March 9, 2011

Many Colored Days

"Some days are red, Some are blue.
On different days, I'm different too.
You'd be surprised how many ways
I change on different colored days."
     ~Dr. Seuss, My Many Colored Days

I thought it appropriate to start out this post with a little help from my favorite rhymer, Dr. Seuss. While sifting through hundreds of paint chips looking for that perfect combination of colors for my home, I noticed that my mind could change as easily as the days. Some days I poured over my collection of grays, some days I wanted blue, and the next day it could have been beige. The problem was that I liked too many color schemes; I keep a binder of ideas and inspiration projects, and I'd love them all for my home. One anchor I clung to: I did not want any yellows. We had painted several shades of yellow on our walls in the six years we've lived in this house; I knew it was time for a change. I also knew that any shades of green, red, pink, purple, and orange were not in the cards. You'd think that being left with blues, beiges, grays, and greiges {the marriage of gray and beige} would leave me with a easy task, but that wasn't the case. I did have a couple starting points that helped with the color selection process, however.

The first starting point was our living room furniture. When Dave and I decided to buy our house, we got all excited and giggly and did what any other young, logical couple does: we went furniture shopping... before we actually moved into the house. Oops. That oversized sage green couch and her matching companions, the snugglers {my own term for those two-seater half-chair/half-couch space-sucking-beasts} were purchased and stored away for our home before we knew it. I do not have a problem with the couch. It's large, it's comfortable, and it's our favorite family reading spot, but the snugglers, well, let's just say I could live without them in my life. Until we decide that new living room furniture is in the budget, however, they are here to stay, and I need to choose paint colors with them in mind {something I had not done so well in the past}.

For the benefit of readers everywhere struggling to choose paint colors,
I give you the living room two paint colors ago, green furtiture and all. Note the snugglers.

See how atrocious this color looks in this space in artificial light?
Kind of like split pea soup gone horribly wrong...

In my defense, I think I was pregnant when
I chose this color. That's my only defense, people!

A second starting point was previous knowledge. Living in our home for six years, we've learned quite a lot about it. For instance, our living room is sunny and bright in the daytime, thanks to a whole wall of windows. At night, however, due to lack of ceiling lighting, we have only lamps to brighten our space. I knew from past experience that we'd be happier with a color that didn't make us feel caved in at night. Other insight I had gained was that I'd like to have the colors flow and work with each other throughout our home. We've all walked through a house where every room seems to have a completely different vibe. "Here's the red living room. Here's the blue kitchen. Over there is the green bathroom." It can be a shock to our eyes to adjust to a completely different color when we walk from space to space, and I wanted to prevent that. A final thought I hung onto when selecting colors was that I tend to grow tired of things quickly. If I kept the walls very neutral, I could easily switch my accessories around when I wanted a change. I'd rather pop some new throw pillows on the couch or shop for a new piece of artwork than repaint the entire upstairs.

So I knew that our new colors had to go with our green couches, they had to be light enough to work at night, they had to work with each other to create a nice flow from space to space and be neutral enough to keep me happy for {hopefully} a very long time. After several paint samples and input from everyone from the kids to the pizza delivery guy, Dave and I settled on three colors to build from. The winners are {drumroll please}....

Grant Beige by Benjamin Moore

Berkshire Beige by Benjamin Moore

Texas Leather by Benjamin Moore

Grant Beige, Berkshire Beige, and Texas Leather hit all of our criteria; they passed the test and saved the day. They matched the furniture, they played nicely together, and they're neutral enough to satisfy even me for quite awhile {Dave is hoping they satisfy me until we move. We don't have any plans to move, if you can take a hint.}. And Grant Beige, the lightest color, keeps the living room bright even in the evening. I mentioned that blues were on my list, too. I'm taking a break from the paint brush for awhile, but a nice stormy, gray-blue is on my radar for somewhere in the house. I think of it like a storm brewing somewhere, and I love a good storm! I'll be updating with pictures and follow ups soon, like as soon as I'm finished cleaning the brushes.

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