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Paint Color Ideas, Color Tips for Your Home

Are you choosing wall paint colors for your home and using up valuable time? Do you need some paint color ideas? Call me for color help. We can consult remotely or in person. I’m spending this Fall/Winter season in the Coachella Valley Palm Springs, California, area and am available to work with you on your home, inside and out. Here are a few paint color tips that apply to most any residential or commercial architecture.

Wall Paint Color Ideas to Get You Going:

  • No remodel mishmash: Choose all of the colors for the building at once. A master color plan will save you time and money in the long run. Trying to link one “done” room to another and another as you fix up the house can result in an awkward lack of flow.
  • Shine control is crucial: Be sure to specify paint sheens for wall color and trim color that are consistent with both the use of the room and your interior design concepts. Many paint brands now offer a “washable” flat wall paint which can expand your paint sheen options.
  • Be there: Choosing paint colors in person, in the building, is the best way to choose wall paint color. Remote color choosing works, but not as quickly or easily.
  • Stick with a paint brand: Stay within the same brand of paint color as much as possible. Each paint brand uses consistent base tones to mix their colors. “Matching” a wall paint color from another paint brand can be iffy as the base tone choices the paint technician has are never a 100% match across brands.
  • Choose your expensive permanent surfaces first. It’s much easier to match paint to a natural stone or wood finish than it is to match those surfaces to a paint color. The large paint companies such as Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and Pittsburgh Paint have literally hundreds of colors each of green, blue, brown, white, etc. Take advantage of the luxury of color variety that paint offers.

Note: Call Cristina Acosta 541-389-5711 for paint color advice and interior design color solutions. Fees are by the project and/or by the hour. My fee is $150.00 hourly with a minimum $300.00 for the first visit. Projects requiring travel will include travel fees and a per diem.



Loft home colors red green gold © Cristina Acosta

Rich Wall Colors for a Great Room Loft

Three deep, saturated colors combine in one two-story open loft space. The architecture is inspired by a mid-century modern aesthetic with a Pacific Northwest inspired color palette. The client wanted a color plan that brightened the gray winter days giving their vacation condo a ski lodge feeling.

The two story loft area consisted of the dining area downstairs and an office upstairs. The entire loft area is open to the living room and kitchen and is part of a great-room. The architectural space was complex and mulit-use, which made it a fascinating project. I love architectural projects that are complex juxtapositions of space and structure. Designing a interior color plan is like creating a lovely rubix cube of color you can walk through.

Benjamin Moore Master Color Palette:

  • “Green” Dry Sage 2142-40 (eggshell)
  • “Gold” Roasted Sesame Seed 2060-40 (eggshell)
  • “Red” Rhubarb 2007-30 (eggshell)

Kitchen – Walls and ceiling including outside wrap and structure on dining side – Roasted Sesame Seed 2060-40

Dining – Walls all the way up stairway wall and North wall to the top  of second story loft– Rhubarb 2007-30. Ceiling in lower dining area — Roasted Sesame Seed 2060-40

Ceiling of Great Room (living, dining, entry) All Dry Sage 2142-40

*note: these particular colors are effective in this particular architectural environment. Test them before using them in your home.


Hire Cristina as your color expert for: Residential, commercial and institutional architectural projects. On site and remote projects welcome. Traveling is an additional option.

Classic taupe and brown neutral wall colors © Cristina Acosta

Warm Gray Taupe Neutral Paint Colors are Calming and Serene

Three mushroom taupe neutral paint colors link the open plan master bedroom suite. Neutral colors can be “neutral” in several different tonal directions. This client’s master en suite bath is a selection of three mushroom taupe neutrals that coordinate beautifully as they merge within the architectural space of the room.

I specified Benjamin Moore Paint colors for this project. Areas of the master bath were open to the bedroom, so the color palette was used throughout the suite. The house is a large adobe style ranch house with contemporary and traditional accents. The color palette we developed for the entire home flowed beautifully in each wing of the home, changing moods with the rooms. It was a lovely project.

