I Need Coastal Home Painting Ideas!

by Teena

Our living room is currently painted green

Our living room is currently painted green

I found your website while searching for ideas to make my home have a more coastal feeling. I am really stuck on paint. I have a cape cod home that has an open floor plan — foyer, living room, dining room and kitchen.
I want to paint the downstairs to more resemble a Maine cottage/coastal cottage type thing. I keep thinking color — but when I look at pictures of homes and pictures of homes that we stayed at in Maine — the walls are white. We stayed in a beautiful little cottage on Westport Island that was all white.

At first, I was thinking yellowy, beigey — but I just can’t get the right shade. Considering going to white walls - a creamy white — not a bright glaring white with a little darker woodwork. Suggestion for the white?

Yes — I want to paint all the stained woodwork. Maybe do that in a darker shade or even a grayish white??? Is it ok to paint woodwork another color than white?

Can’t afford to do the kitchen cabinets — but I would redo the counter top in black and add stainless steel pulls to the cabinets. New drapes and some accent pillows. If I would get a new couch — think Pottery Barn canvas.

Just really need some advice on the color of the walls/woodwork. Any ideas/suggestions?

P.S. The picture looks yellowy - but the walls are currently green.

Yelena's Response:

Hi Teena,

You are right - in order to replicate that "Maine cottage" type of look, the walls have to be a shade of white.

But not a yellow-based white! Because first, it will not look coastal in this particular home; and second, it will clash with the carpet (I see some pink in it).

What you need here is a soft, warm, smokey shade of white that will work with all the colors in your existing decor.

Now as far as painting woodwork a darker color than the walls, you absolutely can do it - if you have a reason to (see "Unconventional Interior Trim Colors"). In your case, a good reason to use a deeper color on the woodwork would be to help create a more casual, laid-back look and feel, and at the same time to add some color to the walls without taking away from the coastal atmosphere.

So your idea is exactly the right thing to do! Here's how the color combination will look (walls - 6105 Divine White, woodwork - 6106 Kilim Beige; both are Sherwin Williams colors):

To complete the look, accessorize with grayed-down blues, navy blue, black and white. Maybe throw in a touch of seafoam green and/or coral.

And of course don't forget to add natural textures and fibers to "anchor" the theme!

Leave a Comment:

It's amazing how
by: JJ

a change in color can change the atmosphere. Nice demonstration !

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