3 tried and true paint colors (and a few other faves)

Anyone who knows me is aware of my borderline obsession love of white. Even my husband only sends me white flowers with touches of green.  It is the question I get asked most often…”what white did you use?”

Believe me, there are hundreds of whites out there, but after trying many different ones and even mixing my own, I have found that Benjamin Moore‘s White Dove has served me best.  From our traditional home in Connecticut to our bright and modern Santa Barbara house, it has worked equally well.  In The Little Glass House, I have used it on all the trim and doors and most of the walls, with the exception of two bedrooms. It is warm without looking “off-white” and goes with absolutely any color you pair it with. Friends and family who I have recommended it to agree…it’s a winner!

bright white kitchen
All the cabinets were painted White Dove
White Dove on walls, ceiling, and trim

November Rain is another Benjamin Moore color that I have used in a variety rooms and it consistently works.  It’s a beautiful color that sometimes appears to have a bit of sage in it or can look taupe, or even gray. The bottom line is that it is a neutral that works with anything and looks good at different times of the day. I used it in a client’s bedroom in which she only wanted white walls. Her walls were already a cool white and she was afraid that November Rain would make them look dirty. Quite the opposite. She loved how it warmed up her bedroom while keeping it light AND it went beautifully with all of her lavender and violet accents!  I have it my own bedroom…

Love the warmth of November Rain in a bedroom

Next to white, green is my favorite color.  Take it from someone who painted her dining room (in our CT home) three times before she got the right green. It’s a  tricky color. Finding the right shade can be difficult. One of my new favorites is Benjamin Moore’s Hollingsworth Green. It is a soft sage green with a bit of gray in it.  Sometimes it even has a hint of blue. It is lovely in a bedroom and I have even used it in a large living room. It changes with the amount of light a room receives but always looks good.

Small bedroom looks pretty in green

I love Benjamin Moore paint for the durability and the gorgeous colors. My favorite is their OC line of colors- it’s hard to go wrong with them.  Here are a few of my favorites that I have used in various homes and projects…

Gray owl, a soft warm gray (via benjaminmoore.com)
Halo, a warm taupe (via benjaminmoore.com)
Titanium, another go to gray that looks amazing against White Dove trim! (via benjaminmoore.com)

The best way to choose the right color for your walls?  Narrow it down to a few colors you like from the paint chips at your local paint store. I always suggest choosing one that is a shade or two lighter than what you think you want, because it will appear darker when it is on your walls. Buy a few sample pots of the paint and some poster boards.  Now paint a good size piece of poster board (about 18″ x 24″) with your samples…one board for each  color. Let dry.  Using painter’s tape (I put it on the back), place on your wall. Move them around to different walls and at different times of the day. Take your time and even live with them for a day or two.  You will be amazed at how different a color can look on a sunny morning or at night by lamp light.  If this sounds like a lot of work, just remember it’s a lot less time and money than painting a whole room and realizing you hate the way the color looks!  I had a friend who chose the colors for her whole house one afternoon at the paint store just based on those tiny paint chips. Needless to say, she was unhappy at how dark and bold some of the colors looked when they were up on the walls. It was a costly mistake that could have been avoided by taking a little extra time with her decisions.

Color is a personal choice and can add so much to a room.  I happen to like soft neutrals but can appreciate bold colors as well (I actually had an apple green dining room once!).  Don’t be afraid, it’s only paint!

6 thoughts on “3 tried and true paint colors (and a few other faves)

  1. I always use White Dove for all my trim – makes it easy during touch up time too! I painted a small dark hallway WD on walls and trim and hung all B&W photos and love it. Best white out there. I plan to use November Rain in my new house…some where…I have a vaulted living room in the center of the house and I may do it there. It changes colors based on the light reflecting on it. Grey Owl is in my dining room. I am thinking of using a green on old bathroom cabinetry and then White Dove on walls.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Do you buy BM White Dove or do you have it color matched at SW? I prefer SW paint but am worried it won’t be an exact color match. Also, what finish do you use for the walls and what finish do you use for the trim? Thanks in advance – love your house and style!


    • Hi Amy. I use BM White Dove although I had it matched when I painted the kitchen cabinets with Fine Paints of Europe.
      I use the Regal line of BM paint…flat on walls and semi gloss on the trim.


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