The Nook: Green or Green?

As settled as we are about the very soft, very pale hues of gray, blue and pink in the other areas of our home, I’ve been losing my mind (and as a result, Scott’s losing his!) over a color for this teeny, tiny nook beyond our media wall:

This is a funny little space, full of awkward angles and nooks within itself, due entirely to the fact that it’s directly beneath our stairs. It does, however, receive so much sunlight all day long, and we think it can handle a color that’s rich and dark, a color that feels cozy. We’re ready to paint this room now, since it’s within plain view of our couch – and generally an eyesore of primed spots and a yellow-beige that has got to go.

You might remember that we widened the doorway to this room to further create the “nook” feeling (as opposed to, oh, hey, what’s that room beyond the door?), and ultimately, it’ll house our turntable, record collection and books. We’ll have a soft rug underfoot and – once we find it! – a chair so comfortable, you’ll want to stick your nose in a good paperback and follow that up with an afternoon nap. (Same goes with the felines in this house, too!) We’re leaning towards toned down neutrals for any shelving and furniture (think: dove grays and whites), so we’d love a big contrast for the walls.

I’ve been submersing myself in dark green rooms around the web lately (a big thank you to Julia and Emily for furthering this current color crush), and Scott is just as excited to create a room that feels warm, with a color that feels slightly dramatic and refined at the same time. The problem? For the life of us, we cannot decide on that just right shade. Together, we chose and picked up 6 test pots:

From left to right, top to bottom: Valley Hills (Behr), Garland (Behr), Blue Fir (Martha Stewart), Wild Sage (Behr), Shaded Spruce (Behr) and Marsh Creek (Behr).

The good news is that we’ve nixed everything but the two on the far right, top and bottom. The middle shades were too vibrant, and the green-grays on the left were too gray and soft (and not enough green for what we have in mind). The problem is that the other 4 colors were muddling how we saw the far right greens, Blue Fir (top) and Marsh Creek (bottom), so I took those two hues and carried them to the left. (You can also see a little strip of Marsh Creek at the bottom that’s juuust a bit lighter, which is the same color at 75%; that variation hit the chopping block.):

I am driving myself right up a wall. A or B? A? Or B?! (Scott humors me, but he claims to love both equally. Try as I might, he just simply will not choose A. Or B!)

Yes, there are baseboards to purchase and trim to decide on, but we’re also on this painting kick – and for every room that gets painted, that’s another room that’ll get the trim we’ll eventually decide upon. And this beige-but-sort-of-yellow color? Well, we’re on a painting roll, so let’s keep it going while the momentum is high.

As of 5 minutes ago, I was definitely leaning towards A; it’s less saturated, but feels like a good balance of gray + green + blue. A little more refined, maybe? But then I thought, definitely B! Mhmm, most definitely B. This turned into A!, and let’s face it – I’ve been pacing by this nook with squinted eyes way too much. Help a girl (and guy!) out – which way would you go?

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  • Jamie1.23.14 - 6:46 AM

    A for sure! The color will look richer when it’s covering the whole wall.ReplyCancel

  • Gabrielle1.23.14 - 6:52 AM

    A! :smiles: I think once it’s all over the wall it will look rich and vibrant instead of crazy vibrant. Best of luck. Can’t wait to see how it turns out no matter what color you choose.ReplyCancel

  • Courtney1.23.14 - 6:54 AM

    A absolutely — it’ll do a lot more interesting things with all those nooks and angles, it’ll change more during different times of day, you’ll be able to mix it up if you ever want to go with different accessories or use the room for a different purpose, and you’ll get sick of it a *lot* less quickly.ReplyCancel

  • angela1.23.14 - 6:56 AM

    Before I even read that you had eliminated some of the colors I was completely drawn to (A) blue fir. Love this shade and it seem really enveloping and in tune with the plans for the nook.

    Angela @ Number Fifty-ThreeReplyCancel

  • Jessica1.23.14 - 6:57 AM
  • Carrie @DreamGreenDIY1.23.14 - 7:20 AM

    A!! I loooooove it! Can’t wait to see which you choose =)ReplyCancel

  • Megan1.23.14 - 7:30 AM

    B! slightly more pigmented & cooler than the living room color, so it’ll be that pop of color you want. In the first pic, all of the light coming in the window made A seem more gray… excited to see the result :)ReplyCancel

  • Margaret1.23.14 - 7:39 AM

    Ooh, tough choice. I think I’m leaning towards A – it is a nice balance of green and gray and blue. And if you don’t like it, it’d be easier to put B overtop (I assume).ReplyCancel

  • Julie1.23.14 - 7:41 AM

    I totally agree with Megan. B!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda G1.23.14 - 7:41 AM

    I vote B. More rich and interesting than a typical slightly gray blue-green color. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square1.23.14 - 7:56 AM

    I vote for A. It’s more muted, but I think when you paint the entire room, the color will come through really well.ReplyCancel

  • Ann1.23.14 - 8:11 AM

    I once read some advice that has helped me in situations like this:
    “It’s the really tough decisions that don’t much matter.”
    Which is to say, if you really can’t choose, you’ll likely be happy either way.

