50 Shades of Gray

Put your knickers back on, you dirty bird. This ain’t that kind of story.

This is a story.

Of 17 samples of paint.

Okay it’s more like 10 but I think we can all agree that’s about seven too many.

We knew there were two rooms we wanted to paint – the television room and the kitchen.

It’s darker in person, but you get the idea.

At some point in time whoever was patching these rooms between renters wasn’t doing a complete paint job. The kitchen looks like it had three different shades of green and the television room had a brown, mocha toned wall with marks of a darker brown where picture frame holes had been patched.

Could we have lived with the colors? Probably. But we’re making a home here – and we both decided we could sacrifice a night or two out for some updated paint colors. (Don’t worry, we asked our landlord first.)

We ended up going with Valspar Spun Honey for the living room.

A bit of advice - never trust an online swatch or image. They are close to the color, but a picture rarely does a paint color justice.
A bit of advice – never trust an online swatch or image. They are close to the color, but a picture rarely does a paint color justice.

We went down the yellow paint road partly because we knew it would open up the space, but also because we have a green leather couch. A dark green leather couch, and we couldn’t find another color that would make the space feel bigger and brighter that also went with the couch.

I think if we had a dime for every time I said, ‘I really like this color’ during the paint process, we could probably have paid for that gallon of paint.

In a room that is roughly 10 x 10 – the new paint color was a welcome change. The room has a completely different feeling now.

Once we started painting the yellow – we decided to take our painting to the next level.

Okay, Fiancé decided – but I totally support him!

The trim.

The trim is trying to be beige. The only thing that makes brown walls and shades-of-green walls look worse is a poor excuse for beige on the trim. When Fiancé said he wanted to paint the trim, I warned him that it was a big job, but he shrugged and went ahead anyway.

There he goes, painting away.

He gets it done in shifts. He’ll spend an hour or two a day, a few days a week when he’s not working. We have opposite schedules, so when I get home I’ll do a little too and on the weekends we tackle what we can together. He’s been working on it for about a week and has done about 1/3 of the work.

We opted for white – crisp, clean and bright. He went with a semi-gloss. Not my favorite – but definitely easier to clean than any other finish.

The house is old, and the trim has been painted several times. On top of that, when the trim was painted, the doors and the hinges were too. Why the hinges? I’ll never understand why people paint the hinges.20140428-113527.jpg

Some wood filler, a little sanding and some new hinges made things a whole lot better.

It looks – and feels – like a whole new space.

We conquered the kitchen over the weekend. I finally decided on a color last Thursday– seven(teen) samples later. Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue was our perfect balance of blue and green. It’s bright enough that the room doesn’t feel too dark at night, but mellow enough that the color in the room won’t overwhelm you (we hope…).

Initially we were going for a gray – something that would let us bring in a lot of different colors to the room. Every gray we tried was ‘too’ something. Too blue. Too dark. Too purple. Too light. Is that yellow? Too brown.

kitchenbeforeThe lighting in the kitchen in a little tricky. There’s a small kitchen window above the sink but otherwise, you have to leave the other doors in the apartment open to let light in. So in that room a color dances. It changes with every movement of the light. From daylight, to clouds, to when we flip the switch at night. Plus, a floating cabinet on one of the walls cast more shadow.

Plus, I read somewhere that blue promotes relaxation and decreases your appetite. Considering my fondness for eating – something with a little blue in it seemed like a good choice for the kitchen. It’s also where we spend a lot of time – chatting, cooking, and washing the several dishes left from cooking. Life is stressful enough – a relaxing kitchen/dining area is so lovely to come home to.bluekitchen

Our friend came over to help – and we managed to get the majority of the kitchen paint done. Now we’re off to finish the trim and venture into the world of wall art!

(P.S. Sorry for the quality of the photos, I have yet to dig my DSLR out from all the packing! ‘After’ photos to follow!)


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