Color my world office

By Mir
March 12, 2013

Otto is a visual person, and I am a make-with-the-many-words person. Somehow we manage to communicate pretty well, though occasionally I’m sure Otto wishes I would just stop talking and every so often I do feel compelled to ask how a visual guy ends up deciding that THAT shirt looks okay with THOSE pants. These are minor blips. On the whole we have managed to forge our own language, an awesome perk of having known each other for nearly two decades dozen years (whoops, hey, we’ve known each other over half our lives).

Today Otto surprised me by suggesting we go out to lunch, which was a rare treat. When we eat as a family the conversation tends to center around the kids and their activities and how really, I MEAN IT, when I said I don’t want to hear any more jokes involving barf WHILE I AM EATING, I was SERIOUS. We have not had enough time as just a couple, lately, and when we do get that time, we tend to be discussing heavy Necessary Stuff, and not just kind of enjoying each other.

Naturally I tried VERY HARD to ruin our lovely lunch with some discussion of Unpleasant Yet Necessary Things, but eventually we did come back to a less depressing topic: My office. Specifically: As we come up on the 6 year mark of living in this house, am I finally ready to paint it?

We embarked on a painting marathon when we first bought this house, spending 48 hours covered in paint, taking care of the main living area and the kids’ rooms. We went mostly neutral (with an accent wall) in the family room, let Monkey pick the blue for his room, and neutral plus a deep pink wall in Chickadee’s room. I did not agonize over color choices at all.

The following year, I completely redid the walls in the dining room, and because we knew we wanted something that looked like Tuscan plaster and because that room opened up onto the room with the copper wall, we ended up (after one thing led to another…) with terracotta colored walls, mostly. Below the chair rails there’s a deep navy that Otto picked out, because I became somewhat paralyzed when faced with the Big Wall O’ Paint Chips. It looks fine.

We’ve gotten through multiple other smallish renovation projects over the years, and it’s a testament to how much we like each other than those adventures never result in us sniping at one another. I mean, yes, usually at some point I end up crying, but not because of Otto. Just because… nevermind, hush.

Anyway. My office was a shared office for years, and then Otto moved upstairs and now it’s all MY office, and we’ve changed it around a few times and nowadays it’s exactly how I like it. Except. See, the walls in my office could best be described as “baby poop brown.” LOVELY. I hate it. Haaaaaate it. Thus far, I have dealt with this by hanging various colorful items on the walls to distract me from the walls themselves. For several years I’ve made offhand comments like, “COULD THE WALLS IN HERE BE ANY UGLIIIIIIIIER?” and Otto will say, “We should paint your office,” and then I will point out that I don’t have the time and it’s a hassle and wah wah wah, I don’t wanna.

Well, I think I finally wanna. Paint is cheap, summer is coming, and I really, REALLY hate the color in here.

So we went out to lunch and Otto asked me what color I wanted to paint. For some reason, “Not brown” was not a satisfactory answer to him. Otto immediately rushed to suggest that I go with a warm color to keep it bright and cheery in here, and I agreed, even as I realized I was not entirely sure what would constitute a warm color.

“Like… maybe… yellow?” I guessed. He said that would be a good choice.

“But not a YELLOW yellow,” I said, before launching into my own neurotic wall of words about how YELLOW, MAN, you have to be CAREFUL with yellow, because too much is WHOA, HEY, YELLOW and not so good. Otto reminded me that he’d painted a yellow room in his house before we got married, and I said OH YEAH I REMEMBER, indicating that he had gone a little too yellow for my taste, at which point his brow furrowed because he LIKED that yellow just FINE, y’know.

Here’s the thing about me and color: I don’t really get it. I mean, I know what I like, sometimes, and I definitely know what colors I like to WEAR, but most of the colors I favor to WEAR are all colors that are way too bright to go on a wall. I love purple, for example. But I am not 4, nor do I want to put Taylor Swift posters all over the room, so I do not want a purple office. And I NEVER EVER actually WEAR yellow, because I am very pale in a way where wearing yellow makes me look like I am dying. But for the walls, sure, that might be okay.

My office is off of the kitchen, which has a predominantly blue kind of thing going on, though someday (when we win the lottery) (which we never play, HA) I would like to redo the kitchen and then maybe it won’t be blue. WHO KNOWS. But for now it’s blue. And I feel like the office should at least… not clash with that. Yellow and blue would be okay, I think.

But HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT YELLOW?? Must I go face the giant wall of paint chips? DO I WANT AN ACCENT WALL???? I kind of do, but then what color would THAT be? (My first thought: something kind of… melon-y? Orangey? To go with the copper wall in the family room and the terracotta walls in the dining room and WHAT THE HELL, ME, I DON’T EVEN LIKE ORANGE.) And which wall would be the right one to accent? And and and and.

Otto listened to me ramble. Eventually I pointed out that it’s possible I should be spending more time working and less time agonizing over the colors of the place where I work. He remained silent, possibly because there was nothing he could say there that wasn’t going to get him in trouble. He’s a smart guy, my Otto.

ALSO: Do you paint closets? I only just got my office closet completely outfitted with new shelves and organized a few months ago, and the thought of pulling everything out again makes me want to chew off my own leg to escape. But Otto was all, “The walls in there are in terrible condition, we should definitely patch them and paint” whereas I was more of the “There’s so much stuff in there you can’t even SEE the walls, WHO CARES?” persuasion.

It’s not that I think this is going to put a strain on our marriage, you understand, because we’re stronger than that. But if someone wanted to tell me exactly what to do (down to the acceptable color of yellow or substitute therein, yes please and thank you), when we get to the point when we’re painting and I’m crying, I won’t have to blame Otto. See?

I knew you’d understand.


  1. Lynda M O

    Best yellow ever Sears Easy Living 010 i think it’s called sunflower but for sure it’s 010.

    Love it. Hope you do too.

  2. Lucy

    Just to torture you, check out this website:

    Eighty-billion color schemes. But, you can select the color of your kitchen, maybe, then look at all of the color schemes that include that color, and in there might be a yellow that is good.

  3. carrie on

    Paint the closets white. Makes them feel bigger and then when you repaint the room they always match the new color!

  4. Lucy

    Also, I just painted my bedroom kind of a yellow-tan color – it is Valspar paint (Lowe’s brand) and the color is Brownstone Walkup. When it is wet, it looks like you are painting with butterscotch pudding.

  5. Redneck Mommy

    I paint my house every three to four years. Every room. I agonize over the colours. But not until I’m over my colour paralysis. It’s a horrible time for EVERYONE, but mostly for everyone who isn’t ME because I’m busy BEMOANING ABOUT ALL THE COLOURS. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY COLOURS?

    And yet, none of this has ever stopped me. I figured out, it’s because I have a life time goal to USE ALL THE COLOURS. Just, you know, not all at once.

    And you know, after I have figured out which colour is acceptable.

    All of this to say, good luck, have fun and try not to pick a colour that will, once painted, drive you right back to the paint store to pick a new colour to repaint over it the very next day.

    (I’ve only done that three times. But my husband is still mad. Boys.)

  6. ruchi

    I think we need pictures of the baby poop brown walls in order to make educated paint suggestions….

    But my feeling on yellow is that actually pale yellow depending on the exact shade, can be more problematic than going balls out bright yellow. Bright yellow is cheerful to me. For me, pale yellow feels like aging white (think yellowing pages of a book) or dead canary. But that’s just me.

  7. Otto

    “Nearly two decades?” (Yes, I am picking three words out of your many, many words today.)

    For the record, come September, it’ll be 24 years since we met.

    And orange is an awesome color, when used correctly.

    Also, we are coming up on the 10th anniversary of our first date. Not that I think about these things …


    [Mir here: Sorry, darlin’. Meant to say nearly 2 DOZEN years. Changing it now. Geez, who wrote this all sloppy with the wrong words?? Wait….]

  8. Mary

    Definitely gotta be careful with yellow, I was told by a decorator, who then pointed me to a wonderful yellow, that I used to paint my living room/dining room/hallway. But that was in my last house. However, I loved it so much I want to use it in my great room when we finally get to painting in there, so I know I have that color chip somewhere!

    And ya, paint the closets white. Soooo much easier!

  9. diane

    I had the living room, loft, sewing studio and my bedroom all painted over Christmas. The living room and loft are…not-baby-poopish browns, with a red accent wall in the livingroom. Bedroom is a sort of robin’s egg blue, the sewing studio the perfect blue between green-teal and blue-teal.

