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Emily Henderson

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by Arlyn Hernandez
Henderson Samsung The Frame Louise Roe The Barn 34

While we’re not saying that Instagram is a tell-all for all life’s truths (ha, the opposite, really), what it DOES tell us is what you guys respond to visually on our feed. And you want to know what your interactions tell us, if we’re measuring by likes and comments? You LOVE a bold blue or green wall. One of our MOST asked questions is “WHAT PAINT COLOR IS THAT?” anytime we post something darker than a neutral gray, so today, we’ve got a treat for you. All the dramatic, bold blue and green paint colors that are tried and true for EHD, all in one place. (Don’t worry though, if a deep navy wall makes you want to curl up into a ball, we already covered our favorite whites and light grays in this post, so head there if you started twitching, but if you didn’t, keep on reading).

We say this anytime we do a paint story, but that won’t stop us from saying it again: TEST YOUR PAINT BEFORE COMMITTING. Paint colors are sneaky, sly buggers in that a swatch online will look totally different from the swatch in the store which will look pretty dissimilar from what your whole entire wall will end up looking like. We take this seriously around here, especially with darker colors, so if you chose to not heed our warning, proceed with caution.

Alright, now that I put out that disclaimer, let’s look at some beautiful photos that will hopefully help you pick some very special colors for an upcoming project of yours.

Waterloo by Sherwin-Williams

photo by sara ligorria-tramp for ehd | from: the portland media room reveal

The design team loved Waterloo so much, they used it in two rooms in the Portland Project: the downstairs media room (above) and the powder room (below). This slate-y blue looks equally good on walls as it does millwork. In neither of the rooms here does it come off too dark or heavy since it has gray undertones, but is a great background to build a crisp and personality-filled room around.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp for ehd | from: the portland powder room reveal

Cyberspace by Sherwin-Williams

photo by sara ligorria-tramp for ehd | from: how to create a dream master bathroom suite

Cyberspace is another perfect Portland blue except this time, it’s a rich, true navy. It doesn’t lean too purple or come off too cyan but is definitely very saturated in a wonderful way. In a room, top to bottom, it might be a BIT dark, which is why it’s an awesome color for millwork that’s lightened up by a neutral wall and other accents. I can see this also on rehabbed furniture, say…a dresser paired with brass hardware. Ohh yes! Someone do that!

Pewter Green by Sherwin-Williams

photo by sara ligorria-tramp for ehd | from: the portland kitchen renovation reveal

Moving into some new favorite greens for us, this is the velvety tone we used on the cabinetry of the Portland kitchen. The design team tested out a million shades to get the right hue and ended up LOVING Pewter Green because it’s a rich, saturated green that has a bit of gray in it so it doesn’t lean teal or too jewel-toned. We haven’t tried this on a wall, but it would probably be so pretty in a powder room, smaller home office, hallway or even exterior.

Inchyra Blue by Farrow & Ball

photo by sara ligorria-tramp for ehd | from: arlyn’s rental dining room proves the power of paint

I said this in my dining room reveal a few weeks back, but whoa is this a hard color to capture properly on camera…also, I’m OBSESSED with it. This is pretty close (after tinkering with the photo team to correct it) representation, but it still doesn’t give you the true depth. It’s my absolute new favorite paint color (if you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty lowkey about it…) because it has a je ne sais quoi about it. You cannot fully describe it, but my best effort is a chalky blue-green-slate. It’s not really teal or navy or hunter green…it’s its own person, okay? I chose to bring it up into my ceiling and if you’re into this color (or anything on this list as equally pigmented), I highly recommend trying it. It “hugs” you and really makes this color show off to its utmost potential.

French Beret by Benjamin Moore

photo by sara ligorria-tramp for ehd | from: the color trend we’re very into right now

This is the kind of color you’re going to want to slather on EVERYTHING: walls, ceilings, millwork, cabinetry, doors, baseboards. It’s like Nutella: you can put it on cardboard and it would taste bomb.com. In certain lights, this can lean quite gray but it has enough blue in it that it won’t ever read as just that.

