There was a time very early in my design career when I would repaint my apartment- or at least a room- every couple months. Needless to say, it was exhausting and somewhat silly, but I just couldn't quite settle on any one color. My taste was developing and will hopefully always continue to do so. In essence, I was experimenting and editing on a larger scale with how paint makes you feel, the effects of light on a wall, low lit vs. sunny rooms, eggshell vs. matte vs. semi, strength of color, so on. Making an error or seeing success in-house, so to speak, was in retrospect a great way to learn my tastes and direction without affecting others (save my patient husband.) Over several years I have found myself drawn to both a wide but fairly particular palette, with one of the principals of my design being to freshen up rooms and make them feel alive again. I tend towards soft blues, creamy whites, the occasional rich, pure color like a red or eggplant or green, dramatic blues and blacks, and some warmth with oranges and yellows. I won't lie, there are whole sections in the fan deck I often skip (mauves, brick reds, bright marigolds, a rusty peach- blech) because of a visceral reaction they bring on deep inside. That being said, I would never discount any color- there's a moment for everything, and so much depends on light strength and surroundings. Below are five favorites to which I return time and time again, tried and true colors that always deliver. For ease, these are all Benjamin Moore selections, but Pratt & Lambert, Farrow & Ball, Fine Paints of Europe, Behr, even Sherwin Williams all carry some pretty fantastic colors.
Palladian Blue- soft, earthy, pretty blue without being too dirty. Can be used in traditional or modern settings just as easily. I have yet to find a space where the light brought out any bad undertones. Love in a bedroom.
Chantilly Lace- great white, soft enough but not too buttery for trim. Crisp and clean but not harsh.
Revere Pewter- I know several designers that swear by this color. It's always stunning and mature, and works in living room, bedroom, kitchen, really anywhere.
Moroccan Red- great drama for a powder room, hallway, or dining room. Love the depth of it.
Twilight Zone- I love a black wall. It's dramatic and makes everything against it stand out crisply. Doesn't have to feel dark either, like his room shows.
At the end of the day, color is so personal. Each project I take requires a different approach, not only because of people's preferences but also because of light, exposure, flooring, ceiling heights, so on. Regardless, these five above often feel pretty right to me! Happy designing.