So it sounds like you're thinking of the more common dual purpose breeds. If you want egg color variety, a Legbar would be a good way to go, if you can find a pullet in your area. They should lay blue eggs. A Welsummer will give you dark terra-cotta or speckled, always pretty. Then for consistent brown eggs you can go with so many breeds...any of the Rocks, Wyandottes, Orpingtons, Australorps, or sex links. Those breeds are all good, proven backyard breeds.
With littles, I was thinking something like a Faverolles might be a good way to go, but they're bearded and feather legged, with extra toes.
My Marans hens are very docile and good producers of dark brown eggs, but they're feather legged.