Sunday, April 10, 2011

How I Choose Paint Colors:

(the Imperfectionista way)

Wow. Home ownership is not for the faint of heart. We've been finishing the walls, hanging curtains, refinishing (or attempting to) the hardwood floors in the entry, and so many other things. Eventually we'll hang some pictures.
Our goal was to start and finish one space at a time. We've already messed that up by starting on at least 3 rooms at the same time, but enough about that. Our focus right now is on finishing the entry hall so that when people come to the door, at least initially it looks like our home is put together. Ha.
I mentioned before that we started out with floral and striped wallpaper, which we immediately removed. Later, we debated adding beadboard or board and batten, but since that would likely involved changing the molding, we decided to remove the chair rail. It was at an odd height, anyway. That lead to sanding, spackling, and more sanding and more spackling,
and the craziest dust storm all over the house (since it didn't occur to us until too late that we should hang sheets of the doorways to control the mess).
During all this, I was trying to decide...what color?
I yearn for white molding, really. I promised myself a while ago that the next home I purchased would have white trim, but it just wasn't going to happen this time. I want white for its crisp and clean look, and makes choosing paint so much easier! Our trim right now is actually not bad--it isn't the cheap orangy-yellow stuff we had in our last place. But....It still really affects the colors I choose for the walls.
The first room I worked on in this house was the front room-the room that we hope will stay clean and nice for when people drop by. It started red, and I painted it a nice mid-tone neutral beige. At the time, I picked out a hallway color, too. As we worked on the hallway, I painted a test square on the wall, and hated it. It looked pink! Flesh colored! Eeew! That led to this:
Paint swatches everywhere! I browsed my favorite design blog, found out the colors they used, and ran to the store (again and again and again) to find the paint chip or, sometimes, to buy a tester-size sample. Of course, all the blogs I saw online had different lighting, white trim, and totally didn't work. I tried every color I already had that might work, plus some testers I had purchased before I chose the first color. (I know, I know--how many shades of tan are there, really?) None of the colors worked on all the walls--They changed so much between each time of day! It was making me crazy! Everyone had a different opinion....

Eventually I decided, and I'm happy with my choice. But after all the craziness, what did I decide?
I went with the original color, and maybe learned a lesson about doubting myself.
(It doesn't look fleshy at all).
Next up: adventures in refinishing floors...and then maybe I'll post a Before and After. I'm excited for any of the projects of my list to reach "after"!


DeAnn said...

That patchy wall kind of cracks me up--but hopefully I'm laughing with you... I really hope your projects come together soon. You can enjoy a few days off next week.

Robin V said...

I'm so impressed with your energy. My attempts at home decorating consist of ... dusting. Yeah, that's about it. Remove the dust, and that's a great improvement, and I'm happy. LOL

Okay, I'm not that bad, but it's close!

Sonja said...

I can't wait to see it when it's done. You have always done a great job with color!!!

mama.laughead said...

I sent Mike to the store once to cover some interesting paint(2 shades of the same color in one big room). I told him to get a warm tan. I figured, and so did he, that since he is an artist he would naturally pick exactly the right color. Uh, no. It was most definitely a warm flesh color. It was so bad that people commented on it being slightly creepy. Your choice looks much better.