Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Awesome House: Downstairs Paint Job

Huh. The summer seems to be getting away from me, on so many fronts. The house is just one of them. But it's a big one. And it's not just the all-consuming painting and unpacking anymore; now that we've been here about 6 weeks it's also trying to keep the monster clean, and trying to find things again once I've found a place for them. Takes all my time.

Painting the downstairs was down on the priority list, after painting several other rooms and getting some things fixed. But I spend most of my time downstairs in the kitchen/dining/living room, and the colors were getting to me. The dining room has a chair rail trim - above was crayon orange, below was tan with white frame trim. The living room was a peachy peach that was so-so in the daytime but really offensive at night with the lights on.

I had no idea what palette to choose. Warm? Cool? Blues? Golds? I'm not down with red, and I was tired of orange. My default is to lean towards earthy stuff - brown? Green? I'll spare you the tortuous play-by-play of the decision process, but after about seven or eight samples and still no progress, my sister Maren marched me over to Home Depot where she efficiently walked me through to a decision, and it was done. Here's what I did last week.

Dining Room
BEFORE (with samples)

Trim being painted


AFTER (with furniture, with light on and off)

Big change, whaddaya think? On top is Desert Moss, bottom is Willow Herb, both Behr colors. (Two different people with good taste told me it's tacky to paint trim in a room like this a different color - the entire lower half should all be one color - so I did the frames the same as the Willow Herb wall. I left the baseboard and chair rail white because the big window frame is white; not sure if I'll leave them or paint them.) I like it; I have a thing currently for yellowy greens. But this exercise showed me how easy the dining room is to paint, so I expect I'll change it again whenever I want.

The kitchen is in the middle - didn't do anything there yet. The living room is in the back of the house, and I went with the same colors.

Living Room
BEFORE (with samples)


Back wall behind couch is Desert Moss; other two walls are Willow Herb. The wall to the right in the above picture is a built-in bookshelf and all brick to the kitchen so there's nothing to paint there.

We're having about 100 people to a housewarming party this weekend so I wanted to get it painted before that. I think pictures on the walls, new curtains and for that matter new furniture would complete the look, but one thing at a time. For now I'm enjoying the paint.


esodhiambo said...

As my two-year old would say:

Wookin' good!

tona said...

WOW great choices! Love, love!

Shanda said...


You are doing such a wonderful job decorating! I just wish I was there to come over and revel in the beauty with you and cheer you on! You house looks more and more like your home and just think of all the memories and pictures that will be taken in those beautiful rooms! Great work!

-Sydney- said...

Wow, looks great! I can't believe you were choosing from such widely different colors--it's not like they were varying shades of the same color, you've got different hues and everything from dark to light. How did you ever decide??? And how did you cover that black sample in the corner? Primer I guess, but wow. Great job. Love the spice drawer too. I've got a big drawer like that with just rolling pins in it so maybe I'll steal the idea. It has to be better spice storage than the narrow, can't-see-to-the-back cupboard I'm using now. Of course, then I have to find a place for my rolling pins :)

cherry said...


Anselm Armando said...

The furnished walls look beautiful and refined. I love the color you used on the dining area. It matches with the furniture and window perfectly.

William Gulliver said...

The color you used in your dining room is somewhat similar to mine. Hehe! I wouldn’t say it’s great just because of that, but really, it’s beautiful. The living room is awesome too! :’) And oh, that mini blue cabinet caught my eye. It’s really a wonderful feature to the room!

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