This one has been painfully slow-going. With my last house (and the one before that) I KNEW the look I wanted (1930s cottage charm). It was easy. This one is not, for a couple of reasons.
One, I'm an 'old house' person. And by 'old,' I mean 1930s.... hardwood floors, glass doorknobs, high ceilings, crown molding (this is my last house, here). An old house is all I ever wanted in life and I don't know what to do with any other style of house. This house is old, but it's just old enough to have metallic wallpaper and flat doors straight out of the 1970s, and things out of the 70s are just old enough to be a dowdy old eyesore.
And I should know, because I'm straight out of the 70s and both this house and I face an uphill battle turning our dowdy old eyesore selves into something Pinterest-worthy. It's a battle I fight daily on both fronts.
But I digress.
The second reason this house has been hard to decorate is that I'm married to a husband, and he has ideas about where the couch should go. He also happens to be a 'new house' person (some pics of his last house, here). 'New house' people go pick out a room full of brand new matchy furniture and ALL the decor straight out of the home decor store at the mall, and he doesn't get that I prefer my home decor to come from other people's curbs or maybe somebody's grandmother's estate sale. And I'm just trying to go for win-win, people. Just trying to create some synergy out of the chaos.
Seriously, in 2010 I got rid of 2/3 of everything I owned and started over, and because I'm kind and generous of heart I tossed out Michael's unacceptable things for him ("oh, your ex wife bought that? buh bye..." *backs up the Goodwill truck*). I want our house to be OURS, with none of that baggage. So here we are.... in a big house that's basically a blank slate.
Technically, it's a 'floor-to-ceiling metallic wallpaper' slate, but whatever...
It took me months to narrow down the paint choice for this room. I tend to lean toward dark and cozy rooms; Michael wants our house all lit up with humming flourescent lights like a gas station.
We compromised (win-win, remember), and narrowed it down to pale gray. And if you didn't know, gray is HARD, y'all. I know this because I once chose a gray for our bedroom (it looked SO perfect in the store) that turned out blueish, like the color of a dead body. It's an awful, horrible mistake that I have to live with every day.
I didn't want to chance going with "corpse blue" again, so I taped up swatches and moved them around and eyeballed them in all different lights for weeks, literally, and in the end chose Crushed Ice by Sherwin-Williams. When I first began to consider colors, this was in my bottom 5 because it looks beige on the card, and I am ANTI beige. It just goes to show you that you MUST try out a sample on your own wall, in your own set of lighting conditions, before you commit.
And here's a handy tip: Sherwin-Williams sample cards have an LRV number on the back. This shows how much light they reflect back; dark colors reflect less and have a smaller number.
I do have to agree with Michael that a pale, light-reflecting color is best in this room; 1970s houses have low ceilings and not much natural light, and even on a bright, sunny day, this room is DARK. Crushed Ice has an LRV of 65, which means it reflects back a lot of light, and yet it has JUST ENOUGH color. It was the perfect choice.
OH. And the ceiling! In my last house, I painted the downstairs ceilings Rainwashed by Sherwin Williams and it was beautiful, but they were two feet higher than the ceilings in this house, so I went with a lighter shade called Window Pane instead. It's only ever-so-slightly pale blue, like, almost white, but still looks really pretty next to the gray walls.
So here we are. The room is painted in a color we BOTH like *queue the Hallelujah Chorus.*
And at the rate we're going, by sometime in 2016 we might have some things hung on the walls. I'll let you know. For now, here is Phase One...
|We need all the light-reflecting we can get in this room! I love Crushed Ice. Also... do NOT notice the trim that has not been painted yet. That's Phase Two.|
|Don't pay attention to this mantel either. This was called "throw some fall decor on the mantel for now." The pumpkin has since found a new home. And what's up with those sticks?|
|All bright and light.|
|A better shot of the color. In Phase Two we decorate the walls. Stand by.|
|Window Pane on the ceiling... so very subtle that it's almost white.|
|You should see my "decorating around your toddler's potty" board on Pinterest. Just kidding. And also, it's terribly obvious this trim is still unpainted. That's coming up in Phase Two.|
|The other side of the fireplace (which is painted True White by Sherwin-Williams, btw). The door is yet unpainted. It might end up white. Who knows.|
|Metal blinds definitely fall under the 'dowdy old 1970s eyesore' category. Don't worry... they're going away soon. See Phase Two.|
|More metal blinds. Oh, so painful. Their days are numbered too.|