New Coat of Paint, Part 2

Six months ago, I announced that I had finally, finally found the living room paint color: Benjamin Moore Light Breeze. It took me months to find a color I was happy with (along with a zillion paint swatches applied haphazardly to walls), but I landed and started painting. I wasn’t entirely sure about the color at first, but it quickly grew on me. After a few weeks, I was in love.

So why, you may ask, has it taken me six months to finish?

Partly laziness. I’ve been painting the living room / dining room one wall at a time, section by section. Yes, I could have devoted an entire weekend to it and just finished the job, but it seemed somehow easier to steal 2 hours here, 3 hours there, and just go wall by wall.

The larger reason? I didn’t feel ready to commit. What if I made the wrong choice? What if this color — which looked so great in the dining room — looked terrible in the hallway? In the living room? Would it look boring to have the entire living area one color? Would it turn the house into one big room? Was the color cool enough, chic enough, to commit to having it on ALL the walls? WHAT WOULD PINTEREST THINK?

I thought I landed on a solution — the dining room and hallway would be Light Breeze, while the living room walls would be white. It’d break up the space, create some separation. Still, I hesitated.

And then I was browsing Benjamin Moore colors online, and saw a combo that made me pause. It made me “ooh” and “aah”. I asked Byron, and he said, “Sure, go for it.” But I still wasn’t convinced. Had I seen other blogs do something similar? Was this an “ok” thing to do? Would I regret the end result, immediately hate it and realize I could have done better?

Finally one morning, I realized: it’s paint. Just paint. The worst thing that could happen was I wouldn’t like the color, and I’d have to paint over it. That was literally the absolute worst thing that could happen in this scenario.

Isn’t it funny, these small dilemmas that we build up to be so big in our heads?

So this weekend, I finally finished painting.

Benjamin Moore Day's End and Benjamin Moore Light Breeze.

Most of the living room I finished up in Light Breeze — the back wall I painted Benjamin Moore Day’s End. A deep charcoal with blue undertones. It satisfies my original desire for bold color, plays beautifully with the yellow in Light Breeze, and makes the living room feel like a cozy cave. My own little retreat.

Am I in love with it? I’m not sure yet. But it’s done — a decision was made. I went with my gut and forgot all the rest. And at the end of the day, that’s sometimes just what you need.

 

 

New Coat of Paint

There are some house projects that you think are going to be awful and turn out to be not-so-bad. Some house projects you think will be easy breezy and turn out being stab-yourself-in-the-eye terrible. And then… there’s painting.

I actually don’t mind painting. I love the immediate, dramatic change. I love how it alters the character of a room. Yes, it can be a total pain in the ass (see kitchen cabinets), but the end result is always worth it to me.

Back in my dormitory and apartment-renting days, I always swore that when I finally had a place of my own, I’d paint it with COLOR! Bold, bright, lots of color. Every apartment manager known to man seems to use the same drab beige. You get so tired of it. I dreamt of the day I could choose my OWN hues.

Well, it turns out there’s a reason every single apartment is painted that same drab beige. It’s easy, it’s neutral, and OMFG CHOOSING A PAINT COLOR IS HARD.

Benjamin Moore Paints
I couldn’t even tell you the names of all of these at this point. All Benjamin Moore.

Poor Byron. Over the course of several months, I bought and brought home no less than 6 paint samples and slapped them on the walls. Our living and dining room don’t get a ton of direct light, so it tends to feel a bit cold in there. I initially thought I wanted to go BOLD yet warm, like a nice flax or goldenrod. But once I got that up on the walls, I realized that a) color looks a lot bolder when it’s IN YOUR HOUSE, and b) our house is small. Even in just a tiny section, bold color seemed to swallow up the room.

So I switched courses, seeking something lighter, a nice neutral that would work as a background for art. Grey is super popular right now, but you guys, we live in Seattle. There is already too much grey for my liking. Long story short (a story that takes us through beige and grey and greige and something with a weird pink undertone), I finally landed here.

Benjamin Moore Light Breeze 512 Benjamin Moore Light Breeze. Not too dark, not too light, not too boring — a nice golden hue with the tiniest hint of green that immediately warmed up the room. Finally, the search was over! Success! After some procrastination, I slapped it up in the dining room.

Benjamin Moore Light Breeze - Before
The “sort of before” picture, since I forgot to snap one before I started painting.
Benjamin Moore Light Breeze - After
And after, before I’d managed to clean up the mess.

Except… You guys. I’m driving myself crazy. Now that it’s up, I keep staring at it and thinking, “Is it too yellow? It seems so yellow. Or maybe too dark? Does it clash with the art? Should I have gone with an off-white? There are a lot of off-whites… OMG there are a LOT OF OFF-WHITES and I don’t want anything too boring, but is THIS THE RIGHT ONE?”

I explained these thoughts to Byron, and he gave me a weird look and said, “Your brain sounds like a terrible place to be.” Thanks, babe.

Last night, I looked at the walls and said, ok, enough is enough. This is the paint color I have chosen. If only for the fact that I bought a frickin’ gallon of it. It’s going up on the walls.

Benjamin Moore Light Breeze in Dining Room.
Evening light a few days after painting, with small wheagle dog.

I keep telling myself that with time, I’ll get used to it and come to love it. Byron likes it. Everyone who’s seen it says they like it (UNLESS THEY’RE LYING). I’ll paint the hallway and living room, and then everything with look cohesive. Clean and warm. I will accept this, and move on.

And then I’ll have to choose paint colors for the bedrooms. What have I gotten myself into….