    That being said, I think A is beautiful! :)ReplyCancel

  • Erica1.23.14 - 8:16 AM

    I like them both but think A looks much nicer next to the living room wall color. Since you’ll almost always have sightlines to both colors (from the living room and from the nook), A wins.ReplyCancel

  • Shasta1.23.14 - 8:26 AM

    I really like A. It is a beautiful, refined color! I love it!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey d.1.23.14 - 8:30 AM

    B! I think it’s lovely…ReplyCancel

  • Laurie1.23.14 - 8:33 AM

    A! A! A!ReplyCancel

  • Emily1.23.14 - 8:34 AM

    I gotta go with B. I think A is a bit too similar to the living room color. I’d go with B for the extra pop if color :)ReplyCancel

  • Jessica1.23.14 - 8:35 AM

    I think A! I think it’s more sophisticated while still being fun :)ReplyCancel

  • Meredith1.23.14 - 8:36 AM

    Definitely A. No question.ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey1.23.14 - 8:39 AM

    A for sure, it’s a gorgeous colorReplyCancel

  • Gloria1.23.14 - 8:39 AM

    Hand the two swatches to the person mixing the paint and tell them to choose and mix up however much you need! Not a solution for everyone, but I’ve done this before when I’m having a hard time and can find a reason for both colors to work. Excited to see what color you do put up on the walls regardless of your method for choosing it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.23.14 - 8:49 AM

      Ann, you’re probably right ;)

      Erica, that’s what has me leaning more towards A – it does seem to go better with the living room color. And then I think, but B could be fun… (Seriously, I’m driving myself nuts)

      Gloria, that’s one way to do it! I wish I had those guts!

      All good things to think about – thank you everyone for the input! I finally feel myself leaning more towards one than the other. (I think, ha!)ReplyCancel

  • Trish1.23.14 - 9:02 AM

    I was drawn to the colors in the middle when you said you were looking for something more dramatic. So I vote for B since it has a more saturated color. I don’t think you can go wrong either way, so it’s just a choice between something more muted or something more vibrant. What do you want to feel in that room every day? A little quieter or a little more energized? I think once you can identify the feeling you want from the room, you’ll be able to choose.ReplyCancel

  • Amy1.23.14 - 9:04 AM

    A is too blue. I vote B.ReplyCancel

  • ann1.23.14 - 9:15 AM


  • Kim1.23.14 - 9:16 AM

    Trish, good point. To answer your question, we want to feel mellow. We want to curl up with a good book or put on our favorite record and relax… Although I will say that I could get that from either color (but I certainly see what you’re saying!). I do suppose this answer would put me in the “A” category though!ReplyCancel

  • Kim1.23.14 - 9:20 AM

    I love saturated color, so I’m drawn to B. (I may have said something different if it were a bigger space.)

    It could just be my monitor, but A reads very grey.

    I do see others’ points about furniture/styling being easier with A. But if you really want it to be a “pop” of color, I vote B. I am SURE it’s something you can work around.

    Everything looks great so far!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah1.23.14 - 9:22 AM

    A all the way!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia]1.23.14 - 9:26 AM

    Count me on team Blue Fir. So pretty AND It’s gonna be a lot more saturated once it is bouncing off all the walls.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda1.23.14 - 9:36 AM

    B. it was my favorite of the original 6 swatches, and i have to stick with my gut feeling :)ReplyCancel

  • Juliane1.23.14 - 9:37 AM
  • This reminds me of when my husband and I were trying to pick a name for our daughter. He like both equally. I couldn’t decide. He suggesting playing rock, paper, scissors to choose between our favorite two – I refused leaving it to that chance, ha!

