30 Gray Toned Paint Colors For Swedish Styled Interiors – Behr

In this link, Quinn pieces together 30 of the best gray paint shades from Behr.  Where it gets interesting is for you to determine exactly what undertones you like.

In this article, there are 5 categories of undertones.  Blue, Purple, Green, Orange and Red.  Over time, most people usually lean towards either a cool collection, or warm arena.

Later in the article, what really makes the choice more complex is LIGHTING.  An example is given in the article, where a room is photographed at different times of the day.  One picture shows a light gray, and another showing a very clear blue.  Long story short, test your samples before buying large quantities of paint.

Have you ever found a paint color that looks absolutely incredible day and night in a particular room, only to bring it into another room, and have it look entirely different?

I recently painted over my basement this summer.  I had a color that worked in any room in my upstairs, so I figured, I would just go with that color downstairs too.

Many years ago I hand mixed colors, and found one that worked.  It works night and day.  It just looks incredible.  Its a darker gray, with undertones of green.  Its not overly dark.

I had it made up for my basement, and it turned out awful in that room.  No matter how hard I tried messing around with the shade, the simple fact, the lighting is different in my basement.  I shoved the paint in a closet, and started over.

You need to read the article- Behr

12 Designers Pick Their Favorite Paint Colors – House Beautiful

House Beautiful Paint Color Experts- 12 Swedish Gustavian Paint Colors - Designers Picks

House Beautiful often features the best designers with their favorite go-to paint colors. Sometimes having the just-right color can make a tremendous difference in a room, or on a piece of furniture.  Here are some of my favorites that work with the classic Gustavian/ Swedish interior design themes.

1. Ann WisniewskiSherwin-Williams Emerald Fawn Brindle SW 7640,

2. Cathy Kincaid – Farrow & Ball Estate Emulsion Pale Powder 204

3. Kerry JoyceBenjamin Moore Natura St. Johns Bay  584

House Beautiful Paint Color Experts- 12 Swedish Gustavian Paint Colors - Designers Picks

1.  Lisa McDennon – Sherwin-Williams Harmony Conservative Gray SW 6183

2. Whitney StewartC2 LUXE Seedling C2-188

3. Allison CaccomaBenjamin Moore Regal Harbor Haze 2136-60

House Beautiful Paint Color Experts- 12 Swedish Gustavian Paint Colors - Designers Picks

1. Paul CorrieBenjamin Moore Regal Select Blue Lace 1625

2. Ashley Whittaker –  Farrow & Ball Estate Eggshell Pink Ground 202

3. Mara MillerRalph Lauren Paint Willow RLVM270

House Beautiful Paint Color Experts- 12 Swedish Gustavian Paint Colors - Designers Picks

1. Kevin Isbell – Benjamin Moore Aura Buttered Yam  AF-230

2. Lynn Morgan  – Benjamin Moore Advance Nosegay 1401

3. Deborah Walker Sherwin-Williams Duration Gray Screen SW 7071

12 Interior Designers Pick Their Favorite Swedish Paint Colors

12 Interior Designers Pick Their Favorite Swedish Paint Colors House Beautiful's September 2014 issue- Photographer Michael Croteau 1 12 Interior Designers Pick Their Favorite Swedish Paint Colors House Beautiful's September 2014 issue- Photographer Michael Croteau 2

House Beautiful’s September 2014 issue- Photographer Michael Croteau

Seen In House Beautiful’s September 2014 issue, interior designers spill on their favorite “Swedish” inspired paint colors.

Tori Golub suggests- Only Natural SW 7596 From Sherwin- Williams

Shea Soucie suggests- Blue Gray 91 Farrow & Ball

John Danzer suggests Pavement C2-988 C2 Paint

Jill Dienst suggests Donald Kaufman Color DKC-67

William Cummings suggests Skylight 206 From Farrow & Ball

Rhonda Eleish suggests Pavilion Blue 252 From Farrow & Ball

Laura Bohn suggests Sensible Hue SW 6198 Sherwin Williams

Jayne Michaels suggests Donald Kaufman Color DKC-6

Sara Story suggests Pavilion Gray 242 From Farrow & Ball

Christine Markatos suggests Milk White 15-32 From Pratt & Lambert

Sandra Nunnerley suggest Lamp Room Gray 88 From Farrow & Ball

Eileen Kathryn Boyd suggests Sleepy Blue 6225 From Sherwin Williams

Designers Pick The Best Milk Paint Color For Furniture

Pictured, Slate Blue and Oyster White , both by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co.

