Thursday, March 15, 2012

Paint Color Confusion...

I have finally reached the point where I am ready to start transforming the spare bedroom into my den.  I have purchased the vintage furniture I want to put in there, and now I just need to start putting it together.  I only have one problem.  I don't know what color to use on the walls!  Help!

First, let's take a look at the current wall color, and the different pieces that I will be working with to create the room.

Here's the current wall color... pulled directly from the little flowers that were in the hand-me-down bedspread that I used on the bed that was once in here.

It's not a bad color, but I don't think it's gonna work with the pieces I want to put in here, so it's time for a change.  It has a lot of orange in it without being flat out orange.  It makes the room a pretty cheerful place.

Next, the carpet.  I would love to pull out the old carpet and have the hardwood floors underneath refinished, but that isn't in the budget at this time.  Replacing the carpet is also out.  I don't want to replace it when I really just want to save up my money and have all of the carpets removed and the hardwoods in the whole house refinished.

A vintage 1970s or 1980s brown sculptured carpet.

Now, let's look at the fabric on the chairs.  One chair is a pinkish-brown color, and the other is a brownish-purple color.  Both are great 1950s chairs.  I don't have a picture of the whole chairs yet because they are being stored at the moment.  They really contrast much more than in my lousy pictures...

Finally, here are the vintage pinch-pleat drapes that I bought last fall that I want to use in the room.  The camera didn't pick it up, but they have gold thread running through them.

Now, for paint colors.  I kind of like the one on the top center of this pic called "Casablanca".  If I use this color, which seems to be a light yellow with a hint of green, I could have a room named after Mick's cabin!  LOL. (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

I have referenced other color pallets from the 1950s as well for ideas, such as this great period example Pam over at RetroRenovation shared.  Here is the original post, and here is a link to the color pallet.

I have only one requirement - no form of beige for the paint color.  I have considered light gray, as I am a huge fan of gray, and it was widely used in the 1950s (most of the 1950s decorating books I have feature several rooms with gray walls), the only problem is I don't think it would work with the brown carpet.

Anyway, you've seen what I have to work with, now give me an idea of what paint color would pull it all together.  Right now, the yellow-green "Casablanca" color has my vote.  Thanks!


  1. Do you want the room to be light and bright, or do you want it to be a man cave? I agree wholeheartedly: Green is the way to go. Match a green from the curtains. But -- you can go light, or dark and rich.... Hey, you could even use the S-W Avocado (I have this in my office), you could go that dark. Just depends on what effect you are going for. What FUN!

  2. What fun for you to fix up a den. The Casablanca color looks like a good choice. You could go with that sage green color in the drapes, but, I think it would be a bit drab, really, and wouldn't show off the chairs as well as the Casablanca color. Your plan to wait and do all the floors at once is a good one. In the meantime, you could get a big area rug to lay down over the carpet that would minimize the amount of carpet showing -- something fun and offbeat, like a zebra print or retro geometric.

  3. Michael, this is not an answer to your question. :) The hardwood underneath the carpet - do you know what shape it's in? - Was it ever finished? If it were me, and if this is not going to be a high-traffic area, I would pull the carpet and just clean the floors really well and live with them until a few years later when I could refinish. We have done this in several rooms and been very happy with it.

  4. I think I'd try to find a green that is the same color as the green fountain and the largest leaf in the drapes. How close is the Wheatgrass?

    You really might be surprised how inexpensively you can have floors redone. I put off doing my floors for years because I thought it was going to cost thousands, but I had two bedrooms done for about $600. Also, if the floors are not in really bad shape, you might be able to live with them for a while by using the Orange Glo mop-on refinisher. When my floors start looking a little scuffed and dull, that stuff makes them look brand new.

  5. Big fan of grey here too. Its a great neutral. I wouldn't worry about it 'matching' the old carpet. That's not the focus of your design. They're both neutrals.

    Green would be my second choice. Organic White or Casablanca.

  6. I think I would go with the Wheatgrass. jmo


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