Color Me Not Done


When I was a little girl, the homes I lived in with my parents always had white walls. My father’s theory was that you never decorated your house in a way that might put off potential buyers.

My father was always prepared to put the house on sale. :wall:

I never subscribed to this theory and as soon as we bought our first house, I started painting. I thought our house in Texas was beautiful–with painstakingly sponge-painted walls in the kitchen and dining room, and carefully coordinated colors in every other room. The people who bought it promptly painted the entire house white. So maybe my dad was right and that’s what most people want. We moved into our new house in North Carolina–and all the walls were white. I’m working on what I figure is probably a five-year decorating plan to wipe out the white. The dining room is a gorgeous deep red now–the room is not quite finished since I still need to hang things on the wall and do something about window coverings. (Do I? I keep thinking that window looks just fine with NO window treatment, but yet it seems unfinished…..)

I finished painting my living room this weekend. See that big space over the couch? I can’t figure out what to put there. I tried framed photographs, but they didn’t look quite right. When we moved in, there were ugly green drapes on the windows, the walls were white, and the wainscoting was a dark wood stain. I painted the wainscoting white to lighten up the room and used a pretty Buttercup color on the walls. Yes, the walls match my cat. He looks really good sprawled out in there. :heart:

I painted the front hall the other day, but I don’t like the furniture in there. I keep looking and looking, but I can’t find the right thing. I used a pretty neutral sand color on the walls because it coordinates with the unfinished wallpaper I’m putting up in the kitchen. I’m still waiting for the wallpaper to leap onto the walls all by itself.

I’m taking the sand color all the way up the stairs and down the very long upstairs hallway. See where I stopped? Yeah, that’s where it got hard, LOL. How am I supposed to get to the ceiling edge going up the stairs when you can’t set a ladder on stairs? I don’t know but I’ve promised my family that when I get back from Reno I will risk life and limb getting the rest of the stairway painted. Then on to the kids’ rooms–my daughter’s room is already painted red. My office is purple (but only half-finished) and the boys have yet to pick their colors. There’s also a big den upstairs and a third-story office for my husband. Downstairs, there’s still the master bedroom, but the color is still under debate. I want a soft, sagey green. My husband hates green. And then there are the bathrooms….

I’m not sure five years is long enough for this plan. :fryingpan:

So what about you? Are the rooms in your house a million different colors, or do you stick with white?


  1. Toni Anderson says:

    I love color!!

    Downstairs our house is yellow, blue and citrine (?I believe N. Americans call it–Brits call it lime green:???:)
    Upstairs is a bit of a disaster. It would have bee various shades of blue with a deep red and grey bathroom but I went for this vile Barbie pink in the hallway that my daughter loves :yuck: DH says it’ll be at least a year before we paint it out 😐

    Love the house Suzanne!!

  2. mary beth says:

    I love color, but my walls are white. I did get the living room painted a soft brown, but that’s all. I have grand ideas, but I never do them. Maybe one day. πŸ™‚

  3. Rene says:

    When I married my dh he was Mr. White Walls. I had to fight to have one room painted an ice blue and I put wallpaper on the walls of two rooms. Jump up 9 years and we move into our new house. HOLY COW!! DH went nuts with paint. Lowe’s has those great little combo cards that shows what certain colors look like together. Hubby totally went crazy with those things. Every room is a different color in my house. I have big house, so it can handle all the color changes. We are now discussing exterior colors and he is leaning towards some really bold colors. I keep trying rein him in because it is a Spanish-style home so there are only so many colors we can use.

    I LOVE that red in your dining room. What a beautiful, rich color.

  4. Estella Kissell says:

    We just finished paneling the dining a pale grey and painted the living room and hall a light, light green. the bedroom will be pale blue and the spare bedroom a light lavender–this is my computer room, so I want something I like:grin:

  5. Amy K. says:

    No white here! We moved into a brand new house a year ago and I went to town. :hyper: My office is purple too. Our bedroom is a deep blue, boys rooms–one blue and one khaki, family room/kitchen is maize, dining room is olive, living room is khaki and my husband’s office is some kind of gold-yellow something. The only room besides bathrooms I haven’t painted is the toy room in the basement, and I do have plans for it. Just no energy!

    My dad just doesn’t get the color thing either. lol He keeps saying, you had brand new paint on there, why are you redoing it? :fryingpan:

  6. Leanna says:

    Suzanne, I love color too! My husband use to prefer white walls, but he’s coming around. I’ve painted the dining room and wallpapered it; also my husband painted the living room a kind of magenta.
    A long time ago someone asked me some questions that would reveal what I really felt about certain things. Like, what’s your favorite body of water? It was supposed to reveal what you felt about sex. So if you said your favorite water was in a teaspoon, well that would be totally different than if you said you loved the ocean with all it’s wildness and movement.
    Another question was how would you feel if you were in a completely white room, no windows or doors. I said, I’d want to redecorate. LOL! The completely white room is supposed to represent ‘death’ and how you feel about it. Hmmmmm…..
    Aren’t I chatty today? πŸ™‚

  7. Joely says:

    Every wall in our house is white except for the oldest monster’s room. She picked out a lovely Pepto-Bismal pink. :sick: It glows clear out into the hallway and living room on these long summer days/evenings.