In House Beautiful’s “Add a Pop of Color to Your Furniture” key designers revealed their best paint colors for furniture.   Brian McCarthy’s reveals his favorite colors from The Old Fashioned Milk Paint line.

“Find a piece that has good lines and trick it up. I’ve taken a plain pine chest of drawers from a junk shop and done a simple, cottagey finish with milk paint. Start with a base in Swedish blue-gray and lightly brush over it with white, pulling back with steel wool in spots to reveal more color.” -Brian McCarthy

The gray Donald Kaufman color swatch that Carey Maloney suggested would look fantastic on any piece of furniture, and would be a great color that you could base your entire Swedish home around. The Blueberry Myrtille would look fantastic on a dresser chest with tons of distressing.  This color was chosen by designer Christopher Maya.  Ruthie Summers suggests Ralph Lauren Paint’s Relay Red , while Thomas Burak suggests  Benjamin Moore’s Heritage Red Exterior Roo, both would look terrific on a Swedish accent chair.

How To Decorate With Yellow For A Historical Look

Yellow & Green Floral Applique Antique Quilt – French 72 On Ebay

Swedish Decorating Colors- Blue, Yellow, Navy And Gray- Painting of King Gustav III
Antique Yellow Rococo Chest- Scandinavian Antiques  1st Dibs

Yellow along side blue and white are colors that are known to be distinctively Swedish, so when it comes to picking a color for a room around, yellow is a fantastic choice.   If you have ever based your home around the darker colors such as red, or black, over time it can be very overwhelming, and just gloomy.  Yellow produces the opposite effect.  It is enlightening, encouraging, and uplifting.

The color yellow can apply to so many decorating styles, so when considering a period look that is Swedish, here are three tips to keep in mind to make it uniquely Gustavian.

1. Pick the Right Hue–  Yellows such as pale yellow or ocher yellow are more historical than high-voltage tones.  Brighter tones of yellow can be very fluorescent, which are not at all what you want for a period room.  Choose yellows that have a rich brown or slight reddish undertone for the best period looks.   Take an ochre yellow and go a few shades darker or lighter on the scale for a perfect tone.

2. Don’t rely on the Paint Chip-  A hue that appears just right on the paint chip will usually intensify once it’s on your walls.

In our small town we don’t have a paint store close to us which can match customized colors, so I experienced this very thing when I went to our local hardware store last week for yellow paint.  Our local paint store cannot custom match pre-mixed colors, so I had to pick from the selection that was available for sale.  The color which was almost right in the store turned out to be very bright on my outdoor table.  I added in every can of yellow paint that I had left in my home, and a gallon of dark ochre, and it happened to work out to be the perfect shade for the project I was painting.  The shade of ochre works every time I find when I am customizing colors.

With that being said, consider getting a couple samples of paint which cost only 2 or 3 dollars than getting a whole gallon of the shade you think is right.  Consider the color you think is right, and try a shade a few shades lighter.


Sudbury Yellow Paint From Farrow & Ball
Yellow Painted Walls- Historical Paint Colors Martha Stewart
ntique Swedish Furntiure – Gustavian Decorating

3. Combining 2 different tones of yellows can be quite stunning.

This classic Gustavian room that appeared in “Classic Swedish Interiors,” by Lars Sjoberg, featured on Mentar Mentar Blog shows classic painted paneling.   The paneling is a saturated tone of yellow, which is very rich in color.  The walls are painted yellow, which appears to be a duled down yellow.  The combination is absolute perfection.  You can see in this photo, they dressed up this room with a white painted Swedish  Mora clock and a black painted french styled desk with a brown leather desk chair.  The three tones are perfect color combinations for a Gustavian effect in this yellow based room.

Swedish Decorating Ideas- Gustavian Interiors- Decorating With Yellow- Drottningholm Palace Theatre

Again the same tones appear in this photograph of the Drottningholm Theatre.  Like the leather desk chair in the above picture, you see the same tone of burnt umber on the doors and window frames.  White is the second dominant color in this photograph.  You can also take tones of the gray marble from the base of the marble statue.  The light blue sky is a beautiful accent color.

