Benjamin Moore Rosemary Sprig #2144-30 — A timeless green paint color for my living room trim?

green paint color good for a living roomSpring is springing, and I have the itch to decorate and do projects like no one’s business. I am already signed up to work on  living room lighting, and the office update begins tomorrow. Now, I also am thinking of painting all the trim in our living room / dining room / foyer a shade of green — maybe this shade of green featured in the master bedroom created by Julie Dastvan.

stenciled ceilingYes, these photos are all of Julie’s beautiful showhouse design (not my living room). When we first moved in 10 years ago, all the trim was a bright white. It may have been Atrium White — which has a pink tinge. Atrium white did not please me. I began to experiment with off-whites, and with the help of a friend in the painting business, came up with a custom off-white that is based on linen but with most of the yellow taken out. I have quite enjoyed my off-white trim… and the paint finish still looks great (Graham Ceramic Satin)… but still, 10 years have gone by… and if I can muster the energy and the GUTS, I am ready to make a commitment to a true color. It may be this green, or darn close: Benjamin Moore Rosemary Sprig #2144-30.

traditional bedroom design ideasWhere did I find this color? In a story some time ago on the DC by Design blog — and it’s this story that convinced me, my trim would/could look great painted green. These photos are of designer Julie Dastvan’s bedroom design for the 27th annual Historic Ellicott City Decorator Show House. I chased Julie down for the name of the paint color. She kindly got it for me. She said this green trim color was already used in this bedroom — it was the one element that she could not change and had to work with. I think she did a fantastic job. This room is just lovely — timeless, I think.

desk in bedroom

Don’t miss the ceiling — that’s stenciling in two layers, flat and glossy paint. Hey, how about I also stencil a design like this across ginormous living room/dining room ceiling; these adjacent, open rooms together measure 15′ by 45′. I have a lot of ceiling. Oh my aching back and neck. I can feel their protest already.

bedroom sitting areaInterestingly, when I was initially painting my living room / dining room, I could see from inside cabinets that a minty green had once been used on the trim in my room. Intensity-wise, my 1960s (?) green seems like it was lighter than this BM Rosemary Sprig. You know the color — an almost hospital-like minty green. I am aiming for a not-too-dark, not-too-light…

Benjamin Moore Rosemary Spring…Benjamin Moore is calling Rosemary Sprig “bold and saturated.” It may be just right… Yes, gasp!, a light avocado? Shhhh! BM surely does not want that word to get out! Of course, trying to guess whether colors will work from photos and on computers only gets you pointed in a direction. Let the games and sample-pint purchases begin….

But, Reality Check: Do I have the real drive to paint all my trim, really? There are 3,000 little pieces of dentil molding dentils in the ceiling beams. 3,000! And while my DIY ambitions usually extend just as far as DIY-check-writing, painting is one thing that I do myself. My ambitions for spring updates may be an overstretch, given time and money realities.

Meanwhile, this week I will go get a sample of Benjamin Moore Rosemary Sprig. I’ve heard good things about their new Aura line of paint — it’s a latex that’s supposed to look just like oil. I’ll paint it on cardboard or something like that, though. Not the trim. So I don’t have to commit.


  • Angie Seckinger, photographer
  • Designer: Julie Dastvan of Dastvan Designs (301) 330-9595

Julie’s description and source list for this project:

A regal town and country master suite created using deep jewel tones, rich textures, and handsome furnishings with timeless elegant touches and treasures from travels abroad reflect the lives of my aunt and uncle, Doris and Lee Caldwell, to whom I dedicate this master suite.

The Oscar de la Renta fabric used for the drapes and bed canopy was the inspiration for the design.  Red velvet chairs with a tailored linen ottoman and a queen tufted bed draped in luscious fabrics offer an inviting place to start and end the day.

The stenciled ceiling design was inspired by a traditional octagonal coffered ceiling, and the walls were finished using a faux linen technique.  The custom pinched moiré area rug has the look of a priceless well-worn antique carpet.

Finally, the irresistible draw of the balcony invites you to take in the views from the comfy outdoor seating while wrapped in a warm throw for those chilly fall evenings.


Art/Accessories: Avery Art, 202.506.4180; Century, Henredon and Robert Allen showrooms, Washington Design Center; Hollis & Knight, 202.333.6999
Drapery Workroom: Drapery Designs, 301.330.4418
Fabrics: Kravet, Duralee, Old World Weavers, and Robert Allen, Washington Design Center
Faux Finishes: Anna-Marie Gallart and Karen Furman, 301.252.7974
Furniture: Century, Washington Design Center, 202.488-4400; Henredon and Hickory Chair, Washington Design Center, 202.554.3340; Hollis & Knight; Kravet, Washington Design Center, 202.479.0144; Offenbacher’s, 301.881-8565
Lighting: Annapolis Lighting, 301.231.4994; Hollis & Knight
Paint: Sherwin Williams, Enchanted Forest Shopping Center, MD, 410.203.2912
Rug: The Fernhill Group, 410.531.8990

Thank you, Julie! Thank you, Angie!

