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Sun Ah’s Thoughts on Paint Colour

When redecorating a space, people often underestimate the impact paint color can have—the available colors have come such a long way from a basic builders’ beige. Often, when people look to refreshen their home decor, revisiting their paint choices will be an essential part of the process, as it sets the tone for the space. For example, a beach house will often be associated with lighter shades and ocean blues, whereas a man-cave would tend towards darker colors, greys in particular. Here are some of Sun Ah’s favourite color picks! 

Sun Ah Brock - Interior Design - LUX decor owner and founder

You can’t go wrong if you choose the right white! 

With hundreds of shades of white to choose from, finding the right one isn’t always as simple as it may seem. Most designers will have a few solid go-to colors because they are reliable and work well in a variety of homes with different lighting. When it comes to selecting the perfect white, Sun Ah’s favourites include Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace OC-65, Dove Wing OC-18, and Simply White OC-117! These are colors that work well both on walls and cabinetry, can be used in modern or contemporary spaces, and pair well with a variety of wood tones and fabrics. These whites create the perfect backdrop for the addition of pops of color and the display of artwork and will make a room appear more spacious. The Dove Wing painted cabinets pictured below pair beautifully with the clean white counters and brass accents, creating an overall timeless look that will still be just as gorgeous in the years to come. Dove Wing is one of Sun Ah’s favourite kitchen cabinet colors, as it works well with a wooden centre island and could have an equally complimentary effect in a more modern space.  

Moreau Kitchen - LUX decor Interior Design

For those who prefer something a little darker 

Committing to a darker paint color may seem daunting at first, but it can be well worth the effort. Some of Sun Ah’s favourite darker shades can be found in the blue, green, grey color spectrum. While finding your ideal shade can take time and effort (as testing the samples in your home is recommended) the result is often pretty spectacular. Sun Ah will often opt for darker shades in high-traffic areas, such as mudrooms and powder rooms, as these colors are not as prone to scuffing (and can hide some dirt!) In this mudroom for example, the cabinets were finished in Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy HC-154, which complements the light oak herringbone floors beautifully. The dark cabinets create a feeling of both height and elegance in what would otherwise be considered a primarily functional space. 

Always popular is the incorporation of a rich sage green, famously seen in Dakota Johnson’s welcoming and un-pretentious kitchen. While a dark green works beautifully on kitchen cabinets, it can also make a great accent color, like in this dining space below, where it was used to highlight the beautiful wooden doors. Another recent trend has seen a movement towards “impact islands”, or islands that are darker than their surrounding cabinets, which often become the focal point in the kitchen. In this case, Sun Ah loves the use of a darker blue, such as Cheating Heart 1617 or Wrought Iron 2124-10, the latter of which is pictured in the glamorous space below. Just take a look at how the Moreau Project turned out.

Sun Ah’s Classic Colors

There are a select few shades that Sun Ah consistently re-visits when considering paint color choices. Rockport Grey HC-105 and Silver Satin OC-26, for instance, are two of her favourites, and staples of several LUX projects. The beauty of these classic colors lies in their subtlety—they are colors we can easily relate to, in that they’re understated and easy on the eyes. These colors are like a perfect sweater, neither too hot, nor too cold, and of which one never tires. The true mark of a classic color is that it stands the test of time. They are not necessarily trendy but will always look great on the walls—they are dependable. Rockport Grey is one of Sun Ah’s kitchen go-to’s because it pairs well with veining in marble and quartz countertops, and works beautifully when paired with clean, white cabinets. This is a color that could work well in both traditional and more modern kitchens. For instance, you’ll see how well it works at the Boisbriand Project!

Finishes, Here’s What Sun Ah Recommends 

Paints come in a variety of colors, but also in a variety of finishes. The type of finish you choose will depend on what you are painting. Typically, low use areas such as ceilings will be painted in a matte finish, since it is less likely to show imperfections. Walls in rooms that see light-to-moderate traffic will be painted in an eggshell finish, which is slightly more lustrous than the matte. This will allow for more light reflection and will be a little more resistant to scuffing. Sun Ah would recommend that your trim work be done in a pearl finish, as it will be more resistant to the wear and tear that is typical of a busy household (think kids with toys, regular vacuuming, suitcases moving in and out…) Additionally, Pearl finishes can easily be cleaned with a damp cloth. Finally, bathrooms, being moist environments, are prone to mildew build-up. When painting your bathroom, the paint should have a glossier finish, and most stores will offer a bathroom paint that helps resist mildew.   

In this welcoming entryway, the Silver Satin OC-26 walls have been painted with an eggshell finish, and the Simply White OC-117 trim work with a pearl finish. Not only is the overall effect bright and elegant, but the trim work will last despite heavy traffic.   

Daring to be Bold 

There are lots of fun new colors on LUX’s horizon. While Sun Ah is known for her soothing color-palette, get ready for her and the whole team to shake things up in coming projects. The designers are excited to start incorporating some new colors that you will not only see on the walls, but in wallpaper, cabinets, artwork and more! Neutral shades will always be the It-Girl, but more striking colors are making a comeback. Just look at Benjamin Moore’s 2023 color of the year, Raspberry Blush 2008-30, “a vivacious shade of coral tinged with pink” (Benjamin Moore).  

If you find yourself hesitating to step out of your comfort-zone but are equally inclined to “dare to be bold”, remember that paint is not permanent. Having to change a paint color is not only affordable but can also be a fun weekend project. 

As always, thank you for reading! Sometimes, an interior designer’s advice can provide validation, but if you’re really feeling stuck, reach out to us! Read more about why you should hire an interior designer, and how we can help.

If you’re looking for more guidance, feel free to connect with us over a discovery call, or read more about our full-service decor consult. Connect with me at @sunahbrock on Instagram, and make sure to follow our design journey at @lux.decordesign. Reach out to us with any questions! We’d love to help you achieve your dream space

Sun Ah Brock