Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This Old House

With any house comes many renovations but with an old house it seems endless.  When my husband and I decided to finally get to work on our kitchen, I thought choosing the paint colors was done.  We had actually decided on a trio of colors months ago.  Although I can take a while to commit to some changes, I'm usually surprisingly quick with paint.  We decided to (thankfully!) buy some sample sizes of the colors we had selected and lo and behold, the wall color just did not look right once we saw it on the wall.

It actually looks better in this picture than in person where it just looked too "orangey."  We are going for a 1930's enamelware palette, you know, to match those great old 1930's green and cream items.  We both agreed on the lighter color for the trim, medium tone for the wall, and were 100% in agreement for the green, but, that medium color was tricky.

When I said I was headed back to Lowe's to pick out some paint chips, my husband suggested "Don't we already have some?"  Hmnn...do we?  Oh, I guess we do.

I came up with some possibilities from these chips, supplemented with some chips from the store, and we still were not happy.  In fact, it took a second trip back for more little cans of paint to arrive at a decision.

It is moments like this that make me crazy when people ask my advice (as a designer) on what colors they should choose for their house.  They will say something like "I think we will go with a beige, will that work?" And I have no idea how to answer that without sounding like a snarky snob.  Beige? First, how do you define a color like beige, and, even if you do, do you realize how many possible variations of color may be called "beige?"  Color is not an easy decision.  It is something that should be done with care, over time, in different light sources and in the context you are planning to put the color.  Even white is not a simple choice!   Personally, I am a fan of Lowe's Valspar Paint.  I am not getting funded by Lowe's for saying this, it was actually Consumer Reports that first sent me in this direction and I've been hooked ever since.  If I could afford Benjamin Moore I might purchase there, but, at half the cost I find the quality of Lowe's Valspar to be very good.  The reason I bring up Lowe's is that they also have some very good color chip sections.  They supplement these with great sample layouts showing color combinations for both indoor and outdoor settings, in various colorways for those who may want some guidance.  And, the last time I stopped by, they had added a light box in the chips area where you can look at the chip under simulated daylight, incandescent and fluorescent lights!  How cool is that?

So, after seven options, we are going with the pale yellow on the far right in this pic.  Or, maybe I should head back to Lowe's....


  1. i'm envious! for the last ten years i have lived in rented apartments, where the walls are always white (although i'm sure many different shades of white ;-).

  2. Thanks for commenting on my little blog! Congrats on your launch...when I find a job I'm buying one for my kitchen! (do you have it in 1930's cream and green?)

  3. LOVE the palette and the enamel mug that inspired it!

  4. tough choice, I do like that pale yellow based on the pic. We've only lived in all white, it's boring.

  5. I bought Benjamin Moore for my kitchen thinking that it was ok if it cost a little more than Behr, since it was a small space. Holy Moly $60 a gallon?!?! I about died when the cashier rang it up. Will have to check out the Lowe's brand next time. Can't wait to see the repainted kitchen!


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