How the Living/Dining/Kitchen Walls Might Look

It’s time to get down to the brass tacks with the painting plans. In a few weeks, I finally step into the pied-à-terre, paint brush in hand, ready to take to the walls.  The foyer, living room, dining room and kitchen are all an open space area, so I prefer these walls to all be the same. After collecting hundreds of inspiration photos, it’s time to whittle them down to a few for guidance …

Here’s inspiration from our house in Chicago — a glimpse of the wall in our guest room:

It’s hard to see the mottled effect here, but it’s a mix of two shades of terra cotta, a medium beige and a medium gray. It’s really hard to capture the color in this room. This photo is a little closer to the actual color:

I plan to use this same mottling technique in the Chennai apartment, but maybe more pronounced. Then, add stencils over it. Like this:

Now I’ll attempt to share the absolute top mostest favoritest inspiration photos. We’ll see at the end what this collection “says.”


Savafieh rug once for sale at OKL:

From Asian Paints:

Found at My Marrakesh:

Photo of tile found at Houzz:

From Design Amour (from which I’ll get stencils — going through this same process to finally choose stencils too):

I don’t know the original source of this:

Found at paonote room_269:

In another post, I’ll gather similar photos but in warmer colors.

Now that this collection is gathered, is it too conservative? It is monochromatic and neutral because this is for all the public rooms of the apartment, which is one bigger open space. I don’t want the walls to overwhelm. I believe these walls should be a backdrop, but a backdrop with character.

So far, it says that I like:

  • faded remnants of images
  • texture you can touch
  • hints of another world

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4 Replies to “How the Living/Dining/Kitchen Walls Might Look”

  1. Wow, you have great taste and painting abilities! This is the first time I’ve ventured into the world of painting my apartment, and now I’m totally inspired and excited. I’m moving into an apartment with a lot of potential that has as of yet been unrealized. I’d love to know what colors you used for your guest room, and how to balance them out to achieve the coloring you have here? I’m a bit unclear from your post? Sounds like 4 paints were used? Two terra cottas plus medium gray and medium beige?

    I’m also curious about inspiration image #8?

    Any chance you can share some insight? The terra cotta would be amazing for my bedroom!

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi, I’ll open up the paint cans and create what I did on the walls step-by-step and do a post here about it! Plus take better photos of the walls. They’re all Benjamin Moore colors. There was a dark terra cotta and I think I started with that color by painting a coat of it on the walls. I didn’t worry about perfect coverage because I was putting other colors on top of it. I then dabbed the gray color over the dark terra cotta, sort of in “rivers” flowing over the wall, as if it was a very old wall. I even made the gray darker in the corners, as you might expect to see on old walls. It did look similar to inspiration image #8 at that point. Then I dabbed the third color (beige? or maybe it was a lighter gray), then finally I dabbed light terra cotta color as the last layer, to blend all the gray and tone it all down. But if you want a more pronounced old look, like image #8, you could stop painting whenever you get the look you like. Also our house has white ceilings as most houses do, but in that room, I painted the ceiling with the light gray color I used on the walls. White ceiling looked too stark with the terra cotta walls. I’ll go through all these steps on a board and photograph them and post about it, and hopefully that will help! Will be fun to play with this technique again! Also, I used a huge sea sponge for the mottling effect.

  2. BTW – No wonder I’m in total like with your posts and taste. I love the colors, fabrics, etc. of India. My bedroom furniture and coverlet are all India inspired, the paint job would be the prefect touch. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Nicole, I’m SO glad you’re enjoying the blog! I’ll look up the paint colors we used in the guest room and reply here — the cans are still in our basement. We have a guest staying here now and the room is cleaned up (usually it turns into a big closet with our clothes all over!) — I should do a post about the guest room when he leaves, and show all the India inspiration there. I can also recreate the mottled terra cotta wall paint on a board and show step-by-step how to do it. I did that room 8 years ago and still LOVE it, love going in there and looking at the walls! Deb

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