Hello! We just added some built in bookcases and window seat to our dining room. We love them and now we are on to the painting stage – this is my problem.
I am a fan of white. Not so with my husband. My husband would like to do something other than white – but he is talking about painting the doors a different color than the cabinet than the back of the bookshelves – I shudder just writing that. Trouble is, if I don’t come up with some alternative soon – we will have romper room built-ins!
Anyways – the walls are painted Benjamin Moore cream – (though it looks really yellowy to me). The dining room opens into the kitchen, which is painted BM camoflauge and has off white cabinets. I don’t love the cream/camouflage combo but have gotten used to it. I am afraid to add yet another color, hence the white…
Any suggestions? Thanks for any insight you might offer! Laura
Alas, the Camouflage/Cream paint color combo does not fill my heart with joy. If you’ve learned to live with it, then so can I, I suppose…but promise me you’ll at least consider repainting the kitchen? Just carry that Cream right in from the DR.
Back to the question at hand. I have three possible solutions.
TAME BUT VIABLE SOLUTION
Because the kitchen opens into the DR, it would be totally acceptable to paint the bookshelves the same off-white as your kitchen cabinets. The books and other objects on the shelves will provide plenty of visual interest.
Even if your door and window trim is a brighter white, I am suggesting the off-white of the cabinetry. Benjamin Moore’s OC-39 Timid White is a favorite of mine.
Stain? Have you considered staining the built-ins? A nice deep rich dry not orange brown? Perhaps the wood isn’t good enough quality and I just can’t tell from the pictures, but I do think that stained bookcases would look fantastic – the most library-like effect of the 3 solutions.
BOSSIEST SOLUTION, AND NATURALLY THE ONE I WOULD CHOOSE
Paint the shelves – all of them, not just the doors or the inside of the shelves – a rich, deep, glossy color. A deep marine blue would be breathtaking, as would a green so dark it’s almost black. (The latter only if you ditch the camouflage walls.)
Take a look at 2059-10 Marine Blue. There’s a lot of black in this color, too. But see how it’s a sophisticated color? Go too light and you will have the unintended “Romper Room effect” to which you referred.
Benjamin Moore has an exterior paint color called Black Forest Green, which I myself have used on the shutters of my house. It is gorgeous. Another fabulous option is 2054-10 Bavarian Forest, which is more of a bottle green (has blue in it).
Good luck, Laura! Keep us posted.
Picture of white bookshelves from Living the Swell Life. Could not for the life of me find a picture of dark painted bookshelves that weren’t red. ?? If anyone finds one, I’m sure Laura would find it most helpful…