Friday, August 9, 2013

Lavender's Blue, Dilly-dilly, Lavender's Gray, When I Paint Rooms, Dilly-Dilly, I Drive Myself Cray

Last weekend, we painted the dining room and the living room.  We also lowered the chair rail in the dining room, which made an even bigger difference than the paint color.  I mean, the paint color is different (the room is now blue...  sometimes I wonder if it's too blue?  Do we need to repaint???) but the chair rail had previously been 40" above the floor which was waaaaaaay too high. I did a bunch of research on "proper" chair rail height (28-32 inches) and we decided based on our ceiling height to put it on at 30" above the floor.  Vast improvement.  Huge.  I'm not sure the pictures do it justice, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  I literally feel better in there than I did before.

After.  Yup.  It's blue.  But I kinda like it.
We did not have quite as much luck in the living room.  I brought home a zillion gray swatches, narrowed it down to two, plus considered the gray I'd used in the nursery and bathroom upstairs.  Found all of these wanting and tried one more color (another shade of light gray).

There is a Fifty Shades of Gray joke waiting to be made here.
Thought the bottom stripe was the winner, bought a gallon, painted the room.

AND... meh.

It's gray...  and by gray I mean that in some lights it looks like a prison block, at other times of day it has all the warmth and luxury of an auto garage, and in the evening it turns Old Lady Hair Lavender.

It's still an improvement over what we had before,

but I don't LOVE it, you know?  And when you put that much time and effort into something, you want to LOVE it.

Man, it actually looks way better in pictures than it does in real life.  Go figure.  But you can still see the lavender, right?  (If not, you'll just have to trust me on this one.)  Also please disregard the total lack of styling.  We haven't re-hung many pictures or put the mantle back together yet.  I know, I know.  At this rate I will NEVER become a famous home decor blogger.  Let's all be sad about that together.  (Although seriously I wish Kohler would offer to comp me one of their fancy Sensate sink faucets because that thing is dreamy.)

I was ready to go! buy! more! paint! like yesterday, but David's not keen on repainting the living room RIGHTTHISSECOND, so we've compromised.  We're living with it until Sherwin Williams's next sale (which a little bird told me is coming up in mid-to-late September).  In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out where I went wrong.  After much consideration, I think it's because I was trying soooo hard to get away from the mustardy-beige-flesh tone that was on the walls before, so I went with grays that are too cool.  Overcompensated.  I need to embrace more of a greige--a gray with tan undertones.  I've read good things about Benjamin Moore's Edgecomb Gray, so I might even ask about color matching.  I helped my BFF from college paint her living room Perfect Greige by SW and I loved it in her house, but I think I want to go a shade lighter since our yard is so shaded we don't get much direct sunlight the way her house does.

I don't know why David doesn't want to spend another weekend painting since we had so much super helpful help:

We were finally like, you want to climb up on the stepstool so much?  MAKE YOURSELF USEFUL, CHILD!

Zuzu is totally onboard for repainting soon.

So the saga of Painting the Living Room is TO BE CONTINUED...

Or maybe I'll learn to love lavender-gray?


  1. I am glad you're waiting because I think it looks great! Let it grow on you, start school, and then see if you want to repaint. I'm sure it is different in person but I think the pictures look lovely - not too matchy matchy with your furniture and curtains but a very pleasant background color.

  2. Zuzu is so cute in her cloth diaper trying to paint! My youngest is in cloth and I love those little fluffy bums lol.

    I like the grey, but I know what you mean about wanting to LOVE it after all that work. Our current house we have lived in about 3 years and it was only 4 years old when we bought it. I get compliments on the paint colors (except for the kids rooms which we did is a soft beige upstairs, but downstairs we have yellow's, green's and almost a dark orange/rust color and I love all the color. It somehow compliments each room) but I give the former owners ALL the credit lol. The wife picked all the paint out when they were building and she did an awesome job! I always say she picked the colors and not me :)


  3. I meant the whole upstairs is a soft beige, but the kids rooms (3 rooms) are pink, blue and a light green.


  4. I adore the blues in the dining room! I don't think I'm seeing the lavender in the living room, but I do agree the gray isn't quite warm enough maybe?

    And the cuteness that is Zuzu blows my mind, AS ALWAYS!

  5. I really like it! But I know what you mean. Grey can be tricky.

    So you know my entire house is grey, and I tried the whole beige thing ... Then I decided I do better at styling against the grey neutral aspect rather than the brown beige neutral aspect. (all my rugs are brown grey or brown beige - go figure on that one) I like greens and blues and purples as accents (and more grey!) rather than warm oranges and more brown mocha (which still surprisingly look great against grey...I just have trouble with it). I am no stylist, but my eye just always go to those colours.

    I've seen peoples homes who do browns and earthy colours, and I love it...I just can't do it. And not cant in the sense that I dislike it, but can't in the sense that I have no ability to match/style that family of colour. Weird.

