Please help me paint my bedroom!
May 7, 2008 12:12 AM   Subscribe

I just moved into room in a beautiful house, but cannot for the life of me decide what color to choose. I'm looking for a natural, earthy tone - something with a sensual vibe like dark brown.

The difficult part is that there is a very high ceiling, only 1 window, and 4 super huge walls. Any color I paint the walls will dominate the room. Even with furniture (bed, desk, etc...) in the room, there is still a lot of empty wall space because of the ceiling height.

The dimensions are 12ft x 15ft with 12ft high ceilings. The 1 window doesn't allow too much light in. There are 2 recessed ceiling lights, but I plan on using tinted brown lamps. The high ceilings look great but are so hard to work with. With only 1 window, there's no break in the walls. Any color I paint turns the wall into one giant square of green, red, brown, etc...

I'm thinking maybe I should only paint 1 wall or use a 2-tone scheme so that one color doesn't dominate the rooms. Maybe a dark brown behind the main wall touching my headboard, and the side walls a tan/beige.

Painting this room has been incredibly stressful as 2 colors i've tried turned out horribly. One made me feel like i was in a jungle and the other resembled the inside of Jamba Juice.

If you can suggest a name of the paint brand and color, I will be forever grateful.
posted by atmu to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
In my old place I painted the walls Georgian Green from the Benjamin Moore Historical Collection. I absolutely loved it. And so did everyone else. Two of my friends ended up painting their rooms the exact same color.

It's not quite a springy green, not entirely sage-y either. It is definitely warm without being drab. My favorite thing about this color was that it looked great with sunshine as well as with minimal light. Oh wait, here's a picture.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:26 AM on May 7, 2008

Seriously, try red.

I was turned off, until I saw how wonderful it worked in Asian friends' homes.

And, it you're that kind of superstitious person, it will bring you good fortune!
posted by quarantine at 12:29 AM on May 7, 2008

Yolo Colorhouse has environmentally-friendly paint in a beautiful, well-edited selection of colors. I painted my bedroom walls the water.02 shade and I absolutely love it, but I was equally smitten with their other earthy colors too.
posted by logic vs love at 12:52 AM on May 7, 2008

I find a dovey gray to be quite sensual. Something with a hint of mauve or lavender in it. Something that won't create a stark contrast with the white walls it abuts. Perhaps three walls in such a dissipated, fair purple gray and the third in a DEEP cadet-y purple gray. Like the palette in this painting, but with a bit more brown.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:53 AM on May 7, 2008

Oh, and for more inspiration, Domino magazine has a gallery of interior paint colors and palettes, with the paint color and brand of all the colors in the pictures.
posted by logic vs love at 12:56 AM on May 7, 2008

You could try splitting the walls vertically, so it's not the same colour all the way up. Generally you put a decorative railing (e.g. thin wood moulding) around the room half to two thirds of the way up and put a pattern or darker colour at the bottom and a plain lighter colour at the top. The divider is called a dado rail. How you actually divide it up depends on the proportions of your room but it can look really nice. Google images has a bunch of examples.

Alternatively a feature wall, i.e. one wall a different colour, can look really great. My parents house has a really rich dark aubergine purple used as feature walls in different rooms paired with a warm neutral elsewhere, and it gives that lush feeling you're going for without making the room too dark.

When my parents repainted their house they actually paid a professional to do a colour scheme for them. I think it was from the bog standard local paint and decorating type shop, nothing fancy and certainly not expensive, and it was very effective. The person came to their house for an hour or so, looked at the light and space, talked to them about their preferences and eventually left paint swatches with a list of which room each one should be used in. The conditions within your room make such a difference to how each type of paint will work so having someone knowledgeable take a look can really help. Maybe you could look into something similar? Repainting is expensive so you'll probably save money by being able to do it correctly the first time.
posted by shelleycat at 1:04 AM on May 7, 2008

Dove grey (as Ambrosia Voyeur mentioned) or a mushroom brown could work really well, with darker brown added in by your furniture and light fixtures, maybe? They're pretty sensual colours without actually being dark, which might be useful with your one window. (It's hard to know how the window really affects things without your location or the window's aspect, but you should definitely swatch your colours and examine them at different times of day both in the light from the window and in the shade.)

I must admit to not being a fan of the accent wall, possibly because of their ubiquity, and I think it'll be a long time before they shake off associations with daytime tv makeover shows.

With your blank walls, are you planning to leave them blank? Prints, paintings, shadowboxes or objects could all bring in the darker colours or an accent colour, and four walls only broken up once by the window could be pretty oppressive, regardless of the paint you choose.
posted by carbide at 2:25 AM on May 7, 2008

Benjamin Moore's Alexandria Beige.
posted by wafaa at 3:35 AM on May 7, 2008

My Kitchen is Benjamin Moore's Georgian Green. It really is a perfect green and I also get tons of compliments. My dining room is a rich, chocolate brown and people love that too. Can't remember the name but it is the color of a hershey bar. Duron's Silver Coffee Pot is another beautiful color. More of a lighter taupey beige, very rich and velvet-y. Don't be afreaid to try something bold, you just may love it and if not, it's easy and cheap to repaint. Have fun!
posted by pearlybob at 4:12 AM on May 7, 2008

Rich, dark purple—slightly brighter than eggplant, with tan/beige/sand accents.
posted by limeonaire at 7:05 AM on May 7, 2008

I painted our bedroom Behr's Brown Teepee. It's not as dark a brown as I expected (I was expecting milk chocolate, but it's more like chocolate milk), but it looks great and doesn't overwhelm the room. It looks great with white trim, dark brown furniture, and brown & blue accessories. I love love love love love the way it looks. But I don't have a picture.
posted by tastybrains at 7:06 AM on May 7, 2008

Smokey taupe (this one is Benjamin Moore). I have it on my 17ft. loft walls and love love love it. It's warm and has that "sensual vibe" you're looking for, but is not too dark.
posted by meerkatty at 7:18 AM on May 7, 2008

Response by poster: Carbide -- Unfortunately, I don't have decorations to fill up the top half of the walls. So, the top 5ft of all 4 walls will be blank. You describe my situation perfectly when you said, "four walls only broken up once by the window could oppressive." That's the word I was looking for.
posted by atmu at 9:30 AM on May 7, 2008

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