More Living Ideas

Our editors share their inspirations every day

Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Paint, Color, Gorgeous Choices

Posted by

When designing the new paint line for Home Depot, Martha’s mandate was simple: make sure each color is one that you would want in your home. 280 color choices later, it was time for me to decide about my own apartment. Well, when you design a paint collection around Martha’s charge, picking a color for yourself can be, well, a challenge.

First, I knew that I wanted the entire apartment to be unified—the walls, ceilings, doors, trim, etc. So at least I only had to make one choice. I took my first cue from my floors. The bleached floors dictated beige. However, I knew that something as simple as a neutral, like beige, really means an exercise in warm vs. cool; choices ranging from pale taupe to grayish brown; and varying hues during different times in the day. Not so easy.

After I narrowed down my choices, I painted 2-foot-by-5-foot samples of 7 possibilities on the walls in my living and dining rooms, bedroom, bathroom, library, hallway, and entry. Then, I lived with them for a while. A week is ideal. I was lucky in that I had empty rooms/areas so that I could get a good sense of how each color would look in the morning, afternoon and evening light.

I started to think about finishes, as well. I preferred flat for most of the rooms except for in the bathroom, where I chose high-gloss,

Then, came the daunting task or prepping the walls. But that’s for tomorrow’s post.

Don’t forget to check out the March issue of Martha Stewart Living for my full column on paint and my apartment. Check out tomorrow’s post for more behind the scenes.

Back
1 of 10
My bleached floors dictated my paint color choice.

1 My bleached floors dictated my paint color choice.

Remember the old days when my old furniture was in the living room? This room gets so much light I had to really think hard about paint choices

2 Remember the old days when my old furniture was in the living room? This room gets so much light I had to really think hard about paint choices

The living room and dining room bathed in late-day light.

3 The living room and dining room bathed in late-day light.

Even later light.

4 Even later light.

I matched the paint to a sample of my floor.

5 I matched the paint to a sample of my floor.

And spoke with my floor guy Craig about the best color options.

6 And spoke with my floor guy Craig about the best color options.

I also spoke with my contractor Bob Tobin about which paint color to choose, as well as prepping the walls.

7 I also spoke with my contractor Bob Tobin about which paint color to choose, as well as prepping the walls.

Then chose the final seven for 2-foot-by-5-foot swatches.

8 Then chose the final seven for 2-foot-by-5-foot swatches.

Looked at them in natural light and with overhead lighting, too.

9 Looked at them in natural light and with overhead lighting, too.

Finally, looked at them in the bedroom before making a choice. See how different each looks on walls in the same room?

10 Finally, looked at them in the bedroom before making a choice. See how different each looks on walls in the same room?

You May Also Like:

You May Also Like:

Comments (13)

  • i would love to see you get your own show. all about interior design stuff

  • THe paint color I like best is the third from the left. I majored in art and design but my emphasis was always on color and how it affects the user of the space. Thanks for including all of us on this journey for your home.

  • Hi Kevin, I respect your privacy for not posting your floor plan. I thought to ask, since Alexis posted her apt plan. The pictures of your apt are amazing, I can imagine the beautiful view you have.
    I wish you can always have a decoration segment on Martha's tv show, you have a great taste and so organized. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

  • The new paint collection was just stocked at a local Home Depot. Very excited to try it. I have to agree with Krista... an all decorating show would be a great addition to the MSLO family!

    You painted the samples 2x5... is that the size you would recommend for a true color on the wall?

  • 5th from the left which looks the lightest to me. Lovely with the floor but more importantly it works in all the different light.
    Catherine
    PS: i know you have picked so which one.....

  • Thinking number 5 but maybe you'll go darker. I agree, you should have a show and have Alexis on as a frequent guest.

  • Another Martha Paint question:

    Is it possible to order a book of complete color swatches?

  • Hi Kevin,

    I like the 4th from the right in picture 14 on the right wall (but I know paint looks even different in a picture than in person!). I'll be excited to see what color you went with.

  • Can you please reveal the names of the MS shades that you painted on the walls? It would be fun to know the order in which they appeared. I am without the March issue, so sad!

  • Really like the new paint choices. We notice our residential clients really enjoy help when it comes to painting. Thanks for sharing

  • Great post Kevin, these are really nice and very attractive. As a reader, I could get a lot of ideas from this. Thank you very much!

  • I would like to paint the bedroom of my house which is white wall color now . The floor is using brown color wood parquet. What would be the good wall color choice?

    Thanks,

    john

  • Wow, what a lot of choices and the ones you selected awesome Kevin! Thank you so much for sharing you process!

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.