Sunday, October 2, 2016

Picking Paint Colors for Our New Home

Choosing wall colors for our new house has been both exciting and daunting. Exciting because we're finally getting to personalize our space! And colors are fun! Woohoo design! But daunting because paint is permanent . . . or at least that's how it felt when we were making our choices. Sure, sure, you could always repaint if you hate it. But with the number of hours and days we spent painting, plus the cost of the paint, it felt important to get it right the first time.

So, I went a little paint-research-crazy on pinterest in the weeks leading up to closing on our house. I had a general idea of what I wanted in most rooms, but gosh, there are lots of variations for each color. That's where pinterest came in handy. I'd search "green bedroom" or "gray kitchen" and get specific names of paint colors to try in each room. Handy dandy.

When I say I spent hours of my life deciding on paint colors, I mean hourrrrsssssss. And they were mostly fun hours. But also, at some point I was just like, "Let's please just close on this house RIGHT MEOW so we can start trying out some samples, mmmkay?"

We closed on the house (yippee!) and painting started the very next day. We wasted no time getting to painting, as we wanted to get as many rooms done as we could before moving day, two weeks later.

Within those two weeks, my mom and husband (and two guys we hired to do the 2-story walls in the main entrance) worked so hard to paint so many spaces and for that, I'm so grateful! While we haven't painted every wall yet, we're well on our way.

At this point, I'm not quite ready to show the world pictures of our messy, only-half-unpacked space, but I can show you swatches of each color and pictures of other peoples' houses that inspired the colors we chose.

(Psst -- it might help to look at pictures of each room in our home before diving in.)

Here we go.

Main Entrance / Kitchen / Office / Playroom / Sunroom 

For these rooms, which are all connected, I wanted the perfect neutral gray. We've lived in beige-walled apartments for the last 7 years and felt ready for a change, so gray it was!

My friend, Sew, gave me some good advice: If you want your space to seem larger, more open and spacious, paint it all the same color! So that's exactly what we're working on in these 5 rooms. 

Now, finding the perfect neutral gray was not easy. By the time we closed, I had narrowed it down to three grays: a beige gray, a blue-ish gray, and a light gray . . . 

But once we got samples of all three up on the wall, I wasn't convinced. Back to the drawing board. We added two more grays to the wall of samples: 

Can you see how wildly different all of these grays are?! And yet they're each classified as "gray" by the different brands. 

Once they're on the wall, they take on even different personalities:

On the wall, Gray Shimmer looked almost purple, Revere Pewter looked more beige than we wanted, Passive was blue-ish, Gray Owl seemed pretty neutral, and Moonshine was super light. 

(I should note here that we used Behr Premium Plus Ultra brand paint for all of our painting. It comes highly recommended from Consumer Reports. Thankfully, Home Depot can color-match any color from any brand to their Behr paint line. So these are color-matched versions of each color and may be slightly different than if the colors had been purchased from the brand -- Sherwin William and Benjamin Moore -- that created them.)

After seeing all five samples together, we narrowed it down to Passive (John's favorite) and Gray Owl (my favorite) and painted two much larger samples in another room:

Both seemed like the perfect light-medium shade of gray, but Passive was more cool while Gray Owl was more warm. Ultimately, we decided warm was the way too go, since we worried cool would feel a little too sterile. And so the winner was:

And we've been pleased as punch with it. :) It takes on a slight blue color at random times of the day, and at night it's almost green under our warm, ceiling lights. Overall, it really freshened up the space (which was previously cream in some rooms and dark beige in others) and gave our home a more modern look. 

We've only painted the kitchen and main entrance so far, but hopefully soon, we'll paint the playroom and office and sunroom as well. 

Family Room

The family room, AKA the projector room, is connected to the kitchen, and so we considered also painting it Gray Owl, same as all the other first floor rooms. But we felt it needed its own personality. Plus, the tile floors in the family room are a dark tan color and didn't work as well with the gray. So, we started to look for colors that worked with the tiles and our existing furniture and came up with: 

Which I had originally spied here:


Our family room is naturally suuuuper dark since it doesn't have many windows, which honestly works in our favor, since the projector looks best in low light. But, the dark dark dark orangey beige the previous owners had on the walls made the room feel so drab and cave-like. We love how Colorado Gray lightens up the room but still gives it a pop of personality when compared to the rest of the first floor. And Colorado Gray also happens to be a perfect complement to Gray Owl. Win!

Laundry Room

For our itty bitty laundry room, I wanted a light, calming, happy color. Since the space is so small, I figured a light color would make it feel more open. I also wanted calming and happy since . . . who wants to be angry and sad in their laundry room? The process of laundry-ing is maddening enough, so I wanted the wall color to naturally make it a more serene space. 

This color seemed to fit the bill:

Guys, I seriously love this color. I told John, "This color basically is my life." If you could summarize Stephanie in one color, this would be it! It's the perfect mix of blue and green. The perfect light teal, I suppose. I love love love it! 

And I also love how it's yet another perfect complement to our Gray Owl. 

Thanks to this room for the inspiration:


Guest Bedroom

Our guest bedroom is brought to you by the color green. Rich, dark, cozy green.

This color was love at first sight. From the moment I laid eyes on it, I knew I had to put it somewhere in the house. Here's the original photo that inspired my obsession:


Since it's a bit of a bold color, we didn't want to put it in a large space, or an open space. So we decided our first-floor guest bedroom would be exactly the right spot for it. And while the guest bedroom still has a long way to go, decor wise, the color is just swoon-worthy perfection. I imagine once I get some creamy drapes and gold accents and dark wooden furniture in there . . . ugh. I die.

John Paul's Room

I knew I wanted mint in John Paul's room. The trick was finding a mint that wasn't too girly or too saturated, but also wasn't too baby blue-ish either. So after much searching and hemming and hawing, we landed on this perfect shade of minty blue:

Which actually looks entirely different than that in real life. 

When the sunlight hits it just right, it's this lovely greeny mint shade. But other times, it morphs into more of a powder blue. I can't get enough of it! I hope John Paul likes it too. :) 

Yet To Be Painted

And then there's the rest of the house, which is yet to be painted. And mostly also yet to be decided. Baby Schweitz's room, the guest bathroom, and the master bathroom are the rooms I'm really scratching my head over. We may just wait until after Baby Schweitz is born to choose his/her room color. Right now I'm leaning toward a rich teal green though. The guest bathroom needs to complement Gray Owl and Dragonfly since it joins the kitchen and the guest bedroom. I'm thinking possibly just Gray Owl again. And the master bathroom . . . no idea! Any thoughts?

We do have some ideas for the master bedroom though, mostly inspired by the color navy:

Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore - Source

Stunning by Benjamin Moore - Source

We're not sure if we'd do the whole room navy or just paint the wall behind the bed navy and the rest white. I lean toward the whole room because I like grown-up bedrooms to be bold, dark, and sleepy. But I'm open to debate. 

And the kids' bathroom is going to be Palladian Blue, just like the laundry room. In case you've forgotten how wonderful a color it is:


The Whole House 

In summary, when you put it all together, our house looks a little something like this:

Feels good to be home. :)

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