    After that fiasco, we haven’t dared paint any of the other rooms.

  8. Mary Stella says:

    My house is a modular that was my mother’s winter home. She never cared much about interior decorating too much with it and left the walls in the original light-paneling. When I moved here, I wanted to ‘open up the look’ of the rooms, so I had the walls painted a shade off of white, ripped out the berber carpeting and put in good quality fake wood flooring. I sometimes wish that I hadn’t done white. On the other hand, I brought in a lot of color with the Oriental-style rugs, paintings on the walls and window treatments. In that case, the white made a great backdrop for everything. When I finally get around to redoing my bedroom, I’m going to paint the walls something other than white — maybe delicate light violet.

    Suzanne — you can rent a ladder that’s designed to be used on stairs.

  9. Robyn says:

    I love your house Suzanne and your sense of adventure. We have off white walls and the color comes in the form of accessories – pillows, curtains, pictures, etc. We did, however, paint our kitchen cabinets in 2 tones-the background one color and the doors another(darker) color.:wave:

  10. Peggie says:

    I love the colors in your house Suzanne.
    My house is full of bold colors and I love it. I recently painted my livingroom ‘sizzle’ which is a deep orange and I love it!
    My litchen is deep blue and strong yellow.
    The only room in my house with out color is my bathroom and I’m going to change that soon. πŸ˜†

  11. Suzanne says:

    Leanna, ooh, that’s spooky about white walls representing death! Ack!!

    Mary, a ladder for stairs?! Oooh. But somehow that sounds so scary, LOL.

    My daughter’s room in our old house was pink. I was surprised when she chose red here.

  12. Kelly says:

    Sad to say ours are white. I tried to do the bathroom, but it just didn’t turn out as wonderfully as yours. My color is all in my pillows, drapes, and throw rugs.

    You’re doing great on your 5 year plan!

  13. Jill says:

    I’m in the middle of construction. I don’t even have walls …

  14. Melissa Marsh says:

    Ooh, your house looks beautiful! I love color, too. But right now, I haven’t painted ANY rooms in our house. I’d like to do something in my daughter’s room, except she’s never IN her room – it’s pretty much storage for everything. My living room walls are gold-colored with some kind of sponging technique that the previous owners did. Kitchen is white, but I did put up some blue wallpaper border because I like blue and white together. Bathroom is white (ugh) and our bedroom is rather…um…DULL. We want to sell this house and buy another in a few years, so I think I’ll have to paint it sometime soon.

  15. Melissa says:

    We rent and are stuck with white. :yuck:

  16. Jennifer says:

    I’m a renter with white walls and beige carpet. Blah. You could wear stilts for the painting. πŸ˜›

  17. Mary says:

    I’m a white wall girl because I love that cool Mediteranean look–bright white walls and cool colors with dark iron and soft curtains.

    Your colors are great.

  18. Saundra M says:

    Suzanne, you have a beautiful home. When I was married to my ex (25 yrs), we owned our home and it was full of color. My touches were all over that house and I was totally into country decorating. Now my DH gets transferred every one to three years and we rent. All white walls and not allowed to paint. Plus my heart is just not into it like it used to be.
    Just keep looking for that perfect hall furniture and something for over the sofa. Don’t settle, you’ll know its perfect when you find it, and I hope you’ll show it to us then. πŸ™‚

  19. Juanita Stender says:

    Wow Suzanne your house looks good. I am not much of a risk taker and my husband was much older so my home has a slight off white color on the walls. When ever I get around to redoing my walls – maybe I will breakout. I always loved the green walls of TV’s Murphy Brown’s home.:mrgreen:

  20. Steph T. says:

    We go for the soothing beige and gray colors here (in fact, I think our bedroom is that sand color you’ve got in the hallway) – and my office is red…but I can honestly say we don’t have any white walls.

    But, like Jill, I’m soon not going to have many walls standing.:hissyfit:

  21. Maureen says:

    I like color also. Your house is great. You sound like my mother with the curtains. She moved to a mountain top with gorgeous views, tried to live without curtains and then couldn’t.

  22. Marcy says:

    Your home is wonderful, Suzanne! I was going to mention the ladder for stairs, too. The legs can be put at different heights. Still sounds risky to me. πŸ˜•

    When we moved into our home I was 6 months pregnant with baby #1 and had baby #2 11 months after the first. (still not sure how that happened. 😳 ) Needless to say, I didn’t change the walls. LOL We have a brick Victorian with 11′ ceilings and hardwood floors. What wasn’t papered in sage green print was painted cream. The kitchen and lower bathroom were papered in small rust/blue prints which are much closer to something I’d pick out.


