new apartment colors

I know that I’m approaching my second anniversary of living in Chicago this week because I hear the Chicago Air and Water Show jets buzzing around Lincoln Park. My first day in Chicago happened to fall on the same weekend as the 2007 show.

New Apartment Colors

Today I’m debating about paint color for the new apartment. Erwin and I checked out the space one more time this weekend and the leasing agent mentioned we might be allowed to supply paint color for the painters. I am very excited about this possibility.

Below are the ideas I have at the moment, though none are set in stone. What do you think? Any other ideas?


The one major hang up I have about the living room/kitchen is matching the granite to the wall color. I am not crazy over the khaki/black/brown tones as wall color. And I won’t be able to see the granite to compare it to paint chips before buying the paint. So this one is going to have to be a hail Mary. Unless of course, I decide to stick with plain old white. Which I could do, I just feel like it won’t feel as warm or lived in. Thoughts?



The studio is going to be warmer and cheerful, I want it to have a different vibe from the rest of the apartment so I don’t feel like I’m always working, eating, and sleeping in the same space. I also have big plans for a gold and white chevron project.


This icy blue is my favorite color right now, I have linens this color and I think it would be perfect on the walls. Soothing and subtle.

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  1. Kim

    Ooh I love those colors. Very calming, soft neutrals. =)

  2. Jill

    gold and white chevron project!?!?! ohhhh… can’t wait to hear more about that! I love the colors – very similar to some I have in my own home!

  3. ohbrooke

    This place looks so cute! It looks like the kitchen and living room are all one great room, yes? Could be good to find a place to separate the walls, and do two colors – a lighter and darker version of the same hue. Darker in the kitchen and lighter in the living room. What about a desaturated green? More on the olive side than the celery side? I always love grey – I’m painting my guest room grey as soon as I get a free day!

  4. Flavia

    These are great color choices! Especially the studio. As for the kitchen, maybe you could just go with a softer ivory color? That way you wouldn’t have to worry about it not matching, but it would just warm up the place a bit more than leaving it white…just a thought.

  5. Jess

    @ Kim: Glad you like neutrals, too! I love them because I can change the punchy accent colors so easily with just a pillow or artwork.

    @ Jill: Yep, white and gold chevron project is going to be AWESOME! And considering our style is so similar, I am not surprised we have the same color pallet at home!

    @ Brooke: Yes, the kitchen/living room is one large space, I like the idea of two different colors for the kitchen walls and living room but think it might be too much to ask the painters that I won’t even get to meet/ explain exactly how I want it to look.

    The green is a good idea too, I’ll ask Erwin what he thinks.

    Good luck with your own gray paint project!

    @ Flavia: Ivory is a great suggestion as well, and super easy to match to the counter, like you said. This is definitely now in the running.

  6. Annie

    I think you’ll be really happy with gray in the kitchen and/or living room. We chose a darker gray for our dining/living room, and a softer gray for our bedroom, and both colors wound up looking very rich and homey. It’s really a great color family, especially for apartment dwellers: not too bold, but not that white or bandaid color we all love to hate…

  7. This space is LOVELY. Your taste is flawless, so I think anything you choose will look great! (I love the colors you’ve chosen so far.)

  8. rebecca

    i love the colors you have picked!
    We have grey in our kitchen and my studio and i love it.

    What if you kept the living room grey, but made the kitchen a really soft white? Not so “commercial” or sanitary looking. A soft white to then work into the soft grey would be great.

    Good luck, i hope they let you have your way with the colors!

  9. mrslimestone

    Here is my two cents – feel free to ignore.

    Pale gray paints on walls that don’t have stark white contrasting details (like ornate moldings or white cabinetry) tend to look like a dingy white. I love gray in of itself but unless you go with something more of a midtone, its not going to look very gray.

    In your kitchen, everything is warm so the butter color you selected would work better in here.

    I think icy blue is a great color for the bedroom – just be careful about the smurf blue effect. On the swatch, something that looks icy blue will look very baby blue/smurf blue on the wall in certain lights. You can avoid that by picking a gray swatch that a blue undertone. It will look a lot more blue once its on the walls.

    Hope that helps!!

  10. Kaitlyn

    These are great colors, Jess! I especially love the butter color for the studio and I’m excited to see the new art and they way you’ll decorate the space.

  11. firefly

    Ooh, love those colors. I, too, am thinking of grays and ice blues. Can’t decide which should go in the living room and which should go in the bedroom. Would love to see your finished apartment pics. 🙂

  12. pve design

    titanium is pretty for the kitchen, and love the other colors…I will send you some swatches…

  13. Jess

    @ all: You all have such great advice! Yes, Annie, I am totally trying to stay away from any bandaid looking colors. And Mrs. Limestone, I think you might have something there about the drab gray, and I am afraid to go very dark in the gray family because I don’t want to have to pay for primer when we move to repaint.

    In summary, I think I’m going to stick with plain old white for the main room (this way it’s simple, and I don’t have to pay for the paint) and see if I can have the bedroom/studio painted butter and icy blue.

    What really tipped the scales in favor of white was the unknown color of the new sectional/sofa and the inability to match the gray to the actual granite, which could end up looking terrible.

    And hey, it’s crisp, right?

  14. Connie

    I love the idea of the chevron project — I can’t wait to see what you do with that!

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