The Big Reveal: Grinning Like a Fool

This week I may have worried the painters. I’d walk into the great room and stop and stare. More often than not there was a smile plastered across my face, and I was grinning like a fool.

We had a bit of a language barrier to deal with. When I came downstairs to ask/demand what happened when they broke the  french door, I had one fellow say “no speak English” and the other run to get the head guy. So when I was staring dumbstruck at the fireplace, I guess I freaked him out. But holy cow, I am joyously happy with how it all turned out.

Let’s just say having someone paint two stories of sloping ceilings and a million-and-one windows is crazy expensive. Plus they had to texture all the faux-finishing. There are 18 windows in my bedroom. It’s not easy to paint around the windows, angles, and trim that give our home so much character.

We wanted it to look great, so we’ve been stewing about it, painting boards, debating, drinking a glass of wine, and talking some more for the last year. I’ve found a lot of joy in resolution, and baby these walls look good. Don’t worry, when you come over, we’ll make you stop and look at the,, so you can notice how good they look, too.

OK, that’s probably enough of a build up. I’ll put my money where my mouth is and show you some photos. The outer wall is Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige. On a sunny day, it looks like a beautiful camel setting off white doors and trim. On a gray day–which we have more than our share of–it looks a lot more beige/gray.

Outer window Collage

The sunset is skewing this whole comparison, but I’m sure you can see how the doors, windows, and trim all blend into the wall color. Without contrast, they lose definition.

Let’s move to the kitchen where we went two shades darker with Tony Taupe.

Kitchen Collage

The original owners spent a lot of money on beautiful moldings and cabinetry that simply melted into the background when everything was painted white.

Take a look at the bookcases on the opposite side of the great room. They look so crisp, white, and lovely set off by the tan background.

Bookcase Collage

Don’t worry; we are still in the process of putting up all our artwork and tchotchkes. I’m not in a rush to put everything back exactly where it came from; it’s good to rethink your decorating scheme when you’re given a clean slate.

And now how about that fireplace that made me stop and stare. Of course the painters waited until the very last to paint the area I had the most angst about. We chose a color that matched the granite and would add some weight and interest to the fireplace. It really is this huge part of the room that has been totally ignored.

Fireplace Collage

And take a look from the side with the taupe in the background. The wing walls and the walls behind them are the same intensity, so they work well together. (Thanks for the tip Paige.)

Fireplace plus background

I was totally shocked at how the darker color transformed the hallway from the kitchen to the garage. It’s not an exciting place. I don’t have any old photos to show you. Who wants to look at a dark dingy hallway that leads to the laundry room, garage and upstairs? But now it looks really crisp and clean.

Hallway Collage

That tan and white looks so fresh; it just draws you in.

Unfortunately, all is not goodness and light. While we really like the paint colors, they do make painfully obvious some of the things we don’t like.

Here is the guest room where our visitors stay.

Guest Room Collage

While the guest room itself looks quite nice, and notice how that dark paint sets off the closet and storage area. It’s the bathroom that’s giving us some qualms. It looks a bit like chocolate chip mint ice cream. The tile choices are just not right for us.

In the main floor powder room, these issues are even more glaringly obvious. While the MR replaced the blue toilet ages ago, we’re still trying to figure out what to do with the sink. And that bit of blue tile is trouble.

Powder Room Collage

So while I’m in love with the paint job, we still have some work to do. Sweet Miss came home Friday night and mentioned that the new color scheme didn’t really go with the carpet. Well, I’m not sure anything would go with that carpet. It’s on it’s way out, too.

It’s so nice to finally have made a choice, be pleased with it, and be able to move on.

Struggled with any decisions lately? Should we replace the blue pedestal sink with a white one or try for a custom six-sided cabinet? 

(I was so excited to be able to share the painting updates on the blog, and then as I was uploading and editing, the internet went down for the day. Sweet Miss was visiting, the MR was on the computer, and we were getting ready for a dinner party that was sadly cancelled last minute–hope your little one is feeling better soon. Anyways, sorry not to be on time, but better late than never. I’ll be back Monday with more news.)


10 thoughts on “The Big Reveal: Grinning Like a Fool

  1. It looks so good! I’m sure you do just sit there, relaxing, and smile.

    I have read about painting tile. It wouldn’t hurt to try on that little area in the guest bathroom. As far as the sink goes, I’m one to talk. Why we did not replace that area in our bathroom when we remodeled after the fire, I will never know. Too many other things on our minds I guess. That red (and I mean red) is almost funny now. I like the idea of a custom cabinet right there! I know it will be more, but I think it would be so worth it.

    Can’t wait to see pics after you start hanging things back up.

  2. I love the colors! I especially love the beige in the kitchen, looks fabulous, and the paint around the fireplace. The whole firebox looks great with that same dark color! For the powder room, I’d go pedestal if you don’t need the storage, and I’d start shopping craigslist, the reuse and recycle stores, and the Duvall Trading Post to find a good deal. I think one with good art deco angles (assuming it fit), would really look great. As for the other bath, you now see why our bathrooms have not been redone yet, while other projects have been chipped away. They all involve tile, and I’ll only be ripping it out and replacing. We have pink in one, southwest peach and teal in another, and white with burgundy in the third. It’s horrible, but serviceable and thus, low on the list.

  3. Oh my gosh……………I love it, love it, love it. So glad you do too because that is all that matters. Was surprised about the different color around the fireplace. Is it blue, or gray or maybe I am with Lori, I like the idea of a cabinet instead of the pedestal sink, not enough room to put “stuff” like extra towels, or guests things when they are using it. Yup, with Lori again, the tile is very good, look into painting it…………..they do it on HGTV all the time. The kitchen is the most remarkable. Really good choice of color.

    • Thanks for all the positive response. I like the idea of painting the tiny triangle of tile in the powder room, but the MR is talking about tearing it out this afternoon. We went with the taupe and beige in the great room since they were clear neutrals and wouldn’t fight with the view. We wanted to give the fireplace a little more emphasis, so we took a gray/green from the granite and filled in between the mantle and hearth. The top and wing walls are a few shades lighter in a gray/green that also reads slightly blue depending on the light. Sweet Miss thought our room read lavender on a cloudy afternoon with the shades down… It all depends on the light.

      Now that we have a clean slate, it’s exciting to be able to add to it. You all are welcome to stop by anytime. Our door is always open. (Not to creepers or the whole internet, but I know everyone who commented. 🙂 )

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