  23. Crystal* says:

    I started out with the white/tan motif. And then I began watching HGTV. What a difference in attitude. So, now I’m experimenting with colors, and I love it.
    We have lots of painting to do here. And now my middle chicken, who WANTED Pepto Bismol pink, decided she wants her walls a different color. SIGH

  24. Tori says:

    Suzanne, your house is beautiful! I love it! Our house has mostly white walls except for the smallest bedroom (which is peach) and my closet which is purple/dark lavender. πŸ™‚

  25. Beth C says:

    First of all, your house is so clean! No clutter! I’m soooo envious. Secondly, love the colors on your walls. Really rich and pretty. The dining room is just striking. As to my walls? All off white. Every last one. I’m dying for color OR wallpaper. But hubby likes the clean spacious look of white. Maybe in my next life I’ll have walls with color. :rolleyes:

  26. Kate says:

    damn. I’m too awe-struck by the pale carpeting. What do you do to your kids? Force them to take off their shoes? That wouldn’t work here–I have to lop off the boys’ feet.

    I have a blue dining room and a yellow kitchen. Then I ran out of steam and everything else is eggshell.

  27. Danica says:

    Suzanne, want to come to Colorado and do my house? :wigglebrow:

    Right now, our house is mostly white. I admit to being hopeless about color and design and fashion and all that stuff, so I’ve stuck with plain white. I did have the girls’ room done, it’s a really pale yellow on 2 walls, and then half of the yellow and half of the white with a winnie the pooh border separating the two. Dh surprised me during my first RWA conference, I came home to my bedroom painted a pretty sage green with white trim, but he ran out of paint and it’s got some spots that need touching up.

    I’ve thought about doing my family room in that sand color, but since I want a new house, my mom, who’s a realtor, said to leave it white. People prefer to buy houses with white walls so they can do their own thing to it.

    Oh,and red dining rooms… a friend of mine has one, and I’ve always admired it. But then I was reading in a feng shui thing that red makes people hungrier. Interesting, huh?

    Anyway, as soon as that man buys me a new house, you’re invited to come stay with us, help me pick out colors and then sit on the patio drinking fruity f*ckers (er, if I find a recipe) while DH does all the work. :bananadance:

  28. Suzanne says:

    Oh no. This is why I need to go on a diet. My dining room is RED!!!!:shocked: But I like the picture of my drinking on your patio and picking out colors while a man does all the work…..

    Kate, I do make my kids take their shoes off as soon as they come into the house. But I didn’t pick out this carpet and it is a pita! I have to have the carpet cleaner come out often!

  29. Lis says:

    Beautiful house Suzanne! Love the colors πŸ™‚ Especially the red dining room, very cozy!

    Pretty well all white walls here, though I did my best to cover all the wall paint in my bedroom with posters :bananadance: Though some day soon we will apparently have a blue kitchen and a nice soft sand color in the living room.

    For painting stairs like yours, you might want to try an ARTICULATING LADDER (sorry for the caps I grabbed it off a website) my dad has one, made painting the downstairs hall a lot easier. You can set it up like a scaffold and adjust it a bunch of ways.

  30. Kate Allan says:

    Colours! My flat was white when I bought it. Stark brillaint white. Too cold for me…. now it’s all browns, beiges, yellows and greens… my home.

  31. Ashley says:

    If we weren’t getting ready to sell our house, my walls would be varying shades of blue (office, sunroom, play room), key-west green (den), butter (kitchen), etc. But, since we want to sell and you have to have “neutral”, the den is now “linen” color. Everythnig else can just stay that way. πŸ™‚

  32. ruby55 says:

    Hmm, I must say I go for white, off-white, or since it was in the apt. when I moved in, one room is pale peach. Actually, my other two rooms were a bright, possibly barbie-pink which I had hastily and at great cost converted to white. I hate pink and nothing I have would have remotely suited it. My furniture is teak, greenish or grey and red.

    I love the colors you chose especially sand and buttercup yellow. Those would go well with my furniture. Since I had not only furniture to match but also paintings and other accessories, I went for the white. It’s much easier to accessorize though much more boring. But then, most of my walls are covered by bookshelves so not much white remains.

    My mother and sister together put up wallpaper in the biggest staircase in our house–where I lived before moving here. They had to accommodate the split level and used a stepladder with a plank from the middle level to the floor or bannister of the top level to do the highest part of the wall. Your highest point certainly is high. Maybe you could ask painters how the do that sort of thing.

