my home – the paint colors

by | Jan 20, 2014 | Decorating, My House | 35 comments

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I have recently received a lot of e-mails and comments asking for the name of the paint colors I use in my home, so I thought I would share them in a post.  (I’ve also been asked how I hang my plates, so that post is coming up.)

Do you remember the era when everyone had a yellow kitchen, red dining room and beige family room?  Well, just about everyone I knew did!  Anyway, during that era, Jeff and I bought our first home – an 1100 square foot, two story condo.  I had been dreaming about paint colors the entire time we rented and lived with white white walls.  I also spent most of my childhood in military housing (with white walls) and with a mom who was a little scared of color (which meant white walls.)  She has since gotten more daring with “accent walls” and even beiges!  Go, mom!

So, when we moved into that small condo, I was ready for some color. I painted every single surface in that place except for the carpet.  The ceilings, cabinets, fixtures, walls, railings, banisters, trim, everything.  I chose strong colors like Blue Stone by Eddie Bauer Home, Ink by Martha Stewart and Red Bay by Sherwin Williams.  When we moved to our home in PA about seven years ago, I carried a lot of those colors with me, but over the years I’ve repainted each room in softer shades (some multiple times!)  I’ve learned that with as often as I like to change things up, it’s nice to have a neutral backdrop.  Neutral doesn’t always mean white.  In the case of my house, neutral is whites, creams and blues.

So, these are the colors that we’ve had for about three years, which is really long for me!

The living and dining rooms are connected, so I painted them in the same color – Aria Ivory by Sherwin Williams.  It’s a soft cream color, but it doesn’t look yellowish.  It plays well with warm and cool colors and looks lovely against a bright white trim.  It is a retired color, so it’s not in their paint deck and you have to ask for it by name.

 The home office is painted in Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore.  I’ve seen this color all over blog land lately and there’s good reason for it.  It’s a pretty, cool neutral that’s a bit of a chameleon color.  It looks blue sometimes, gray sometimes, a little warmer sometimes.  I like it in a room that transitions from one room to another, because it’s soft without being blah.

The color in the family room and kitchen is definitely my favorite.  It’s Glass Slipper by Benjamin Moore.  It’s a very cool, pale blue that looks almost white in the can, but it shows nicely on the wall, especially against the crisp white cabinets, ceiling and trim.

The half bath is also painted in Gray Owl.

The master bedroom and bath are painted in Simply White by Benjamin Moore.  I would describe it as a slightly creamy white that provides a subtle contrast against bright white trim.

(This is an older picture of the master bedroom.  There’s a different rug in there now, since that one is in the home office.  Just to clarify!)  I’ve also been asked about the “wallpaper” in the master bedroom.  That’s actually fabric that was starched to the wall.  You can see a link to the tutorial and information about the fabric HERE.

For the trim in the house, it is all painted in “off the shelf” bright white by Benjamin Moore.  I just love how bright white frames out soft colors on the wall.  This is also what we used on the kitchen cabinets and all of the built-ins in the master bathroom, home office and half bath.

I’m planning to keep things as they are for a while, but I have been thinking about how pretty it would be to have a soft blue gray trim with white walls.  Yummy!  I might try that in the guest room, which is due for a paint job or the upstairs bathroom.  We’ll see…

The nice thing about paint is that it’s just paint and it can always be changed.


  1. Teresa Fredenburg

    Wow you must have read my mind, I was searching all over your blog today to try to find what paint colors you used! I gave up and just went to Home Depot and winged it. I had a feeling I should have waited and just asked you because I think I made another wrong paint purchase ugh! So I am happy that you did this post, I only bought one gallon so I’ll just use that mistake paint for a primer lol. Oh Marion, your link on FB links to a picture not to your blog, just wanted to tell you that so you could change it. Thinking of you and your family and holding you all up in prayer.

  2. Mary Deckert

    I’d love to see your stenciled stair risers! I caught just a glimpse in the photo of your home office. Have you ever shown your stairs? They look really pretty!

  3. Lisa

    Beautiful walls. Beautiful rooms. It’s funny because I thought all your rooms were the same. White. The colors must be really subtle shades or they don’t show as color in photographs. Anyway, it’s beautiful. I love your style.

  4. Gail

    Marion, thanks for sharing! Everything you do is lovely. 🙂 I love all the soft colors in your home and will be coming back to this post when we move into our first home! 🙂 Off topic, I had a question- I noticed you don’t really decorate with many lamps in your living spaces. Is there a reason for this or just personal preference? I love the soft glow of lamps at night and always try and avoid the “loud” overhead lights..but to each his own! Just wondered what your thoughts were on lamps. 🙂 Thanks! -Gail

  5. Karen

    Where can I get the rug in your home office? Thx!

  6. Carol S

    Marian – love everything about you and your blog! Just an FYI that the link to the fabric wall tutorial doesn’t actually take you to the tutorial but to the post on the day you received the fabric. Must be a glitch, but I thought you should know.

    Thank you for what you do and how you do it!

  7. Annette

    I just want to leave a message to let you know that I so look forward to your daily posts. I, too, am a lover of decorating, painting, fabric, and all things about “home” and family. Your style is inspiring and I am always impressed by how you change things so frequently to reflect your evolving home! Keep up the fantastic work you do! I’ve recommended your blog to some ladies in my church because I just know they will enjoy it as much as I do!

  8. Heather

    I just ADORE your style!! I’ve been searching and searching for a rug similar to the one that you’ve now moved from your bedroom to the office…I’m assuming it’s a vintage find, correct? Also, I heard this very promising story about Google now working on a way to have a contact lens monitor one’s glucose level so that finger sticks will become obsolete…thought this was a hopeful story in light of the recent diagnosis in your family.