    In spite of the fact that I have been sewing, quilting and working with color for over 35 years, color paralysis quickly set in. I bought five – 5! “sample” sizes of brown to slap on the living room wall the week before I had to call in the final color choices (why no, none of those were the color I finally picked).

    I feel your pain. But I do paint closets.

  10. Katie K.

    I’m with Otto. I love orange! An orangy yellow would be really pretty, I think. Also, when we paint the closets, we paint them white. Then you don’t necessarily have to paint them if you change the room color.

  11. Brigid

    I really like a light green called Riesling from Porter Paints. I have used it in my last two houses and it’s currently my office color. It’s mellow, but happy. Good luck choosing. My mother-in-law is the best paint chooser I know. She sees things in colors that I don’t even notice – like the brown in that, and the orange in the other, and the grey undertones…

  12. Megan

    Soft yellow and crisp white with accents of grey is gorgeous. Woodwork and closet white, and (if you feel up to it) an accent wall in a not too dark shade of grey. As for which wall? Well, a grey wall is essentially a neutral which would made it a great ‘inspiration wall’ for bulletin boards and stuff that you want to have in view while you’re working – stuff that you can change fairly frequently if you want.

    Personally, I don’t like clutter in my direct eyeline (I’m looking at YOU laundry I haven’t had time to put away thanks to essay writing!) so an inspiration wall would probably be a side or back wall to whatever I’m facing when I work.

    You do know you’re going to be swamped with suggestions and ideas and brilliant thoughts that will make the Great Wall ‘O Paint Chips look like nothing, right?

  13. Aimee

    Heh. In my very first apartment, I decided to use a picture from a Jennifer Convertibles catalog as my inspiration. It featured a blue and white striped sofa and loveseat, which were on SALE yo, with BRIGHT yellow walls. So I did that. I bought the sofa and loveseat and I picked out a cheerful yellow paint. And lo, I painted. And lo, my very small studio-ish apartment looked like the effing big top, with yellow walls that glowed in the dark and stripes everywhere. You do have to be careful with yellow. Yellow came to play.

    That said, my room when I was a teenager had buttery yellow walls that were really quite lovely.

    • A Different Kind of Zoe

      “Yellow came to play.” Made me LOL.

  14. Kelly

    Pinterest will have the answer!

  15. Little Bird

    Look into some color theory, that might help you decide. We are all effected by the colors we surround ourselves with.
    Oh, and orange is possibly my favorite color!

  16. BethRD

    Our kitchen is yellow and when we were choosing the color we kept bringing home sample size cans of yellows that looked fine in tiny squares and painting a sample area and gasping OMG TOO YELLOW and then going back for yellow that was less yellow. So if I were you I might choose a visible place where you can paint a sample square so that you’re sure you’re getting nice sunny yellow and not highlighter yellow. In the end my kitchen did end up being truly yellow, just not TOO yellow, and it still makes me happy to look at it eight years later, I like it so much more than the ugly brown and tan that was in there before.

    If I had an office to paint, I might choose gray, just because I like calming colors in places where I’m going to be sitting and contemplating. Gray, with a purple accent wall! That exists, I looked it up! But the real truth is that if I had an office to paint I wouldn’t paint it because that would be too much work, so truly, anyone who actually intends to paint anything is so far ahead of me that I cannot even offer advice. Except for the advice for trying out the yellow, you won’t regret that.

  17. Sharon

    I love yellow walls. Check out Pale Daffodil by Home Depot. Now I wish I had a room to paint….

  18. Sheila

    Just hours ago I was listening to Angel Falls (by Kristin Hannah) and she used that exact phrase to describe an ugly wall that needed to be painted. Baby Poop Brown.

    So not helpful but too much of a coincidence not to mention. Good luck with the painting!

  19. Jen5253 Range

    We picked out a buttery yellow color for my daughter’s room and it is so warm and relaxing in there! It helped that I already had the bedding and brought it with me to the store to pick out the yellow.

    We also paint the closets. Usually we paint them white, although we did paint the boys closet the same color blue as the walls… and we won’t do that again. Because we will probably be shifting the boys and girls around and girls will probably end up in that room, and they are going to protest about having blue. I hate painting closets, but am always thankful when it’s done, and I’m not looking forward to repainting the closet, esp. since it’s going to take several layers of primer before we can paint it white. Sigh. So I learned my lesson.

