The Paint On My Walls

September 22, 2010

This is a post from a long time ago, but updated as of May 2013, just in case you’ve ever wondered about the colors on our walls . . .


I’ve received several emails lately inquiring about paint colors in my home.  Shelley recently wrote,

“Dear Kate,

I’m curious if you would mind sharing the paint colors on your walls in your dining room, stairs, and entry?  I so want to take my dated golden oak stair rail and replicate what you did with yours with the gel stain and glaze!  Thanks for the inspiration…now only if I can get a dose of courage as well.  I love your home!  Simply beautiful !  ~ Shelley”

Sure Shelley!  Some of the colors in my home are straight out of the paint can.  Others I’ve tweaked by blending my own color.

In our living room is Benjamin Moore’s Affinity ‘Tranquilty’ but I had the guys at the BM store tweak it by pulling two drops of blue out of the formula to make it a hint grayer, so we dubbed it ‘Tranquility Tweaked’.

blue and white living room


Here’s the formula for the Ben brand (which I love because it covers in one coat!)

S1  0x  3.0000; Y2  1x  1.5000; B1  0x  20.0000; O1  0x  19.0000

Here are three closest color matches to my custom formula: ‘Portico’ by Valspar, ‘Sea Salt’ by Sherwin Williams, and ‘Chicken Wire’ by True Value. .

.the the

The dining room, kitchen, and family room  are all connected as open spaces so it made sense to paint them all the same color which is Benjamin Moore’s ‘Camouflage’ a pale gray green.  It looks different in morning and evening light, a brighter green in direct sunlight and more gray in evening or indirect sunlight.






In the foyer is a neutral tan color we painted many years ago and I’m sorry to say, the name is not on the can because it was a custom color, but here are some close color matches: ‘Wheeling Neutral’ by Benjamin Moore, ‘Churchill Hotel Wheat’ by Valspar, ‘Whole Wheat’ by Sherwin Williams, and ‘Classic Taupe’ by Behr.



The kids’ study was recently given a makeover and the color is Glidden’s ‘Oyster Bay’

blue and green study with window seat


The master bedroom is another custom blend – it’s a mix of 1/2 Camouflage and 1/2 Misted Green, both by Benjamin Moore.  The closest color match is ‘Comfort Gray’ by Sherwin Williams.



In the master bathroom is (shoot me now, I know) another custom color I mixed up with leftover paints …. but I’ve color matched it too so here’s a few close ones:  Valspar’s ‘Clothesline Fresh’, Glidden’s ‘Grey Leaf’, and Sherwin Williams ‘Silver Mist’.



In my daughter’s room I painted the walls a pale gray with a hint of green, ‘Jade Frost’ by Glidden.



In my oldest daughter’s room which serves as a guest room while she’s at college, the wall color is ‘Blue Green Gem’ by Kelly Moore – a watery pale shade of Tiffany blue.



In the home office, I hung the grasscloth wall covering, but I painted the non-papered opposite window wall in a very close match by Valspar called ‘Seafoam Storm’ which is a really gorgeous medium gray blue.  The back of the bookshelves are also painted with ‘Seafoam Storm’.



In my boy’s room, we painted his walls an intense teal  called ‘La Fonda Villa Fountain’ by Valspar – it works well with the board and batten installation painted in Benjamin Moore’s ‘Dove White’.



On the walls in my powder bathroom is Valspar’s “Seine” – a deep mushroom gray color with a little chocolate brown in it too.  I also installed beadboard wallpaper for a nice contrast.

kates powder room


‘Silver Sage’ is one of those colors that you just can’t go wrong with ~ so it made sense to use it in laundry room, but I cut it in half with white to lighten it a bit.

So there you have it, for anyone who’s ever had any questions about the paint colors in the CG household.  You can tell I’m a fan of blues and greens, as long as they are muddied up with gray.  In my opinion, adding gray softens hues,  reduces a color’s saturation, and creates a more soothing color, therefore increasing the chances you’ll be delighted with your color choice over time.

You can tour the entire house and see more pictures of our home here.

That said, regardless of what you choose, paint is simply the easiest way to transform the feel of a room.  Yours truly is guilty of picking up the brush on many occasions and changing the walls in my home simply because the mood strikes!




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128 Responses to “The Paint On My Walls”

  1. kdsrgifts says:

    Hi Kate-

    I love your site…especially all the paint colors and budget design ideas. i really would like to know the name/style of the rug in your living room with the tweaked tranquility walls. Can you help me locate the rug? I love it!

  2. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Jen, I talk all about the rugs in my house here:

  3. carol jane says:

    Kate, I was wondering if you have a post showing the exterior of your home? Your home is beautiful!Thanks.

  4. susan says:


    What is the paint color and brand of paint used on all your trim work (windows, base boards, doors, stairs, fireplace and kitchen cabinets from your “paint colors in my home” blog pictures? Thanks

  5. DeeK says:

    You’re so talented!! What a beautiful, soothing comfort home. Love, love, love. Thanks for sharing all infos, many trades especially on will not share so much as you do, part of their trade secrets, so it’s really nice that you share infos.

  6. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Susan, the trim color is Swiss Coffee by Kelly Moore.