Gentleman’s Gray by Benjamin Moore

photo by geneieve garruppo | from: a 120-year-old barn makeover with samsung’s the frame tv

I’m quite baffled as to why this paint color has the word “gray” in it…it’s not gray, like…at all. Gentleman’s Cobalt maybe, but absolutely not gray. Naming conventions aside, this is a jewel-like blue that in bright light can come off pretty bright, but also quite dark with no light…it can’t make up its mind, but like a finicky riddle that had you stumped for a while and you finally figured out, it’s worth the head scratch. It’s EXTRA good with tonal blues in dense, sheeny velvets like in the shot above. Also, paired with deeper colors like the brick red of the rug and the darker tones of the art makes it feel very posh yet edgy.

Green Smoke by Farrow & Ball

Emkitchen 374
photo by tessa neustadt for ehd | from: our classic modern kitchen reveal

Probably the least “bold” color of the bunch, we had to let things breathe somewhere. It can’t all be daaaark colors pounding your eyeballs, but Green Smoke (which Emily painted her kitchen island) is so lovely in a way that feels earthy yet fresh and not heavy at all. Obviously, it’s great on woodwork, but it would also be so nice in a bedroom paired with warm wood furniture, nubby linens, caning, maybe even some modern florals on your curtains or throw pillows.

Blue Note by Benjamin Moore

photo by zeke ruelas | from: a moody mid-century home office

Remember when I started this post and I mentioned Instagram and your likes? Well, you guys LOVE this room. Every time we post this, it blows up and I doubt it’s just the wall color alone. That paired with the gallery wall, warm wood and brass tones and the rich leather makes for a perfectly moody yet “alive” space that clearly also speaks to you guys, too. This is a VERY saturated color, so if you’re looking for light and bright, you might want to skip. It would be best in a room you wanted to punch up with some drama.

Stiffkey Blue by Farrow & Ball

Dining Room 2 002
photo by zeke ruelas | from: ginny’s dining room makeover reveal

Not only did Ginny use this in her gorgeous dining room, but Emily also painted the paneling in her master bathroom (below) the same color. It is the perfect happy blue without being too royal, and unlike some of our other favorites (like Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball), it doesn’t feel too dark or moody.

photo by tessa neustadt for ehd | from: our classic modern master bathroom reveal

A quick disclaimer from Michael, who, after seeing Ginny’s dining room reveal on the blog years ago, ran out and bought a gallon of Stiffkey Blue without testing it in his own dining space. It turned out much darker than he thought it would, likely because his room doesn’t get a ton of natural light, so if you’re looking for this brighter blue tone, #1 TEST TEST TEST and #2, it’ll probably work out best in a room the sun touches on the regular.

Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball

photo by tessa neustadt | from: emily’s kitchen makeover reveal

Before I ever stepped foot into the EHD offices, I loved Hague Blue from Farrow & Ball. I was on a work trip once and was in a room looking at a new furniture line when I had to ask the owners of the showroom “is this Hague Blue??” They were pretty shocked I was able to call it out, but it’s to be expected from a true paint enthusiast like myself. Anyhow, I’m not alone in my love for Hague Blue. It’s truly one of the richest, deepest navys (with slight green undertones) from any paint line. Emily calls it “the best navy blue on the planet,” so for a woman who knows her blues, well…listen up. That is her old kitchen up there, though she’s used it numerous other times and says it’s just deep, intense, modern yet totally classic.

Wolf Gray by Benjamin Moore

photo by zeke ruelas  | from: modern deco kitchen reveal

The kitchen in the Silver Lake Hill’s project from a few years back is still one of my favorite EHD spaces. I remember admiring it from afar, and thinking the shade of blue on the cabinets was that perfect chalky Frenchy blue. It works so well here with the warm brass hardware and fixtures, bet gets a punch from the motif of the cement tiles. If you’re looking for a really good slate blue that bounces light around a room and instantly brings sophistication to the space, this is your blue.

