Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Renovation Diary: Finding the Right Accent Colors

 Choosing a backsplash is not recommended for the faint-hearted soul.
Last week, I'd brought two tile samples to the house.
At the store, the tile and granite looked compatible.
But the fading light wasn't flattering at Rattlebridge. 
I'd just about decided to paint the backsplash and choose the tile later--much later.
I painted a few sample boards and brought them to a construction meeting.
Because the kitchen was flooded with light, I tested the
tile samples one last time.

Sunlight was a game changer.
So, instead of painting the backsplash, I'm going with tile (after I get estimates).
But I'm going to add painted beadboard to the backs of the cabinets--the perfect
backdrop for Ironstone and white pottery.
I love the color contrast in a piece from Ballard Designs. My cabinets would be
the opposite--light exterior, darker interior.
I pulled out my sample boards and set them in the cabinets. Horizon Gray is a gray-green that brings out mossy tones in the granite. But the granite is horizontal and won't be all that visible. The paint seemed wonderfully complex, changing from gray to gray-green and back again.

Rockport Gray seemed a little dark, but it worked
with the brown/beige tones in the granite.I'm trying to imagine white Ironstone in the glass cabinets and a darker beadboard background.

Just for fun, I tried a sample of BM Prescott Green. 

The cabinet doors will be installed tomorrow,
and I'll see how the painted beadboard looks
behind the glass. I'll try to remember to bring a few white dishes, too.

BM Gray Owl (far right) was too light. 

I'm returning to the paint store tomorrow for more sample pots.
I've already tried BM Cashmere Gray (too blue).

I like the ceramic tile. It isn't stark white, won't fight the pattern in the granite, and, best of all, it's made in Tennessee. I'm pretty sure that the tile can be cut into 3 x 6 subways.

I like the marble, too. It is shot through with warm streaks, but
they probably won't show up from a distance.
I will have stuff on the counters, such as our hardworking espresso machine and other
items. I can definitely see a topiary next to the window.

I'm returning to the Ben Moore store tomorrow to get more samples.
My GC is cutting beadboard to fit the cabinets (only the ones with glass).
He gave me a few slabs so I can paint them.I'm going to try several colors, tinkering with the formulas, if necessary.
So far, I've found BM Sandy Hook Gray is a lighter version of Rockport.
Galveston Gray will probably be too dark. And I've already nixed Gray Owl (though Bandy
liked it for his room). Ballet White and Winds Breath may work if the formulas are darkened.
Choosing paint is a daunting task. It's difficult to select a color from memory or photograph. You have to be in the room. Finding the right color comes down to sunlight, luck, and a room's unique magic.
Hope everyone is staying warm and stress-free during the mad holiday dash.
Thank you for visiting Rattlebridge!

Pin It

Social Bookmarking


  1. You do amazing work, Michael! I love to see where this is going! Keep up the good work!



  2. It's all very exciting - but if my monitor is right I would say that Rockford grey is the one. Good luck with your decisions - all so beautiful you really cannot go wrong.

    Happy holidays to you.

  3. I know this is both exciting and frustrating. I know you'll make this kitchen and the whole house look fabulous.

  4. This is so exciting - and I am very envious ! Your kitchen is going to be outstanding, and when your completely finished, you must post all your resources, colors etc..... Please !! If you want my humble advice, you have so much wonderful light in your kitchen, and a beautiful light granite, so I think with the white cabinets, that you can use a deeper color gray - I do like the Rockport Gray - especially when you consider also that you will be also putting white dishware in front of it...This kitchen is amazing - can't wait to see the finished product......!

  5. It's fun to see the progress, Michael Lee. I do like the Rockport Gray, as it's not too dark, yet gives a nice contrast. The BM camouflage, I do remember the owner of a BM store tell me that a decorator loved that color as it went with everything. I look forward to seeing It all finished. I know you do, too!!!

  6. Love your granite! What is the name of it? Thanks

  7. You are doing the right thing though by purchasing sample pots and trying them first. I tell all of our clients that they should do this. Once they make the commitment for a color it's costly to have painters paint again if they aren't happy with their initial selection. Have you considered chalk paint and maybe a custom blend of your own?

  8. The granite is magnificent…I do not envy you with choosing the color…I am always second guessing myself…but I know you will end up with the perfect color!…Your kitchen is going to be one that everyone dreams of…so elegant without being pretentious...

  9. What color did you use on the walls and trim for your family room with the fireplace? I am looking to repaint the interior of my house and like the light neutral colors in that room! Your home is so beautiful!!! Great job with the renovations.

    1. Thank you! BM Ballet White (darkened 1/4) went on the walls (eggshell finish), and BM Simply White (satin finish) was the trim.