You cannot go wrong with adding in a couple different shades of yellows.  Choose your dominant color of yellow, and add in a few more shades of yellow in the accessories.  Neoclassical lamps often feature a pedestal of some sort and a fluted section which can be painted in three tones.  Pick a shade of yellow, and combine it with black and gold, or yellow, gray and gold.  Paintings also allow you to add in several rich tones of the Gustavian palette.  Painted furniture is another way of adding in the just right tone into a scheme.

5.  Picking out the right upholstery fabric and throw pillows can go a long way in making your room more period in style.  Gustavian decorating often features fabrics that are based on white backgrounds.  Picking a fabric that is floral, check or stripe will give you that period style you are looking for.  Finding the right fabric can be a true battle, but remember you have so many other elements that can work in your favor to create the Swedish effect.

Swedish Decorating Ideas- Historical Paint Colors

Picking the right paint tone, along with the right tones for your accent colors will go a long way in recreating a Gustavian home.

Stunning Antique 1800s American Portrait Painting From Paris Couture Antiques on Ebay

You can see in this photograph a slight yellow tone on the wall, which may be from the camera flash.  If you can imagine the wall painted a yellow tone, with layers of gold paintings on the wall, and gold brass accents.  The weigh scale has a slightly brown tray holding black bottles, with a very bright yellow ribbon.  The various tones of black, yellow, red ( the bottom of the photograph) and navy, seen in the scale itself is the perfect color palette for Gustavian styled decorating.

Yellow Ocher Painted Walls From Southern Accents Magazine

“I like a buoyant, light-filled house, so I usually use all warm or yellow-based colors. This ocher is really a contemporary yellow shade with an antique resonance. It doesn’t draw attention to itself as, say, bold yellow or even white would. The ocher walls provide support for the exceptional paintings and furniture. Bright-colored walls would visually compete. This shade flatters everyone — it complements every skin tone.” – designer Thomas Jayne

Decorating With Yellows- Gustavian Style Decorating
Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden

You can see in this photograph of Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden his suit is a brighter yellow against a backdrop of yellow ochre. You can see the painting has a stunning blue sash, and a darker blue jacket, that isn’t quite navy.  The brighter yellow, and the peach tones such as the colors in his face would be a great color scheme for a yellow room.

Take some inspiration from the brighter yellow interiors found in the Swedish Chinese Pavilion. The interior featured brighter yellows and bold fabrics on upholstered Swedish chairs.

Here we find a combination of yellow and orange at the Chinese Pavilion.  The walls are lined with a light blue paint.

In this picture we find a combination of greens, lighter greens and pastel tones with brighter colored yellow ribbons.  Consider a scheme of pastel greens and yellows.

Designer Mary Douglas Drysdale uses brighter tones of yellow in her neoclassical room with Federal antiques.  She combines a brighter yellow check pattern  in the upholstery and for the window drapes

This ravishing yellow silk gown from 1760 gives off the perfect tone of yellow.

This 17th Century styled room features tones of beige, gray, and natural wood herringbone wood floors and a brightly colored yellow fabric cover.  Consider using yellow as your pop of color, such as they did in this room.

Falu Red- A Prominent Color In 17 and 18th Century Sweden

Swedish RedThe color red has been distinctive color in Sweden in the 17 and 18th centuries.  Falu red  (pronounced “FAH-loo”, in Swedish Falu rödfärg) is the name of a Swedish, deep red paint well known for its use on houses, barns and cottages. The paint originated from the copper mine at Falun in Dalarna, Sweden.  During the 17th century Falu red was commonly used on smaller wooden mansions with the intention to imitate buildings with brick facing.  In the Swedish cities and towns, buildings were often painted with the Falu red until the early 19th century, when many began to oppose the paint.

It was then that other colors were introduced such as yellow, white and the beautiful lighter pastel colors that you see in historical architecture in Sweden.   Houses and buildings in Scandinavia are usually painted white or yellow.   Red paint was the cheapest, so many of the barns and outbuildings in the countryside were painted red.

