Blank Dining Room plus Benjamin Moore Surf Blue

by Landis Carey on February 21, 2011

Oh goodness, I did it. Saturday morning I decided the day to finally christen the house with interior paint had arrived. Atop is a view of the dining room Sunday morning (post-paint-a-thon), shortly after I woke-up and remembered what I had done. I was scared as I made the coffee, peering behind me as I filled the percolator and ground the beans. But as I sit here now, remembering the blankness that was before (pictured below), I’m kind of okay with it…maybe? Oh my goodness, am I having painter’s remorse!?!

The rest of the downstairs will get a coat of light gray, as I ranted about on Friday, and for the kitchen, I’m going with my gut: a pale avocado to nicely compliment the dining room and our kitchen chairs.

Oh, before I forget! Benjamin Moore Natura paint is outstanding! I will never use another brand. Yes, it costs more per gallon, but I used half the amount I normally would have. It only took 2 coats to cover our dining room walls, which 1 gallon handled. Unfortunately I purchased 2 gallons because every other paint would have taken at least 3 coats. Also, there’s no smell, none at all. I absolutely recommend it! And no, they are not paying me to write this.

(Images: Landis Carey)

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn February 28, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Ah-ha! Is this the Teal you were referring to when visiting my booth at ACC on Thursday? Very nice!!


Landis Carey March 1, 2011 at 7:58 am

It is, and it’s quite teal, right? I’ve been experimenting with grays in the rest of the downstairs and it’s been so difficult! Wonderful meeting you on Thursday! Thanks for looking at Mint Peach!


MaryRay March 9, 2011 at 12:04 am

Love the teal, and love your blog. It’s a really perfect bold color :) . Fun to read your ideas for inspiration!


Landis Carey March 9, 2011 at 6:53 am

Mary Ray! Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by, I really appreciate it!


Kim @ Life Analytical April 2, 2011 at 12:22 am

That’s gorgeous! It didn’t look bad before it was such a clean bright look with all of the light, but I love the After(and your chairs).


Landis Carey April 2, 2011 at 7:55 am

Thanks so much, Kim! I just checked out your blog – super cute! Happy Birthday!


Kim @ Life Analytical April 2, 2011 at 12:22 am

because it was* rather


Gina April 5, 2011 at 11:39 pm

I’m so glad I found your site, it’s great, and I love the surf blue in your dining room, too! I stumbled across you searching for pics of this particular paint color online, as it’s a strong contender in my current design project–painting the small wall that divides my kitchen from my living room in my apartment. I’m trying to understand color theory and how it works–the main furnishings in my living room are quite warm–a green/yellow couch (tertiary) and a red/orange (also tertiary) Chinese chest of drawers–these are warm colors, but my wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling windows face west and it gets quite warm in my apartment–I’d like to use a cool color on the wall so I can get a sort of tropical oasis feel going (I have a lot of international, colorful accent pieces I’ve collected, and the living room opens onto a really lush garden I’m working on). In short, do you think using a cool blue/green paint on that wall (which faces north) be too abrupt, or maybe a good balance? I love the color, can’t wait to hear what you think.

Many thanks,



Landis Carey April 6, 2011 at 8:33 am

Hi Gina, nice to meet you! Thank you so much for finding me!

A couple of questions to get us started. What kind of flooring do you have in the space? How large is the room? Is it all one space or are the kitchen and living room separate? If you want to send me a picture of the space, you can send it to I’d love to help you make the decision! It sounds like you’re moving in the right direction. The scheme seems to be a tetrad which basically involves two sets of adjacent complimentary colors.

What I love so much about Benjamin Moore’s Surf Blue is it can be interpreted in two ways: a cool slate gray palette can be added to it to tone it down or citrus colors (yellows, light greens and oranges), such as you’re considering, can be added to spice it up. I ended up choosing the slate gray option in our living room and in our kitchen because we actually have several yellow-green options throughout. Oh, and our flooring is a warm earthy orange.

You’re right on with choosing it for a tropical oasis feel. I actually choose the color after an extended stint in Southern California. I wanted to brighten up our space with the warmth and vitality those colors bring!

I hope to hear back from you soon!

Best wishes,


Gina April 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm

ps, the accent pillows on my couch have a deep bright orange in their pattern. Maybe I just like bright, saturated colors in general, and they all go together?


Landis Carey April 6, 2011 at 8:33 am

Absolutely, oranges definitely play into the mix. And with your garden, it can work!


J January 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Gorgeous walls. I love how it contrasts with the white trim and wood floors.
Your dining room chairs are amazing. May I ask who the designer is?
Thanks for letting us peer into your home (dining room)!


Landis Carey January 29, 2012 at 10:23 am

Thanks so much for your sweet words! A year later we’re still loving the color, so it seems to have been a success! The chairs are Wegner Wishbone chairs from Room & Board. We bought them years ago and still love them everyday. They are very comfortable, easy to clean and great to sit in for many many hours doing computer and reading work!


