How to select colors for your home

Behr’s Gray Morning 490F. This is the paint chip next to the painted wall.

My favorite color is Gray?! It is Behr’s Gray Morning 490F to be exact.

Baltimore Art Museum. Matisse Diebenkorn Show 2017

I didn’t realize this until recently. I was in Baltimore to see an exhibition of a favorite artists Richard Diebenkorn. Stunning show “Matisse Diebenkorn” that will be in San Francisco Spring Summer of 2017. Diebenkorn’s urban landscapes have always intrigued me. My husband and I walked through the show once enjoying each piece and listening to the curator’ s narration in the provided headphones. Then even though the galleries were very crowded we circled back around to study our favorites. I like to sit and carefully study a few.  These are big paintings. The size scale can’t be understood in a photo. What makes them work? What draws you in? While sitting there amidst the crowds, I realized how much I love their palette of colors! Especially a beautiful blue green in painting “Berkeley #58.” I thought at the moment I want to paint with that color.   A few days later back home, I was getting ready standing in my master bath when I realized it is the same color! Ha!

Detail of Richard Diebenkorn’s painting Berkeley #58 with the Grey Morning paint chip on it.


I used this color for my own master bath after a client used this color for her living room. It is a feel good color despite the name! She received many compliments from both men and women on the color which is always a great sign. Her house was also featured in a KC Star Sunday House & Home articles. I received many emails asking for the exact wall color.

Client’s Living Room with Grey Morning. as featured in KC Star!


I work with many clients. Some know exactly what colors they like. They know what colors make them feel happy or relaxed. I had a client who renovated and added onto her home. It was intensive enough she moved everything into storage for almost a year.  Her color palette/taste was strong enough that even though her items were packed away when they finally returned into freshly painted new spaces everything worked!


How do you figure what colors work? Practice! Look around? What have you already selected?   Is there a favorite rug,

My own Master Bath with Grey Morning!

vase, chair you already own that the colors inspire you? When you look through are you drawn to certain pictures because of the color? Maybe you have no idea what colors you like? I like the Sherwin Williams by Collections…you might find a card you like that allows you to select EVERY color for your home.   The Historic Collection is great just ignore the time period and pick a palette you like!


Having a complete palette gives you confidence! Try a bit on a wall. They have small sizes available now. Make sure you see it with the lighting you will be using and on sunny day, rainy day, morning, midday and evening. Lighting plays a huge role in color perception. look at the pictures and see although it is the same color it appears differently due to the lighting.  Be careful not to ask too many friends their opinions as everyone sees/perceives color uniquely!


Pictures of paint chip next to a few favorite items in my house! I amazed how often this color appears!

Antique clock Glass door with my favorite color.
Fabric on an antique chair!
A detail of a painting from Mary Ann Strandell. The first painting my husband and I bought!
Antique hand crafted rug that is base palette for our entire home. At first it doesn’t look as if it matches. Looking very closely it is there!












After thinking about my own home’s color palette which is based on an antique rug, I looked around to see how many items I have in this color!  This has been my favorite color for many decades! I have a vase that my grandmommy left me. She was very practical and when I was little I said how much I liked it. She wrote my name on the bottom of the vase that day. I didn’t quite understand why yet years, thankfully many years later, it was given to me!

My grandmommy wrote my name on this vase when I was little.
A favorite treasure! I love the vase. the shape the colors, the patterns. Most importantly that is was my grandmommy’s and carefully displayed in her home. Happy Memories !

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