The red room

Growing up I always thought to myself, “When I have my own house, I will paint one of the rooms red.”

When Matt and I bought our first house, two of the rooms were painted red. We repainted one, but kept the other.

By the time we moved, I was so tired of that red room.

Red room

As I’m gearing up to paint the dining room, one of the colours on my list is chocolate brown. I think it’s a holdover from our first house where top on my list to replace the red was chocolate brown.

However, I’ve learned since moving here that I don’t love strong wall colours. I get tired of them quickly. I don’t feel as relaxed in a vibrantly coloured room as I do in a subtle one.

For example, our bedroom. I painted it trendy Hale Navy four years ago (holy moly how is it already four years ago?). It looks awesome. But I don’t know that I love it and sometimes I think I’m ready for a change.

Navy blue and white master bedroom

In contrast, the living room, hallway and kitchen are all a light greige (Abalone from Benjamin Moore mixed at 75% intensity). I love this area of our house. I spend most of my time in these rooms and I always feel very comfortable.

Hallway painted Benjamin Moore Abalone

Greige may be boring and a non-colour, but it works for me. I’m likely never going to be a white walls person. They look nice on Pinterest, but they’re not something I want to live with.

I’ve learned I need a bit of colour. But not too much.

So as I’m working on the dining room, I’m not thinking chocolate brown any more. I’ve decided I’m going to stick with my tried and true Abalone. Our dining-living room is open concept enough that picking the same colour makes sense, and more importantly it’s a colour that works for me.

Do you have a tried-and-true paint colour? Are you a fan of vibrant rooms, or do you prefer subdued colours? Who’s on team white? Do you have any painting regrets?

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5 thoughts on “The red room

  1. Our kitchen is a gorgeous intense dark red. It really is a beautiful color and looks really nice with our black counter tops. In the winter it’s nice and cozy but every spring I have the urge to paint it something light and airy so I totally understand where you’re coming from. I think most of my paint choices in the future will be light neutrals and use curtains and pillows for my color!

    • Paint is such a personal thing. I have a friend who had the same red room ambition and loves it. When she moved, she painted her living room the exact same shade of red that she’d had in her last house.

      You make a good point that paint or how you feel about a room can change with the season too.

  2. I’m with you! I feel the same. Our go-to colour in recent years is pale grey. I absolutely love it, it’s light and elegant and everything looks good against it. I do like your navy bedroom though. Actually I like all your room colours. Ellie’s room is quite a strong colour – how do you feel about it?
    We’re planning to do our super-strong-yellow kitchen in white, but it’s only the top part of some of the walls. There’s a bright and busy wallpaper which I actually like on parts of the walls, so I’m leaving it. We’ll see how it goes with the white. I’ve never had white walls before and usually I find the thought of them a bit stark. (Not in other’s homes necessarily. But in mine.) I agree that carrying the greige through the dining room will look good in the connected spaces.

    • I was thinking of Ellie’s turquoise. I love that room. Maybe I like that it feels more bright while the navy is a bit dark? Also, I don’t sleep in Ellie’s room (doze, occasionally, but not sleep). 🙂

      I like the sound of mixing white with bright and busy. On its own it’s not enough for me usually… or a space looks unfinished like it’s only primed!

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