Oh paint color. It’s the hardest thing to choose when you’re making over a room, right? Generally, I’ve been very happy with the colors we chose in this house, but oh my, the bathroom color (it’s the same in both) is not only not my favorite, it is not really the color I picked out. Let me back up here a minute. So when we bought our house in 2005, we very carefully chose several nice and neutral shades of taupe for the builder to use. Of course what they didn’t tell us was that all the paint was in a Flat finish and that they would water down the colors and more than likely only spray one coat. So what we essentially got was an entire house of colors (builder-basic-brown) we didn’t really like (and didn’t pick) with paint that was impossible to touch-up in addition to the fact that if you tried to wipe down a spot, the paint would come right off. So of course since then, we have been slowly painting each room with different paint. We had been using Benjamin Moore in mostly the Pottery Barn colors (until now). Let me just say, we’ve never been super happy with this paint at all, but sometimes it’s better to just keep using what you know, right? Anyway, because the existing wall colors are very light and neutral on our walls, we’ve just been painting right on top of the initial paint, kind of treating it like a primer coat. In all the rooms we’ve been successful, except the bathrooms. The bathrooms are almost neon blue (maybe we could say it looks “tropical”?), not quite the color I was thinking. Clearly there was a conflict between the color we chose and the existing color we painted over!
I say all this to say that after waiting this long to makeover the kitchen, I was definitely not going to take a chance with the Kitchen. Not only did I tape up many, many color cards for weeks to look at them in different light, I then brought home 4 sample pots of the colors that were our final choices and I painted squares on the wall. And then we stared at those squares for weeks, eventually eliminating 2 of the colors, and then finally choosing The One.
Here’s a spoiler – we LOVE the color (Behr Stone Fence in Satin finish). It’s perfect – exactly what I wanted, a nice rich blue-gray. Not too blue (a color we have in our bedroom and the bathrooms), not too gray (a color we have in the office), and also in a medium tone, to match all of the paint in the rest of the house. Oh and I should add, we went with plain ole’ Behr from the Home Depot in Satin finish, since that’s what our contractor recommended. And we are just so impressed. And you can touch it up without any issues – so happy with it!
Next up was deciding what to do with our “window” pass-through between the Living Room and the Kitchen. A little back story about this window. When we were buying the house (there were no interior walls yet), the women who helped us choose all the finishings mentioned she thought it would be cool if a window was cut through the wall, because even though the house had an open floorplan, she thought the kitchen seemed very closed off. She was 100% right and it was one of the best decisions we ever made. However, by the time she coordinated with the builder to create the window, they had already put up the entire wall. In a move I can only describe as less-than-brilliant, they cut the hole for the window too short. So instead of re-sheet rocking it, they patched it. While the window itself was fine, the inside of the window (that you look at every time you open the refrigerator) was obviously poorly patched and that bothered us every day! The same woman who helped us had also mentioned the idea of a bar top for the window in the same material as the counter tops (laminate). It was a great idea and we did use it here and there as a bar with chairs throughout the years, but the bar top wasn’t wide enough (it was the standard amount at the time, but now bar tops are much wider), so it was kind of uncomfortable to sit at, plus because of our very large U-shaped couch in the Living Room (that we needed when all of the kids were younger, since there were often 6 of us hanging out there together), the bar seating was kind of close to the couch and made walking in between kind of tight. So we decided to hire someone to fix the sheet rock after we took off the bar top, and figured while he was here, maybe he could also extend the wall by the refrigerator (essentially making the window smaller) so that when you stand in the Living Room you can’t see the refrigerator door (of course in hindsight we should have purchased counter-depth appliances, although at the time they were less popular and really expensive).
So it turns out, the contractor we hired to initially fix the sheet rock and extend the window was fantastic and was an expert in lots of other things. So as I continue to talk about the makeover, you’ll read more about all the other projects he worked on too! Sure it was a little more money than we had planned on spending, but on the other hand, seeing him work through the items on our list, we were kind of crazy to think we had the ability/time/wherewithal to do everything ourselves anyway!
So Lesson #4 (Part 1) is - make sure you take plenty of time to choose a paint color and look at that color by painting a sample on the actual wall and then viewing it at different times during the day. And Lesson #4 (Part 2) is – be open to admitting that you can’t do it all and hiring help.
Stay tuned for lighting decisions!