Finally putting color on the walls

24 Aug

My friend Kate made a very helpful comment on the post yesterday about my seeming inability to choose appropriate colors (i.e., colors that aren’t purple-ish). Her suggestion was to pick one or two things in your home that you love and use that as the basis for the color palette. For her, it was an ocean view poster and a Persian rug.

For me, it has been Orla Kiely patterns mostly. Although I realized yesterday that there is a certain rug in the laundry room that I have taken with me from house to house for the past ten years. I bought it at the Chicago Crate and Barrel and at the time I liked it because of the browns and greens, which matched my kitchen then. Since then, every time I’ve moved I’ve contemplated whether or not to throw it out because it didn’t quite seem to fit with the future rooms. But I’ve never been able to, which is why it is now in the laundry room. When Kate made that comment yesterday, I realized why I had always kept it; I simply love the colors.

I realized this after we took the plunge and painted the hallway with Air 04 and the end of the hallway with Petal 01. I was nervous as we put the Air on the walls. It was warm. Very warm. Not quite buttery but more like heavy cream. It wasn’t purple at all. This was a good sign. I kept going. Cutting in took over two hours or the equivalent of four Michael Franti and Spearhead albums. This is a pretty long hallway and being short not-very-tall, I had to move the ladder every three feet and go up and down for the cutting in on the ceiling. Let’s just say my glutes got a good workout.

The more I painted in the mid-day light, the more I liked it. I didn’t just like it. I was excited about it. If nothing else, the whole hallway looked cleaner, brighter. After cutting in, I just couldn’t help myself and opened up the orange can of paint. I had to put some on the wall just to see. Like all paints, it was a little lighter and brighter upon application than it was when it dried. A few strokes and I was in love. (Wait. That didn’t sound quite right, did it?) It was bold but not too bold. Just enough of a ‘pow’ to really change things. For the better.

As far as the Yolo paints go, I have to admit I loved them too. They were very thick, almost the consistency of yogurt. I had to use Benjamin Moore on the baseboards, Bittersweet Chocolate, and I must say I didn’t realize how thin it was once I had used the Yolo. I also smelled none of that ‘new paint smell’ which comes from a high-VOC paint. Almost completely odorless. Which I realize is better for the environment, but which I also kind of missed in a strange way. That newly-painted smell reminds me of new beginnings. Kind of like a fresh box of pencils or newly colored hair. (Ahem, not that I color my hair or anything.)

The hallway walls required one coat since they were already a white color. The orange wall only required two, which surprised me. Any other time I have painted a wall a deep color it required 3+ coats, especially with red tones. I was pleasantly surprised to have full coverage with two.

And since I was on such a painting high, not from the fumes of course, I have to crack open the Leaf 04. Just to see, you know. Just to put a little dab on one of the walls, the one you see when you walk in the front door. Just to determine if it’s the right color for that space. And I was hooked. The green is a perfect mid-century color reminiscent of the old avocado appliances, but not so dull. Needless to say, I couldn’t be stopped and I painted that wall too, accompanied by a music shift to the Rolling Stones. More love. Finally happy with the choices I’d made.

Maeve and Ainsley came home and had completely opposite reactions to it. Maeve loved the orange and green, but thought the neutral was too warm and yellow-ish. Ainsley liked the orange but thought the green looked like ‘baby-poop’.  Ah, thank you, my lovely and expressive ten-year-old. So happy I taught them to speak their minds.

My husband’s response was non-committal at first before admitting he liked the orange and the green. I think he was just happy he didn’t have to do too much of the painting. He spent his day doing much more difficult labor on the rockery and drainage outside, an update on that coming soon. He did say to me later that he thought I did a nice job painting but that my skills left something to be desired. I asked what that meant if the walls looked okay. Apparently I put too much paint on my brush and in the pan and it makes my brush handles all dirty with paint. I couldn’t help but laugh. You learn all kinds of things about your mate as you go through these kind of projects, things you couldn’t ever have imagined. Like he has an inner-clean freak. Who knew? We agreed to get him his own painting supplies so that he wouldn’t have to use my messy ones with the paint on the handle. Believe me, if you knew my husband, you would get just as big of a kick out of this as I do. I think we should enter the 3M Couple Speak contest, which highlights how spouses deal with DIY projects. Could be fun.

What do you think? Any stories about getting to know your spouse through DIY-ing it?


5 Responses to “Finally putting color on the walls”

  1. Trish August 24, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    FABULOUS! I love the colors! So proud of you!

    • Brandy August 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

      Thanks, Trish. We are super happy with them. More to come soon!

  2. Kate August 24, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Your colors look beautiful! And they do match your rug – how funny is that? Looks like you get to add some red and light blue somewhere, too, if you want to go 100% rug colors.

    • Brandy August 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      The rug was the key, wasn’t it? Not sure if i can get ALL the colors in the house though Maeve’s room has a fair share of blue and a poppy colored red. We’ll see!


  1. Atomic Orange | mid-century MODERN LOVE - October 3, 2011

    […] end the greens and oranges won out and I am sure glad they did because every time I look down the hallway and see that orange accent around the closet at the end, I […]

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