  20. Karen V

    Here’s what I’ve learned about painting walls…
    It is hard to make a decision on color. My main problem was that I kept being drawn to a certain color like a greyish teal and then also wanting to decorate that room in the same color accessories and linens. Umm, not many people want a monochromatic room. So, since accessories are way easier to change than paint color, I’ve learned to pick neutrals.
    I guess what I’m saying is pick one or two of the colors you are drawn towards when shopping for clothes or accessories. Then pick a neutral that doesn’t clash with those colors. As long as you pick a good neutral that doesn’t look like skin… Then you are all good to go. I suggest maybe a light grey for the walls because grey and blue go well together. Then black or yellow or whatever color accessories you gave or choose will pop and you’ll notice them which makes you happy, while the wall blends into the background.
    For the record our bedroom is grey with a red accent wall. The grey was so light the paint guy thought the machine had malfunctioned and hadn’t added any color, but it was perfect.
    And, yes I think you need to paint the closet walls. A fresh coat of white in a closet does wonders for being able to see what’s in it.

  21. Angela

    You can’t go wrong with green. Most of my house is done in various mellow shades of green, except for my bedroom, which is a dark green, and my front room, which is a fantastic shade of orange. Kind of terra-cotta but a little more orange than that. I love it!

  22. Betsy

    Go by the paint name! My hallway is Sand Between My Toes (because I love sand between my toes). My bathroom is Bran Muffin (because I love bran muffins) and my living room is Cozy Cottage….well you get the picture.

  23. RuthWells

    Yellow can be tricky. Think about a neutral that tends toward yellow, rather than an actual yellow, and test it first to make sure you love it. (We painted our kitchen yellow when we first bought the current house and… oh my hell, it was gawdawful. Wrong, wrong yellow.)

  24. RL Julia

    1. good paint takes fewer coats. I like Benjamin Moore myself but I do agree, it’s like a down payment or braces or something in terms of cost.
    2. Yellow is great.
    3. What about green? That’s my go to color personally.
    4. Son has a bright orange (like basketball orange) accent wall in his room. Under some conditions, the orange throws off onto the three other white walls in a very attractive way – but you have to be o.k. with orange in the first place.
    5. It’s only paint – you hate it – you can re-paint – just like with a bad haircut you’re hair will always grow out eventually.

  25. Brenda

    I’m not a huge fan of yellow. I prefer cooler colors (purples, blues, greens). But in my first apartment the walls were a pale yellow, and they really worked well as a neutral backdrop. I never did find out what the name of the color was, but I really miss them. The walls I have now are a light tan color, but with an unattractive pink undertone that makes the carpet look weird.

  26. liz

    Wheat sheaf.

  27. liz

    Never mind. That’s beige. I thought it was a warm gold kind of color that my step-father painted my parents bedroom in.

  28. Carrie

    I used Benjamin Moore Sundance in a bedroom. It’s soft, buttery yellow with a little body to it.
    I just did white trim with it, butyou could accent it nicely with a soft melon if it appeals to you.

  29. Lucinda

    My office is yellow but I live in the grey Pacific NW so I love my warm, golden yellow that reflects the meager light. I would paint the closet white so you don’t have to paint it again the next time you paint the walls.

  30. Becky

    I painted my office last month. Went with a very light gray color on the top half of the walls and a darker shade of gray on the bottom with a red stripe in between the two. Absolutely love it!!

  31. mandy

    Is there a paint called “Lemonade” – because if there is, you obviously need that one.

    #tamponlemonade anyone?

    I’ve seen lots of the pale yellow/ butter yellow/ light gray pairings. But I have no style and live in an apt which I cannot paint, so don’t listen to me.

  32. Melissa C

    The best advice I ever got about choosing yellow paint: if you want it to be a pleasant, subtle yellow – pick an ivory. It will read as a beautiful light yellow on the walls. Truth.

  33. karen

    Benjamin Moore Sundance.

  34. Jennie B

    I love color! My office is kind of a tigers-eye orange and it is perfect. It is broken up by light wood, a big window and a lot of white trim. If you want yellow, I wouldn’t do an accent wall of another color. You could do white (or a neutral like grey) with a yellow accent wall or just yellow accent pieces. (Take a look here:

    What color is your desk? Your chair? Is there a piece of art in there that you might want to draw from?

