ashley’s painting adventure: which colors?


I love my new apartment—–a top-floor Brooklyn brownstone fixer-upper. It’s got lots of character (as you can see above), plenty of space (practically palatial by New York standards) and is need of some serious TLC (see the crack in the wall on the next page). With my fiancé on an extended business trip in India, I (well, actually Erica P. and I) am sorting through the usual choices: flat or eggshell? Traditional or modern? And then we thought, who better to weigh in on paint colors and furniture picks than design-savvy Shelterrific readers? Our (and your) first decision: What shade to paint the accent walls in the living room and the bedroom. We were thinking of going with Benjamin Moore’s “olive moss” (see next page!) as one option. Any other suggestions? — Ashley P. and Erica P.

Scary crack!

Bedroom accent wall.

Livingroom accent wall.

Olive moss?

From our partners

I just love the color green, so I say go with the Olive Moss! Can’t wait to see the after pics.

Caitlin B.

Firstly, let me tell you how jealous I am of your beautiful new apartment. I’m dying to finish school and move into Brooklyn.
Secondly, I was wondering if you were planning on painting both accent walls that olive moss color. I like it very much, green is my favorite color.
Thirdly, were it my beautiful new Brooklyn apartment, I would paint the accent wall in the living room black and cover it with framed pictures and photos of lots of different sizes and frame-finishes. Salon-style, you know? But I don’t know anything about the rest of your decor, so I don’t know how that would fit with your style. It’s just an idea..
Also, you could do some bold vertical stripes on the accent wall on the bedroom. But, whatever you do, have so much fun!


What other colors are you considering? Also, are you planning on keeping the green lamp in the dining room? I think the Olive Moss looks nice (but I can’t tell if my monitor is giving me the true color, of course!). I think that the Kiwi color on the Benjamin Moore website is a lovely green, too.

Oooh I love the olive moss choice! Definitely go with olive moss.

Asphalt Flower

Love the Olive Moss.

The Pros:
– Very trendy
– Makes other colors really pop (white, orange, brown, coral, yellow, teal etc. all look amazing with it)

The Cons:
– Very trendy
– Might be too stimulating for a bedroom (depending on the rest of the furnishings, etc.)

We love the color, too. We went a couple of shades lighter for our bedroom as we were going for a more restful hue/vibe. But we’re also very lazy and knew we were unlikely to paint again for another five years. (That’s why “trendy” made it into the “Cons” column for us… too hard to repaint with a toddler underfoot!)

If the accent walls are nice and smooth then go with an eggshell finish as it will provide more warmth to your rooms. But if the wall is nicked or has dings then go with a flat finish as this will hide the imperfections. Olive Moss looks great!

We used Benjamin Moore’s Kittery Point Green walls in the upstairs hall and halfway down the stairwell, and Sherwood Green down the rest of the stairwell and in the livingroom. The trim and doors were done in Acadia White, after our trip to the national park in Maine of the same name.

You can see how it looks here:

Both are lovely greens, and make the dark cherry furniture downstairs really “pop”. Soothing without looking institutional. We’re also not that olive-y, so we opted for these.

Best of luck with your painting. Looks like a nice apartment.

Sorry I didn’t include this in the earlier post, but if you want to see the whole thread of the painting story, the link is here:

You’ll just have to scroll down through the chocolate and food photos. ;D

I like the Olive Moss, but remember that it’ll probably look darker and more intense once it’s on the wall.

I would get a sample can and paint out a section a few feet by a few feet on the wall in each area. Live with it for a few days before you make up your mind… if you want a lighter shade you can always just go over it with primer. :)

I second Miranda’s comment.

Rule of thumb that most designers live by. If you find a shade you like, always select one shade lighter and you’ll get the shade that you want. Especially when it comes to Ben Moore.


I would also investigate the Ben moore Eco Spec line….few to no VOC’s, much better for teh occupants brain cells and the planet.

But so true, pick a litghter shade or rent a can first because it may look great by day and crappy by night/artificial light, so make sure you really love it before you commit to the gallon size.


Ashley P.? Are you back from India already? If this is the Ashley I think (and hope) it is, drop me an e-mail sometime and let me know what’s going on.


btw, lovelovelove your new place. Those ceilings! Swoon.

Ashley P.

Wow, you guys! These are GREAT ideas. I’m thinking of going for a grayish/purple color for the bedroom accent wall and sticking with the olive moss for the living room. (Timothy, thanks for the tips on the finish — of course, the walls are not smooth.)

I’ll still have the office and the dining room to work with as well. As soon as this heat wave clears, I’ll finish the accent wall and post photos. Thanks!