    By the way, your dining room looks great. I love that rich red per se, though it wouldn’t go too well with anything I have. You’d probably have to put quite a large painting above the couch, maybe an elongated one though not as long as the couch of course. But that’s just my opinion.

  33. kacey says:

    Wow, this has been interesting reading everyone’s comments. I HATE white or beige walls. Hate them. I have lots of color in my house. And a red dining room…though I call it Merlot or Cabernet :mrgreen: or maybe I’m just needing a glass of wine about now…

  34. Gladys Paradowski says:

    Had to get my ID photo updated, so we spent a large part of the day at Ellington AFB, shopping at the BX and dining there.

    I laughed at your discussion of wall colors. When we moved into our house, every wall in the house was off-white. The only sign of color was the lower part of the kitchen wall was painted brown. All that white was dullsville no end. I started painting and using very bright colors. My front hall and dining room are antique gold, my living room orange, my son’s bedroom blue, both baths and master bedroom different shades of rust. Everyone who sees my house just raves about how pretty it is and yet, I’d bet, many aren’t brave enough to use such color. I once painted one bathroom bright red, then used black towels. The red walls, white fixtures and black towels were pretty. But that bathroom is now rust. I can’t imagine living in a house with all white walls. My living room furniture is cherry wood and upholstered with an Early American print containing orange. Goes so well with the walls that I can’t think of any other color to change the walls should I decide to repaint.

    Many people will only paint their walls white or off-white. Then they decide to hire a decorator and what does the decorator do? Immediately use bright colors. It livens up the place.

  35. Mechele Armstrong says:

    I like the colors. We are white walled mostly. The kidlets have yellow and a sky painted on one wall. The oldest wishes it were pink :wall:. Oh well.

  36. Teresa says:

    Lovely colors, Suzanne! I’m not really a painter. I get it everywhere. But we could use a little more color in our house.

  37. Suzanne says:

    Wow, what interesting houses so many of you have. I would love to see them! Funny how many of us have a pink horror story! LOL. Color CAN be really scary. I’ve painted colors and then been sorry right away–but I just repaint if that happens. That’s the good thing about paint–if you hate it, you can just paint over it again!

  38. Anna says:

    I love colours, but I am careful with them. We want to do with our dining room (which is huge) what you’ve done with yours, but in a dark, rich green instead. Have you any idea how hard it is to find a dark green paint for walls over here? Fashion is for beige, off-whites and it makes me laugh to pick up an interior design mag and see every scheme using the SAME COLOURS. ENOUGH BEIGE ALREADY.

    Living room will be warm yellow/straw colour walls with new covers for the sofa in the same green as the dining room. I’d like to do red in the bedroom, but I’m not sure how DH would go with that…

    The spare room is the only one that’s decorated (priorities, anyone?). Cream ceiling, rich golden yellow on the walls. The bedding is gold, cream and the same purple as your site, and I’ve got pictures and cushions that pick out those colours too.

    We have a big, multi-level, well-lighted stairs and landing, and it looks really good with its white-painted bookcases, plants and pretty things. I’m tempted to go for a pretty sprig-pattern wallpaper, which is not my thing at all, but I suspect it would look really good.

    The bathroom is the only room that will stay white. White, lots of jungle plants, candles, and pretty glass bottles of expensive unguents….

  39. Cece says:

    OMG Your living room is hte same color as MINE! (I also did the dining and kitchen in it too –and my bedroom with a moss green accent wall. :bananadance::bananadance:

  40. Christy K. says:

    Suzanne, I think white lace curtains in the dinning room would finish it off nicely. You like the look as is, but sense it needs more. The lace is more, but keeps it simple and still let’s the light inside.

    Love the sand color!

    That space above your couch needs a LARGE frammed print. Horizontal to be exact. The room is big, the fire place is big. And it’s all about balance. Anything too small or too many things put together would look strange because it doesn’t keep it all in balance.

    I am also an advocate for Bannish White Walls and have managed to convert people as I go. My dad retired from the military. So we lived in base housing my entire childhood. Which means the walls were always white.

    There isn’t a single white wall in my house…well, okay, the basement walls, but we haven’t hung dry wall over the cinder blocks, so that doesn’t count.

    My living room is an interesting color. It was supposed to be a soft pink to highlight the beautiful cherry wood furniture and oriental carpet–and it does! People love it after starring at it for a moment. But it only looks soft pink in the morning and evening. What I didn’t factor in when I selected the paint color was lots of sunlight from a HUGE floor to ceiling (minus 2 ft) living room window. During the day it looks kinda like Peto Bismal. Every time I swear I’m going to repaint it, my friends say, “No! Don’t! It really looks good.”

    Sheesh. Trust me. I can make it look good again–in another color! :yes:

  41. Christy K. says:

    Did you know that the manufacturer’s warranty on carpet cleanliness is only 3 months? Have you considered buying a carpet cleaner? I’ve always wondered how those Bissels work…