) Provicinal black/brown kitchen dresser – very large. My floors will be dark mahogany look vinyl, very beautiful (looks real without the hardness of timber). Anyways, I want to put other pieces of timber in the room, eg. I have bought a provincial style dining table (gorgeous) – the chairs are not timber) and I'm thinking of another timber cabinet for my IT Nook, which is just a glance over from the kitchen dresser in the room. At the mom, there won't be any more timber in the room.

    My question is "will it matter that there are a few types of timber in the room, bearing in mind they are all french provincial inspired, and still all quite dark?"

    This may be a trial and error thing anyways – can't wait for your response Maria!!!

  • Chris Salek says:

    I wanted to thank you for getting back to me about accent walls in your email. Just wondering if you would give us more thoughts on accent walls in rooms.Whether they are paintd or wallpapered-do you think it should be the same color as the other walls only darker or a pop of a different color?

  • sallymandy says:

    Hi Maria, and thanks for the invitation to ask you questions.

    I've been wondering lately about one of your old posts about "dirty" and "clean" colors, and would love to know if these are related to "cool" and "warm." I'm going to look at your old post, but I'd like to hear more of your thoughts on these combinations as I'd never heard that kind of breakdown of colors before and thought it fascinating.


  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Maria,

    Our house is almost built but I am not excited. i have listened to the advice of a colour consultant that was provided by our builder so now i have cortina brown kitchen floor tiles with natural finish knotty alder cabinet (mission style) and countertop in beige (santa cecilia granite). The color combination is just blah. In the bathrooms, I have the natural finish knotty alder cabinet with tropical brown granite countertop time. They are called ridgeview warm green by daltile and the color looks too muddy for me(looks like camo green to me). To be frank, i am quite depress and not looking forward to living in this house. The floors look too dark and muddy for my taste. I am getting a new dining room and living room furniture(i just dont know what colors to choose). I have medium beige wall color throughout the house. What can I do to make all this color combination much more pleasing to the eye?


  • Pam Kersting says:

    Dear Maria–
    I have a most beautiful house custom-designed for my family. It is very contemporary and features exposed red steel beams that go from the outside in through the house. The house itself is a mustard color — it was the only color that I thought complimented the red beams, very dark/almost blackish green trim as well as some mahoghany siding. The wood beams throughout the house were made of inexpensive wood that had to be painted. My husband chose a "muddy" green ochre color. All of the walls are white and this works in some of the rooms because we have a lot of windows (in some rooms the windows are floor to ceiling plate glass. My dilemma is choosing a color for my walls. My highest priority is our bedrooms. Next, I would like to add color to our kitchen.

    The bedrooms have a yellowish-beige textured carpet (NOT pinkish 🙂 and the kitchen has brazilian cherry wood floors which are red-ish in color with absolute black granite counter tops and lighter-colored anegre wood cabinetry. Finally, the cabinets also have glass fronts that match a glass backsplash underneath which gives off a coke bottle light greenish color. The appliances are all stainless steel.

    Is there any hope for me?

    Desparate in NC

    P.S. I guess the outside must work okay, as a PAINT company is coming to our home to do a photo shoot of our exterior details this week for an advertisement. Income that we earn from this will go right back into our house kitty!

  • Nat says:

    Hi Maria

    This is not a question, but I would like to say that just before I discovered your fantastic blog (which was only today), I had decided this morning to do a post (not done yet tho @ on those wonderful people who are brave enough to be bold and go 'all out' with colour in their homes. I have started practicing what I preach with my own downstairs loo which is a strong pink/red colour.
    I hope to continue reading your blog (and I hope you mine) and I will immediately add you to my blog roll.
    best regards
    Natalie Singh

  • Maria Killam says:

    Dear Yodafatkitty,
    My personal opinion on why design magazines continually show homes with white or very pale colours on the walls is that most designers are just as afraid of using colour as everyone else. And only because they don't see as much of it as a 'colour consultant' would. They (in my opinion) should hire a someone that specializes in colour to get it right and not apologize at all for the fact that they may not have enough knowledge to do it themselves. Just like they hire a workroom to sew the drapes. Same thing.

  • Ivy Lane says:

    I am wanting to change the color of the surround of my front door… house is a pinky mottled brick, and we have a dark burundy bubble awning over our front the door is painted to match that..(previous owners) I ultimately want to change the awning in a fresh new color and then the door color.. want it to contrast or POP!

    Door itself is beautiful leaded glass pattern …. sidelights are also in same pattern….

    Happy Weekend Maria!! and all you bloggers out there in blog land!

  • Ariel says:

    Hi Maria,

    Thank you for your fascinating blog and for this post!