    Many interior designers will start with your wardrobe as inspiration. Purple is a great color and fosters creativity. You can tone it down for your walls, of course. Purple and yellow are opposites, so you can use one as a perfect accent for the other.

    If you want yellow, I’d say find one you like, then get a sample. Most paint stores sell small samples of just a few ounces. Also get a sample of one tone lighter. A color like yellow can look great in a small sample, but be way too bright when it is a full wall. You could also find rooms you like on Pinterest or (or home decorating site of your choice) and see what they’ve chosen :)

    Have fun!

  35. CuriousCat

    I refuse to say anything more than: whatever color you THINK you want, you paint a sample swatch on the wall first. Even if it’s 5 different color swatches in different places on different walls. then you sit back and look at them every day, all day until you pick one you like best. Samples are cheap and it’s the best indicator of what your walls – and the room – will look like with that color.

  36. Arnebya

    I got nothin’. I am the person who looks in wonder at the wall o’ colors and stands staring, unable to move for the people who actually know what they want. I love those pamphlets that show colors together because they’re so…together. Whenever I choose a color, I get home, I paint, and WHAT THE HELL, WHO CHOSE THAT, THEY GAVE ME THE WRONG CAN, WAIT…

    It never fails. EVERY color in my house that I have chosen is NOT what I wanted. They’re all…off. The only one I adore absolutely is the red in the living room. I did not select it.

  37. Stacey

    Maria Killam has a color website, color me happy, visit there, she has tons of great information! Paint your swatches on white posterboard so you can move it around the room and see how it looks as the light hits throughout the day. And pinterest, lots of pinterest. We will see you back here in a week or so once you are done zipping around the interwebs.;

  38. Julie

    Benjamin Moore Wyndham Cream, from the historic colors collection. I’ve had it on my kitchen walls for 16 years, and still love it. Like the color of (real) butter.

  39. elz

    Sole by Sherwin Williams, Orangery by Farrow & ball, have Lowe’s color match. Heck yeah, paint the closet-something lovely and deep like a navy. Have fun-it’s your office, in which you spend the majority of time, you oughta love it.

  40. Jessica

    Otto remembers dates?! Specific dates and years? Awesome! (I have one of those, too.)

    And am I the only one that when I hear someone say, “…when I win the lottery…” it actually just means “Never, because we never even play”? Probably, just me, huh?

  41. Genevieve

    Benjamin Moore Golden Straw – we painted the family room and kitchen that color and I love it (the previous kitchen yellow was far too yellow for me).

    Benjamin Moore Glowing Apricot — a lovely warm cross between peach and yellow.

    Paint a patch on the wall of whatever colors you’re considering — a big patch — and look at it in sunlight and at night in artificial light.

  42. Genevieve

    Oh, and these two look good together (if you wanted an accent wall – it would be subtle).

  43. Kristin

    When faced with so many options, I say go with that initial gut reaction. A soft yellow that’s NOT sunshine-kills-your-head color. Why not? In six years, you can repaint and really, how big is this office? And if you hate it, that’s what Taylor Swift posters are for. Or posters of LOL cats.

    As for the closet…who paints closets? Why? Is the closet wide open for the world to see when they enter your office? Because then it’s not a closet, it’s a side room. And yes, if there’s stuff on the shelves, uh, the walls aren’t showing. Just throw some rhinestones on the edges of the shelves and call it a day. And if Otto protests, just distract him with rhinestones elsewhere and show him how bedazzling ANYTHING is a simple upgrade…and not to mock Joey Tribiani, but bedazzle anything…if you know what I mean.

  44. KARYN

    My office is a buttery yellow color and its perfect! Not too bright, and not too plale. It looks awesome with black and grey accents, and before the black and grey i had a teal kind of blue in there with it with a bit of lime green.
    I think yellow with a nice grey accent wall would be lovely.
    As for closeta, patch and paint them white. Then it will always match :)

  45. Korinthia Klein

    The wonderful thing about paint is you can change it. Clear a wall, slap some color on it, and see what feels right. Don’t fear color!

    We used a nice buttery yellow in the dining room of our last house and it was warm and cheerful without dominating anyone’s attention. I always pick something on a sample card and then go one color darker than I think I want because it usually looks lighter to me when there is more of it. You might also consider some pale green to go near that blue room. Have fun! I’m actually jealous. I love to paint.