Only the noble buildings of the farm were painted in other colors.  Falu red saw another surge in popularity in the countryside during the 19th century, when farmers  began to paint their houses in the beautiful saturated paint color. Falu red is still widely used in the Swedish countryside to this day due to its effectiveness in preserving wood.   Incorporate a little bit of red in your Swedish decorating to get an authentic Nordic look.  A wood side chair or commode would look terrific in this color!

Falu red during manufacturing may range in color depending on how much the oxide is burnt.  The colors can range from dark red almost borderline black to a bright, light red.   The paint itself consists of water, rye flour, linseed oil and residue from the copper mines of Falun.  The residue contains silicates iron oxides, copper compounds and zinc.  The color to the left in pot is a very accurate hue of the Falu red .

18th century architecture Sweden, Stockholm.

A lovely country Swedish Red house.  An iron oxide based wood preserver was used on the timbers.

A lovely red painted house near Trollesund.

Sources Wilipedia

Swedish Red Mike Downey On FlickerSwedish Red Mike Downey On Flicker

18th Century Home From Country Living Magazine18th Century Home From Country Living Magazine

18th Century Swedish Manor House Lars-Sjoberg Featured on Trouvais BlogColonial Red Painted Panelling By Thomas Jayne Featured at Home Beautiful

18th Century Swedish Manor House Lars-Sjoberg Featured on Trouvais Blog

Colonial Red Painted Panelling By Thomas Jayne Featured at Home Beautiful

Dione Herself sold an outstanding late 19th century French Bergere chair that would have worked really nicely with a Swedish styled decor. The chair was upholstered in a red check fabric, while the frame looked to be either painted or white washed.

Check fabric is one of the staples of Swedish decorating. Red along with shades of blue and yellow have always been classic choices for Swedish textiles. If you are looking to do a large project with check fabric, look at NY Fashion Center Fabrics, as they carry fabric in the bolt. A 25 Yard Bolt in red and white gingham checked fabric is $162. Raggedy Ann & Andy sells a brightly colored Flannel ngham fabric in blue. Online fabric store also sells a larger print gingham red fabric.

Swedish Plates

Red has always been distinctively Swedish. A simple red chair amongst a muted gray background can be powerful all on its own.

Incorporating authentic Swedish colors such as red into your Swedish decorated home can really bring forth a more authentic antique Nordic look.

America Retold has stunning Swedish looking dinner ware in a red floral chintz pattern that would look remarkable up on a plate rack.

Their collection is limited to three pieces; a serving platter which sells for $26.49, a bowl which sells for $12.99, and a dinner plate that sells for $10.49. This set can be grouped with other white table ware, or pair it with glass, pewter, copper or brass for a very regal effect.

America Retold also sells a set of 4 mini dessert cloches that might work just perfect for your dinner parties serving mini 3 tier cakes.


English American Red Early Decorating Ideas

This lovely pictured featured in Martha Stewart Magazine shows an orange Fitzhugh-pattern Chinese-export porcelain inspired the dining-room color scheme. The painted walls match the deepest tone on the china. A quince-colored velvet tablecloth and sunset-hued fabric on the folding screen highlight the richness and depth of gold-tinged reds. This room is based around Federal style decorating, and includes a terrific Empire gold mirror that really makes the space extremely rich!

A Louis XVI-style chest From Charles-Emile Moinat

Villa D'Este Town & Country Red Swedish Looks

Villa D’Este Town & Country Red Swedish Looks

Red Gustavian Chair Featured-on Karina Gentinetta BlogRed Gustavian Chair Featured on Karina Gentinetta Blog, Check out this beautiful red Swedish Gustavian Style Dining Room Found Here

French-commode-lacquered-red-From-Live-Auctioneers French-commode-lacquered-red-From-Live-Auctioneers2Swedish Furniture Ideas- French Commode Lacquered Red From Live Auctioneers


7 Secrets From Suzanne Rheinstein To Pull Off A European Decorated Home

Suzanne Rheinstein

Suzanne RheinsteinThe photos above and below were taken in a room designed by Suzanne Rheinstein at the Greystone Estate, the site of Veranda’s annual showhouse Picture seen on lusterinteriors.blogspot.com

Architectural Digest & House Beautiful magazines both publish annual lists of current successful designers, and Suzanne Rheinstein always is noted as one of the top designers in the LA area.   Other established designers such as Michael Smith, Thomas Beeton, Kathryn Ireland, Barbara Barry, and Waldo Fernandez also are all noted to be the best in Los Angeles.