    I would love to see a post about darker wood floors (e.g., how they affect your color choices or if they don't).

    Thank you!

  • Anonymous says:

    I love blue & green & white, but I need some ideas on which blues & which greens go best with each other. How do I choose colors that look good with each other? Should have the same amount of warmth or coolness? Should they have the same amount of strength (I forgot what that is called when talking about color)? Should one be darker and the other lighter? Has anyone seen any websites with great blue & green cominations?


  • Marlo says:

    Thank you Maria. I've been wanting to ask you this question for a long time.

    I've heard that balancing a room is one of the most difficult things a Designer is faced with. What is the formal definiton of balancing a room and how does one balance a room using colour? Here's what I mean…

    Picture a combination living/dining room 12' x 22'. It has yellow-orange hardwood floors, Ben Moore's French Vanilla on the walls and Oxford White is used for the trim which matches the white shutters.

    On one end of the room you have a dark dining table, cream chairs and a dark sideboard with a lively oil painting hanging above it. The drapes, to soften the shutters, match the wall colour.

    Directly opposite the sideboard, over in the living room, is a window overlooking the street.
    The room has a small sofa, 2 chairs, area rug, drapes and another colourful oil painting. The colour of the furniture, rug & drapes are close to the wall colour in order to keep the small room feeling spacious and not choppy looking. Colour is added through pillows and art and the main accent colour is orange. The side tables are dark wood & coffee table is glass (would love an ottoman instead).

    How do I balance the dark dining table & sideboard over in the living room? The dining room feels too heavy and the living room too light. Orange pillows and artwork in the living room doesn't seem to be enough to balance things out. In trying to keep the space feeling light and airy, by blending furnishings into the wall colour, it's impacting the balance of the room.

    By the way, this room doesn't exist yet. I'm planning it first and want to ensure that it's properly balanced before I buy anything. The existing wall colour and floor stain must stay and the dining table must be dark. Everything else I'm open to changing.

    What do you think I should do to balance the colours?

    Thank you again for offering to help us.

  • Karena says:

    I thinking up a color question, and in the meantime your 1st image is inspiring another painting!!

  • chanteusevca says:

    Maria, I've asked you so many color questions in the past, I'm afraid to ask any more. I simply try to read and glean as much as I can from the extraordinary wealth of knowledge your share with us on your beautiful blog.

    I will ask one more, however. What wall colors could you live with for a very long time without feeling they are outdated or boring?

    Happy movie watching!

    Victoria in Texas

  • DesignTies says:

    We're getting close to finishing the first half of our kitchen makeover. Once the granite countertops and backsplash are in, we'll decide what to do with the cabinets. Well, make that I'll try really hard to convince hubby that we HAVE to do SOMETHING to change them — either replace the doors and reface the cabinet boxes, or have the boxes & doors painted.

    Here's my question — the countertop is a medium chocolate brown granite, the backsplash is a medium brown mother-of-pearl 1" tile, and the walls are Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige. The accent colour is red. Should the cabinets be lighter or darker than the countertop & backsplash??

    Thanks Maria!!


  • This Mama is for Obama says:

    I'm in search of the perfect cream colour for my cabinets. I'll either get calacatta marble or black leathered granite! And have tan travertine flooring.

  • Laurie says:

    I'd appreciate a post on how to find a color specialist in my area. What accreditation should I look for? What are questions I should ask when talking to a color specialist about working together? I once hired a designer for assistance in selecting colors and just as you described in your post, "The Three Most Important Words in A Color Consultation", all I ended up with is a bunch of colors. I'm moving into a new home soon and I'm beginning the search for someone to help me pull everything together. Can you provide some tips for finding the right person to work with?

  • Sedona @ MyDivineDelights says:

    Okay, I've been thinking long and hard about this one.

    First, color is a passion for me. I'd love to know more about your education, or really, what education you would recommend for me or anyone else interested.

    Second, I have a hectic life as most do. I find myself drawn more and more to serene colors. Not white, but pale blues, greens, grays. Colors that you can stand on the beach and see all together filling the sky and then there's the red. My favorite color. I want to use those gorgeous colors, have a peaceful feeling and be able to put red in without it being shocking and out of place. I love black and white as well. How in the world do I combine these?? I am super color ADD! LOL So there you have it! 🙂

  • Design Wanna-be says:

    What is the best aqua wall color? I painted my bedroom 3 times and never got the right one. Is that a particularly tricky color?

