Although it wasn't my intention, I actually ended up using paint colors that all have names related to the beach! It fits because the beach is my 'calm, happy place' so why not have that at home, too?
Here are my colors:
#1 Cumulus Cloud by Martha Stewart...this color is a very, very light blue/gray. I've used it in my bedroom paired with a metallic silver paint for the stenciled wall.
#2 Driftwood Gray by Martha Stewart...this is such a lovely gray. Although it reads a bit taupe in the color above, it's really more of a true gray. I used this color in my office.
#3 Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams...I LOOOOVE this color! It's also in the gray family but it really reads more of a green-gray. I've used it in my bathroom and it coordinates nicely with the glass tile back splash.
#4 Horizon by Benjamin Moore...I painted my living room this color over the summer. It is a very light, light gray. It really brightened up the space and looks great when contrasted with the crisp white crown molding!
#5 Salt Glaze by Martha Stewart...this will be the color of my kitchen when I get around to painting again! I've also used it to paint stripes on my living room curtains. It's a light blue and is really fresh without being too 'baby blue'.
Because colors on a computer monitor can be so misleading,
here's a picture of each of the colors in my actual home...
of course, lighting changes colors a bit but I think they are a bit more true to life:
Here are some tips I find helpful when choosing paint colors:
1) Choose colors toward which you naturally gravitate. Blues and grays make me calm and happy...for you, maybe vibrant reds, oranges and greens make you happy...choose what makes you feel good!
2) Go with neutrals on the walls and add color through accessories. Painting is a very tedious task but adding new toss pillows, art, or lampshades is simple and inexpensive and can be changed up very easily.
3) Choose colors that coordinate so as to have a cohesive feel throughout your home. Although my home is small, the rooms flow easily into one another because each is painted in a different yet compatible wall color.
4) Conduct a web search to see colors painted in rooms that already exist. You can never tell the real color of paint on a wall unless you actually see it in person. However, if I find a color I like on a paint chip, I always Google the paint name/brand to see if there are any images of the color in an actual room. Although computer monitors and lighting can change the color, I find this strategy very useful!
5) If you're stuck, derive inspiration from a favorite pattern or image. If you have a favorite outfit, fabric sample, photograph, or painting, try pulling colors out of the object for inspiration. When in doubt, head on over to Pinterest and check out loads of design eye candy!
I thinking I might use some of my tax refund to hire a painter to come tackle my kitchen...I could probably just suck it up and do it myself during my school vacation in February but every time I look at all the kitchen cabinets, I just think of all the tedious 'cutting in' and 'taping off' I'll have to do! Ugh! Stay tuned for kitchen painting pics! :)