While we’re not saying that Instagram is a tell-all for all life’s truths (ha, the opposite, really), what it DOES tell us is what you guys respond to visually on our feed. And you want to know what your interactions tell us, if we’re measuring by likes and comments? You LOVE a bold blue or green wall. One of our MOST asked questions is “WHAT PAINT COLOR IS THAT?” anytime we post something darker than a neutral gray, so today, we’ve got a treat for you. All the dramatic, bold blue and green paint colors that are tried and true for EHD, all in one place. (Don’t worry though, if a deep navy wall makes you want to curl up into a ball, we already covered our favorite whites and light grays in this post, so head there if you started twitching, but if you didn’t, keep on reading).
We say this anytime we do a paint story, but that won’t stop us from saying it again: TEST YOUR PAINT BEFORE COMMITTING. Paint colors are sneaky, sly buggers in that a swatch online will look totally different from the swatch in the store which will look pretty dissimilar from what your whole entire wall will end up looking like. We take this seriously around here, especially with darker colors, so if you chose to not heed our warning, proceed with caution.
Alright, now that I put out that disclaimer, let’s look at some beautiful photos that will hopefully help you pick some very special colors for an upcoming project of yours.
The design team loved Waterloo so much, they used it in two rooms in the Portland Project: the downstairs media room (above) and the powder room (below). This slate-y blue looks equally good on walls as it does millwork. In neither of the rooms here does it come off too dark or heavy since it has gray undertones, but is a great background to build a crisp and personality-filled room around.
Cyberspace is another perfect Portland blue except this time, it’s a rich, true navy. It doesn’t lean too purple or come off too cyan but is definitely very saturated in a wonderful way. In a room, top to bottom, it might be a BIT dark, which is why it’s an awesome color for millwork that’s lightened up by a neutral wall and other accents. I can see this also on rehabbed furniture, say…a dresser paired with brass hardware. Ohh yes! Someone do that!
Moving into some new favorite greens for us, this is the velvety tone we used on the cabinetry of the Portland kitchen. The design team tested out a million shades to get the right hue and ended up LOVING Pewter Green because it’s a rich, saturated green that has a bit of gray in it so it doesn’t lean teal or too jewel-toned. We haven’t tried this on a wall, but it would probably be so pretty in a powder room, smaller home office, hallway or even exterior.
I said this in my dining room reveal a few weeks back, but whoa is this a hard color to capture properly on camera…also, I’m OBSESSED with it. This is pretty close (after tinkering with the photo team to correct it) representation, but it still doesn’t give you the true depth. It’s my absolute new favorite paint color (if you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty lowkey about it…) because it has a je ne sais quoi about it. You cannot fully describe it, but my best effort is a chalky blue-green-slate. It’s not really teal or navy or hunter green…it’s its own person, okay? I chose to bring it up into my ceiling and if you’re into this color (or anything on this list as equally pigmented), I highly recommend trying it. It “hugs” you and really makes this color show off to its utmost potential.
This is the kind of color you’re going to want to slather on EVERYTHING: walls, ceilings, millwork, cabinetry, doors, baseboards. It’s like Nutella: you can put it on cardboard and it would taste bomb.com. In certain lights, this can lean quite gray but it has enough blue in it that it won’t ever read as just that.
I’m quite baffled as to why this paint color has the word “gray” in it…it’s not gray, like…at all. Gentleman’s Cobalt maybe, but absolutely not gray. Naming conventions aside, this is a jewel-like blue that in bright light can come off pretty bright, but also quite dark with no light…it can’t make up its mind, but like a finicky riddle that had you stumped for a while and you finally figured out, it’s worth the head scratch. It’s EXTRA good with tonal blues in dense, sheeny velvets like in the shot above. Also, paired with deeper colors like the brick red of the rug and the darker tones of the art makes it feel very posh yet edgy.
Probably the least “bold” color of the bunch, we had to let things breathe somewhere. It can’t all be daaaark colors pounding your eyeballs, but Green Smoke (which Emily painted her kitchen island) is so lovely in a way that feels earthy yet fresh and not heavy at all. Obviously, it’s great on woodwork, but it would also be so nice in a bedroom paired with warm wood furniture, nubby linens, caning, maybe even some modern florals on your curtains or throw pillows.
Remember when I started this post and I mentioned Instagram and your likes? Well, you guys LOVE this room. Every time we post this, it blows up and I doubt it’s just the wall color alone. That paired with the gallery wall, warm wood and brass tones and the rich leather makes for a perfectly moody yet “alive” space that clearly also speaks to you guys, too. This is a VERY saturated color, so if you’re looking for light and bright, you might want to skip. It would be best in a room you wanted to punch up with some drama.
Not only did Ginny use this in her gorgeous dining room, but Emily also painted the paneling in her master bathroom (below) the same color. It is the perfect happy blue without being too royal, and unlike some of our other favorites (like Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball), it doesn’t feel too dark or moody.
A quick disclaimer from Michael, who, after seeing Ginny’s dining room reveal on the blog years ago, ran out and bought a gallon of Stiffkey Blue without testing it in his own dining space. It turned out much darker than he thought it would, likely because his room doesn’t get a ton of natural light, so if you’re looking for this brighter blue tone, #1 TEST TEST TEST and #2, it’ll probably work out best in a room the sun touches on the regular.
Before I ever stepped foot into the EHD offices, I loved Hague Blue from Farrow & Ball. I was on a work trip once and was in a room looking at a new furniture line when I had to ask the owners of the showroom “is this Hague Blue??” They were pretty shocked I was able to call it out, but it’s to be expected from a true paint enthusiast like myself. Anyhow, I’m not alone in my love for Hague Blue. It’s truly one of the richest, deepest navys (with slight green undertones) from any paint line. Emily calls it “the best navy blue on the planet,” so for a woman who knows her blues, well…listen up. That is her old kitchen up there, though she’s used it numerous other times and says it’s just deep, intense, modern yet totally classic.
The kitchen in the Silver Lake Hill’s project from a few years back is still one of my favorite EHD spaces. I remember admiring it from afar, and thinking the shade of blue on the cabinets was that perfect chalky Frenchy blue. It works so well here with the warm brass hardware and fixtures, bet gets a punch from the motif of the cement tiles. If you’re looking for a really good slate blue that bounces light around a room and instantly brings sophistication to the space, this is your blue.
And finally, for anyone sitting at their device shaking their heads that nothing here is soothing, I present to you Van Courtland Blue by Benjamin Moore. Emily used it in Sylvia’s master bedroom because it really infused a calm yet happy feeling to the room. This is a very soothing blue that plays well with warmer toned woods or decor (like the coral accents).
To make it easy to reference back to (Pin it now so you don’t lose it!), we put all the colors together in one roundup. These hues were pulled off the company websites, so they’re a little skewed as compared to how they look in the photos/IRL, but should be pretty close.
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