  • abby bennett says:

    When using a lot of white (white trim, white wainscoting, white bookshelves, white mantel, etc) what is the general rule for tone matching? Do the whites need to be the same and vary the gloss/matte? Can/should they be different and how would you match the tone? Can I download you into my little color-clouded brain?
    (this is a link that shows, somewhat, the look I am trying to recreate with out your knowledge to make it (seem) easy

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Ariel,
    Check out my post about wood floors to answer your quetsion;

  • Maria Killam says:

    Dear Anonymous, to answer your blue and green question, read this post by one of my favourite bloggers;

  • Rebecca says:

    Tell us about day and night color. I was told, a long time ago that it is best to choose colors in the day time and in the setting where they will be used. If that happens they will always look good in the night time. And this does not work the other way around. True?

    We went to some builder open houses last weekend. One bathroom had pink beige counters and yellow beige floors. The poor new home owners are now stuck. I felt so bad and I knew why the two did not work together. At least the wall beige was a decent blend with the floor beige. Is there something one can do and still stay with neutrals for wall colors when this is the case?

  • Astrid says:

    I've really enjoyed reading your blog. I'm trying really hard now to determine the undertones in the paint colors (I'm no good at it!).

    How do you suggest dealing with very open floor plans? My LR, DR and kitchen all share the same walls.

    We're also in the process of replacing our trim on that floor. What are your feelings on mixing woods with painted trim? (window sashes and doors are a light wood)

    What wall color would you suggest to go with unstained, natural maple cabinets (that are yellowing in some places)? I have had thoughts about painting those cabinets but they still look very nice and I like the wood tone. The floors are a mottled cream/gray with pink undertone tile and the appliances are all white. The countertop is currently an absurd greenish-blue that I can't wait to replace with something neutral (that's on my to-do list, right after the trim). There is no backsplash.

  • Erin says:

    Here is the first question I can think of (just moved to a new house with all oak trim and terrible wallpaper so I need a lot of inspiration!)

    How do you use lots of bold colors throughout a house without making it look like a rainbow? I love saturated yellows, oranges, purples and greens but I've read that painting all your rooms in similar colors is supposed to make your entire house feel bigger. My main floor has a kitchen, dining room, living room, library, foyer and powder room- I'd love to have lots of color but want to avoid it looking like a circus as you look through into the other rooms or walk through the house. Opinions on how to do bold colors well?

  • Annie@A View On Design says:

    what a great post idea Maria, and thank you so much for posting the answer, of course you are right, and I know exactly how to deal with this now!! The other posts in your comments are interesting, I might head over to their blog to take a peek at your answers to some of their problems too… lol!

  • Kelee says:

    What is the best white you can think of?

  • Anonymous says:

    Years ago, I read that Marlo Thomas had pastel colored rooms throughout her home. Since then, I have thought about the soft colored rooms and wondered how to accomplish the effect. During a home renovation project that started with adding a family room addition to the kitchen, I finally took the plunge and added new baseboards and trim work painted white (gloss by Sherwin Williams) to accent and pop against the lovely soft colors. A creamy butter yellow in Family Room. Ivorie (SW6127) on one wall in Living Room (the focal point view from the Entry Hall) and Honied White (SW7106) on the other walls. A soft celedon green, Bonsai Tint (SW6436) in the Entry Hall. The Dining Room is the softest pink (FoamFlower – from the old Martha Stewart Collection). The floors in the Entry Hall, Dining Room, Kitchen, and Family Room are Dark Red Mahogany. The front of the house has a Southern exposure so the Living Room, Entry, and Dining Room have lovely light all day. The Kitchen and the Family Room face North, so we have no direct sunlight in those rooms during the day. I'm so happy with the color palette…I feel that my house "sings" with color…love the view from each room…looking into another room. The white paint on all the trim work serves as a beautiful transition to each color.
    I have a question about what color accents to use in the soft creamed butter Family Room. The room 24' x 24' with one wall of glass windows looks out on a wooded backyard and creek. The only furniture so far is a large sectional sofa in a grayed sage green…we need window treatment, more furniture, and art work. There is not much wall space since the room has a lot of doorways…double-wide entry to Dining Room on the south wall and double-wide entry to Kitchen on the east wall, glass windows on the north, and the only solid wall is on the west.

  • Laura Casey Interiors says:

    Great post, so interesting and helpful.

  • Leaking Moonlight says:

    Please, please share how to use the modern pearl gray (Behr Sparrow) and medium gray (Behr Anonymous) wall colors that I loved so much I already purchased.

    Is darker gray only for accent walls?

    My heart too is being pulled to lighter muddy green shades.

    Oh, help!

  • Anonymous says:

    Curious about how trendy colours become trendy.

Leave a Reply