View From Master Bedroom into Bath with Rock Pillar and Wood Horse Sculpture:*

Ceiling of bedroom and Bathroom: Benjamin Moore, Whitall Brown HC-69, eggshell sheen.
Walls of Bedroom: Benjamin Moore, Jamesboro Gold HC-88, eggshell sheen.
Bathroom Walls: Benjamin Moore, Bear Creek 1470, eggshell sheen

*note: these particular colors are effective in this particular architectural environment. Test them before using them in your home.


Hire Cristina as your color expert for: Residential, commercial and institutional architectural projects. On site and remote projects welcome. Traveling is an additional option.

Classic Paint Colors ©Cristina Acosta

What’s Your Color Personality?

Originally published in Latina Style magazine, Su Casa home decor column, by Cristina Acosta

Dear Cristina,
I read somewhere that the colors I like tell a lot about my personality and that certain colors can affect my moods. Is it true that you can you tell what a person is like when you see the colors they paint their home? Can color change the way I feel?
J. Vigil

It’s certainly true that color, like music can encourage a particular mood or express an attitude. Don’t get carried away with the symbolic meanings of color just yet.  Often a lackluster color scheme is the result of a lack of confidence or knowledge of the design world, not a commentary on one’s character.
If people choose colors with as much confidence as they choose their music, you’d definitely get more of a sense of who they are when you view the results. Far more people are confident about their taste in music that are sure of their color sense.  Because of that, many people are afraid to experiment with color and often will choose colors for their home that seem safe – These are usually colors that they think other people will approve.

It’s time for a change. It’s time to ask yourself – What is my color personality?
Doty Horn, the Director of Color at Benjamin Moore Company says, “The trend is going to the individualizing of the color palette so that the person choosing it has a sense of ownership. This is who I am. This is my personality.”Johns Home-Livingroom.jpg
Just as we all don’t dance to the same tunes, colors don’t have the exact same effect on everyone. You may find that a color you love in one place doesn’t work at all in another location, whether that’s another room or another home. It’s the same thing that happens when a favorite album cut just doesn’t suit your mood at the moment, or you lose interest in it completely. As you change along with the world around you, so does your perception of color.

Josette Buisson, the Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Paints says“…conclusions (about color) are drawn from more subjective considerations, like the impact of technology on our life, our self-definition, and our relationships to one another.” She has developed a program for Pittsburgh Paints that links color choices to personality tendencies.

Though there is certainly scientific evidence that people in the same culture tend to share their response to certain colors, there are many exceptions. I love vibrant reds and use them in a variety of rooms in my home. Someone else may
experience red as over-stimulating and upsetting. Don’t take color advice verbatim.

Take a chance and experiment. Color is one of the most inexpensive design elements you can bring into your home. It is also the most powerful way you can express your personal home style.

So take time to discover which colors really grab you – not just the colors you think you “should” like. Peruse the websites of paint companies. Head to the store and collect paint chips of any color you’re interested in. When you have at least a few dozen samples, you’ll start to see a trend. Often you’ll surprise yourself when you see which colors you like.

Follow you heart and be brave with color. Whatever the result, when you surround yourself with your creative choices you will always feel energized and interested in your world.

These two pictures are from the same Hacienda-style home. For this formal yet friendly living room my clients chose colors in a subdued monochromatic palette of browns and golds. These colors express a calm and relaxed yet lush attitude. Bath, Green Project: Johns.jpg

A fiesta of color brightens the guest bath. The guest suite is down the hall from the more formal living room. Don’t be afraid to change moods throughout the house. Staying within the Hacienda concept, my clients were able to include more than one color palette.

Benjamin Moore Company   www.benjaminmoore.com
Pittsburgh Paint www.voiceofcolor.com
Article first published in Latina Style magazine

Nespresso boxes pair color with flavor

Inspired Sensational Color Can Be Yours!

Nespresso boxes pair color with flavor
Discovering and exploring inspiring color choices can entice us to try a new flavor. The Nespresso company has made an art form out of color choice as it affects product packaging and display placement. (And I love the coffee!)
photo: ©Cristina Acosta

Pick a color, any color, and you’ll be surprised. Because if you follow your color bliss and choose colors that attract and inspire you, the right color is closer than you think. Start randomly choosing colors that attract you and after you’ve made 50 to 100 selections, there will be a pattern to your color choices. Guaranteed. I see it with every client.

