I only discovered your blog a few days ago. I think I was up until 3:00 AM the other day because I couldn’t put it down. Thanks.
Actually, I hate you.
Seriously, I’m joking. Oh, how I wish I had found you a month ago. We just painted our living room. I wanted it to be that soft silvery, calming pale blue paint color I’m seeing all over the place.
The painters came. I went to work… Then, I came home. And, well, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. But, no time to do anything about it. That’s because in three days my husband’s younger sister and husband were coming for a visit.
And, I had to make sure all was dry and put back. Did I mention that she’s having her first baby in six months?
They arrive, right on time. (always)
However, I was so busy mopping up the glass of chocolate milk my four-year-old had just dumped; all over the dog, the cat and the rest of it on himself. And, everything within eight feet of said glass of sticky brown milk.
Fortunately, my DH arrived home from work an hour early and was there to greet and entertain them until I could make myself semi-presentable.
I like my S-I-L. But, for some reason, I’ve never felt that I quite measure up. My problem, I’m sure. She’s super beautiful and talented. However, she looked quite happy to see me.
And, then she said, with a beaming smile in our freshly painted LIVING ROOM, “Betty, this is absolutely the perfect shade of baby blue for our new nursery. I just found out that we’re having a baby boy! Oh, please be a dear and tell me what is this paint color?”
I tried so hard to smile, but, really I had a pressing urge to slap that happy grin off her face. However, God came in to rescue me as at that very moment, I realized that the roast was burning and went running into the kitchen.
Oh, Laurel, really, I wouldn’t have slapped her. I was just embarrassed. And, that’s because she’s right.
Even more depressing, is that during the day, the color is even worse. In fact, sister-in-law never mentioned wanting to know the color again.
How could this have gone so horribly wrong?
The color looked so beautiful when I saw it online. And, I worked really hard to find out what it was, too. I asked the designer on HOUZZ and was so thrilled when she let me know the name of the paint color. It was just the best pale blue paint color– ever. Maybe she lied. I don’t know.
I did check out the color in the store too. As I said, it looked beautiful on the chip– in the store, that is.
Maybe you could turn this into a blog post if you think there’s a lesson here. Please tell me that others have made this mistake.
Thanks so much,
Not only have others made this mistake, I’m sure that I have too, at some point. But, I’ve probably blocked it out. Believe me. I’ve made 100s of mistakes when decorating. If it makes you feel any better, you can read about some of the more hideous ones here. However, that’s how we learn. Hopefully. :]
Okay, this IS a great topic and for numerous reasons.
There are three main problems I’m going to address when selecting the best pale blue paint color; or any color, for that matter.
One, is selecting a paint color from a magazine, website or book, brochure, etc.
Two, is understanding that the paint color doesn’t stand alone.
Three, is not understanding how to select a color. Here’s a very good post that goes over that in detail.
Exhibit A is an image many have seen on this blog a couple of times before from Pottery Barn. Love that Covington Faucet! The last time I posted this image, which you can see a cropped version here, at least a dozen people asked me for the paint color, AND also the wallpaper.
Guys, I love you, but this isn’t my room. So, please don’t ask me information about sources which would necessitate me having to research it. I hope that you’ll understand that it’s not possible.
I’m now going to demonstrate the problem, aside from the fact that this is not my room and I have no idea what the color is. And, even if I did, I can pretty much guarantee that it’s not going to look the same in your home.
First of all. Let’s look at the space below.
Let me ask you. If I shared this image on the blog, would you be frothing at the mouth to know the paint color? Most likely not.
BUT… it’s the SAME paint color.
So, why is it that you aren’t jamming my inbox wanting to know what it is?
Anyone want to tell us why?
Don’t all shout it out all at once. ;]
Anyone? Nancy, I know that you know. Please tell us why.
Because the Pottery Barn bathroom is gorgeous and charming and the boys room is nothing special? Therefore, I don’t think the paint color is going to do much to make it more special.
BINGO! Right on the money. Thank you Nancy, you may sit down now. :]
And, by the way, I have a presie for some of you. I just happened to discover today what the wallpaper is.
You can purchase the paper here, if you’re not in the trade.
But, let’s bring down that image from Pottery Barn again.
Right. The photo is not the same color as the sample of the wallpaper. Therefore, when doing wallpaper, you must have the sample of the paper AND if possible a CFA (cutting for approval) of the current dye-lot. And, that is BEFORE you select your perfect pale blue paint color.
Above is a color corrected version of the bathroom based on the sample as seen on the internet, on the Schumacher website. But, that too, has variations.
Above is a third version of the Pottery Barn bathroom I found. Will the real pale blue paint color please stand up?
The reality is, I could’ve posted any one of these three images of this pretty bathroom, and, I’m quite positive would’ve gotten requests to know the paint color.
All three of them.
Therefore, the precise paint color is irrelevant.
I repeat. The precise paint color is irrelevant. What IS relevant is how a color looks in your space and with the other givens surrounding it.
