If you’re looking for paint, you can read designer recommendations all day long. But we thought the best way to make designers play favorites would be to find out the colors they chose for their own homes—colors they live with every day and really, truly love. Case in point: Philip’s Perfect Colors’ Mink, which Bay Area designer Chloe Warner chose for her living room (shown above). “I have a thing for ‘paper-bag browns,’” she laughs. Scroll down to discover the best whites, pinks, greens, and shades of gray.
Chloe Warner’s Den
Interior designer Chloe Warner shares a 1920s French-cottage-style house with husband Andrew, five-year-old son Ferris, and three-year-old daughter Lily in the Crocker Highlands neighborhood of Oakland, CA. In Chloe’s den, a sectional topped with custom pillows is backed by walls painted Philip’s Perfect Colors’ Dusk. Pink is one of the sweetly traditional shades that makes an appearance in many a Chloe project.
Chloe Warner’s Bedroom
After struggling with the design of her bedroom, Chloe got the jolt of inspiration she needed to finish it after painting it—moldings and all—Farrow & Ball’s Calke Green. “Suddenly it was the most exciting room in the house,” she says. In this corner, which gets some of the home’s best lighte, Chloe opted for multiple patterns, from the Greek key print on the chaise to the Bob Collins and Peacock Alley fabrics on the window seat and pillows.
Jason Chauncey & Allison Ross’s Bedroom
Jason Chauncey, the fourth-generation furniture designer behind Brownstone Upholstery, shares his Los Angeles home, a 1946 shingled cottage, with decorator wife Allison Ross of Grain Projects and their two energetic sons, Judah and Tate. Most of the house—ceilings and trim included—is painted Behr’s Ultra Pure White, a clean, bright shade.
Jason Chauncey & Allison Ross’s Son’s Room
Allison painted son Tate’s room with Martha Stewart Living Driftwood Gray. Since it’s no longer being produced, she recommends having Home Depot mix the shade for you using Glidden paint. “Driftwood is one of my all-time favorite grays, and it pretty much makes it into every home I decorate,” she says.
Lee Kleinhelter’s Dining Area
Interior designer Lee Kleinhelter, who owns the chic, celebrated Buckhead design shop Pieces, lives in an Atlanta high-rise with her family. In the open-plan living and dining area, she created cohesion with a rich gray hue (Pratt & Lambert’s Woodwitch 2299) matched to the kitchen’s grout. A vintage mirrored folding screen, its trim repainted in white, reflects some of Kleinhelter’s favorite furnishings: vintage chrome round-back dining chairs that she had reupholstered in a silver-speckled hide.
Jenni Kayne’s Living Room
Comfortable yet chic, simple yet refined, sophisticated yet livable—the same words used to describe fashion designer Jenni Kayne’s clothing line apply just as much to the rustic-chic Los Angeles home she shares with her husband, two young kids, and Labradoodle named Chachi. In her living room, walls painted Benjamin Moore’s Super White provide a clean backdrop for an aerial photograph by Richard Misrach.
Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Kitchen
In the Long Island town of Locust Valley, design legend Jeffrey Bilhuber resides with his son in a magical old country house of three stories and more than 30 rooms that dates to 1668. Jeffrey’s quaint kitchen shows off the home’s age but is wildly functional when he’s whipping up a meal. Hits of black add a sophisticated twist to cabinets painted Pratt & Lambert’s Pacific.
Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Living Room
Throughout Jeffrey’s house, you can’t help but be hit by the gorgeously oversaturated colors, and while it feels like the mixings of a modern-day master, the bold hues are actually historically accurate; they were indicators of wealth during Colonial times. “Pigment was expensive,” says Jeffrey. “Dried powders were hard to find and harder to get, so if you were at all successful, you’d share your success with your colleagues or your friends in color palettes.” In Jeffrey’s living room the wall decor pops from a neon wash of Benjamin Moore’s Chic Lime.
Michelle Smith’s Living Room
Despite living in a New York City apartment, designer Michelle Smith firmly believes that “if you buy something you love, there’s always a place for it.” The blues in her rug and the two Baker slipper chairs reupholstered in plush periwinkle velvet add pops of color in the otherwise neutral living room painted one of her favorite colors, Benjamin Moore Gray Mist.
Michelle Smith’s Kitchen
With the help of a contractor, Smith put up inset-frame Shaker-style cabinets in her kitchen and painted them Farrow & Ball Charleston Gray (the same color she chose for her office). “If you want a color that goes with everything, that’s it,” she says. And though she doesn’t often cook, the light-flooded kitchen’s original casement windows and witty repurposed industrial-whisk “lampshades” make it a nice hangout spot.