Suzanne Rheinstein is owner of Los Angeles renowned Hollyhock, an extravagant LA Antiques Store.  Rheinstein is known for her relaxed, elegant style, and special attention to luxuries.  Beyond her store, and her book, Rheinstein also has a fabric line with Lee Jofa.

Rheinstein’s Manhattan Home made the cover of Elle Decor for the month of November 2010 featuring an upscale Gustavian designed residence in New York.   After her daughter Kate got married, and grandchildren were too hard to resist being away from, her husband Fred relented and the couple finally found the perfect corner space in the upper east side of New York.  Rheinstein tells Elle

We adore our house in L.A.,” she says. “It’s very forgiving and full of wonderful family treasures. But for New York, I wanted something a little more city, a little more stylized. And I wanted the palette to be a little more calm.”

The Gustavian styled home is filled with hues of grays, creams, taupes and soft greeny blues which is known to be classic Swedish style.    “There’s color, she adds, but “it’s just very offbeat, like the pale ochre pillow on the chaise…….”

Beyond the beautiful extravagant 18th century antiques Rheinstein owns, is a stunning mural which has captured the publics attention.  Bob Christian, a decorative painter and artist created a gorgeous mural that surrounded the room. The overall effect was a large scale toile look.   The room wouldn’t be the same without it.

Her current book At Home: A Style for Today with Things from the Past,  features six distinctive homes that express Rheinstein sophisticated elegant style.  The book also features both of her own homes in Los Angeles and New York.  Rheinstein’s book is beautifully photographed, and shows an inspiring volume of her own work, in which she mixes Gustavian with Edwardian and Regency with ease.  The book shows a range of styles including a brick farmhouse in the Virginia countryside to a  Beach in Newport Bay.


She has been quoted saying it is better to buy quality one-of-a-kind pieces, and decorate around them “Fewer but better things, painted surfaces, a mixture of furniture styles, a personal art collection and attention to comfort, colors, textures, details and light.”

We couldn’t agree with her more.

This 18th century Antique Swedish Gustavian Painted Bench is the epitome of Swedish furniture.  They are almost impossible to find in America, and quite expensive to purchase.  Rheinstein’s Swedish bench is upholstered in a dark  beige with undertones of olive and grey.  The bench perfectly sets the stage to match the paint on the walls which also governs the paint colors on the hand painted floors.

  • The secret to design is precisely as Rheinstein suggests- Designing around a few pieces of fabulous furniture.
  • Period antiques are well made and often have features that are very hard to come by in today furnishings.
  • A great antique usually has one of these qualities
  • Great Bones, and Style such as the curvature of Louis XV furniture, or the straight appeal of the Directoire styles of Louis XVI.
  • Fantastic aged patina– Gustavian furniture has incredible painted finishes with beautiful ornate painted motifs.
  • Quality wood like Empire Furniture , or Lavish wood veneers such as Regency furniture.
  • Well made statement pieces truly are show stoppers on their own that all that is needed is a few well chosen accent pieces to finish a look to get a magazine quality highly-decorated home.

See the November issue of Elle Decor For More Pictures of Her home.

Visit Hollyhock’s web site to see antiques, upholstery and decor items for sale


Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 4 Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 5 Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 6 Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 7 Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 8 Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 9

Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 2

Suzanne Rheinstein’s  Designs on Style Compass


These classic Louis XVI Style FauteuilDining Chairs are often found featured with classic Swedish decor.  Note the chairs are painted in a classic gray and washed in a fauxfinish and upholstered with a a red Ticking stripe.

Joni from Cote De Texas has an in depth article on Suzanne Rheinstein’sGeorgian home which is worth viewing.  It has been hard to locate any of Suzanne Rheinstein’s work, and Joni seemingly has went out of her way to gather some of the previous rare pictures of her amazing home through the transformations.  We borrowed a few of her pictures that really show the Swedish style in its best!

Compare her New York apartment with her LA Home, and you will see so many beautiful painted floors.  Paint can completely transform a room.  The colors on the floor in the above picture create a calming atmosphere.   The detail on the console is exquisite!  You would want to float a piece like this in the center of the room.  –  Picture from Cote De Texas