Choosing Paint Colors

Below is our my husband’s office space in the new house.  Messy, I know!

I have only shown it in the original house photos when we closed on the house 5 months ago, so of course it was empty then.  It’s still fairly empty other than a mid century modern desk we bought at Austin Antique Mall and my husband’s work equipment.


The desk was his choice, which I like… but don’t you just hate all that computer equipment.  Ugh.  He HAD to have his desk face the door  and HAD to have the equipment, which gave no choice.  But, I figure, hey, it’s his office and he has to work in it daily, so it’s important that he’s comfortable in it.

How do you hide big fat monitors?  Maybe I’ll box him in with a cubicle and he can return to his right out of college days. Just playing.  Restrict him to just a laptop and all other equipment on a credenza?  Wouldn’t that be ideal.  I have no idea, so I’ll just get over it.   Just like in most households, it’s a compromise around here.

On the up side, it is really nice that it’s a piece of furniture this time rather than built-ins like last time so if we had to move again, we can take it with us and it’s not money lost.

As you can see, we didn’t style or do anything for the photo above. I believe in keeping it real. It’s how it looks – lots of monitors and such as much husband works from home.  Paint cans in the corner ready for the painter, trash can with trash in it.   Probably hurts your eyes, but makes you feel better too, though, huh?  I know photos like this make me feel better.  Then, I know others don’t have perfect looking homes 24/7.

As you can see, we tried out a few paint colors in that corner.  Below is a close up image that I shared recently of the Benjamin Moore colors that I tried out in there.


We want to change out the Builder’s beige (SW Kilim Beige) to a more up-to-date color. We were looking at various greiges, as you can see.  In fact, I did a recent series on greiges that may be helpful if you are searching for that perfect paint color.

For the office, we chose the color Senora Gray by Benjamin Moore.  Our painter is supposed to come out in a couple of days to make it happen!

We also hope to paint a huge open part of the house where one wall connects to the next.  You know how that goes with newer builds and open plans?   There are many times no great stopping points and for the sake of continuity (making the house feel like it flows and is larger), I like one consistent color.  Unless, however, a room is clearly separate from the next or there is a great wall for a stencil or wallpaper.

The Senora gray that we chose for the office is possibly a little too dark for the bulk of the house, especially since we’d be doing ceilings as well.

So, my second choice was a color I had used before called Sandstone Cliff by Behr.  However, it was too light.  It didn’t pop enough against light furniture and trim.  So, we mixed it with some other colors we had on hand.  To be honest, I almost always mix colors in the end, so I can get just what I want.  This goes for furniture, walls and anything I touch with paint.  It’s commonly a mix.


It’s not a ton different than the builder’s beige, but it’s definitely less beige and more gray.  With it’s clear brown undertones, it’s a true greige.   You can see the original lighter Behr Sandstone Cliff color in the photo above as well.

Below, is a photo of the color painted by the fireplace in the family room.  You can hardly see it.  I considered not showing this photo, but why not.   Color is hard to capture in photos, but you can see the difference in person.  There is contrast between it and the fireplace, but, it is a light color.  It will give a light and bright feel to the space.


And, that brings me to a confession.  The art is still not hung. I’ll get around to it.  I’ve just been busy with client work and garage stuff so my own home progress is a little slower at the moment.

On the left are poster boards I painted with Senora Gray and Sandstone Cliff.  The custom paint color on the right is a color in between the two, which of course, looks a little different when painted over SW Kilim Beige (builder’s beige) than when painted on white poster board.  It actually comes out looking much more gray on the wall which is a little counter intuitive.

I’ll paint it on a few more walls in key places and then get it color matched for the entire main portion of the house!  We will hold off on bedrooms, bathrooms and anything clearly separate.

Now, let’s really hope these estimates for the main portion of the house come in at reasonable prices!   Cause I’m pretty committed.

Did you paint over your builder’s beige?  I don’t hate the colors builders use, but, it’s just not right for me.   Have you gone greige?  Don’t you hate pesky computer equipment?

Oh, and don’t you think that office door would be sweet in navy?!

Oh, and on a side note, Anneke from This, That and Life won the Blue Soul Designs Giveaway!  Lucky her!  She has a great blog, so check it out.



  1. We moved in to “Pulte Beige”! (Pulte is a national builder). We had our walls painted, one coat by the way and no primer, to SW Silver Strand. It looks great. We painted every wall in the house, which has a very open floor plan this color!!! Very greige!
    Love your custom color. I’m not that talented to try that!!!!
    MC and I are working on his “Library”, which is directly at the front of the house, off the foyer. He is building a new wall unit with shelves above lower cabinets, running the entire wall facing the foyer. This is replacing a similar set up of two IKEA Bonde,cabinets, no wall shelves above. His desk is in front of it, facing out. (like your husband). He has a lap top on his desk. A printer on the top of the cabinets. All wires going into sockets on the wall behind the lower cabinets. A few wires from the bottom of the cabinet (on flo0r) to the stuff on the desk, as needed. He has this set up now and it has worked fine.
    Will be looking to see how your home as you go through each step.

    • That sounds much more like our old office. That’s the best way to do it by far and what I’d advise a client. Ha! But, he had to have it a certain way. He cracks me up. It’s all fine. I’m not going to freak out over a few cords, as I know he needs multiple monitors all day and can’t do with just a laptop. Unfortunately. Sometimes practicality wins. Oh, and at least this time, if we had to move, we can take the furniture with us – it’s not built in. That shouldn’t matter to most, but with our move rate, it feels kind of nice.

      • You crack me up…..It’s really that old saying…..FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION…I think that’s the way it went?
        Poor MC, he builds many things we have “leave” behind. We are on our 35 home!!!! But it does help sell the house! Think we will be here awhile. We are both retired and this home is our “Bucket List House”.

        • 35th home?! Holy cow. I think we’ve lived in 12 so far! Yeah, maybe if we built it ourselves and saved a little money that way, it would be cool, but we hire those things out due to lack of skill in the ol’ carpentry area. So, a few thousand is probably better spent elsewhere, preferably on things we can take with us… but yeah, form follows function… not my ideal, but I guess you have to be practical some time. :) And, I don’t mind him having the room how he wants it. We’ll still make it look nice in the end (minus the monitors).

  2. I love all of those colors! How in the world are you going to pick one?!?!

  3. I think your choices look great! And yes, the office door painted would look pretty awesome :) I WISH my husband’s office looked like that. Double the cords and amount of monitors. Ugh…. it drives me up the wall!!! Oh, and it’s in the same space as our daughter’s playroom. Awesome.

  4. Hahaha! I’m like reading, reading, reading, all analyzing the paint colors and everything and then BAM, there’s my name! LOL! I already knew I won, but thanks for the shout out to my blog ~ lots of reveals coming up soon! BTW, I love the direction you’re going with all of the color samples!

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