    I did my condo Bleeker Beige by Ben Moore. my mother had her living room painted that colour and I loved it. I bought the paint after doing one test in the living space, on a sunny day and was sold. I bought 5 gallons and went to town (with hired help!). So anyway, I checked in after my painter was sending me texts saying he hoped I like army green. I thought he was joking. But he was doing all the cutting in the kitchen area (where there was no natural light and the fixture at the time was fixed with a fluorescent bulb) and yeah, the colour looked like army green/baby poo green. I was mortified.

    I knew I shudda trusted my gut and went with greys, but I had seen it in my mothers home and thought "paint is paint! Looking good means looking good anywhere!". So I took the hit with costs, and bought 5 gallons of Balboa Mist by Ben Moore. And it looked amazing. I brought the swatch to the kitchen and used that as a test! I didn't actually let the paint do the talking and do a test spot. But it worked and I was sure I'd use 4 gallons of that beige down the road.

    Now, my entire house is Balboa Mist, and the foyer is Tapistry beige - which is a warm grey. The Mist looks a lot cooler in this house than it did in my condo, but it still works. In some lights, it looks like we have white walls...which suchs because it looks like I don't take risks... And I was going to reprint and go with something that has more body, more umph, but the baby died and it's been the same colour sinc and I like it. Anyway!

    Beigey greys are my fave for homes. That's being said, I think your living room looks really good. Live with it, and reasses if it's rubbing you the wrong way in a months time I'd say.

    Paint is tough. But your decision making seems A LOT better than mine! I like the dining room too. In your pic, it's up against the old loving colour. I'm sure it looks way better now hat it's married with that grey.

  6. I love the different dining room! And I thought the living room was good too but I suck at this stuff.

    So impressed that you managed to do that in a weekend! With Zuzu! Glad she was so helpful! (AND ADORABLE!)

    If you still have the painting bug you can come help me figure out what color to paint Luke's room.

  7. I love gray and I like your choice.

    English Professor, please tell me. Gray, or grey? Both acceptable? Great.

    I know all about that much effort being spent and then hating it. We have a pink bedroom. What we thought would look like "sand" definitely looks pink to us. Thankfully, the blue drapes and dark dresser accents help a bit to tone that down. After stripping wallpaper in our master + office attachment, endless amount of patching and sanding in the summer heat, there was NO WAY we were changing that paint color, even if it was pink. Two summers later and we're still living the sandy dream. Hah.

    I also love the chair-rail lowered!

    Please let me know when SW is having another sale via email? Text? We have to buy B's big-boy room paint! That scares me. But yeah. The room you stayed in cannot be hideous much longer. The splotchy paint job they did under that chair rail is unacceptable!

  8. We painted our guest bedroom gray last year, and it must have taken seven paint samples to get an actual gray. Everything looked blue. I went to Benjamin Moore and told them the problem I was having, and they said I needed a greener gray. They were right. I never would have chosen that color on my own. I probably sound like an advertisement, but I think professional help is needed when it comes to gray paint.

  9. Dear Brooke,
    Please come to my house and decorate it as you wish.
    Much love,

    I am loving your house!! I can't wait to see what you do next!!

  10. I painted a couple rooms in my house Edgecomb Grey a few years ago and I still love it. It wears well. My husband now teases that I paint everything grey, but it looks so fresh and chic and clean. So if you decide to repaint, I definitely recommend.

    I think it's worth living with your current color, though, just to see if it grows on you. And if it doesn't, no big deal--it's annoying to repaint but considering the difference it makes, it's a pretty easy, inexpensive fix. I'm about to repaint my kitchen after trying something bold so I can understand your annoyance.

    And Zuzu is super cute! As long as she's in the room, people will be too distracted to notice your wall color!

  11. So I just read a blog post this morning about why you may not like your paint colour / why it may be boring. I think you might find it helpful!

    I like the grey. It's pretty. I know what you mean about wanting to love love love it though.

    I painted my dining room in the old house a dark grey- Behr's "anonymous" and I love it. It was dark, but the adjoining rooms were yellow and mossy-green and it just worked. But I don't dark-dark would work for you.

    I also love me some blues. ;)

    Scott friggin hates painting. He was super careful once in re-painting his office and laid down a sheet and everything... Finished painting the room only to discover he had put the paint lid under the sheet and dragged paint across the wood flooring regardless. ha!

  12. In our old house, B's two best friends, my mom and her husband, and B's dad all came over to help us paint our living room. They spent all day doing it, with an accent wall, and I looked at it and cried because I hated it. The accent wall was not accenty enough and the rest of it was so boring.

    I did not wait to cry until they left.

    So my mom shuffled me out of the house to go to Home Goods and buy some pretty new throw pillows.

    Which helped. Kinda.

    I never fell in love with the color but I moved from "I hate it" to "meh."

    I don't remember if I apologized to the painting crew. (But I did buy them pizza and beer.)

    Anyway. I don't think your gray is bad but I can't see the purple, and I definitely understand how you feel.

  13. Little kids on stepstools are (after you get over the heart-stopping) so cute. You're awfully brave for handing her a paint roller, though!