Van Courtland Blue by Benjamin Moore

photo by tessa neustadt for ehd | from: sylvia’s makeover – master bedroom reveal

And finally, for anyone sitting at their device shaking their heads that nothing here is soothing, I present to you Van Courtland Blue by Benjamin Moore. Emily used it in Sylvia’s master bedroom because it really infused a calm yet happy feeling to the room. This is a very soothing blue that plays well with warmer toned woods or decor (like the coral accents).

To make it easy to reference back to (Pin it now so you don’t lose it!), we put all the colors together in one roundup. These hues were pulled off the company websites, so they’re a little skewed as compared to how they look in the photos/IRL, but should be pretty close.

Emily Henderson Best Paint Colors Bold Blues & Greens New

Waterloo | 2. Pewter Green | 3. Cyberspace | 4. Inchyra Blue | 5. Green Smoke | 6. Stiffkey Blue | 7. Van Courtland Blue | 8. Wolf Gray | 9. Hague Blue | 10. French Beret | 11. Blue Note | 12. Gentleman’s Gray

  1. EHD always picks the best blue/green/gray paint mixes and now here they are in one round up. WOOHOO!

    Currently rocking Inchyra Blue on my doors. It really glows and can look blue, green or gray depending on the time of day.

  2. Love this but would love to see more greens, especially juicy and saturated and jewel-y. Looking for bedroom color ideas

    1. For saturated, jewel tone greens, I recently tested out Salamander by Benjamin Moore, Hunt Club by Sherwin Williams, Isle of Pines by Sherwin Williams, and Hunter Green by Benjamin Moore.

      I ended up going with Hunt Club because it worked best with the light I get in that particular room, but I truly loved all four of those hues.

      1. I am using Hunt Club in a guest bathroom renovation and I LOVE it!

      2. Thanks Lauren. I was actually hoping for more real green suggestions. The only ones here are really blue-green or gray-green.

    2. Lauren, Forestwood by Sherwin Williams is a great saturated green color that works well with other colors. On the wall, it doesn’t look as gray as it may look on the paint chip. Good luck!

  3. I love the grey owl I did my kitchen with it.

  4. I’d love to see a roundup of exterior colors in the blue/green family too? I’m agonizing about picking a navy for our hours and need help! Also I can also call out Salamander by Benjamin Moore, we just painted our office in it and it’s my favorite room in the house. SO pretty.

    1. We painted out house Benjamin Moore Britannia Blue, and I love it. We combined it with Ben Moore Ozark Shadows (we have an old Foursquare house that has “layers” of different materials).

  5. Beautiful colors! What a great post. One correction: Sylvia’s bedroom is actually Van Courtlant blue! Newburyport blue is much darker.

  6. I love Newburyport Blue, but if you check your link, it says that Sylvia’s bedroom was done in Van Courtland Blue. Van Courtland Blue a lighter blue and Newburyport is much darker.

    1. We fixed it. So sorry about that!

  7. Good lord this is helpful. Thank you!!

    Arlyn, can I also just say how insanely appealing your suggestion for using Smoke Green in a room is!? “Pair with warm wood furniture, nubby linens, caning, maybe even some modern florals”…um yes. Can you guys do these little descriptions more? So inspiring.

    1. Ohh yeah happy to throw out more design suggestions! That’s the fun stuff.

  8. Great post! SO helpful!

  9. Love. Love. Love. Thank you for the great information!

  10. I fell in love with Emily’s Smoke Green kitchen island the first time I saw it! We’re having the cabinets in our mid-century modern home re-painted in September and had decided her Smoke Green was the perfect color. We love the original layout of the kitchen and the custom cabinets that are original to our home as well. I noticed your comment that this color was the “least bold” of the list, but I’m wondering if painting the upper and lower cabinets this color would be too bold. Large windows make up the entire west wall of the kitchen, the floor is light wood and the walls are painted the palest of pale celery green. (more like white with a whisper of celery)
    Arlyn or fellow followers of this blog, if you care to share your opinion, I’d love to know your thoughts! Thanks for this fun, colorful post, loving every blue and green shade featured.

