As promised, I’m sharing some of the design decisions–mostly paint colors–that I’ve made for the upstairs of the new house.

The other day in the paint store, I heard a well-groomed woman in designer everything exclaiming to an equally well-dressed lady that, “Picking paint colors is THE WORST. I seriously need wine–or Vicodin–right now.”

And all I could think was, “First world problems.”

So, please know that when I say that picking paint colors is hard, I do not mean hard in any genuine sense of the word.

Maybe “tricky” is a better word.

Those darn color swatches look so alluring, and then you paint them on an actual wall or cabinet, and–tada–they transform from beautiful swans into majorly ugly ducklings. Not exactly what you were going for.

I’ve “agonized” (aka: spent a lot of time carrying painted boards around the house and analyzing them in different light) over various paint colors for weeks now, and I am so relieved to say that–for better or for worse–I’m done! At least with the cabinet paint colors.

In the end, I booted a couple of colors I was considering in favor of the custom paint color we currently have on our kitchen island.

kitchen island1

In case you’re wondering, it’s very close to SW Aloe, but with a less saturated green. We played around with it a fair bit to get it just right, and I like the color so much that I decided to go with it for the laundry room cabinets and the lingerie chest in the master closet. cabinets10

I had been hoping to add some wallpaper to the laundry room (pictured above), but I didn’t have a particular design in mind until I spotted a roll of this  gorgeous wallpaper at Anthropologie on a quick trip to Dallas a couple of weeks ago for Lindsay’s birthday.

floral wallpaper

It was opened and had a few smudge marks on it (obviously a return from an online purchase, since they don’t carry wallpaper in stores), so the manager discounted it 50%. Never EVER be afraid to ask for a discount–even at a high-falutin’ store like Anthro.

I love how the minty colors in the leaves will pick up the color of the paint I chose, and those big pink flowers just make me happy…which is kind of what I was going for in a room where a lot of unhappy (okay, tedious) things take place.

The master bath vanity and the upstairs kitchenette will be SW’s Modern Gray (you might remember I’m planning on painting some walls with this color at 50%, but the cabinets will be full strength). I have enough else going on in these rooms that I didn’t need a competing cabinet color.

This pic has been a longtime inspiration shot for the girls’ bathroom, so I chose SW Deep Sea Dive as their vanity color.

teal bathroom


Lots of elements in the girls’ actual bathroom will be considerably different, but I still love the concept of the deep blue-green + the gold accents.

deep sea dive

It’s similar to the kitchen cabinet lowers, but you can see that it’s a bit lighter and bluer in this pic.


(Deep Sea Dive is the far right)

SPEAKING of the kitchen cabinet lowers, I know I’m supposed to be talking about the upstairs, but they got the first coat of paint on the lowers, and–holy wow!–I love it!

teal kitchen

The formula for Weekend (Magnolia Paint) isn’t available yet, so they had to do a color-match at Sherwin Williams. It took some trial and error, but we finally nailed it, I think.

Oh! And one more. The boys’ vanity color will be SW Privilege Green. Their vanity top is stained wood with shiplap behind the vanities, so I wanted something fresh and boyish without being too “primary colors.”

privilege green

And there you have it! Upstairs paint colors DONE. Boom. And all that.

We move 2 weeks from tomorrow, and there are still paint and tile and countertops (the concrete is a definite at this point…can’t wait to show you!) and finish plumbing and…oh goodness. I’d better stop, since I haven’t even gotten to talking about packing.

Which…is what I’m off to do.

Y’all have a wonderful Monday, ya hear!



  1. Abbie, would you be willing to share the formula for your lower cabinets in the kitchen? I love that color and also wanted something a littler greener and darker than Deep Sea Dive for my kitchen island. Thanks!

  2. Oh yes, picking paint was THE hardest thing about building our house! I had so many samples and didn’t like any of them, in the end I went with paint colors I didn’t have any samples for just lots of Pinterest pictures and I decided they’d be good enough!

  3. Abbie, thank you! We are in the midst of buying a farm and the new house is great, but does need a little paint personality. I adore your colors and style, so I’m just gonna copy them! 🙂 I had never considered painting cabinets in deep rich colors until I saw it on your first house. I’m loving that kitchen cabinet color! Can’t wait to see the rest of the house!

  4. I always watch for paint sales. Sherwin Williams just had their 40% off sale but have more frequent 30% off sales throughout the year. If you signup for their email list you’ll be notified of upcoming sales. You can stock up on paint during the sale and then bring it back to the store at a later time to be tinted if you’re not sure of the colors you want yet. Lowes and HD also have a $5 off mail in rebate paint sales every so often. Good luck!

      1. Yes. The tip about buying it on sale untinted and then getting it tinted later is one we’ve used many times! Also, I want to see a pic of your island! 🙂

  5. Can you do a blog post or explain how to save money buying paint?

    We just bought our first house (yayyyy!!!!) and the whole interior is yellow (

    1. (I’m just going to edit this here since for some reason, it didn’t post all the way?)

      Can you do a blog post or explain how to save money buying paint?

      We just bought our first house (yayyyy!!!!) and the whole interior is yellow (which is slightly horrifying…it scared us away at first, and we had to see the house multiple times before we could commit!).

      I’ve been picking out colors, and I’m LOOVING Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore (and other pricier brands), but with each room needing 2 gallons (and sometimes even 3-4), this is going to be more expensive than we want :/

      Is there anyway to get the colors we like without spending enough to buy another house?

      1. Hi, Cassandra! Okay, so the thing with color “brands” is that you can get those colors at any paint store. The brand of the color doesn’t matter and doesn’t affect the price of the paint. And the price of the paint depends on the quality of the paint. The better/longer-lasting stuff costs more. But, in some ways, paint is paint, so if you go with a middle-of-the-road quality, nobody will be able to tell the difference between it and the super expensive stuff (in most cases…although, the application/duration may be inferior).

        Sherwin Williams has 40% off sales at least once a year and 30% off sales several times a year. Another reader after you just mentioned this, but the best part is that you can go in and get all of your paint (untinted) at the sale price and then just bring it back and get the colors you want (again, any brand, at no extra cost) tinted for free.

        If you happen to have any painter friends (as in that have a business), ask them if they’d be willing to let you use their contractor discount. Sometimes, it’s better than the 40% off.

        Good luck!

I love hearing from you guys!