Saturday, December 22, 2012

Color Me Pretty

After months of thinking, my paint plan has been:
  • living room, entry way/stairs/upstairs hall, and loft = medium grey
  • kitchen and laundry room = warm, golden yellow
  • half bath = sea foam green with a white Moroccan pattern
  • master bedroom = medium-dark grey
  • master bath = horizontal light grey and medium grey stripes
  • guest room = teal
  • guest bath = medium grey
Home Depot has little boxes with light bulbs of different "temperatures" so you can see how the paint looks in different light, but even with those it's impossible to know how it'll look in your house. So, I brought home about 10 paint chips per color to see them in their respective rooms. Now, looking at a paint chip and having paint on the walls are two completely different things. A seemingly soft coral-ish orange paint chip can actually be a very bold and offensive orange once it's up for good. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way a few years ago. It's also important to tape them up on the wall rather than just looking at them in your hand, because when they're horizontal in your hand the light hits them totally different than it does when they're vertical on the wall. Depending on the room's lighting, the difference can be pretty drastic.

I narrowed the yellows down to 3. The top color was too pale, the bottom color was too yellow, so we're going with the middle one which is Behr's Yellow Jubilee and is saturated but not too saturated, and golden but not too orange. Perrrrfect.

This same perrrrrfect color looks absolutely crazy in the laundry room.

There's no natural light in there and the colors look neon and insane in the membrane (much more so than this picture depicts...). So, I think I'm going to go with the light grey on the top left, which is Behr's Seagull Grey. I'm a little worried about the rooms looking chopped up rather than continuous with all of these different colors, but making the entire laundry room (or even another square inch of it) that crazy pants yellow would make me too anxious to ever do laundry again.

It was hard finding the right kind of grey for the living/entry/office. I wanted it to be warm, which meant it needed to be a brown-grey or purple-grey rather than a blue-grey, green-grey, or grey-grey. In the end I got a very barely brown-grey which is nice and warm feeling. I wasn't sure what shade to go with because I didn't want it to be so light it looked like dirty white, but I didn't want to go so dark that the room felt sad and closed in. I was worried the darker of the two options would be too dark, but it's actually about the same shade as the tan that's in there now which doesn't feel too dark. So, we're going with the one on the bottom, which is Behr's Silver Marlin.

(The one on the right and bottom)

(The one on the right, which looks darker here because it's on a lighter wall)

(The one on the right)

I wasn't very happy with any of the choices for the half bath, but I brought a couple home and was positive the one on the right would be the winner. Wrong. It looks totally different on the wall! So, I'm going with the one on the left, which I thought was going to be way too light, but it isn't. The half bath doesn't have any natural light, so what I thought was a light color in Home Depot ended up being way darker in the room. I don't want anyone to feel like they're going into a cave when they visit the loo, so I'm going with the one on the left (Behr's End of the Rainbow), which is a little greener in person.

To lighten it up a little and to add some interest, I'm planning to paint a Moroccan pattern on the half bath walls, inspired by this find on Pinterest. I'm not sure if I'll do all the walls or a specific one, but I'd like to use it somehow.

The master bedroom was a lot of back and forth. I wanted it to be a darker shade of the grey than the one in the living room/office, but the next shade down on the paint chip card was significantly darker, and I was worried our bedroom would be a black hole at night. The one on the middle left is what's in the living room/office, the one in the middle (Behr's Still Gray) was what I was most leaning towards, and the one on the right middle was way too dark.

So, I went back to Home Depot and tried to find something that was a shade somewhere between the two greys. I came home with the one on the bottom, which is too green, and the one on the top, which is too grey. I decided to solve the problem by doing something completely unrelated to the paint: change the light bulbs. I switched from 40 watts to 60 watts, which really brightened the room up and made the middle shade much more plausible. I'm still a little nervous, but I feel like I just have to go for the gold and hope for the best. Our house will be pretty "safe" in general (no major fashion statements of any kind) so if choosing a medium-grey over a lighter grey is the biggest risk I'm taking, I should probably just go for it. 

The master bath will be striped with the same light grey that'll be in the laundry room and medium grey that'll be in the living room. 

I'm currently thinking horizontal stripes that alternate in size, inspired by this Pinterest find:

The guest room was also pretty tricky. I wanted it to be a saturated but not too dark teal, but Home Depot didn't have any good contenders. It's really crazy that there can be an entire wall full of different paint chips and not one of them is what you're looking for. I brought some paint home knowing that it would look different in the room, but the one on the right was too dark and too green, and the next shade up (on the left) was much much lighter, and also too blue. It seems that Behr doesn't always keep with the same hue within a single paint chip card which is highly annoying. 

The color in the middle is too blue and too... electric (more so than it looks in the picture). I think I'd get a headache walking into a room painted that color. So after having no good options, I went to Kelly Moore which is luckily right around the corner from Home Depot. I brought home about 10 different paint chips, and narrowed it down to the best option, Kelly Moore's Time to Grow, which is in the bottom middle. I'm pretty sure it's the winner! I know it'll be a lot of color, but I'm planning to break it up with a big neutral headboard and plenty of art and other light accents. 

The guest bathroom will match the medium grey in the living room, the color on the bottom. You can hardly see it, but the grey that will be in the laundry room is painted above the towel rack. It's so light that you can hardly tell it's even there, which is why I'm going with the darker one.

All of the trim and doors will be painted white so everything will be nice and crisp. I think we're also going to paint the stair rail to match the walls and spray paint the hardware to look like brushed nickel.

I'm a little nervous about painting the rail the same color as the walls, but right now the wood finish is terrible, and I'm worried that painting it white to match the trim will mean it'll get dirty and gross looking quickly, and it'll pop and become and draw attention to itself, which is not what handrails should do. Advice on the matter would be appreciated... :)

So, all together here are the colors:

The only thing that has changed from the original plan is that the laundry room won't be yellow after all, it'll be the lightest grey. 

I can't wait!!! Things probably won't get painted for at least a month and a half because we have a lot of work to be done between now and then. First will be our handy man, Jerry, who is more than just a handy man. He's an engineer who seems to know just as much about things as my dad, which makes me trust him unequivocally. After Jerry will be our tiler, who will re-tile our downstairs floors (the entry way, half bath, and kitchen), and then the painter. Lastly we'll get new carpet upstairs!

We'll have a ton of projects during each of those phases and I already have like 7 other posts in the works. So. many. pictures. Woo!

So, thoughts/advice on painting the rails? And which wall to do the Moroccan pattern on in the half bath? And yay or nay to the unequal horizontal stripes in the master bath?

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