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10 Tips for Selecting Paint Colours For Your Home

Morning everyone!! It seems as though the number one question I get asked most often on the blog and social media is which paint colours I chose for our home … or what my favourite white or grey paint colours are … well, today I’m taking the bull by the horns and not only am I going to share my favourite paint colours with you and the colours that are in our home BUT I’m also going to share 10 tips for selecting paint colours for your home!! Trust me, this stuff is DAUNTING … and if you’ve never had to select paint colours before, you are in for a real treat LOL!!

I remember on Love It Or List It Vancouver, Francesa and I would always battle it out (a friendly battle, that is, LOL!) over paint. Francesca believes that you should choose a different colour for every room based on the lighting and how the room is used and while I agree with her on that, I also feel like sometimes I like to use the same colour throughout the entire house. When it comes down to it, it has a lot to do with personal preference but there are certainly some helpful tips to keep in mind, which I will share with you below.

However, before I dig into some paint tips with you, I think we should take a look at the paint I used in our home! All of the paints below are from Benjamin Moore West Kelowna and they are some of my absolute FAVES! You all know that I’m a lover of whites and off-whites, neutrals, and light greys, so it probably won’t come as much as a surprise to you when you take a look at my selections for our home below!

Jillian Harris Benjamin Moore Jillian Harris Benjamin Moore

Our kitchen, dining room, and pantry are painted the colour “Grey Owl”, this is a nice LIGHT creamy grey … that isn’t too stark and is classic and clean! Our kitchen cabinets are the colour “Nimbus” which I loooove … you have to order this colour from the states though I believe??? Our laundry room cabinetry is the colour “Smoke” … on the paint chip it looks like a nice grey, with a hint of robin’s egg blue and it’s insane just how much this colour changes throughout the day depending on the light! It looks like a very light blue on the cabinets with a hint of grey.

Our entry and living room built in’s along with our ensuite and walk-in closet are all painted “Simply White” …. our front door is “Athabasca” and our back door is “Hannah Banana” … can you even believe it?? YELLOW?? LOL!! I went for “Thunder” for the rumpus room built-in’s to switch it up from the Simply White … I love Thunder as it’s a VERY WARM almost brown grey, nice for that ‘equestrian’ or Ralph Lauren effect. It’s timeless and classic and definitely not too cool! Then for a pop of colour in Leo’s bathroom, we painted the vanity “Winters Eve” … I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this but I love it, especially with the gold faucet! The exterior of our house is “Oxford White” and the interior walls are mainly “Cloud Cover” … then the ceiling is a mix of “Simply White” and “Cloud Cover” … LOL!!!! So much paint … so little time!

Jillian Harris Benjamin MooreJillian Harris Mamas for Mamas Brunch FundraiserJillian Harris How to Become a Morning Person-5Jillian Harris Summer Bucket ListJillian Harris Favourite Benjamin Moore Paint Colours Jillian Harris Favourite Benjamin Moore Paint Colours Jillian Harris Favourite Benjamin Moore Paint Colours

I know it can be a bit hard to tell paint colours a part when they are on walls so I created this little graphic below in order to show some comparison between them … and hopefully you’ll find it a bit helpful too!!

Jillian Harris Selecting Your Paint Colours

Alright, now that we’ve covered what paint colours are in my home … here are 10 Tips for selecting paint colours for your home ….

1. How to Select the Perfect White Paint:

It honestly seems to be the most daunting task of them ALL … selecting a white paint is so tough! If you have never had to select a white paint before you will want to gather all of your favourite white paint chips together and look at them side by side. You’ll start to notice that one will look pinker, one will have a tinge of green, the other a tinge of yellow, etc. My end goal when picking a white is to go for the most neutral one.

My favourite whites by Benjamin Moore are:

  • Cloud White
  • Simply White
  • Oxford White
  • Cloud Cover

2. How to Pick Your Primer:

Avoid plain white primer. This one is simply for the fact that it’s just so cold and stark!! I would ALWAYS recommend avoiding plain white primer just for this reason alone!

