Lets talk Paint!

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[Warning: If you don't like talking about paint, you might want to leave now and check in on my next post! Many might find this post boring, as I can wax poetic (and at great length!) when it comes to paint. There... you have been warned!]

I love paint! I mean, I really love paint. I read books about paint! One of my favorite paint books is Color by Donald Kaufman. For the last several months House Beautiful has been doing a regular column on paint colors... fun!
I love the psychology behind paint colors and picking paint colors! With so many factors going into picking the perfect color for a room it makes the process a bit overwhelming for lots people. For me, if you think of the process both logically and emotionally it will take some of the confusion out of it.
Here's my take on paint....

I think a lot of people are intimidated by so many choices. When you pick up a fan deck or look at the wall of paint chips at the paint store many people just give up then and there. Keep in mind, just like walking into a clothing store... you aren't going to like every dress you see, and even if you fall in love with a dress it might not look good on you!

Try to pick colors that evoke a certain feel in you and in your room. You can't just pick a color because it is pretty, or you like it, or it matches your sofa, or it looks great at your best friend's house.... Certainly all of those factors come into play, but picking based on only one of those choices might not get you the perfect color for your room.

Keep an open mind. Sometimes a color you don't necessarily love on the chip will make your room sing because of the light in the room.

Don't become too attached to any color without seeing it in the room you want to paint at different times of the day. You might love it in the morning and hate it at night.... Paint large patches on the walls or on poster board to really get a feel for the color. Painting your samples on poster board lets you move the sample around the room holding it next to the floor or your ceiling.

Don't fall in love with a paint because of it's name. It sounds funny, but people do it!

I think a huge factor in paint picking success is the natural light you have or don't have in the room. Our last house didn't have a lot of natural light (and then we had plantation shutters on all the windows which made it even darker still), so because of this I was able to use darker, deeper tones of colors. This farmhouse has amazing light and I was shocked to pull out the samples of colors from my last house and to see how deep they were. They didn't read dark in the old house because they were in a darker environment. I've always described my palette as the colors you see when looking at a dried hydrangea. My new colors could be described the same, only the colors have lighter values than my old colors.

Take your time. I spent hours going through colors. I would dismiss a color only to go back to it again! Be patient. Slowly, but surely the right color(s) will speak to you if you look, and listen to how you feel when you see the color in the room.

Decide what you want to draw attention to and attention away from; and make the colors work for you to that end. In our last house people would always comment that they loved my paint colors. My colors brought your eye into the room. I intended to do that as I didn't want your eye looking out the window and seeing my neighbor's garage door! I didn't have a lot of architectural detail (it was a 1950's ranch), so color played a powerful role in defining and describing the interior space. The farmhouse is totally different. I don't want you to walk in and see any particular wall color... I want you to feel the house, and see the fabulous views through all the windows. I don't want your eye to stop on the inside. (Hey, I told you I liked the psychology part of paint!!) I wanted all the colors to gently play off of one another. I didn't want there to be big contrasts in colors between rooms (I used much more contrasting paint colors in our last house.) There's a natural gentleness and flow to the house and I wanted that to be complimented by the paint colors.

I like Benjamin Moore paints. When we were selling our house people would walk in and say, "Oh, you just painted" to which Dan and I would smile knowing that the last time we painted was 15 years ago! Their paints hold up well to say the least. I also love their additional sheens which I haven't found with any other paint company (they might be out there, I just haven't found them!)

I am very fond of chameleon colors- colors that change throughout the day. Colors that read one way in one light, and read another in a different light.

So, after much ado here is my list of colors. Some of which even surprised me, even now I will look at a chip when I'm not at the farmhouse and think "that's the color?" but, in the house the color works beautifully with the light. I'm really please with how they all feel when you see them in the room.

My colors:
All trim/doors/cabinets : White Dove in Latex Satin Impervo
All ceilings (except where noted) : White Dove in Pearl Finish
All walls & ceiling paint is BM's Regal line of paints.

Living Room/Reading Room/Stair Walls & Upstairs Hall: Ashwood OC-47 in Eggshell (a soft gray/green/putty)

Dining Room: Halo OC-46 in Eggshell (a shade lighter than the living room. a whisper of a color. I wanted something that was soothing and would make my ironstone and white plates pop!)

Kitchen: Gray Owl OC-52 in Eggshell (a gray with lots of green undertones)

Guest Bedroom: Overcast OC-43 in Eggshell (green with gray undertones)

Guest Bedroom: Misty Air OC- 44 in Eggshell (golden with gray/brown undertones)

Guest Bath: Moonshine OC-56 in Eggshell /ceiling also in same color (a gray/green)

Master Bedroom: Titanium OC-49 in Eggshell (gray with just a hint of blue)

Master Bath: Horizon OC-53 in Eggshell /ceiling also in same color (for me that elusive french gray/blue color that is so hard to pinpoint! Sometimes you look at it and think it's gray and other times you think it's blue.) The tub-body will be painted Sleigh Bells 1480 in High Gloss which is a darker, deeper version of Horizon.

(if you're still with me at this point.... thanks for letting me go on, and on, and on.....!)