12 Paint Colors We’ve Tested and Loved!

Paint color ideas

Anytime we decide to repaint a room, before any excitement can set in, there’s always the dreaded task of picking a paint color. How’s anyone supposed to make a selection when there are thousands upon thousands of options out there? Couple that with the fact that paint can look completely different from a paint chip once you finally get it up on the wall. Whew, we’re shaking in our boots just thinking about it!

To take some of the guesswork out of the process, we polled our most stylish employees to find out what colors they used in their home and love! Of course we still recommend painting a swatch for yourself before making your final decisions, but at least this will help you narrow down the field!

For more paint color ideas, see what shades we’ve used in our recent catalogs for inspiration!

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Sue Preece

    February 9, 2016

    Help!! We are building a house & am looking for a light to medium grey with a HINT of a blue undertone (I do not want blue). Our house will be south facing, however, we don’t have many windows. I want to paint the main part of our house (entrance, living room, dining room, kitchen, hallways & stairs) all the same color.

    I will be painting our master bedroom slightly darker than the main house color & our 2 piece guest bathroom an even darker version of the main house color. Our en-suite will be painted a lighter shade of the main house color. The laundry room & upstairs bedrooms & bathroom will probably be the same color as my en-suite (my husband wants me to keep the number of colors to 3 or 4 in total, to help keep the costs of painting down). So, once I have my main house color, I will be able to figure out the rest of the house.

    FYI – The flooring in the main part of the house will be a medium/dark hand scraped wide plank hardwood. The cabinetry in the kitchen & bathrooms will be white shaker. White subway tiles for the kitchen back-splash & honed marble like porcelain floor & wall tiles in the en-suite.

    I hope you are still awake…LOL!!
    Thanks for your help!!

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      February 9, 2016

      Picking paint colors is extremely difficult. We understand. Unfortunately, there’s really no way for us to help without being able to see the color on the walls in your home. We suggest going to the paint store and picking 4-5 testers which you can paint swatches on the walls. This is really the only way to know whether the color will have the right amount of color with those blue undertones you’re looking for. Another suggestion, once you find the best paint color for your mail house, instead of picking another color from the same paint chip, instead have the paint store darken the color by 50 or 75%. This way it’s the same just slightly darker. The colors on the chip actually aren’t the same, they’re all totally different formulas. You can do the same for your bathroom color, just have them lighten your main color by 50%.
      Best of luck!

  2. Reply


    January 6, 2016

    Hi, I’m having a hard time picking out a paint color for my kitchen. I have hickory cabinets, they are more traditional with a honey finish then rustic. currently my walls are Meadow by Eddie Bauer. Two years ago we had our foyer painted Bennington Gray By BM. Although I kind of regret this because I see that it is kind of out of style now, and a lot of people are going with grays. I don’t have the money to change it. It is the only room that I could not paint myself. I want my colors to flow. do you have any suggestions of colors that would go with both the hickory and Bennington gray. All my trim and ceilings will be White dove by BM.

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 15, 2016


      I wouldn’t worry about what is ‘out of style.’ Pick colors that YOU like! In terms of coordinating with your Bennington Gray foyer, we would suggest lighter neutrals in the whites and grays family that have some yellow/taupe undertones. Suggesting specific colors is tricky because we don’t know the amount of light your kitchen gets and other factors that could change the way a paint color reads in your space.

      Our best suggestion would be to go to your paint store, find some swatches you like and buy testers of those colors. Paint your swatches in your kitchen. Unfortunately this is really the only way to get a good idea of how these colors will work in your space!

      Best of luck!

  3. Reply


    February 16, 2015

    the house I am moving into has beige carpeting.i have white furniture and hoping to fine a grey paint but nothing with a blue base. can you help me

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      February 27, 2015

      Hi Linda,
      Thanks for your comment. Paint colors are so tricky, we understand! Plus, colors can be very different from space to space based on how much light your room gets and what direction the exposure is coming from. Rather than suggesting some colors for you, we recommend going to your paint store and picking 5 or 6 paint samples and trying them on your wall at home. That way, you’ll be able to get a feel for which shades with be a true gray in your space and you can eliminate anything that looks to blue.
      We hope that helps! Best of luck!
      The How to Decorate Team

  4. Reply

    Joan Padovano

    October 11, 2014

    I have a dark green striped convertible sofa which I need to keep (it’s in perfect condition). I am replacing the carpeting, (possibly hard wood)reprinting, and window coverings. The window faces the street, so privacy is an issue. I prefer contemporary furnishings. I was thinking about a set of built ins to include a desk, file space, and much storage. Do you have any suggestions? Room is about 12×12 with one wall a double closet.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      November 5, 2014

      Hi Joan,
      Thanks for your comment. We actually have a design team that can help you with your space. It’s a free service that we offer to all of our customers. Use this form to submit some photos, and our design team will reach out to you with suggestions. We look forward to helping you with your space.
      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team

  5. Reply

    Kathi Kirk

    October 1, 2014

    Could I send a couple of photos of my living room & measurements of the room & you help me with placing furniture in the room? It is a small space & I’m at wits trying to solve my dilemma…

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      October 2, 2014

      Hi Kathi,
      We would love to help you with your home. You can send in your dilemma here. Looking forward to helping you!
      The How to Decorate Team

  6. Reply

    Carol Knutsen

    September 20, 2014

    Are you able to give paint color advice to me if I send a couple of photos? I have a dilemma with a long room, living room windows on one end, and the other end is dark into a kitchen. Do you have suggestions?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      September 22, 2014

      Hi Carol,

      We would be happy to give you some paint color advice! We actually have an entire team dedicated to helping customers solve problems in there home. It’s a free service! Simply, send in your dilemma and a few photos using this form, and our Design Solutions team will reach out to you!

      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team