How to Select the Perfect Coastal Paint Palette

Have you ever found yourself staring at a blank wall, clutching a handful of tiny paint chip samples in a fit of indecision, trying to divine what paint color would be best for your room? For many of us, choosing just the right paint color is daunting. To find the proper hue, several factors need to be considered, including the size of the room, the height of the ceiling, the amount of light it gets and which direction your house faces.

To take some of the stress out of choosing paint, Botello Home Center has introduced the “Coastal Paint Color Collection.”

“We created this collection because we understand how challenging it can be to pick out paint colors, and we thought it would help our customers to have our designers do the work for them, going through the 3,500 Benjamin Moore paint colors to pick out a great sampling to feature in our collection,” says Stephen Botello, owner of Botello Home Center.

Here are some tips for selecting coastal paint colors:

1. See the light

The amount of light in a room should be a main consideration. You might love the color gray, but it might not be a good choice, say, for a north-facing room with few windows. Note the directional orientation of the room. If it faces north, it will typically not have a lot of light. A good rule of thumb in this case is to choose a color with a warm undertone so the color will shine through the gloom. Colors to consider from our Coastal Collection for north-facing rooms are Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls OC-122 and Grant Beige HC-83.

Colors that are a mix of blue, green and gray are good choices for south- and west-facing coastal rooms, as they balance the effect of warm light coming through the windows. Note the bathroom picture here with Revere Pewter HC-172 on the walls. This color goes from taupe to more gray, depending on the light. It is a fantastic color that looks warm with woods and cool with metals.

Wall color: Revere Pewter HC-172 | Photo by Eric Roth

2.  Keep looking up

Ceiling paint colors can visually alter the size of a room. Towering, vaulted white ceilings tend to make a room appear cold and bare. Applying a paint color that’s at least two or three shades darker than the existing wall color helps to “shrink” the visual size of a room. In addition, dark paint colors tend to create the illusion of a lower ceiling and cozier space. Conversely, a small room with a low ceiling that’s painted in a light color can visually “raise” the ceiling, creating a more spacious-looking room. Use a paint color that’s two or three shades lighter than the existing wall color to achieve this airy effect. Along with color selection, finish choice is important. Note that paints with a matte or flat finish create a velvety look to cover cosmetic blemishes.

3. Visual impact

Another trend is to use a monochromatic scheme (walls and ceiling the same color) to amplify the dimensions of a room. This technique works especially well for light, neutral colors like soft beige, off-white and light gray. Dark ceiling and wall colors can also work well in a room that’s filled with abundant natural light. For a room that lacks a distinct focal point, consider the opposite approach: paint the ceiling a different color than the walls. For example, a ceiling painted mint green or powder blue creates a charming focal point in a cottage-style room with creamy-white walls and light-toned furniture like pieces sporting the popular driftwood finish. Painting a pattern on the ceiling—checkerboard, stripes, mosaic—directs your eyes upward toward a visually interesting fifth wall. Adhering wallpaper or metal tiles to a ceiling gives it textural interest.

Bead board color: Oystershell 864 | Photo courtesy of Molly Frey Design

4. Tonal transition

For a smooth transition between spaces, try choosing a color for one room and paint the adjacent space two shades away, lighter or darker, using tones from the same color chip.

5. Go dramatic

Traditionally, dark colors like Hale Navy wouldn’t be recommended for small spaces, but a current trend is to “go dramatic,” especially in small bedrooms and powder rooms. Consider pairing Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy with a shiplap accent wall for a classic, coastal style with big impact.

Wall color: Hale Navy HC-154 | Photo Courtesy of Landing Design

The Botello Home Center Coastal Paint Color Collection includes whites, blues, greens, yellows and grays that can be mixed and matched to create the perfect coastal palette for your home. “If you purchase your paint from Botello Home Center, an interior designer will meet with you for a free color consultation,” offers Stephen Botello. For paint color consultations, contact Christine Granfield at 617-584-9850 or

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