    Take care,

  9. Christina

    Your home is very beautiful….. where oh where did you get those doors that you have hanging on the wall in your dining room with the wreaths?

  10. Niki

    I love these paint colors! Your house is adorable and yet attainable as well. I just purchased your book and have almost finished it, which is a challenge in itself. Not only are the pictures great, but the writing flows in a way to keep me interested. Most decor books just end up getting flipped through for pictures and then put on the shelf, but this one is a resource. Thank you for all you do with this blog and how you realize sometimes these thing are bigger than us and God uses us in little ways like this to inspire more to be kind.

  11. Gale

    Your home is beautiful. We bought our home a year ago and have decided to paint out the wood on the walks and trim. Definitely going in the white direction! Thank you for the ideas.

  12. maggie

    The red dining rooms….auuughhhh! I have just recently been doing white walls when I re-paint. So much more fresh and clean feeling. My daughter tells me it’s the ‘color of defeat’!
    😀 She’s a hoot.

    <3 Maggie

  13. Becky

    Hi there! Thank you for your generous and sharing spirit. My ceiling fan just died (yippee because I hated it). Can you tell me about the ceiling fans in the photo?

  14. Catherine

    Always love to see your posts! I notice you only have overhead lights on the ceiling fans in your family room. I struggle with lighting in my family room because the furniture is away from the wall (similar to yours). Lamps for reading are problematic because of the cords ( we even have outlets in the floor). Do you have a problem with lighting in your family room or are the overheads enough?

  15. Shaleeta

    Awesome! I made some paint errors on my first home, but it’s ‘okay’. I meant to have my walla a medium-light grey with blue undertones, and ended up with baby blue. Oops! I might just go to Grey Owl next time, so pretty!

  16. Michelle Clark

    I see the leather sofa! I think that it is an important piece that grounds the room quite beautifully! I believe in having one major piece of good strength in each room, or section, when possible! Thanks! MC

  17. Mary

    So pretty…are your wood floors 2 different colors? Looks like the living/dining room floors are darker than the family room. We’re trying to figure out if we have to replace all of the floors downstairs to get a cohesive look or can we save a little bit of money?

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      I have a lot of different flooring going on in my house! We have dark stained oak in the front on the first floor, white faux-marble tile in the kitchen (which is between the new and old flooring) and new hickory engineered hardwood. I would’ve loved to match the old part of the house, but my husband didn’t want to deal with all of the refinishing.

  18. Jelena

    Marian, I agree that neutral colors are a good backdrop for decor changes and experiments. When we first moved into our current house, walls in the bedroom were painted a dark tan, and the room we use as our home office was painted a drab, medium grey. In addition to being “unfriendly” to most common furniture colors, this paint on the walls made the rooms seem even smaller than their actual size. Needless to say, one of the first things I did was to repaint the walls in more neutral colors – a creamy color for the bedroom, and a neutral, light, misty grey for the office.

  19. Harriett

    Thanks for this great source material about the paints. Are you partial to a certain finish for the walls? And I have to ditto Mary above ~ more about the peek-a-boo stair risers!

  20. Danielle

    LOVE all your colors! I’m actually thinking of using glass slipper in our guestroom which is currently an electric blue. Do you think a white stencil will show up against this color?

  21. Elle

    Great source for invisible adhesive plate hangers is I’ve used them for years and they work great!

  22. Laura

    Thanks for all of your decorating and color ideas! I’m not sure if this comment is entering me in your giveaway, but hopefully it is! Love all your color ideas–just wrote them down on a sticky note to take with me to the local hardware store. We’re Benjamin Moore paint fans, too!

  23. Tami B.

    I had been wondering what paint colors you’d chosen! What a timely post! Love your home. So classy and comfy. Side note: My hubby was out in our back woods digging around in the soil and unearthed the most gorgeous chandy. It’s in pieces and it needs to be re-wired, but the detailing is beautiful. Then I read this post this morning and noticed that you have the very same chandy! Do you know anything about re-wiring these things? I thought about going onto YouTube….

  24. Marmel

    The colors you chose for your home are very nice. I was wondering if you ever tried the Homestead House modern paints? I am forever painting something, I think I drive my hub nuts but lets face it paint really freshens everything up.

  25. BrocanteuseRose

    I am getting into neutrals, with accent colors, so soothing. I love the pops of blue on your neutral backgrounds.

  26. Pam

    This post really had me laughing. We are a retired Air Force family and I swore all 19 years that when we retired I would have no vanilla white walls again, ever! When we bought our first home we let our teenage children pick the colors for their rooms. Our daughter chose Christmas green and our son chose black (we talked him into fire engine red instead). Ugh! Well we promised them. Funny thing is our daughter painted her sons room the same green years later. I love your house, it is beautiful.

  27. Jori Calvert

    I’ve either had a piece of furniture or want now that you’ve inspired me to rethink how i’m going to decorate my next project..Thank’s!

  28. Michelle

    Question: what did your husband use at the bottom of the master bath built ins to disguise the radiator? I was thinking of using that to make new covers for our air returns, you know, so that functional thing isn’t so ugly anymore. It seems like you said a while ago, I just can’t seem to remember or find where you said. Thank you!!!

  29. Kellie

    What is the creamy color in your guest bedroom?

  30. Ira

    This is exactly what Google and the other engines look for in a site.
    They would read whatever it is in the blog that interests them.

  31. Wendy

    What a beautiful home! Thanks for sharing the pics and paint colors. I love the shot of your dining room, it’s my fav.

  32. Nicole

    Your home is beautiful! I’m in love with the chair that is in the room next to your staircase… It’s the one sitting in front of a book shelf… It has a darker grey fabric on the seat and lighter fabric on the sides… Hope this makes sense. It’s gorgeous! Where did you get it??

  33. mythicpaint1

    I like your post.


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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