Choosing a Better Paint Color Palette

I’m heading to church camp with my daughters and will be slightly “off the grid” for a few days, but I wanted to leave you with some color inspiration before I go!  I recently did a color and design consultation with a new client who recently moved into a new build in a historic area of Nashville.  She wanted to make the paint color palette of her first floor more interesting, but also wanted it to flow better visually throughout the space.  The office is currently her top priority, as she is about to launch an exciting new business from it!  Here’s what the front room looked like before:


home office before

My client had these velveteen wingback chairs from the 1980s.  We both felt we could make this funky pair the inspiration for an spunky, inspirational office space.


chairs in office before 

The new paint color palette has been completed, and it looks simply amazing. We chose an emerald green for the ceiling and the perfect neutral compliment for the walls.  Here’s where we are now:

velvet chairs chrome green hazy skies

emerald green ceiling!

We are going to make this room a show-stopper.  The desk will be opposite the chairs, which will be made from the closet door that I suggested she remove and repurpose.  Not only will she had a fun and unique work table, but the closet will become a bookcase and a place to put her printer and file storage.  This is the view from the dining room, that was also repainted but isn’t ready for it’s full reveal:

glamorous entry

view from dining room

Here’s a shot from the entry where you can see the hall, office, and office ceiling colors from one vantage point.  I love how the painting and the chairs make the palette cohesive.

choosing a paint color palette

view from hall

Her light fixture in the entry was beautiful, and I encouraged her to purchase another to replace a flush mount  light fixture (it’s a booblight, sigh) several feet further down the hall.  We will also be choosing fabulous new light fixtures for the office and dining room.

paint colors in entry

entry and office

Now to work on the office design.  I hope to be able to share the results of space as we move forward with the changes!

hazy skies chrome green

office in progress

If you’d like to learn more about how to choose just the right paint colors for YOUR home, check out my Paint Color Workshop available online today!  Wish me luck at camp . . .


  1. jeannette

    Love the neutral in the entry way. I painted my old house that color and it sold in 6 days, per advice from your Paintcolor Workshop. Was it Manchester?

    • Kristie Barnett

      Yay, that’s great to hear! No, it’s not Manchester but a similar Sherwin Williams color.

      • Trulaine Hough

        what color is the neutral color?

  2. Sandy

    I love your use of color on the ceilings. Do you have any tips on the minimum ceiling height for using color?

    • Kristie Barnett

      If the ceiling is 9 foot +, painting the ceiling a different color is not a problem at all, even a dark color. With an 8-foot ceiling, I’m judicious – it depends on the room. Dark ceilings in dining rooms, offices, or powder rooms? YES. Dark ceilings in large living rooms? NO. Maybe a light-colored ceiling in a living room or bedroom, but it all depends on the wall colors we are choosing and the look we are going for in the space.

  3. Paula Van Hoogen

    WOW! how cool is that emerald ceiling!!! You could stop right there and the room already looks great with JUST the 2 chairs. Incredible difference the color made. You did it again, Kristie.
    Hope by the time you get back YOU will be refreshed too….. Thanks for this post!

  4. Slipcovershelley

    Turned out amazing! Love mixing the old chairs in with the new and giving the room a funky vive. Oh…and I thought I was the only one that called those boob lights!!haha!

  5. LIZ

    Who is the artist on the gorgeous painting? I would like to purchase one of their works!

  6. Sheridan

    Wow ! You know your colors!
    I really appreciate the fact that by changing the wall color you made the chairs’ color look, not just okay, but really attractive. With my limited understanding of color I thought the chairs looked just awful. I did not realize it was their backdrop causing the problem. They look quite elegant in the final picture.
    What is the sensation that you get when walking into a room with a dark ceiling, does it feel like a lower than normal ceiling, or force your eye to want to look out the window or door? Does the dark ceiling work so well here because of the white colored trim?

  7. Beth

    Have a great trip! It will be fun to watch this home unfold.

  8. Rhonda

    Love how great those chairs look with the new paint colors! You are amazing!

  9. jay smith

    Painted my dining room in similar colors. Ceiling in teal, walls a pale blue/aqua, beige/grey under the chair rail. The room looks out onto the pool and is stunning! Took my cues from the Williamsburg line of Ben Moore. I usually end up mixing my own paints but this time the colors worked because this line has more pigment and the colors are magnificent!

  10. Nicole Schmauder

    I like the idea of making the closet into a bookshelf!

  11. Trysh Travis

    Can you give the specs on the non-boob light fixture– the brushed aluminum rings? that is really beautiful.


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