3. Trim & Baseboards:

It’s no surprise that I like white trim and baseboards … other people like doing a grey/black but my style is more traditional. If you’re like me and you like the idea of white trim and baseboards then make sure the trim compliments your white walls. The trim in my home is Simply White by Benjamin Moore!

4. Look at Your Painted Walls Throughout the Day:

In our home I wanted our walls to look warm and cozy, whereas some people prefer their walls to look cool and crisp. If you can, get your desired paint in the room you want it in and look at it at all times of the day. Throughout the day as the sun changes (and as the seasons change), your paint colour will look a little different from time to time. Take my laundry room cabinetry, for example, depending on the time of day they can look more grey, whereas other times they look really blue!!

5. Swap Out Your Lightbulbs:

The lightbulbs in your home can really affect your paint colour … sometimes it can make your room look cool and purple … if you have those daytime bulbs, it might make things look more yellow. So, before you decide to repaint your entire room (or house!) maybe try swapping out your bulbs first to see how that changes the look of things!

Jillian Harris Benjamin Moore PaintJillian Harris Benjamin Moore-10Jillian Harris Benjamin Moore PaintJillian Harris Benjamin Moore

6. Give Feature Walls the Boot:

That’s right, feature walls are OUT!! If you’re going to paint a room something colourful, do the WHOLE room … when you paint the whole room it looks rich, classy, and timeless.

7. How To Pick Your Bold Colour:

If you’re thinking about doing the above, and you have your bold choice of paint in hand … put it down (or have someone at the Benjamin Moore West Kelowna store help you) and pick up the SAME colour but TWO shades LIGHTER and less concentrated. LOL. Seriously … find one that is more dull, lighter and less intense … your eyes are sensitive and if you were to go with the original one you chose chances are it will look REALLY intense to you once it’s up on the walls.

8. How to Pick the Right Type of Paint for Each Room:

We chose between two great products offered at Benjamin Moore West Kelowna. We use Aura paint all over the house. It has a great coverage (even for darker shades) and it dries quickly. You can re-coat in almost an hour … and most times you don’t need more than two coats. You know me … patience isn’t my virtue so this was a mama’s dream!!! We used Natura Paint in Leo’s nursery. We chose it because it’s environmentally friendly (and still covers great) and we were able to paint his room in the morning and he was able to sleep in the same room at night. It has ZERO VOC, zero emissions, certified cradle to cradle, and also certified asthma and allergy friendly. Both are great options depending on the room you’re painting!!

9. Using Bright Colours:

I would generally only use really bright colours for doors and accent furniture (for example, our back door and Leo’s vanity!) … if you’re going to paint an entire room, you can still use some colour but I would just go with a more muted version … as I mentioned above! Or, if you would like a bright colour in a room, do it in a smaller space like a powder room!

10. Painting your Ceilings:

This is always a doozy … lol. I’ve always struggled with ceiling paint but when it comes down to it if you want your room to feel BIGGER your ceiling colour should be LIGHTER. We ended up going with a 50/50 mix of Simply White with Cloud White. If your ceilings are HIGH and you want them to feel LOWER, go with the same colour as your walls but 50% darker. I am still on the fence about painting Leo’s Play Room ceiling a light blue to give it a fresh feeling …. EEEEP!!

Jillian Harris Benjamin Moore-21

photo credit

What do you think?? Did this help answer some of your questions?? Do you have any other tips you can share with us? If so, make sure to post them in the comments section below!!









Thank you Benjamin Moore West Kelowna for sponsoring this post. All comments and opinions are my own. 

Leave a Reply

  1. My son is asking for a bedroom redo with pops of red and I’m leaning towards a light grey/white on the walls – any suggestions? Too grey looks cold and too white looks a bit circus-like….

  2. Thank you! We are about to use Simply White in our bedroom, but we’ve been stuck on the trim…what color do you recommend for the trim?

  3. Love this thanks for sharing Your advice. Question do you take pictures and keep a journal of Your home for insurance reasons.. Just wondering.. If its a good idea. ?

