Monday, May 16, 2011

Painting Phase 1: Conquering the Main Level

From the day we bought this house I have been so anxious to paint it!
...and when I say "it" I mean EVERY surface.

This is because the previous owners loooved green...
everything is green.
The exterior is mint green, the interior main level is a greenish grey, the stairwell is a taupey green and the landing and upstairs bedrooms are some light minty/celeryish shade of green...
I've never been a green hater.
...but needless to say, I've found myself avoiding green paint swatches at all costs.

Anyways... along the way we've had a few set backs, but are happily blessed to finally have the availability and resources to slap some new colors on these walls!

So here we go...

I couldn't find any before pictures other than those from when we bought the house a few years ago... so here is a rather vacant look at the old color:

It's not terrible... but it's just dull... and not me.

Many have told me they thought I was crazy for this until they saw for themselves... but when you live in this kitchen, you discover that this greenish grayish color on the walls 1) makes the kitchen feel very dark and 2) makes it glow orange like crazy.

The paint color is really just a contributor to the glow issue.  

The real problem there is that the builder of our home was a builder, not a decorator, and unaware that when putting in wood cabinets and wood floors you're not supposed to match the wood stains or the color becomes overwhelming... especially with this bright honey tone.
Well my "natural wood look" fanatic of a husband swore I wouldn't be allowed to paint these cabinets over his cold, dead body.

{Which is a shame because they would be lovely painted in a nice eggshell with some glazed distressing}

Plan B.  
I then said, "Okay, but that means you let me paint whatever I want in here to tone down the orange glow."  To my surprise, he happily complied.  =)

I chose a pale yellow called "Spice Delight" {Olympic} for the entry, living room, dining room, stairwell and upstairs landing.

Mark's grandma young helped me decide that a robin's egg blue from the color palette I was leaning toward would be great in the kitchen to help tone down the cabinets... but finding the right shade was tricky.  
So with many "nope, not the right shade" samples splattered on the walls, we set forth with a deadline to conquer the yellow walls and put the blue on hold.  =)

The process begins!  

Here we're patching the last few cracks and holes and beginning the first coat!

We had a great {and unexpected} team of volunteer 
painters to help with the first coat of spice delight!  =)

Looking brighter already!

...and every great team needs a great supervisor!  ;)

The hubs and myself worked hard that weekend.  
We even stayed up until midnight on a school/work night to finish the final coat of spice delight and for those who know me, you know that's quite a sacrifice!  

I had originally thought that with our busy schedules it would take a few weeks to tackle three coats on all of the "spice delight" walls... but we were surprised and thrilled to finish in one weekend.  

This, of course, meant that it was time to get serious about a decision on the blue.  The next day I brought home three more samples {for a total of 7 samples of different shades of robin's egg blue} and finally found one I love.

So what do we do when we finish a painting project ahead of schedule... relax?  
Yeah right, push ourselves to finish the next job by the same deadline!
{The deadline was that I was hosting my sister's baby shower in less than two weeks from the time we started the first yellow coat.  I had originally said that getting the yellow done was enough... then I added the blue... then I added the doors too!  Ha!  But it all got done with time to spare!}

Time for the reveal...

In one short week the entire main level was done... and I am in love!
As you see, none of our decor was rehung at the time of the pictures, but that's in progress now.
Note that the purple chairs are the ones to be recovered with the material featured in posts here and here and the rug is hopefully soon to be replaced with a similarly sized/shaped brown low shag... I can't wait to get that puppy in here.  Then the room will really start coming together!

I love the bright, sunny feel!

We have a lot of windows on this level and I finally feel like my walls aren't swallowing the light!  Ahhh... so airy and fresh.  =)

Finding the right shade of robin's egg blue I wanted was hard... really, really hard.  But I'm glad I persisted... I love the contrast of the "spice delight" and "seascape" and I LOVE the "seascape" against the cabinets!
{The photo above shows the more accurate shade of what the color looks like in the kitchen, the others seem to wash it out a bit, making it appear lighter with more blue tone and less green than it actually is.}

The orange glow is much diffused, yay!
{PS, my hubby did also agree to change out those nasty laminate countertops which will also make a huge impact!  It's amazing the lengths that man will go to in order to save his wood cabinets!  tee hee hee}

Love it.

I already have window treatments picked out, just have to scrounge up the money to go get them.  I've also begun hanging some things back on the walls this week and can't wait to collect some plates to paint and set up on top of the cabinets!  

I'm sure I'll share many more pictures as our home continues to come together.  It's been a long wait, but I feel it will be worth while!  =)

It's so fun to see decorating visions starting to take life!


  1. I love your color choices, especially the blue!!!

  2. This looks amazing!! It's so hard to work with those orangey wood colours. Thanks for the great ideas!


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