The Great Master Suite Color Debate

The Great Master Suite Color Debate

I have to start this off with two confessions. 1.) I'm coming off of a 10 hour painting marathon, which means I've been breathing more toxic fumes than oxygen for most of the day and probably you shouldn't take anything I say too seriously. Also, 2.) Hi... I'm Kit from DIYdiva.net, and my introductions should almost always be prefaced with a disclaimer.

Curbly has generously opened their doors and invited me to come play over here for the week, and I am thrilled. (Not just because half of my brain cells are throwing a VOC party right now, I swear.) A few months ago I spent a good portion of an afternoon wedged under a sink cabinet with Curbly's own favorite Modhomeecteacherso I already feel like part of the family.

I'm currently at the tail end of a DIY project that required living in a garage for the last ten months and essentially consisted of tearing down every wall in my house and then rebuilding them + 900 sq ft. Yeah. It's been a bit of an adventure. So while I'm visiting I thought I'd share some of the projects I'm working on to get the master bedroom habitable. Choosing just the right color for any given space gives me a feeling of panic that reaches right down to the depths of my soul.

On second thought... would anyone like a tutorial on hanging drywall? No? Well, face your fears and all that. Let's talk about paint colors.

So this is a picture of the "magic spot" in my living room where you can literally see seven of the ten rooms in the house without turning your head:

created at: 02/18/2011

My previous house was ninety years old and had little, closed off rooms, and picking my color scheme went something like this, "Hmmm, what color do I like today? Red? Red it is, I'll take two gallons." So basically walking through the house was like walking through an extra large box of Crayola's 64 colors. Whether or not that color picking theory worked is up for debate, but what's certain is that this new open floor plan I'm dealing with requires a bit more, uh, strategy.

 I started by picking out a "palette" of seventeen colors... not the exact colors I was planning to use, just colors I liked that may or may not go together to give me somewhere to start. Then,  to help organize it into something that would actually work in the house, I used this fun little trick of laying them out on the floor plan.

created at: 02/18/2011


I did it virtually, but the part of me that really likes to make messes thinks that this would be more fun with an actual blueprint and a stack of paint swatches spread out on the floor. Even though every time I type the word "paint swatch" my left eye starts to twitch.


Which brings me to the enigma of the master bedroom/master bathroom color combo. There are people who can speak to this with authority and they are the same people who can pick out four color samples in 15 minutes, paint them all on the wall, pick a winner, and have their room finished in a day.

I, well...

created at: 02/18/2011


So, lets just say that I am not one of those people. This picture is the culmination of about 4 days of hectic lunch-hour trips to the paint store for color samples. But even though I was about to suffocate under the oppressive weight of all of those paint swatches (twitch) the logical part of my brain was still getting enough oxygen to narrow my options for the bed/bath combo down to:

  1. Matchy-Matchy: Go for the same color on the walls of both rooms.
  2. Keep It In The Family: Pick a lighter and darker version of the same shade from a single swatch.
  3. Same-But-Different: Go with complimentary colors that are the same intensity
  4. Plan B: Paint everything white, pretend I've died and gone to heaven.

Because as a general rule I'm not very matchy-machy, and I did want the rooms to feel like separate spaces, I nixed the first option. Finding two colors of equal intensity that looked right together for the same-but-different route felt like I was flirting with a case of hives, so I finally landed on these two Benjamin Moore colors from the same swatch:


created at: 02/18/2011

(That is Ozark Shadows and Galveston Gray, if you're interested.)

Conventional wisdom would say to put the lighter shade in the smaller room, but I live in a garage and I keep two miniature donkeys as pets (no joke) so why start being conventional now?

Here's how they look on the walls: 

created at: 02/18/2011

I know that's not the usual beautiful "after" shot that one might expect, but just getting those colors on the walls was a pretty big accomplishment. And we're still very much in progress, as you can see here, so those pretty polished after shots will be a while. 

I'm staunchly opposed to repainting either of those rooms, but I'd still love to hear what you guys think about adjoined bed/bath colors. Which way would you go? Same color in both? Lighter in the bath? 

P.S. Paint was fun and all, but tomorrow I'm totally writing about something with powertools (and a better "after" shot)

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elseajane on Feb 22, 2011:

Nice to have you on Curbly for the week. I have those same colors going in my master paired with deep purple. (see above post). I used the darker of the two on my ceiling to help hide all the uneveness and lighter on the walls, my trim is done in charcoal (almost black) with a purply undertone to it. I have done a couple of accent walls in pages from old books that brings a nice creamy tan and the black letters on the pages, well I like it. It's so much a work in progress, but still I'm getting there. I'ld go with the darker in the bath, but I'm a little odd too. P.S. Bring on the power tools!

ModHomeEcTeacher on Feb 21, 2011:

And I know you know how to install faucets!

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