  4. Hi Jillian! Im currently under a massive reno in my home! I am loving all your personal experiences you have written about to help me through my adventure. What would you suggest when it comes to trim colour and walls? I too want white trim and white walls. Would you paint them the same and just pick a different finish ; matte contrasted to sheen? What colour trim did you choose against could cover walls?


  5. I love your blog on the paint colours.
    I want to paint my interior all the same neutral color.
    Is this a good idea

  6. Thank you!! Great choices, I love how these colours flow in your home. I love that you are still wearing those pretty pink suede shoes!! Looking gorgeous as usual. #makingprettychoices

  7. Hi Jillian, Thanks for the very helpful info on your paint colors. Last week I used the Benjamin Moore ‘smoke’ on my walls in my laundry room. (The same color you used on your cupboards in your laundry room, which I just love.) My cupboards and accents are semi gloss B.M. cloud white. Well, you are so right about the ‘smoke’ color being moody. Oh my gosh, it totally changes color throughout the day, and I don’t have any natural light in there. Nevertheless, it looks very different in the daytime compared to what it looks like at night.I am going to have to lighten up the color quite a bit to get the same pretty color that yours is. Wish me luck!

  8. I am struggling huge because the trims around the doors and window are wood and they have an orange look to them (very cottage-like) which I love but hard to get colours to match that.
    Any suggestions??

  9. Thank you for this! Did you paint your bedroom the same colour as your bathroom, classic grey? Or did you paint your bedroom cloud cover?

  10. Like yourself, we have a dog, a Boxer!!;-) What color and materials would you on your master bedroom bed duvet, quilt, etc because the dogs love sleeping on it? I love white and light colors too but seems not doggie proof. Thanks! Love your blog!

  11. Hi Jillian!

    We are currently helping my mom redo her home and this Post was very helpful!

    My one question is in regard to your comment about lighting. If we have the “daytime bulbs” what type of bulb would you recommend switching to?

    Thank you!

  12. You have such perfect timing! We are closing on a house and have been debating over paint colors. I love your color choices! What type of paint do you use for trim? The house we are moving to has what looks like a high gloss, is it bad to go with a satin?

  13. Same question as some of the other peeps below. What color trim to do with simply white walls?! We just painted a room in our home Simply White and I’m not loving it with the white trim. We just used the untainted white the paint comes in….hmmm….debating on painting the trim simply white too but then all the rest of the trim in our home wouldn’t match. Help!

  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! Super helpful! Could you tell us which BM white you painted your trim throughout the house against Cloud Cover? Would be SO appreciated!
    Thank you!!

  15. Hello! Love this post it is so helpful! would be fantastic if you could let me know what colour trim paint you used in your rooms that have cloud cover on the walls. I am really torn.

  16. Hey Jillian, just a question about tip #2: Why would it matter if the primer is white, you paint over top of it anyway…?

  17. THANK YOU for this post! I am doing renos and I seriously was so curious what colors you did in your home because I love the light and natural feel to it. This is so helpful and makes my job so much easier, well I hope anyways. I wish you could come and design my new home for me.

    Again, thank you so much.

    Now if I could get your classical playlist, that would be fantastic, haha.

  18. Hi Jillian,

    Thank you for this post. I am moving into a new home soon, so I will be using some of these suggestions. I’d love it if you could post some tips on picking window treatments. I have no idea where to start with that!

  19. Thank you so much for this! Similar to some of the other comments below, I would love to know the trim colors that you used. Did you use Simply White?

  20. Hi Jillian,

    LOVE the blog post, thank you for sharing! Can you please let me know what colour you used for your trim? Thank you!!

  21. This helps a lot Jillian. We’re thinking of painting our whole apartment.
    Especially love your tip on selecting a bold color, and selecting two shades lighter from the original one.

    I love all of your color choices for your beautiful home. Well done, and thank you.

  22. Hi can we see a picture of your kitchen cabinets tomorrow please? Also are they the same as the floor as the pantry cabinets? Thanks!

