Funny the way something like buying new bedding can inspire an entirely new wall color. After almost 10 years with our lightweight blue and white Indian block-printed bedspread, we decided to spring for a new quilt in a heavier weight to alternate with the seasons.
I’m loving the vintage bohemian style of our new “Geneva” Quilt shown here and am looking forward to burrowing under it and getting cozy during the colder months ahead. My challenge is to find a paint color that will harmonize with both the jewel-toned palette of the new quilt and with our blue and white summery look shown a little further down on the page. Well, as it turns out, I’m having a bit of a mauve moment where paint colors are concerned!
Photos of “Geneva” Quilt Set courtesy of Greenland Home Fashions
The colors in my preferred spectrum of wall colors (plum, violet, lavender, mauve, and lilac) are soft and feminine, naturally lending themselves to restful spaces and contemplation. Very pretty in their own right, they can be tempered by darker colors like black, gray, and navy, along with dark woods to keep them from becoming sugary or cloying. As long as the colors in this palette have a healthy dose of neutralizing gray or brown in them, the look will be sophisticated rather than sweet.
Photo of mushroom macro-photography by Andrew via Flickr (Family Portrait)
I realize now that there were actually a few things leading up to the decision to go mauve-o-licious. One was a photo you might remember from my last blog post Naturally Neutral, which featured a sitting room room with a dusty lavender wall. Equally captivating to me were the colors in a certain duvet cover appearing in Urban Outfitters’ current online catalog, along with a mauve wall color featured in the 2015 Ikea catalog. And THEN I stumbled upon the exquisite images below by Williamson Designs featured in House Beautiful Magazine, which pretty well sealed the deal for me! Thus begins the elusive search for a soft, pretty color that will enhance the boho-prairie-shabby chic style of our bedroom AND that my husband can live with. In other words, the perfect shade of weathered lavender-mauve.
Photos ©John Kernick (House Beautiful); Interior Design by Hal Williamson
When we bought our home 6 years ago, it wasn’t in the budget to paint the bedroom anything other than what we had left over from our living room paint job. It was not a color choice, by any means, simply the default color, which is a warm neutral that actually appears deeper and more golden in person than it does in the photos below. At the time, it went just fine with our bedroom palette of blues, periwinkles, and whites. Beige can be beautiful, of course, but we sometimes need to refresh our bedroom spaces with subtle color in order to create our ideal sanctuary. A little color karma, if you will. In the case of our bedroom, enhancing the jewel tones present in both bedding options — rather than the default beige walls — is the answer to the puzzle piece.
I’d like to pull in some of the colors from the framed print shown above that hangs over my dresser (note the lilac sash and purple flowers of the chair the woman is sitting on). Tough to tell but the frame is a actually dusky blue-gray color, which provides additional color to pull from, as well as a plum and mauve stained glass hand mirror that sits on the dresser alongside a silk hydrangea arrangement and blue and white ceramic pieces.
So, it looks like I’ve got two options for zeroing in on this elusive paint color: 1) Go with a very muted shade in the violet, lavender, or mauve spectrum (the prettier option); or 2) Head into more neutral territory with a light, warm gray that either has purple undertones in it or that will complement lavenders, violets, and blues.
Option 1: Some contenders in the muted lavender family (above) are Hint of Violet, Sea Froth, Violet Pearl, and Angelica, all from Benjamin Moore. Since the room doesn’t get a lot of sun, I don’t want to go too icy or blue and would like to bring in a little warmth, which is where the colors with brown undertones come in. Sea Froth looks like an interesting shade of mauve-lavender, and I’m also loving Hint of Violet when I hold the swatch up to our walls.
Option 2: Possibilities from the versatile gray family (below) include Portland Gray, Abalone, Balboa Mist, and Revere Pewter. Of these, I’m leaning towards Portland Gray, which has some obvious purple undertones.
The 2014 Pantone Color of the Year was Radiant Orchid (somehow I missed that). I guess I’m two years behind schedule, but as someone who doesn’t get too caught up in trends, I’m more than OK with that! I’m going with a color that makes me happy, that I can feel enveloped in when I climb into bed at night and that is cheerful to look at when I open my unwilling eyes first thing in the morning.