Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Moving in today!

Today is a big day in my household--we're moving!!  More about the new place later (trust me, it will be cute!), but today is the first day we get to move things in before we have to be out of our current place by Wednesday the 1st.  We had the idea that, since we can paint in the new place but it's a big production to paint in a room where there's a lot of stuff, we could paint it now while it's vacant!  This is not the way I have grown up to operate (as a kid, whenever we painted a room, we got tens of swatches in almost identical colors, brought them home, and held them up to the woodwork, flooring, existing colors, furniture, and walls on different sides of the room, to get the full effect of the lighting from different angles.  We matched the new colors to each other, if there was a wall and a ceiling color, and then made a decision and bought the paint.  But we may not have time for that today, and the downside of painting without any stuff in the house is that you can't hold the swatch up to things that have already been packed in boxes.  Hm.  But, I'll look at the carpet and the lighting, and try to do my best.
It's a little overwhelming, though, since we want to paint the living room and the kitchen, which merge into one another--how should the transition go?  Won't it be jarring to have them visually touch, as you look through to the other?  What about the dining room--it shares a wall with a large doorway to the kitchen, should it be the same color as the kitchen?  I guess I've never had this problem, because I've always only painted one room at a time!  There's so much potential when you have the whole house!
Here are some of the colors we're looking at...
Probably a light grey, a medium grey, and a pale aqua-ey green (or pure white) for the kitchen.
Any tips for picking paint colors for a whole house at once?!


  1. in the last 6 months i've painted the living room, dining room, and kitchen. i picked the living room color out of a fabric i used for the window seat cushion and it's and aqua called "swimming pool." picked the kitchen color to match the new multi-blue backsplash and it's a medium light blue. then i had to choose the dining room and it is between the other two, so had to "match" both. i chose a bright buttery yellow (which was also in the window seat fabric). so far, so good, as i love the colors. one tip that i learned as i was preparing was that if they share a doorway that is drywall (rather than framed in wood), the color should flow in a logical path from the front door. example: our front door is in the living room, then you walk into the dining room, then into the kitchen; so sides/top of the large open area between the dining and kitchen are the same color as the dining room. (i hope that makes sense). good luck!!

  2. Anonymous8/27/2010

    so much fun to work with a blank canvas-but overwhelming too :)
    layla palmer @ the lettered cottage has good advice & lots of thrifty/fun ideas. here is a post on her own house colors:
    check out the rest of her blog too for more ideas.

    apartment therapy has some good ideas

    you can even google the name of a paint color you like, including the manufacturer-usually a bunch of examples pop up under the google images tab

    hooked on houses is another fun blog

    have fun!

  3. just look at younghouselove.com at their paint scheme and how they made everything blend together - have fun!

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  5. My advice is to buy pints of paint in the color you're considering and paint a large swatch on the wall... then see how it looks at different times of the day with different lighting and see if it's something you'll love. Have fun!!

  6. I selected all the colors in my house at once. It was actually a good idea because everything works together. The living room, dining room and hallway colors all touch so they had to work together to complete the rooms. The three colors are completely different but each had a bit of yellow in it so it all comes together. Get your swatches out and put them next to each other. Have fun!

  7. I love coming into a house that flows nicely. My old house had the same paint color and trim color through the whole house. Light tan on the walls and a dark chocolate for a trim. It was nice but after five years I wanted a change. But I ended up moving. Good luck. I love the light grays.

  8. Congrats on moving! We are in the process of moving also. It's happening so fast that we can't paint right now :(. The colors are not bad in the new house, but there are a few rooms that I'm not likin' so much. In our old house we had an open kitchen and living room, too. A solution we decided on was to take the color swatch we liked and paint the kitchen a lighter color on the swatch. Then in the living room we went with a darker shade on the swatch. This worked well, but we went pretty conservative on the variation. Partly because then we knew within the next few years we'd eventually move. If I were going to do it again I would have probably chose two colors a little further apart on the swatch. Good luck!

  9. I would recommend picking colors that "flow" - ones that are not too different from each other in tone. I like the idea of picking a color and then painting an adjacent room a shade lighter or darker. Congrats on the move! Can't wait to see the pictures!

  10. I wish I had picked them all out at once. We painted rooms one at a time and it bothers me that the dining room doesn't "go"— it's red, while the rest of the house is more pale greens and blues and tans (beach glass colors). I'm thinking about wallpapering the dining room in a sea grass wallpaper now.

    One tip: we took one swatch with multiple shades of tan/beige and used a deeper shade in the hallway, a medium shade in the master bedroom and the lightest shade inside the closets. I really like the continuity of that.

    We used the same white (Lowe's "Classic White") on all of the woodwork in the whole house. The ceilings all match as well, although you could probably use the trick of taking the wall color and using the lightest shade on the swatch for the ceiling.

    I keep a little ziploc bag with all the swatches in it. It's funny - you can really see the continuity of the colors when you spread out those swatches, but when you go from room to room it's more of an unconscious feeling of continuity (or not, in the red dining room).



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