My easy method for selecting paint colors to create a cohesive flow in an open floor-plan home, while still defining and highlighting separate living spaces.

Choose a color scheme

Those of you who have been following me for a while know well that my favorite color is blue. It has been for years. But since we moved to the coast of Maine, I have embraced the color of sky and water more than ever! I know that when it comes to decorating coastal homes, many people go with white walls in order not to “compete” with the view. I, however, am not a white paint gal. In fact, I have never had a white wall in any home I have owned!

The perfect blue

Instead, I wanted the colors in our home here to blend with the views out the windows — blues, grays, and tans. The pale blue I settled on for the walls in the main spaces downstairs — the living, dining, and kitchen areas — is Benjamin Moore Brittany Blue. The Ben Moore website describes the color this way: “This gentle sky blue with a light gray undertone is soft, airy and calming.” I think it is all of that and more! It has the perfect amount of gray in it to keep it from being too baby-boy sweet. My followers on Instagram love this color too. If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me for the name of this paint color, I could buy, well…., something! Hey Benjamin Moore, would you consider renaming the color Molly in Maine Blue?!

Create flow

Once I selected Brittany Blue as my primary color, choosing the paint colors for the other downstairs surfaces was easy! Here’s my trick: I took the paint card Brittany Blue is on — the one which shows the different shades from lightest to darkest –and used those other shades on surfaces throughout the downstairs. The different shades of a color can also be found here on the Benjamin Moore website. Just search on a color, scroll down, and it shows all the shades, as pictured above. I carried this color flow to some of the hard surfaces too — the backsplash tile in the kitchen and the tile in the mudroom dog shower match colors on this same paint card.

Let me show you how this works in my home!

Start at the front door

The color story starts at the front door. I painted it Santorini Blue. (And I needed to repaint it when I took this picture, haha! Don’t fret — that task is now done!)

Carry it into the entrance area and mudroom

When you enter the house, the mudroom is to the left and the entrance area is to the right. I chose Glass Slipper in a semigloss finish for the wood paneling in both these areas. The inside of the mudroom door is Midnight Blue. The dog shower tile is a matching color. The cabinets in the mudroom (not shown) are Blue Spruce.

Down the front hallway

Looking back along the hallway towards the front door from the fireplace area, you can see that I used Midnight Blue on the inside of the front door too. You also get a glimpse of the stair railing, which is the same color. The paneling in the hallway is Glass Slipper.

Up the stairs

The color flow carries up the stairs, which you can see from the entrance area. I painted the walls here and in the upstairs hallway Water’s Edge. This is a good area to add a little drama with a darker shade! The railing, as I mentioned, is Midnight Blue. The Thibaut wallpaper feature at the top of the stairs pulls in all the blues. The stair risers are also painted all the different shades of blue (and white) in a random order.

Are you getting the idea here?!

Into the living room and dining area

A stone see-through fireplace separates the living room and dining area, but they share the same Brittany Blue walls and pine ceiling beams. Everyone’s favorite color!

And the kitchen too

The kitchen walls are also Brittany Blue with a tile backsplash that is a close match. The beadboard ceiling repeats the Glass Slipper from the wood paneling in the entranceway and mudroom.

Will you give this a try?

Now you see how I used the paint card to take the guesswork out of choosing a cohesive paint scheme for my home! I used blue, but you can use your favorite color! I love how the colors flow from one space to the next, creating a calming but colorful home. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about this method.

Another time we will chat about the paint colors I used in the rest of the house.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Highlighting coastal decor and lifestyle, Maddie and Cisco, and the way life should be...