    You could always draw a letter from a hat! ;) B is definitely ore green but A has a nice mix of vibrant and soothing.ReplyCancel

  • Zandi1.23.14 - 9:43 AM

    I looooove B, but i’m always drawn to rich, saturated colors, especially for small spaces!! but if your gut keeps telling you A, trust it!ReplyCancel

  • Helen1.23.14 - 9:43 AM

    A all the way!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah @ 702 Park Project1.23.14 - 9:48 AM

    I’d go with A. I love the gray in it, and it just seems more serene and sophisticated. B is lovely, but may be a little “loud” once you paint a full room.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Davis1.23.14 - 9:49 AM

    It’s hard to choose without seeing it in person and with the different light throughout the day, but I think I am liking B!ReplyCancel

  • Kiira1.23.14 - 9:49 AM

    I like A as well, especially if it is more harmonious with the living room color. Since the nook gets so much light, whatever color you choose will be intensified and reflected into the living room. Don’t stress too much…you can always repaint!ReplyCancel

  • Ginny1.23.14 - 10:11 AM

    A A A! I like the grayer version, but it still is definitely colorful. The B color is great, but it reminds me so much of my childhood bedroom color, so maybe it’s just that that I can’t get over…ReplyCancel

  • Nicole1.23.14 - 10:30 AM

    Absolutely A! I love how it reflects the color of the walls in the big room.ReplyCancel

  • Magpie1.23.14 - 10:30 AM

    I was having trouble too, but then I read that you were going to pair it with something white/dove grey and then it was easy. B would be a lovely warm/cool contrast with the dove grey, I think. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • hannah1.23.14 - 10:42 AM

    I like B. A seems a tiny – a tiny!! – bit reminiscent of 90s forest green to me – it’s not the same, but just close enough that it worries me.ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea Atkinson1.23.14 - 10:46 AM

    Definitely A!!!!!!!!! But both gorgeous colors! You have inspired my husband and I to buy a house someday and totally re-do everything! haha! We’ll keep your blog bookmarked for that time ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Kim1.23.14 - 10:55 AM

    Hannah – yikes! (But on the other hand, forest green used to be my favorite color!)

    Chelsea, thank you! You can do it!ReplyCancel

  • Christa1.23.14 - 11:07 AM

    Most definitely A! That was my top pick when viewing all 6 colors. I think B will end up too vibrant.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa P.1.23.14 - 11:08 AM

    I vote for A. I had picked that as my fav from the original 6 choices.ReplyCancel

  • Liz1.23.14 - 11:10 AM

    I say go bold with Marsh Creek. Our living room is small and is a close shade to Shaded Spruce and I love it. It is moody, bold and extremely cozy with the white trim. We also have two orange crushed velvet 1930s wingback chairs in the room so I can attest to the bolder teals working well with additional pops of color!

    Very exciting to have such a great set of color options for your nook! Can’t wait to see how it comes long and what rug you choose!ReplyCancel

  • ten1.23.14 - 11:25 AM

    I just love watching (creeping?) on your guys’ ever-improving home projects! :) Love all of the DIY and real issues you two come across.

    Since you have a new slate to work with, I wanted to share this buzzfeed list with you:

    Thought you might get some inspiration for future nooks or “conversation pits.” Keep up all the good work – I love reading your blog!ReplyCancel

  • Julie1.23.14 - 11:26 AM

    I say option “A”!ReplyCancel

  • Marci Phee1.23.14 - 11:39 AM

    A for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Kim1.23.14 - 11:40 AM

    Ten, you’re so nice – thank you times a million! Also, #7: 2 dishwashers?! Be still my heart. I think #21 is Scott’s idea of a good time and #8 is the tree house at Wandawega! (

    So fun.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah K1.23.14 - 12:00 PM

    A!! Eeek — that nook looks SO FUN! We have eaves on the front of the house that I desperately want to do something fun with!!ReplyCancel

  • Jenna1.23.14 - 12:02 PM

    I vote option A.ReplyCancel

  • michelle1.23.14 - 12:10 PM

    I vote A! I used a similar color in my bathroom, and I’d happily stay in the tub all day.ReplyCancel

  • Krista1.23.14 - 12:15 PM

    The good news is that we’ve nixed everything but the two on the far left, top and bottom.

    Needs corrected to the two on the far right.

