Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gone Paintin'

I would swear that no color looks good in my house.

After stripping the wallpaper in my living room and dining room, I decided to use the paint I had leftover from my condo. For some reason, though, the soft buttery cream that looked so delicious in my old living room looked like grandma's cheap makeup from the drugstore.

So I picked a new color, Benjamin Moore's Beacon Gray--I think it's even a Pottery Barn color--which is one of those soft gray blues that seemed so pretty in all the magazines. I can never wait to see what it looks like on the wall so I painted a big Mark-Rothko square of it on the wall between two windows and decided I would live with it for awhile. And I grew to hate it.
So I sat with my Benjamin Moore fan deck....and studied...and pondered...and compared....and I picked another color that I was sure would be the perfect color. I went a bought a quart of it and couldn't wait to get home to put a little bit on the wall alongside a strip of the door trim. Hated it.

I thought maybe a lighter shade so I went a got a quart, ran home and painted a few new "clouds" around the room that I thought I would contemplate for a few days.
Fast forward a few weeks--okay, months--when a good friend of mine who's over once or twice a week says "THAT'S IT; I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! WE'RE PAINTING THIS LIVING ROOM ON SATURDAY!"

So I've gathered a few of my inspiration photos, I've picked a new color and I'm on my way to the paint store.

Stay tuned.


  1. Good Luck with the painting! I can't wait to see what color you chose. I'm sure it'll be beautiful with everything back in the room. I know what you mean about the "wrong" color. I painted my living room a taupe color once, and lived with it for awhile. I hated it-it looked like the color of pink flesh-definitely not good for lots of wall space. Have fun!!

  2. Yes, I agree. Sometimes picking a good paint color is really really hard.

    But after you find a color you love that also works well in your space, the effort always seems to have been well worth it.

    By the way, because it takes me so long to decide on paint colors, I sometimes get a few of those 3-panel folding display boards that kids use for science projects. Then I call on my husband to paint each display board in a paint color that I'm considering.

    Some advantages of using display boards over painting samples directly on your wall:

    (1) You can move the display boards to different locations in your room to see how the paint colors will look on different walls.

    (2) You can see how a paint color will look in a corner where it's reflecting off of itself. (Two panels, positioned at a right angle to each other, function as a corner.)

    (3) You avoid "defacing" your walls. (Especially important if you're going to take a while to decide on a color.)

    (4) You can hide the display boards before your friends come over so that they can't give you a hard time about deciding (or not deciding) what paint color to use.

    (5) When you've hidden the display boards, you also avoid having to stare at the paint samples and confront your indecision when you're in the room and trying to relax.

    (6) After you've decided on a paint color, you can save the display boards to use later when decided on a color for another room.

    (7) You can loan the display board to your friends later when they're confronting the paint-color dilemma.

    And, finally, the only disadvantages of using display boards that I can think of:

    (1) You have to buy the display boards.

    (2) You fail to honor the memory of Rothko.

    Good luck with your painting project this weekend!

  3. That's a great tip! Thank you for sharing, Anonymous!

  4. I once read in a design book that for rug placement in a room with your couch either have the rug entirely underneath each piece of furniture or you show the floor evenly with all the pieces of furniture not resting on the rug at all. All or nothing, for example don't have couch off rug but chair over rug

  5. Ok seriously, we would be such great friends if in lived back home. I had beacon gray in two of my former homes....I had it in my master bedroom in nc..and then we moved to PA and I loved it so much that I had to have it again. Only this time they changed name to beacon gray. The original name was November sky...everybody who ever came over had to know the name of that color. Your other color reminded me of bleeker beige and green briar beige.