And no matter how forward-thinking or retro-minded we may be, we are still in the present moment. Which is why we need to repaint, remodel, re-brand, etc. Time is marching on and change is inevitable. Colors go in and out of fashion because pushing the changes of fashion is the flow of time and perception.

That said, can a color choice be out of context for a particular project or a particular room? Absolutely, if that project or room already has a defined color scheme. Choosing colors that integrate into an existing color plan has a different set of parameters than creating a completely new color plan.

If you want to know what you really think and feel about color, pay attention to what inspires you and look for patterns as your choices add up. Inspired, sensational color can be yours!

Is Red Really the Color of Desire?

Painting your bedroom dark red can really work. (If you love red.) Be brave and use the colors you love in your home.

Drive by most any fast-food restaurant and you’ll most likely see red regardless of your emotional state, because red is understood to be a color that stimulates the appetite. KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, and In-n-Out are some of the national fast-food companies that use red in their marketing.

Red has such a reputation as an appetite stimulating, passion rousing color that I’ve had clients insist on putting red in a room for that reason, or insist on not using red for that reason.

This was the case for a business that wasn’t in the food industry. After putting together an office color scheme with a company CEO, I was approached  by an upset employee who was sure that the dark cranberry red color we had chosen for the conference room would exacerbate arguments and increase dissension.

I assured the employee that red was going to work beautifully in the room and stimulate conversation rather than direct it. He wasn’t that sure of my advice, but he accepted his boss’ choice. The boardroom walls became cranberry red and everyone deemed it a success.

But all reds aren’t equal. Red-oranges, blue-reds, pinks, magentas, deep reds, bright reds, dull reds, dark reds and light reds are some of the variations of red that most any national paint brand offers.

And just like the many varieties of reds, there are just as many reactions and beliefs  surrounding the color red. Passionate, powerful, stimulating, argumentative, sexual, life-giving, playful, decorative, deep, are just some of the concepts that people attach to the color red and/or feel from the color red.

Whatever you feel about the color red, if you are attracted to it, I encourage you to use red in your room. As a room color or as an accent wall color, if using red scares you, putting it on your wall is a worthwhile risk. Whether you love it or hate it, facing the color red will leave you feeling stronger.

Choosing the Right Colors for You

Choosing colors can be confusing. My color consulting clients usually have piles of paint color samples and an idea of which colors or color direction they prefer, and then say “. . . but, you just tell me which colors are best.”

Multi-colored sign saying Be You that I found while visiting a Los Angeles County, California beach town. ©Cristina Acosta
Los Angeles Beach Area Street Art Sign ©Cristina Acosta

 I won’t. At least not until you’ve done some exploration. I won’t tell you the colors I think you should have, because the first thing you need to experience when choosing colors is the freedom to choose any color that catches your attention. And…I don’t live or work in your building. Choosing colors is about you.

Color consultants have many different processes they use when advising about colors, so I’m not speaking for anyone else. When I work with clients, the first hour of the appointment is crucial so that we both see which colors they are attracted to.

Most clients choose about fifty to two-hundred colors during the initial phase of our appointment. Looking across the color samples on the table, we both get the true non-verbal reality of their color likes and dislikes.

I included the word “dislikes” because invariably, some of my clients color choices move to the “hate-it” side of the table.

Choosing colors can be a deeper process than just decorating. Surrounding yourself with colors that resonate deeply for you is emotionally satisfying.

Cristina Acosta

Residential, Commercial and Institutional Architectural Color Consultant

Choosing Room Colors

Creating a paint color scheme blending good color design with the architecture of your home is like putting together a 3-D puzzle. One part of that puzzle changes and everything changes. And change can be complicated. If you've ever felt overwhelmed by color, you're not alone. Putting together entire interior design color schemes can be a lot to think about. But, mixing colors around your home gets a little simpler if you think about those color combinations as a master color plan.

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Nature’s Lovers are Colors – Purple and Green Together

Landscape artists often refer to the color combination of violet/purple and green as "Nature's Lovers". Not only do purple and green look good together on an artist's canvas, they can look amazing together in your home. From soft gray violet to deep amethyst purples, painting your walls your favorite shade of purple will go with more colors than you might think.

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