    TEAM B!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly G.1.23.14 - 12:16 PM

    I picked blue fir from the beginning!! It’s amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Erin1.23.14 - 12:17 PM
  • Jennifer1.23.14 - 12:46 PM

    I vote A. Have you seen this post by Young House Love? The comparison of the colors reminded me of the post.ReplyCancel

  • Alexis1.23.14 - 1:12 PM

    Go with A!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kim1.23.14 - 1:15 PM

    Jennifer, great link! I had seen that post, thank you for the reminder!ReplyCancel

  • Candice1.23.14 - 1:32 PM

    voting for A! I liked it from the beginning.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie1.23.14 - 1:39 PM

    A was my favorite before I even scrolled down to see what you had narrowed it down to. I know its actually called Blue Fir but it does remind me of being in the woods. Very peacefulReplyCancel

  • Karin1.23.14 - 1:43 PM

    B, it’s so vibrant if will be a feel good nook,B looks perfect :-)ReplyCancel

  • Rachel1.23.14 - 1:55 PM

    Both are beautiful but I pick A – so excited to see what you choose. That room is going to look so nice and just reading your description makes me want to curl up with a good book in there :-)ReplyCancel

  • Wendy1.23.14 - 1:56 PM

    My first choice when I saw those six swatches was blue fir! So I’m glad to see it made the final two. We have an area that looks exactly like this in our Logan Square home. Though it’s just a weird appendage to our living room.ReplyCancel

  • Staci1.23.14 - 2:23 PM

    I definitely like A. It is such an amazing moody green! It was my fave out of the six, even before you eliminated the other colors.ReplyCancel

  • Personally I love the color of B but I think you’d be happier with A, it’s not as bright, it’s more muted.ReplyCancel

  • Megan1.23.14 - 3:28 PM

    Blue fir was my choice at the first photo and still is! I liked cozy/calm/relax feel of it and I like it best with your grey living room walls.

    Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Nikki Kelly1.23.14 - 3:55 PM

    A! All the way! I feel like there has been an onslaught of overly saturated colors (which I am guilty of) and a turn for more subdued colors is long over due.ReplyCancel

  • caroline [the diy nurse]1.23.14 - 7:36 PM

    Well I’m in the minority! And not making your choice any easier. I love B. I think it will make a statement. Dont play it safe! We went super saturated in our master bedroom and I constantly say how much I love it and want to use the color in another room. Take a chance! If it doesnt work, you can always repaint :)ReplyCancel

  • B – it’s bolder. And has more personality! Go for it!ReplyCancel

  • Brynne@TheGatheredHome1.23.14 - 11:11 PM

    I vote for B! It’s a gorgeous, gorgeous color!ReplyCancel

  • Lebow1.24.14 - 1:34 AM

    Blue fir will look better I think, waiting for more pictures with the colors :)ReplyCancel

  • bella1.24.14 - 8:24 AM

    I was confused at first, because you said you nixed all but the two on the left, but don’t you mean right? ha.

    Second. I loved the two on the right from the start, and of the two marsh creek would be my choice.

    Third, just flip a coin. You obviously love them both, so whichever one wins the coin toss is meant to be.

    Really do it, just flip a coin. =)ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.24.14 - 8:53 AM

      Bella, good catch! I updated the post to say right – which is exactly what I meant ;)ReplyCancel

  • Averil1.24.14 - 2:34 PM

    B! Love the idea, now wishing I had an awkward sun-drenched nook to turn into a music/book room <=)ReplyCancel

  • Kristen c1.24.14 - 2:59 PM

    B even more then before the photo definitely makes me thinks b. Oh and if your boots don’t appear come wed. Let me know.ReplyCancel

  • Brianne1.24.14 - 3:11 PM

    Definitely A! It is so pretty and the perfect sophisticated color.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda1.25.14 - 9:50 AM

    I think A alone is a better colour because it feels warmer and cozier but in terms of with your living room colour B is the way to go because it’s in the same range and it’ll bring out your living room colour a lot! I don’t think people who’ve been saying A have been taking into consideration that the two colours will be intertwined. I really think B will bring out the lovely colour of your room and hey if you don’t like whatever you choose just try, try again! It’s just paint after all ;)ReplyCancel

  • Marie from France1.25.14 - 6:00 PM

    I vote for A too. Can’t wait to see your final choice and the nook painted !ReplyCancel

  • Jen1.26.14 - 11:03 PM

    I am digging B. To my eyes, it looks the most like a balance of blue, green, and gray.ReplyCancel

  • Amy1.27.14 - 3:36 PM

    I love A! It’s bright and fun, but a little more grown up, too. Plus, I think it will be easier to match with other colors.

    And funny, I also wrote a post about a nook today (our breakfast nook)!

    Keep up the great work – everything is coming together so beautifully!


  • Kim1.27.14 - 3:44 PM

    Amy, nooks are such funny little spaces, aren’t they? But they’re so perfect to create that perfect cozy spot.ReplyCancel


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