Viktoria February 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm

That is the teal of my dreams! I have been eyeing it for years now and everybody keeps telling me not to use it, including my interior designer sister, saying it is too dark and too bold.

Please, don’t regret using it! I wish I had the courage you have! It looks awesome. Oh, and those chairs – they are killing me! Why can’t I ever find something like those?!?


Landis Carey February 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Thank you so much for the kind words, Viktoria! Painting the dining room this peacock color was definitely a bold move but one I’ve not regretted, at all. It’s a bold color on a floor that’s otherwise filled with cool grays and warm wood tones. The chairs are Wegner Wishbone chairs that we’ve had for quite a while. We love them — very comfortable and durable!

I hope you, too, paint a room a peacock color — I bet you’d love it!

Thanks for chiming in :)


Leah February 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm

oh my god i love this dining room so much. We are moving into a new house in a couple of weeks and this room is such an inspiration!


Landis Carey February 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Thank you so much, Leah! It’s Benjamin Moore’s Surf Blue and we totally love it!


Noelle March 19, 2012 at 3:17 am

Thank you so much for posting this picture! It really helps to see it come alive, but does it get really dark at night? I’ve been mulling over using a color like this… in my bedroom. It’s spacious and gets a lot of natural light; all my furniture is a black-brown finish wood with clean lines (Hemnes pieces from Ikea). I also have a picture rail about 3″ from the ceiling and my bay windows and glass paned door provide a lot of white to break up the intensity, would you agree? I have icky beige renter’s carpet that must stay, but am definitely in need of a rug. I’m also drawn to BM’s Teal Tone 663 but worry it might end up too cutesy and pastel-y in the light. Sorry for all the rambling. The spring year PURGE and re-birth of my living space has begun and the time for paint is nigh.
Thank you so much for your blog too! Just found in and it’s getting my creative juices going!


Anyway, I’m nervous to go so bold in that space. I’ve been bitten by the beautiful-taupey-mauve-that-was-neon-purple-once-painted bug and it’s truly marred my confidence in choosing colors! Any advice?


Landis Carey March 20, 2012 at 10:53 am

Hi Noelle! Sounds like you’ve got a color conundrum :) My advice for the bedroom is to stay with neutrals or dark shades and use pops of color for expression. It’s the one room where you’ll want everything to fade into the background when you’re there at night trying to calm your mind. I’m a huge advocate of paint color splashes elsewhere: bathrooms, dining areas and kitchens where color can brighten your living spaces and pack a punch without intruding on your restful space.

It’s been two years since we moved into our home and we’re just now painting our bedroom, so don’t fret, I ponder just as much when it comes to painting. We’re opting to balance our linen-colored and white bedding with dark, ink walls. Our furniture is dark, as well, but our dresser is lighter in color. We also are lucky because the room has four windows and lots of white molding to offset such a hue. But it sounds like your bedroom has a lot of white space, as well.

If you do opt for a strong hue in your bedroom, go darker to avoid the possibility of pastels. Have you looked at Charlotte Slate AC-24? It’s really beautiful and a much more toned-down version of our Surf Blue (which I wouldn’t recommend in a bedroom).

Good luck! You’re more than welcome to send questions my way!


Tiffany July 10, 2012 at 11:59 am

We’re trying to pick a color for our dining room and have narrowed it down to a few. Your image popped up and are you are in Maplewood? Crazy so are we!!
I think we’re going to go with Surf Blue or Bermuda Turquoise(although I am nervous about the darkness of the latter. The weird thing is that when we look at multiple photos online for the surf blue they all look so different! eek!


Landis Carey July 10, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Hi, Tiffany! You are in Maplewood? How great! About the Surf Blue…it totally varies throughout the day. It’s much brighter in the early afternoon light (when the sun hits that side of our home) and has a completely different feeling at night. I’ve loved it so much for the past year and a half, but I’m actually thinking of doing something different towards the end of the summer. I might introduce a dark dark gray into the mix but I’m not sure yet. That’s the great thing about paint, it can always be changed! Have you painted swatches? I’d seriously consider Bermuda Turquoise if it’s much darker, I think it’s Surf Blue lightness that makes it vary so much.


Tiffany July 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Hi Landis.
Yes I did a google search for teal blues and clicked on several images. I saw an image of your dining room and clicked on it. I immediately called my husband and was telling him about your beautiful space and noticed off to the side it says something about SOMA. I say to him “i think this person actually lives in our town.” very random :)
anyway we have decided to stick with Bermuda Turquoise, it’s a lovely color and we love color! It’s bold. We did our powder room a dark grayish blue and it’s lovely.
We did painted swatches and Bermuda is dark but has a nice hue of teal, almost peacock like. We’re actually not planning to use our dining room right now for dining but more of a casual sitting/play space for our kids. We bought a fun yellow sofa and plan to use wonderful colors in this room. oranges, purples, etc.
Thanks for your input!
Your site is great! glad I found it :)


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