Disclaimer: every camera and computer monitor reads slightly different colors, the time of day, weather, flooring and lots of other things can affect how a color looks –if you think you like this color, try a sample in your own home first knowing that colors react differently on every wall in every house.

We have a new color on our walls.  We started out going for a super light neutral and Layla suggested Rice Grain by Sherwin Williams.  I have a confession, I’ve never used a super light color on my walls. When I sat that white chair in front of the walls it turned invisible against super light color. Since we’ve decided to slipcover our sofa, I feel like having super light walls makes the room look weak and kind of feminine.  But it’s still a beautiful color.

Here’s Rice Grain on the walls.   I had it mixed at Lowe’s and it turned out a minty green, I have a feeling if I would have gone to Sherwin Williams  and had it mixed there, it would have a little more brown in it. Once we decided this color wasn’t going to work for us, I had to face the daunting task of finding a color that would work.

Dear me,
Please at least hide the laundry and move the stray cushion before you take a photo.
–Love, future, adult me

The first step is eliminating colors.  I like to start with that because it makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something.  We are renting so I wanted a neutral.  I wanted the lightest neutral without it being too light.  So I stared light and worked my way dark.  So, all colors but neutral tans were out~what a relief.

We also have an 8×10 rug that we will continue to use in this room.  Rugs are one of the most expensive items in lots of homes and to replace this big rug would mean an extra expense, besides, I like the rug.  However, the colors in the rug greatly dictate the colors I can choose from for the walls.  I’m actually glad I have a jumping off point from the rug.  Otherwise, I’d get overwhelmed with too many choices.  So, since the rug is neutral with slight green undertones {remember, you might not be able to tell the true color online} I wanted to pick a color for the walls with a green undertone.

Now, I’ve eliminated pinky tan neutrals like Macadamia, and yellow tan neutrals like my love, Tobacco Road along with gray tan neutrals like–oops, I forgot, I’ve lost my color wheel someplace in that last week.  Just know, gray tan neutrals were out too–as much as I LOVE them.

Put sample colors on your walls. Believe it or not, I was back to the original Rice Grain family thanks to Layla’s first recommendation and  its green undertone.  I stopped by Sherwin Williams and $10 later I had two pints of Rice Grains darker sisters, Ramie and Favorite Tan. So in the photo above, Rice Grain is painted on the entire wall, behind the left lamp is Favorite Tan, behind the right lamp is Ramie.  Ramie was still too light to have that pop I wanted with white furniture so we went with Favorite Tan from Sherwin Williams.  Since I knew I’d choose a color similar to my samples, I just slapped it up on my walls.  If you are iffy about what family your color will come from, you can paint a poster board and tack that up around the room.

Live with it for at least a day. This is the most difficult part because I want to pick a color NOW.  But, you want to make sure the color doesn’t take on some weird glow at night.  A 24 hour period lets you see the color in different lights.

Here are the three colors side by side.

What’s interesting is in my foyer, Ramie looks really dark.  But in our family room, it looks really light–it all depends on the kind of light your room gets.

My muscular man and I painted the room together the other day, it took us 2 1/2 hours from clean brush to clean brush.  He did the cutting in, I rolled. We were a little afraid the color would make the room dark but since we have so much natural light, it looks great.  I think that’s part of the reason we needed to go with a darker shade to offset our white.

For those of you who are worried that I’m abandoning my colorful roots to go neutral, let me assure you, one of the reasons I’m going neutral on the walls and sofa is so that I can have a blank canvas to change my colors up whenever I want.  This tan wall and white sofa thing will serve as a backdrop to any color I’m in the mood for.  I cannot wait to start mixing it up.

By the way, the color I used in the front room is Sherwin Williams, Comfort Gray #6205.  It’s a beautiful warm blueish gray that looks nice paired with crisp white trim but still holds it’s own next to tans and cremes.

Now that I have our main living space painted with a color we love, I’m using Favorite Tan as a starting point for the rest of the house.  We might use Ramie in the stairwell and foyer–our next painting project.

And because inquiring minds deserve to know, here’s Tobacco Road next to Favorite Tan.  The photo isn’t quite true to life but TR has more of a yellow undertone and FT has a green undertone.

Looking for more advice on choosing a paint color that works for you?  Find out what  Kimba thinks and read the series Holly did about favorite paint colors , AnnNicole just wrote a great post all about Picking a Paint Color You’ll Love , and of course, I love Melissa’s reasons for always wanting lots of color in her world.