Paint Projects

No Longer Blue

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

It happens every few years, I grow tired of a paint color and I crave something new. After staring at three samples on the wall for a week, and after much study and discussion, two weeks ago we agreed to repaint our living room. Before, it was a lovely shade of blue gray which remained in the space for years (see it here) but we were ready for a change, something deeper, slightly more masculine but not too dramatic, just different.

One of my favorite tricks for when I’m tired of how a room looks (or what I recommend when friends complain of the same) is to empty it and look at it with fresh eyes. Often it’s just a new color on the walls or introducing a wall treatment that will give the space a whole new look and make you fall in love with it again.

empty living room

Years ago we added picture frame wainscoting to this space and I still love the way it looks, it fits the classic style of our home and adds an interesting architectural layer. We inherited the baby grand piano from Matt’s grandfather so the heirloom will be with us always. (The black on the piano inspired me to paint the French doors the same ebony shade, I’ll share those soon!)

This is my oh so scientific way of sampling paint around a room, it’s just a process of painting large swatches with the initials above that represent the color, and then staring at it for days and days at different times of the day.

gray paints on wall

In the bright morning light I loved Seagull Gray (right) by Glidden but by the afternoon it was way too tan. Wood Smoke by Glidden (left) was beautiful in the evening but felt washed out in the middle of the day. Rockport Gray by Benjamin Moore (center) won and that’s what we ended up painting in the living room.

I contemplated Rockport Gray in my powder bathroom after installing beadboard wallpaper in early 2012 and ended up choosing it for our living room instead, it’s a warm and elegant gray that adds just enough contrast. Our living room is a space you see just off the entry so the color needs to flow with the adjacent foyer and family room.

piano in living room

 

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Dresser, Take Two

Monday, July 15th, 2013

I’ve mentioned a few times that we’re redoing the guest room which wears two hats: it also serves as my oldest daughter’s room when she’s home from college (which is right now and through August!)  Her closet has some built in drawers and a place to hang clothes but the room needed more storage for clothing, for both her and for guests in her absence.

I was ready to buy her a new one but then remembered I had a dresser that could work, one that was sitting in the studio and then in the corner of the garage, and one I picked up for $40 while thrifting a few years ago. I almost sold it, decided against it, and I’m glad I did because I saved myself several hundred bucks just repurposing it in this space.

The dresser has lived in various places over the years (you can see it here in the entry). I originally painted it a gray blue, but decided to go bolder this time and painted it a brighter Monaco blue to suit this space, and also to introduce a fun dose of color.

blue bedroom dresser

blue painted dresser with gold pulls

 

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Girl’s Room Dresser Redo

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

I’m sentimental about an old wood dresser that sits in my younger daughter’s room. I bought it 13 years ago when we first moved to our town (I know because I wrote the date on the back!) and originally painted it for my oldest daughter. When the younger one was born she inherited it and it’s been in her closet for years. I couldn’t bring myself to replace it knowing that both girls have shared it, so I decided to save some money, treasure the sentiment, and instead give it a new look.

We’re doing the gray + white+ lavender thing in my nine year old’s room and even though I was dying to bust out some bright color she’s already got an aqua desk on the other side and lest it get too hodge podge I kept the palette classic with a gray + white medley.

painted white dresser with gray overlays

I found this dresser at one of those inexpensive “everything raw wood” places 13 years ago that’s filled with dining tables, bookcases, shelves, etc. and they’re ready to paint or stain in any color you choose. It was painted white long ago on a cool day in March on the porch of our rental home. I gave it little glass knobs, a mini pink stencil in the corners, and stained bun feet. Witness one of my first furniture makeovers!

You can see I’d already started removing the basic glass knobs when I snapped this picture last week but I’ve gotta give this dresser credit – the paint job has held up for over a decade.

old dresser

For the upgrade, I ordered these ring pulls and some custom Anne decorative overlays to give the dresser a more modern look, but I realized when they arrived I had to move the position of the hardware on the dresser for it to look balanced.

change position of pull

 

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