Do you think that this is an isolated example?
No, it is actually a very common issue.
Above is an exquisite entry to an award-winning home by Suzanne Kasler. Suzanne, one of my favorite interior designers is the queen of pale, watery ethereal pale blue paint colors. And, BTW, I’ve met her a couple of times and she is the nicest person ever. Very humble, too.
However, I found another image of the same room.
But, do you see that this image is different from the one on top?
The first one came from Suzanne’s website. The bottom one somewhere else. I imagine that the one on Suzanne’s site was color corrected as images straight out of the camera tend to have some color distortion.
Did you know that?
So, when we see an image on the internet, most of us don’t know if the image has been color corrected or not. And then, there’s the situation of our computer monitors. The colors vary there, too.
***Therefore, if you see a color somewhere that you like, try to find a paint color that matches WHAT YOU SEE. And, looks the way you’d like it to in your space.***
I can’t stress this enough. You must do everything as close to how it’s going to live in real life, as possible.
And, even then, please test your paint colors before it gets painted.
One other thing. Do NOT take the wallpaper to the store and have them computer match it. I did that very early in my career. It did not match. Fortunately, the clients were either color blind or didn’t care. Phew! Dodged that bullet. It wasn’t horrible, but it could’ve been a lot better. Coincidentally, it was a wallpaper from Schumacher.
So, now we’ve addressed problems one and two. Please bookmark this post. It’s super important. Most mistakes are made when we try to take shortcuts. It’s not advisable.
This brings us to the third issue which is selecting the pale blue paint color, itself. Pale blues tend to be more difficult to choose, if you are inexperienced selecting a beautiful pale blue paint color.
The best pale blues often look kind of drab and boring on the paint chip. But, when they go on the wall, the blue really pops out. That’s why some blues can go quite intense even though they don’t appear that way, at first.
And, then it’s important to remember to do the following when selecting all paint colors
You go to the paint store. Maybe you didn’t even bother to bring the paint chip home. But even if you did, you probably put it down flat on a table to look at it instead of flat against the wall where it’s going to live. Looking down on the color, is not the color.
Looking at it at the store (with the store’s lighting) or outside in your car is also not the color.
Still, no one ever told you this, so how are you supposed to know?
Now, I’m going to share some of my favorite pale blue paint colors.
Some of these are in the Laurel Home Paint and Palette Collections and some are not. And there are a few others in the collection that are not listed here.
I’m also going to share some images. None of the images are mine and I don’t know what the paint color is. In some cases, it might look like the color name underneath, but I can’t guarantee that.
There will be a chart at the end of the post with all of the paint colors for you to pin to your pinterest boards.
Here are some beautiful Benjamin Moore Pale Blue Paint Colors
GRAY SKY 2131-70
LOOKOUT POINT 1646
GLASS SLIPPER 1632
HEALING ALOE 1562
QUIET MOMENTS 1563
This is one of my all-time favorite go-to colors. It is especially lovely in bedrooms. Both men and women love it. Every single time. In every lighting situation. But, I prefer it in rooms that get a fair amount of light.
The bedroom above is reminding me of the Darryl Carter bedroom. (below)
ICE CAP 1576
SEA FOAM 2123-60
More furniture by Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair. The fabulous Chinoiserie wallpaper panels are by De Gournay.
SILVER CREST 1583
I don’t think the walls are actually blue here, but this has to be the most beautiful eating area I’ve ever seen! I would be the one who would slobber marinara sauce all over the settee and while I was cleaning it up would knock the coffee over.
If this were mine, I wouldn’t serve my guests anything but saltines and seltzer. ;] By the way, those gorge chairs, I recognize as one of my faves from Hickory Chair by the wonderful Suzanne Kasler. Love the floral fabric on the back. Really smart.
Another fabulous Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair vignette. Gorgeous wing chair.
I designed some wing chairs for a client and myself that are almost identical about 19 years ago.
Another Suzanne Kasler beauty with furniture for Hickory Chair
Suzanne wrote a beautiful book which came out a year ago. Click the link for more info.
I adore these Pagoda Lanterns.
They are the Mykonos Medium lantern from Visual Comfort. But, medium is pretty large. There is also a smaller version available.
PICNIC BASKET CSP 730
We used this in a master bedroom and it’s quite lovely.
CRYSTAL BLUE – 2051-70
This isn’t Crystal Blue, but not too far off. It’s a strie of these two colors. MYSTICAL BLUE 792 glazed with FADED DENIM 795. Actually, this looks nothing like those two colors! I added this, because I love the photo!
WOODLAWN BLUE HC-147
Woodlawn is the bluest of the pale blues here but it’s a definite winner!
Well, I think it’s officially fall now. We’ve had some gorgeous weather recently!
please pin to your pinterest boards for reference
If you’d like to see a post about some deeper blue paint colors, click here.
Also, this post on cool gray paint colors has some colors that really read more blue than gray.
PS: Please check out the newly updated hot sales. There’s a nice surprise there, if you missed it yesterday.