  46. Becky

    We painted my daughter’s room pale yellow before she was born, and the first try was too neon-ish – I think it was the greenish tint in the yellow that made it look that way. The thing that worked well for us in the end was to pick a yellow we liked, and then have it made up with only half the tint. You could also cut it half-and-half with white paint. That gave us a nice pale yellow that we really like.

  47. Brigitte

    I haven’t had breakfast yet, and I’m hungry, so I’m thinking a light cantaloupe color. Mmmm, melon-y.

    And only the person who feels the insides of closets need paint, should take out all the things, paint, then put them all back EXACTLY as they were previously.

  48. Amanda

    Look at the creams. Some of them are yellowy without being yellow. I had a purple office in our last house and loved it. It was MY space in a house of all boys. And the laundry room was a nice soothing doctor’s office green. My husband hates green, but he doesn’t do laundry, so he didn’t get a say there either. They were the only 2 rooms I could do anything I wanted.

  49. KarenT

    Color is a very personal decision and it looks different depending on light and other surrondings. I have discovered I love the testers. And they are available for most kinds of paint now. Our first floor is completely open and extends to a loft that over looks the living room. Choosing a color was a big decision because there was going to be a lot of it. I must have bought 10 or 15 different testers and painted spots in different parts of the rooms before I picked a color. But I am happy with what I got and I knew what it would look like.

    Bottom line, pick a couple of colors you think you will like and start a patchwork on your wall.

  50. My Kids Mom

    My son has a chair rail with a butter yellow above and a medium blue below. Love it. Other son has two walls of the same blue with a deeper yellow- but he has lots of sun which keeps the yellow from feeling too bright.

    And trust in the can of primer.

  51. Lynsey

    When my mom is choosing colors, she buys some samples and paints a large swatch of each on a sheet of fun foam (available in craft stores). Then she props them up in different parts of the room and at different times. It’s a good way to figure out which colors you’re going to love all the time.

  52. kapgaf

    OK, I know it’s a kitchen and it’s very yellow but I have visited it twice and wouldn’t you like to work in an office that is the same colour as the artist Monet’s kitchen ?

    P.S. I don’t know how to make links work in a comment so I’ve just copied the address. Hope it works out.

  53. kapgaf

    Oh, clever internetz, you made it into a live link!

  54. Elizabeth

    We have full-spectrum paint that was custom mixed. I LOVE it, and many of our guests complement me on it, even though it is a cream/ivory/palest butter in most lights.

    And now Benjamin Moore makes it, so although, still expensive, it should be at least a little more reasonable…

    What if you had a home improvement section on wantnot, and it included BM paint?

  55. Rachel

    I’m not 4 and I have no Taylor Swift posters (in my room), and my bedroom & bathroom & house are purple. Bedroom is a pale lavender, bathroom is slightly darker, house is a periwinkle color with dark purple shutters. (The room that actually has a Taylor Swift poster is my daughters’ room, and it’s cream. And also has a lot of One Direction posters).

    My kitchen and living room are complementary light blue colors. My kitchen was dark blue with dark yellow. I recommend not doing that. It was fugly.

    I do suggest finding some colors you like on cards and bringing them home. My 3 kids all liked different colors for their bedroom, but when we brought the cards home they all ended up liking the same one in their room. Magic!

    Good luck! I hate hate hate painting. Love the color picking, hate the painting.

  56. Leslie

    I would research various shades of grey, particularly because you want it to go with the blue. Grey also looks very nice if you go with a white trim (assuming you have to paint the trim). Closets? People actually paint the inside of the closets? I’m with you on that one. My daughters room is VERY pink and her closet is VERY blue. That is why they make doors.

  57. Lori N

    Wow! People have a lot of opinions on colors. I’m completely baffled by them & HATE picking out colors. Good luck to you Mir!


    btw, if someone has a nice orange shade they’d like to share, my son wants his room orange. I’m hoping to do just one wall, but heck, it’s only paint!

