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First time painter

We had been renting our house for a few years and decided to buy it. Now I have the honor in painting and doing whatever I like to it.Previous owners built a built-in in the living room and updated the kitchen with browns and dark colored back splash. I am really having a hard time picking colors and feel limited and confused with choosing a color with the back splash. All though I think the paint color they picked out is ok..I really think it needs some refreshing and updated look. They used the same color for the whole house. I am painting the large built-in White so it doesn't look so outdated. (even though its only a few years old) I really want a color that will look good with the large white built-in and oak wood floors. I am scared to go dark in fear of it looking smaller.Any ideas on a color that would work with the living room,hallway and kitchen back splash.
Also, I had an idea of an accent wall in the dining room/kitchen by the windows just to give the house a pop and not so boring looking. But,do people still do those?? It would have to match the back splash and you would be able to see it from the front door and living room. Please help. Any advice would be so helpful.

Confused first time painter.

Hi Ruby,

First, congratulations on your new home! One the best things about owning a home is being able to choose your own colors.

Could you describe the backsplash to me? What type of dark colors are in the backsplash? If you have a photo to add to the conversation, that would be even better. Are there any wall colors that you want to avoid?

Yes, accent walls are still very popular. It's a great way to add a focal point in your home. Once you choose your wall colors, an accent color can be chosen. It's also possible to pull a color from the backsplash, for your accent wall.


The back splash is dark browns,dark greys(like stones) off whites,black. Over all more brown looking. Trying to stay away from anything with a pink undertone. I have uploaded the pic. Thanks for your advice.


Thank you so much for the collage of photos -- it really helps me visualize your home. I will address each of your questions.

For the accent wall, I would consider the back wall, where the buffet and artwork is located. It would draw the eye toward the back wall, but also define the space nicely. Windowed walls can sometimes be tricky with accent walls in darker colors, especially with large windows, as the light coming in tends to render the wall color invisible. If you can use large sample boards painted in a color you're considering, you can move it around to find the right wall.

Your idea to pain the shelving white looks like it may be a good choice if you're hoping to break up all of the wood and warm tones in your house.

The backsplash is so nice and neutral, and the colors are varied. This is great! You have many options. The colors do appear to have a gray tone, with a touch of brown. With your light wood cabinets and grayish backsplash, I would be careful with beige or tan colors. Looking at your photos, it feels as though the rooms need some visual relief from the pale browns, yellows, and neutrals.

I don't know your color likes and dislikes, but here are colors that may work well in your home. Because your home is very open, it's possible to use one color for different rooms, and still have it feel different in each one, because of lighting and cabinetry. The addition of an accent wall could be a good way to introduce another color and tie in an accent color you can use in decor around the rooms.

Here are paint color ideas to consider. Please sample any colors you're considering, as they can vary by room and computer monitor.

Benjamin Moore Sheer Bliss CSP-545

Possible accent wall color with Sheer Bliss: Benjamin Moore Dusty Cornflower CSP-605

Benjamin Moore Pistachio Ice Cream CSP-815

Possible Accent wall color with Pistachio: Benjamin Moore Smoked Truffle

Benjamin Moore Jute AF-80

Possible accent wall for Jute: Benjamin Moore Pashmina AF-100

Benjamin Moore Beachside Green 2143-40

Possible accent wall for Beachside Green: Benjamin Moore Olive Branch 2143-30

As you can see, you have many options! I hope these suggestions are helpful,


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