    1. I would paint the walls to match the smoke green, otherwise, make up a very large sample to see if it will work.

  11. This is so helptful! I would love to see suggestions for rooms that barely gets any natural light… Looking for blue and green color ideas for a windowless powder bathroom and a very dark and small bedroom!

    1. The portland powder bath is also windowless and the color in there (Waterloo) is so so lovely. It’s light enough that it doesn’t go black when there’s no light around.

      1. Oh wow! that powder room is also windowless! It looks so naturally light on the picture! I am surprised! Clearly I need to change my lighting too then…

      2. Wow! that powder bath is windowless! Unbelievable! It looks so naturally bright! Clearly I also need to change my lighting then…

    2. Maybe just add a Velux skylight?! 😉

    3. Seconded! Paint color suggestions for rooms that don’t get much natural light would be amazing.

      Sabine, I’ve got a bedroom just like yours 🙂

      1. Thirded! Would love help figuring out paint colors for rooms with little natural light. Amazing how different (well, worse) a lot of colors look without sunlight!

  12. I picked pewter green for my kitchen remodel. My door & drawer fronts arrived last week and I am Obsessed with them! This color is amazing and I love watching it change though out the day with the light.

  13. Love! I just ordered samples of Inchyra Blue, Green Smoke, Hague Blue, and De Nimes (the only one not on your list) from Farrow & Ball. They don’t have a stockist near me, but the samples had free shipping! Based on photos, I’m leaning toward De Nimes for the walls in my otherwise-all-white kitchen (cabinets, backsplash, counters, floors). You make a strong point for Pewter Green by SW though!!!! It might be a contender! Xoxo

    1. I saw a blogger (@aglassofbovino) use De Nimes in her bedroom One Room Challenge and it’s so beautiful.

      1. Oh thanks for the hot tip, Arlyn! I will check her out.

  14. I think I love all of these! I painted my powder bath SW Riverway a couple of years ago (a dark greenish blue) and I still love it.

  15. I just painted a side table in Tsunami by Behr. It was the perfect deep tealish blue green. I swapped out the knobs for copper and it’s just what I envisioned.

  16. Totally saving this! Love me some neutral blues.

  17. The dark colors are okay for a large space. Benjamin Moore….green smoke was my favorite of all.

  18. I ordered a tester of Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue when I saw Ginny’s dining room in a copy of HGTV Magazine’s ‘What’s that Color’ articles. Had decided to repaint my den from Bordeaux Burgundy to a deep blue and that looked to be the perfect color.

    Glad a bought a tester because in my west facing room without a huge bank of windows it just read GREY,
    (possibly my tester was a mislabeled ‘Downspout Grey’) after buying 6 more testers from Lowe’s I ended up painting my room ‘Fly by Nite’ from Valspar and I LOVE IT!!! Looks like a dark navy at night and reads as a very quietly vibrant dark blue with just a hint of green in the daylight. Really makes my 2nd hand honey oak bookshelves POP! and the TV just fades away into the background.

    1. I’m painting my son’s bedroom Fly By Nite. It scared me at first because going in it almost looks black but now I’m in love with it after it’s dried! Finishing today…can’t wait!! I picked it on a whim as it reminds me of a bluer version of Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball which I can’t take my eyes off of!

  19. I live in a smaaaaaallll mountain town with just a handful of paint brands available (whatever Ace carries, I think Valspar and their own brand, and then Dunn-Edwards at the other store). Is there a way that I could get one brand’s color in another brand’s base paint? For instance if I wanted to try Hague Blue or Waterloo, but get it mixed at Ace?

    1. Their paint dept. should be able to match a color for you. Especially if you have a paint chip.
      I’ve gotten Sherwin Williams to mix a Benjamin Moore color for me before. They won’t
      guarantee an ‘exact’ match because of the variation in the companies base paints, but
      they get close enough that unless you’re a paint color savant you won’t notice the difference!

  20. I’ve used both Wolf Gray and Hague Blue (Newburg Green is a BM color that is almost the same) and they are awesome! Aegean Teal is another great color. I also have used a more of a forest green that is a nice shade. It’s called Forest Wood and is by SW. Thanks for the post! Great reference.

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