  58. Kim

    I change my room colors alot because I LOVE to paint. Yellow is very hard. I love it, but my kitchen turned out what my brother called “Big Bird’s Butt” yellow and had to be repainted. Not learning my lesson (it was 10 years later, after all), I went for a creamy yellow in bedroom which came out a bright lemon. 2 different brands of paint bought from 2 different stores and neither really matched the sample. I think purple would work. My daughter just got her own apartment and we painted the bedroom a bright pinky purple. Her bedding is grey, black and dark purple (same tone as the pinky purple though) and it looks great – not teenagerish at all. Its all about the accessories, really. And always leave the inside of the closet white, that way you don’t have to repaint if you change room colors.

  59. Andrea

    A nice Tuscan sun kind of yellow…Benjamin Moore 199 through 201, I think.

    Splurge and paint inside the closets. It is like having a neat sock drawer-no one ever sees it but you feel good looking inside when you do.

  60. StacyQ

    I painted the whole kitchen a bright yellow… when I put the brush down and realized that it appeared Barnum and Bailey would be marching through any minute with a whole troop of clowns and elephants, I had to go that day to buy a subtler, calmer shade of yellow, with a little brown in it. I think it was more of a mashed banana color.
    My husband said we needed red in the breakfast nook. I resisted. He persisted. I submitted and we painted it a color called “STOP” and yes it was the same color as a stop sign. I absolutely loved it, it was wonderful to decorate around.
    Husbands can be really good with color.

  61. lisa

    My daughter’s room is on the cusp between blue and purple – a shade called Beautiful Dream #590A-3 from Behr. Our bathroom is a very pale yellow – Honey Moth #350E-2. We LOVE both of them. But my office is a brighter blue – I wanted calming – Refreshing Pool #500A-2.

    If you can put up with poop brown for 6 years – anything will be an improvement. And in another 6 years you can make a change :)

    And if you paint the closet – paint it WHITE – don’t do the color in there. Then if you do change your mind about the color, you can skip the closet :)

  62. Sherry

    We painted a room “butter cream” it was yellow, but not YELLOW. “Sugar cookie” is another good color.

  63. Tracy B

    You have 66 responses so I will say nothing. :)

  64. g~

    I once picked out a yellow color and painted it in our dining room All By Myself. I’m not sure what the actual name was but it should have been Crack House Yellow because it was…well…crack house-ish. From then on, my husband picks out all of the paint colors. I…somehow still end up painting it on the walls. I am seeing a disturbing trend here.

  65. Lindsey

    Awhile back, over the course of a week, I painted my office, my bedroom, my bathroom and the hall that connects the three rooms. I painted the closet in my bedroom the same color as the walls, and by the time I got to the office I was tired of painting… So I skipped the closet… and every time I went into the closet I saw how ugly and dirty it was and wished I hadn’t skimped.

    I eventually repainted the office a completely different color and painted the closet too and all was right with the world. Moral of the story: paint the office closet! :)

    If you’re not sure what color you want, go pick up a bunch of paint chips in the colors you think you’ll like and stick them up on the wall with thumb tacks. Then live with them for a while and eventually you’ll start to realize some of the shades look gross in certain light and you’ll narrow it down to the right color(s)… When I was trying to decide on a color for my office, I narrowed it down to 3 or 4 and then bought a small sample of each. I painted small swatches on several of the walls in the office and picked my final color from there. The paint chips are great, but they don’t always read the same as the actual paint on the wall.

    Good luck!!!

  66. Nelson's Mama

    I love yellow on walls, but think it’s very difficult to pick because of the way light reflects off of it. You can get a different “read” on four different walls from the same color…

    One way I like to find a paint color is to find fabric swatches or wallpaper samples (even though I have no intention of using them), they always use tons of interesting colors together that I’d never DREAM of combining – then I take that to the paint store and pick samples to try on my wall…

  67. Liza

    Good luck, my friend! Pale yellow is the base color for most of my house: living room, kitchen, central hallways upstairs and down. I have a cinnamon accent wall in the living room, and because of the terrible things the previous owners did to the woodwork, chocolate brown trim and doors downstairs.

  68. Peggy Fry

    when I had my house I had the cement floors in the flood room (don’t ask) painted a brick reddish color. I chose a nice soft yellow for the walls because it was a basement and I wanted it to be cheerful. It looked like a hot dog stand. But it WAS cheerful!

  69. anne

    Do you have a Panera near you? They have a very nice yellow that is not too yellow. I painted my living room that color and it was just the right tone.
    Yellow is hard, good luck.

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