Thursday, September 13, 2012

Choosing Paint Colors part III

Since we probably won't be painting the kitchen or the back guest bedroom for awhile (since we are slowly working up the energy for the former and the latter is currently our storage area and full of furniture and boxes), I thought I'd share the color we landed on for the living room.  The phrase "landed on" kinda makes it sound like one of us closed our eyes in a room full of paint cards, waved our finger around, the other yelled stop, and we went with the color being pointed at.  I can assure you it was NOT that easy.  And choosing paint colors that way sounds reckless and insane to a type A, perfectionist person like me.  Instead, I like to over-analyze and labor over my choices.  Sounds much more fun, right?  It's something that is ingrained into my personality.  I think that is why I tend to question my original paint color decisions and repaint rooms.  Speaking of repainting rooms...

For the living room, we needed a color that

  • would be dark enough to "highlight" the freshly painted white fireplace
  • would be light enough that the room would not end up too dark
  • would coordinate with the rest of the colors in the house that we've chosen so far (see here and here for those)

The first color that I thought was going to be perfect for living room was Benjamin Moore's Meadow View 383.  It seemed to be a nice medium shade that would make the fireplace stand out without darkening the room too much.  It is two shades darker than the office color (Sesame) so it would definitely fit right into our color scheme.  We had already painted squares of Benjamin Moore's Van Courtland Blue HC-145 - too dark for the whole room, Benjamin Moore's Sesame 381 - too light to make the fireplace stand out, Valspar's Clove Bud - just not feeling it - not enough brown in it, and Valspar's Metropolis - which is one shade darker than our guest bedroom and two shades darker than our hallway- looked waaaaay too purple and here I thought it was gray.  I painted a square of the Meadow View and decided it was perfect.  So we purchased a couple of gallons and got started.

Looks fun, spring-y, and innocent enough right?  I wish I had taken a picture of it after we painted one coat.  It was too dark for the room and resembled pea soup.  It was just not the right color.  Here it is in someone else's room so you can get a better idea.  I actually like it in this pic, but it was just not doing it for me in our living room.  Trust me.

I still like the color itself.  It's a fun kind of color.  Here someone has used it to paint a dresser in a nursery (sorry, I couldn't find a better pic of it).  

I'm thinking since we have a whole gallon of it left, I need to find another project to use some of it up and this dresser has me thinking.  Could be another disaster or could be something great.  I'll let you know what project I end up putting my extra paint and creative energy towards, of course.

So...we were back where we started after nixing the pea soup color.  I liked the idea of gray a lot.  A nice medium to dark gray to highlight the white fireplace.  But then, the rest of the room would be too dark. So, we threw around the idea of an accent wall of medium to dark gray around the fireplace and a light gray on the other walls.  Something like this is what I had in mind (image from

Nice, right?  The problem was choosing a gray.  I have difficulty making design decisions.  Did you just nod your head, roll your eyes, and say "ya think"?  Good.  You know me well already.  I really wanted to stick with the "family" of grays that we had already chosen (ie colors only from the paint card that we used for the hallway and guest bedroom) but as I already mentioned above, the metropolis was just way to purple-looking.  So, we went back to an old tried and true favorite - Valspar's Tempered Gray 4004-1A.  It was in the hallway, master bedroom, and master bathroom of our first house.  

So we purchased a gallon of Tempered Gray and a gallon of one shade darker, Urban Sunrise.  We used the Urban Sunrise to paint the fireplace wall and the Tempered Gray to paint the other walls. was ok (don't mind the paint squares).  

 I liked the fireplace wall and I liked the wall opposite the fireplace, but something about the other walls and the corner where the two colors met was not good.  Ugh.  At this point, I thought I might make Seth crazy.  I was going crazy.  We lived with it for maybe a day or two while I brainstormed about another option and browsed tons of pictures online.  (Seth thinks my browsing online pics is the problem.  I see a room, love the color, and try to recreate it in our house and it doesn't always work.  Then I'm disappointed and frustrated and we are back to square one.  He is probably partially correct, but that's how I get inspiration.)  During my online browsing, I came across a couple of pics in my living room ideabook on houzz.  

I especially love the second one.  I NEED to incorporate orange into our living room somehow.  I just love it (almost as much as I love blue).  I also love the eclectic feel of this room.  It's cozy and collected and fun and wonderful.  These rooms turned my thoughts to Benjamin Moore's Woodlawn Blue HC-147.  It is one shade lighter than our dining room color (Wedgewood Gray).  I actually already had a sample of it (because I was considering it for the kitchen walls at one point) so Seth fished it out of the closet and slapped some up on the walls in a few different places for us to study (hence the random paint on the walls in the photos above).  Ahhh...much more soothing and happy than the gloomy gray.  So we purchased yet another two gallons of paint from Lowe's.  Have I mentioned that there are multiple employees at Lowe's that say hello to us each time we go in there?  I'm convinced that we are responsible for half of their paint sales over the last quarter (ohhhkay - probably not quite).  I'm also convinced that I married the only perfect person in the world for me.  Who else would put up with my paint craziness and still love me?  And still help me with the painting???  :)

Without further ado, our light blue-gray living room.

I really need to get on that nasty cream/tan molding.  Now, she is just waiting for some fun tangerine accents and updated furniture.  Seth is still trying to hold onto the ugly, old, brown leather recliner that he inherited from a former roomie.  On one arm, the leather is torn open and the foam is exposed.  It's kind of an eyesore.  Why is it that guys think they need a large, ugly, leather recliner in their life?  I promise there are other pieces of furniture that look nicer and are just as comfortable.  Reminds me of Joey and Chandler's beloved recliners on Friends.  

Hopefully, we can start the more fun stuff soon - like nailing down furniture arrangements, hanging drapes and art, buying area rugs, etc.  I will keep you updated on the progress!

1 comment:

  1. Like you color choice for the living room, out of the three I would have picked the one you decided on. Very calm and soothing, and fireplace really pops too. Can't wait to see more of the living room as you decorate. and you are right about having a patient husband who lets you try out many choices until you find just the right one. I can't convince Matt for us to paint our bedroom. We have painted 4 areas in our house, and they weren't even big spaces, but it's just a lot of work. We are not great painters, so takes a while, and it isn't really our cup of team. When we did our breakfast nook it took us three coats, b/c we did a deep red, that about drove us crazy trying to get enough coverage on the walls .
    What also gets us is the trim- so time consuming. You guys are great diy-er's, and must have lots of patience with each other during projects!


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