Cindy Bailen
Color Consultant
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Color Ideas

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  -White Is Right
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About Cindy

At this time of year, many of us bring fresh greenery into our homes. Nothing works as well as green to bring the outdoors in. In Massachusetts, where I live, we’re looking at a gray and white landscape right now, so green in a home’s interior looks especially refreshing.
Green is a difficult color to capture in paint. You may find yourself doing a lot of testing before you find the one that works. Last summer, I brought one of my spring green kitchen chairs to the paint store with me, so that they could scan it in to blend a quart of that exact color for touchups. I was happy with the results, but there are also a number of wonderful greens right from the chips at the paint store.
My favorite, Kennebunkport Green, (HC#123) comes from the Benjamin Moore Historical palette. I use it in my three-season porch, which looks out on the wooded hill in our back yard. The floor in that room is terra-cotta, which complements the green walls nicely.
If you’re looking to create a stylish olive green entryway or hall, I’d suggest Pratt and Lambert’s Thyme Green (#1662). For a smart look, paint the ceiling a biscuit color (try Sherwin Williams Raffia Basket, #1113). Use an off-white trim if possible, since a dark green and a bright white can create too stark a contrast.
There was a great use of two coordinating shades of green in the formal living room of a decorator show house I visited last summer. I was pretty sure I recognized the colors: the walls were painted with Homestead Green (Benjamin Moore AC#19), with the darker Mountain Laurel (Benjamin Moore AC#20) used on the trim. One of the fabrics they brought into the room was a bright yellow silk with green accents. It looked brilliant against those soft, deep greens.
Restoration Hardware has a fabulous, complex and subtle green called Silver Sage as their signature color. You may have noticed it in their stores. After I picked up a swatch, I did some sleuthing, and it turns out that Benjamin Moore manufactures their paints, so the quality and coverage should be good.
TIP: The most difficult part about choosing a color for a room is visualizing how it will look in your home before you actually get it on the wall! Recently, I discovered a great tool to help you through this step. On the Glidden Paint Website, I found out about Color@HomeII, interactive software that lets you colorize images of your own rooms. So, you’ll be able to test the way different colors will look on your walls before you paint. You can buy the Color@HomeII at Glidden paint dealers (Home Depot is one) for less than $10.00. To find out more, visit their site at
I wish you all the best during the December holidays. And when you decorate your home this month, consider adding some greens that will stay fresh and bring you enjoyment all year round.
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