    1. Sorry there were some typos in that original message. It was supposed to ask to see the colour of your kitchen cabinets and wondering if the colour of the pantry cabinets was the same? Thanks.

  23. Hey Jillian, do you have any tips on how to paint an old brick fireplace and exterior brick and make it modern white?

    1. Love your paint selections! Would you mind clarifying the kitchen wall color and kitchen cabinet color? Your post says that you painted your kitchen, dining room and pantry “Gray Owl” and your kitchen cabinets are painted “Nimbus”. So are the kitchen walls Grey Owl and the Kitchen cabinets Nimbus? Thank you.

  24. Hi Jillian,

    Do you mind sharing the paint colours you used for Leo’s nursery both in your old and new houses?

    Thank you so much!


  25. Such an amazing blog on selecting the right paint colors. Would link this to anyone finding hard to pick out a paint from the array of colors available in the market. Keep up the good work xoxo 😀

  26. Hello! Thanks for the break down of colours. I was really hoping you’d include the wall colour in Leo’s nursery. I’m struggling to find a nice neutral cream for my daughter’s bedroom, but everything looks too peachy.

    Can I ask which colour you chose?

  27. Jilly
    I wasn’t sure where to ask this
    But do you have a shower curtain in Leo’s bathroom
    I really like the idea of gold /brass handles and fixtures and things but I’m nervous about what colour now to make the curtain and rod ? How did you match it ? What do you suggest

  28. Hi Jillian, your home is very beautiful and yes this really helped with the colors. I️ had a question for you what kind of paint did you use for ur kitchen cabinets and trim. Was it oil base or something else. I’m building now and everyone is telling me different things. I’m very lost if you can please help me. Thank you

  29. Hi,
    I sent an email last week for clarification of the kitchen wall color and cabinet color.
    I haven’t heard back, are all kitchen cabinets Nimbus? and the walls Simply White?
    Thanks so much!

  30. Hi Jillian – did you use the same white finish for the trim and wainscotting (including the wall behind the panels)? Or should the wall behind the panels be a different sheen?

  31. Hi Jillian. I know you are probably crazy busy but hoping you could just tell me what sheen of Aura you are using on your walls and trim ?
    Is it satin on the trim and flat on the walls ?


  32. Hi Jillian,

    Looking at the paint colors you have in the above post, what white would you say your walls are in your living room and kitchen?

    I’m in midst of struggling on a white for my kitchen (cupboards are simply white), dinning room and living room. So far I have picked Intense White, but I am not sold on it.
    Anything you could suggest would be greatly appreciated!


  33. This post was SO helpful. I bookmarked it last year knowing we were finishing our basement and you literally just saved me from hours and hours of decision making. Thank you for being YOU and sharing your talent with all of us. XO

  34. Hi Jillian,
    We have a huge 20 ft high wall/15 ft wide in our living space that is painted as our feature wall. You mentioned feature walls are out. Would you recommend decorating a wall of this size with wainscotting similar to the wall behind you in the pic with the blue chair in your Mama’s For Mama’s post? Or would a wall of that size be too big? Thanks!

  35. Hi I have a North East facing home with oak floors that are orange looking, all the cabinets are the oak as well . We are redoing the kitchen painting the cabinets and island I would like to paint the island a different color than cabinets and would like to stay in the off white for the cabinets with color on the island. I have used Benjamin Moore pashmina in the basement and up the stairs and like it . What colors would you suggest for the kitchen area

  36. Hello Jillian!
    We are painting our circa 1880 home now. We have beautiful high ceilings and a lot of trim. Most of trim we’ve painted out Simply White. A few rooms have been painted in Collingwood and Balboa Mist on the walls and Simply White trim. Our dining room has yet to be painted.. At the moment the walls are a gray that looks too mauvish. The ceiling is tin with a Lovley pattern and it’s a reddish/brown colour. Would love any advice. The flooring and our furniture are a walnut(dark) colour.