  1. Sandy says:

    Foam core board works great to test colors. Paint a large piece (white of course) and then move it around the room for a few days so you can see how the color changes at different times of day and in different lighting. I read this tip in a design book, and it works perfectly.

    You might also want to check out a great website called myperfectcolor.com. Lots of ideas and an easy way to move between potential colors.

  2. I have Ben Moore’s Prescott Green on the trim, below the chair rail, and on the ceiling of my dining room and I love it. I must tell you, it reads a lot like those photos you posted. I’ve used Rosemary Sprig on walls for clients and I love it, too – but I think it will read darker than what you are seeing in those photographs. I wouldn’t describe it as a hospital mint green at all. Prescott Green definitely is like a slightly grayed mint green, which is what I was going for in my 1940’s house. I wish I could post a photo – if you want to look on my blog I have a house tour with all my paint colors posted – just type in Decorologist House Tour in the search bar.

  3. lynda davis says:

    My daughter used the Advance enamel by Benjamin Moore on her cabinets and woodwork. The painters did a beautiful job and said they usually used the Advance paint for woodwork. She used the ColorStories paint on the walls. Some Benjamin Moore stores have samples. The samples are hand painted.

  4. Marta says:

    My only concern would be if you were planning to sell in the next five years or so. I’m pretty sure you aren’t contemplating that, so I’d say go for it. I’ve seen a living room with this type of green on the built ins, and it was just lovely. I agree that green is a neutral. In nature it’s paired with everything. Because of that, I don’t think it will bother you to see the aqua in the kitchen and the white trim elsewhere in combination with the green. It’ll be like green plants against an ocean or white sand.

  5. Christa says:

    I think it would look really spectacular but that is a heck of a lot of work, so I probably would come up with a less labor-intensive way to freshen up the room.

    I just finished picking out the perfect avocado green for my bath to harmonize with the Harvest Gold and Avocado tile and fixtures – and used Aura paint. Sesame ended up being the right one after about 12 color tests. Coriander Seed was second runner up. You never know which color will actually work in your light until you test it. I found that the Aura paint does have more pigment in it which seems to make the color change a lot depending on the light. The new Color Story colors are supposed to have even more pigment but at my store they don’t have samples, you have to have them made at $7 a pop. So I only tested one of those.

  6. Rosemary says:

    We painted our living room/dining room of our 40’s bungalow lite green on the walls and a darker alomost avocado on the trim. It looks great and green can be a real neutral. Of course, my kitchen colors mimics the colors of 30’s Fiesta (turquoise cabinet boxes, orange drawer fronts), so what do I know? It’s only paint, if you hate it, redo it.

  7. JKaye says:

    OK, with this new information, I am now more in favor of the painted woodwork project! I didn’t know, or had forgotten, that the upper walls were grasscloth. I love grasscloth, but think it has a more classy casual feel than a really formal feel. So, I think the Rosemary Sprig paint color would go great with it. As far as different colors of woodwork in different rooms, if there was some way to introduce the Rosemary Sprig color into adjoining rooms with accessories, then, maybe that could make all the rooms work together, in spite of woodwork differences.

    The first time I saw grasscloth was in the late 70s, in the office of a newspaper publisher. My memory is telling me the woodwork was a khaki color, but I’m not positive. I thought the grasscloth was so cool and that office, with its leather chairs and framed prints on the walls, was so much classier than the seedy newroom where I worked (where reporters still smoked at their desks and a gray haze hung in the air over the gray desks and gray electric typewriters.)

  8. denise says:

    Hey Pam,

    That’s a nice color. One of my client’s chose that color for their living room/foyer area. It’s on the walls, though. I did use Aura, but I don’t know if I’d use Aura for the trim with the other choices that are out there. But I know of painters that do. I like Aura because it’s fast drying but be careful because of that, doing long lengths of trim, over-brushing will take away from your finish, there’s not as much open time.

    Check out their newest product I believe it’s called ‘Advance’ which acts more like an oil but is water clean up. Sherwinn Williams also has a product that is like that, too, ‘Pro-Classic Acrylic-Alkyd’, which is low VOC — I’ve used it and like a lot because it lays out nicely. They will be able to custom match another color if you went this route.

    One thing to consider is while standing in your kitchen with your turquoise cabinets, how that color works when looking into the room and peripherally seeing the two colors together. And, of course, yes, having only one room with painted trim and how you feel about that. Also consider how it will look with your current furnishings and fabrics.

    3,000 dentil molding cut outs? god bless ya!! painting by hand is time consuming and you might have to do two coats. Carry a small brush with you, paint tends to pool in the corners and then because it’s crown molding, will drip down. Also, when painting the doorway trim, that 1/2″ of molding that sits perpendicular to the wall? will take time so as not to get it caught in the texture of your grasscloth edge.

    Definitely paint a good length of trim (or two) and move it around the room throughout the day so that you can see how the light in that room effects it.

    If you decide to go for it — you only live once, right? 😉 and you don’t like it, you can always paint over it. Isn’t that the painting mantra?

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