  7. bead board WALLPAPER?? Seriously. You are the GO TO GIRL.
    I love your understated color palette too. Very beautiful but not dull.
    I am absolutely going to do the built in Billy Bookcases and have been thinking about installing bead board……but then I found YOU!!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    What is the paint color used in the upstairs bathroom? It’s beautiful and has a warmth to it I’m trying to achieve! Thanks!

  9. linda says:

    Hi Kate, I finally finished painting all the rooms and love every single color. Here is the problem. I bought the Barbara Barry bed set poetical, but can not find the zebra print pillows at ZGallery as the are no longer available. I purchased 2 from west elm. They are a true charcoal grey, not a taupe. What can I do? I’m so disappointed since I have managed to put everything else in the room. well almost. I haven’t found a rug yet. Also could not locate the headboard fabric. I looked up Robert Alan but there isn’t anything called just “snow”. Also what color is the bed skirt? I used ivory.
    Sure hope you can help me to the finish line on this. So far we are loving the room.

  10. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Linda, I sent you an email!

  11. SJ says:

    Kate- You mentioned that the laundry room is painted Silver Sage. Is that from Restoration Hardware? or did you color match it with a different brand? Also, when you say that you “cut in half with white” can you explain that a little better. Thanks!

  12. SJ says:

    Kate- You mentioned that the laundry room is painted Silver Sage. Is that from Restoration Hardware? or did you color match it with a different brand? Also, when you say that you “cut in half with white” can you explain that a little better. Thanks!

  13. Mary says:

    Kate, I have the same question as SJ from July 15,2013. Silver sage in the laundry room that is “cut in half with white” was that done at the store and any white will do? There is a Silver Sage Ben Moore and R.Hardware, does it matter which one to use? Which one did you use? Thank you for taking the time to respond to this. You home is absolutely stunning!

  14. Usha says:

    Hi Kate,

    I was trying to find out some more information on your “tranquility tweaked” paint color. The store needed to know the size and what kind of paint (aura, regal select, etc). Also, what type of finish (satin, eggshell, etc). Apparently, all of these things matter when mixing paint. I would love to try a sample of this color on my walls. Thanks!

  15. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Usha, I used the Ben formula although they’ve recently changed it to a primer/paint combo and I used the “just paint” formula years ago which I prefer. It’s an eggshell finish.

  16. CentsationalGirl says:

    Silver Sage from Restoration Hardware and I mixed it in a separate container, half white paint, and half Silver Sage, make sense?

  17. Usha Chacko says:

    Last question…promise;) What color do you have on the ceiling of your living room? I decided to go with you tweaked tranquility version, which works very nicely with whats already in the room. I also have some built-in bookshelves in the living room, and I am trying to come up with some accent colors (or wallpaper for that matter) to go with tranquility tweaked. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  18. CentsationalGirl says:

    Just a basic white on our ceiling Usha (Swiss Coffee) but and I’d recommend ordering some wallpaper samples if you wish to find one that complements the color but it’s rather neutral so I’m sure there are many out there that would pair well.

  19. Carly says:

    Hi Kate,

    This is a silly question, but how do you custom the colors? Do the mixers mind the customization… Are they able to add whie to lighten, or do you have to omit colors? I have chosen a few of yours and YHL colors I love, but they are not perfect in my home. I was thinking if they were a hint lighter/darker they would work well….

    Thanks for your advise!

  20. Denise says:

    I love the color in your daughter’s room but we do not have a Kelly Moore here, can you tell me what the color match would be in Valspar or Benjamin Moore?

    Blue Green Gem’ by Kelly Moore

  21. nelita says:

    Hey Kate,
    I like the colour of your upstairs bathroom. What colour is it?

  22. Denise says:


    Just wondering why you tweaked the Tranquility. Was it too baby blue? Contemplating using it for our living room but concerned if I should tweak it as well. I did paint a large sample board and it seems fine but I know blue can intensify when all walls are painted.


  23. Jessica says:

    I came across your site looking for stair railing colors. We have just about the same exact wall colors in our entire home, seriously everywhere. My bedroom is the same color w/similar set up. It kind of weirds me out a little. Your home is much more put together than
    Mine though.My youngest just went to kindergarten and I’ve been decorating and making some of my own pieces if furniture and restraining old furniture and looking through your pictures will help me in the future. I love your home because it is very classical, looking more closely it is very intricate, personalized, and you have taken many risks that have paid off.

  24. CentsationalGirl says:

    Yes it was a hint too baby blue for me in that space since the living room gets a ton of morning light, but in my hall bathroom it’s great.

  25. Denise says:

    Hi again,
    Yes, lighting is everything I am finding out. I get afternoon light and not sure if it will be too grey. Did you just tell the BM guy to remove the two drops of blue pigment? Do I just give him your formula? You used the Ben brand and not Aura, correct?

  26. Denise says:

    Hi again,

    I see what you man about it looking bluer in bright sunlight, but in my low lit living room the large swatch looks good. But a bit concerned about how it will look once all painted. How did you know to remove 2 drops as opposed to one drop of blue? Did you try just one drop removed or just took the chance that it would be right?

    Sorry to bother you again, but plan to paint after the holidays.

  27. Danielle says:

    Your style is so beautiful!! Do you know where you got the bedding in your guest room w/ the leaves? It is exactly what I have been searching for. Is it blue or grey? Many thanks.

  28. Gail says:

    Hi Kate, I love the color of your front door. Could you tell me what it is and who makes it? Thanks

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