  37. Okay so I come back to this post ALL THE TIME! I love how your home is so warm and inviting, and your pictures (yes I know a nice camera and ppl who know what they’re doing help lol) are always so light, airy, and bright!!! My house right now is GREY GREY GREY. All of the walls the previous owner had painted a light grey that is very cold. I would love to re-paint my living room/kitchen, and upstairs hallways a warm very light grey and am wondering what your best suggestion would be. I really love “Cloud White” or “Classic Grey” and am just wondering which is the warmer color without making my space feel very bland. My style is coastal contemporary I think.. I love a bright, warm, airy, and comfortable space that also is timeless and delicate.

  38. Great help! I am trying to pick a white for trim and interior doors and all the whites are so different.

  39. Thank you! We are building a cabin and this information is invaluable! I’m excited to start this process and with a little help and guidance it feels less daunting.

  40. Hi Jillian,

    I love your style and your ideas. You have a great eye for design. We are just about to begin a renovation and I am having a real hard time deciding on kitchen cabinetry and island colours. I want a white version for my cabinets and gray for my island. My floors are walnut and my countertop will be Calcutta nova caesarstone. Can you recommend any colours for me…..much appreciated

  41. As you had mentioned to ‘Give Feature Walls the Boot’ – what are your suggestions selecting wallpaper?

  42. Whites really are the hardest!

    You listed Simply white as being your trim and baseboards.. does that mean it is the same colour as your walls in certain rooms?

  43. Hi Jillian. I absolutely love you! Here is my question. We are about to scrape popcorn ceilings, add crown moulding and wainscotting and paint. I love all of the tips you add on your blog…just wondering if cloud cover would allow us to keep our existing brown leather furniture. The wainscoting would be simply white I assume.

  44. I would like to paint an accent wall in my teen retreat in Chelsea grey. I would love recommendations as to which colour I should paint the hallway. The teen retreat has a large window is an open space to the hallway. Maybe Rockport grey ?

  45. What style/size are your trims around your windows and baseboards? Building our home and can’t decide- there are SO many options.
    Thank you!!

  46. Thank you Jillian. Congratulations to you. Simply white and cloud white are my favourites too. I am in a condo and have pained my walls all simply white. Shouild impaint a corner curio cabinet simply white as well. I also headboard in the hallway. White is so clean looking. Thank you. Wishing you continued success.

  47. Thank you for sharing. My go-to paint colors are classic and easy to live with,” says interior designer Lauri Ward. “This blue-gray-green shade can be used in almost any room. It’s an especially good choice for cooling a very sunny room, or creating a tranquil bedroom.

  48. Hi Jillian, love your home and congratulations on Annie! I have a question…I’m struggling between edgecomb gray and cloud white for my whole house. I always thought I’d want light gray but now I’m shifting. I don’t know what colour white my ceilings are – do I automatically have to paint my ceilings at the same time as I paint off white walls in order for the look to work?

  49. I am thinking of using oxford white for kitchen cabinets,trim and ceiling throughout the house. What do you think of that?

  50. I wanted our walls look cool, therefore, thank you for the advice according to lightbulbs. Like your style and Light creamy grey … that isn’t too stark and is classic and clean! I want to make something similar in our new house, therefore your tips are everything that I need now. Thank you a lot.

  51. What paint sheen do you recommend for the hall, kitchen and dining room? Eggshell seems a bit shiny and matte scares me with children and pets. What’s your pick? Thank you!!

  52. You mention in the text that you used a mix of simply white and cloud cover on your ceiling. Then in the picture with paint swatches you indicate using Simply White and Cloud White on the ceiling.

    Are both true or was there an error?

  53. Love these paint colors throughout your home! In our living spaces are north facing and I’ve heard that can be tricky picking out paint. Any recommendations on good white paint colors for a north facing home? Thinking of Benjamin Moores’ Chantilly Lace with Benjamin Moores’ Simpy White for cabinets, trim, ceiling. Having trouble with our northern facing rooms. Thank you!

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