It happens every few years, I grow tired of a paint color and I crave something new. After staring at three samples on the wall for a week, and after much study and discussion, two weeks ago we agreed to repaint our living room. Before, it was a lovely shade of blue gray which remained in the space for years (see it here) but we were ready for a change, something deeper, slightly more masculine but not too dramatic, just different.
One of my favorite tricks for when I’m tired of how a room looks (or what I recommend when friends complain of the same) is to empty it and look at it with fresh eyes. Often it’s just a new color on the walls or introducing a wall treatment that will give the space a whole new look and make you fall in love with it again.
Years ago we added picture frame wainscoting to this space and I still love the way it looks, it fits the classic style of our home and adds an interesting architectural layer. We inherited the baby grand piano from Matt’s grandfather so the heirloom will be with us always. (The black on the piano inspired me to paint the French doors the same ebony shade, I’ll share those soon!)
This is my oh so scientific way of sampling paint around a room, it’s just a process of painting large swatches with the initials above that represent the color, and then staring at it for days and days at different times of the day.
In the bright morning light I loved Seagull Gray (right) by Glidden but by the afternoon it was way too tan. Wood Smoke by Glidden (left) was beautiful in the evening but felt washed out in the middle of the day. Rockport Gray by Benjamin Moore (center) won and that’s what we ended up painting in the living room.
I contemplated Rockport Gray in my powder bathroom after installing beadboard wallpaper in early 2012 and ended up choosing it for our living room instead, it’s a warm and elegant gray that adds just enough contrast. Our living room is a space you see just off the entry so the color needs to flow with the adjacent foyer and family room.
Looking at the room empty made me look up, and I decided it was time to upgrade the two light fixtures, one hangs over the piano, the other over the sitting room space in front of the mantel.
These are the current contenders . . .
My favorite is the Maarid (top left) because its semi flush design works well with our 9 foot ceilings and it’s a combination of modern and traditional (so me!), but I’m still shopping around.
We will soon decide what works best in the space, but I did manage to move the furniture back in after the walls were painted in time to decorate for the holidays.
I’ll be back soon with a few snapshots of the scene . . .