Heyyyyyya! I’m back to show you a HUGE change we made to the house a few weeks ago, and it was a very long time coming.
When we built more than eight years ago, we found out during the process that the builder would paint the interior walls for us if we wanted. Since our dining room, living room, loft and staircase are all connected, and all but the dining room have soaring ceilings (about 25 feet up at the tallest point), we jumped on that option big time. (For those spaces.) And the fact that they were going to paint it all for $600 (that we rolled into the mortgage) made it so we couldn’t pass it up.
We chose a color called Beechwood Grey by Porter and they were able to spray it on before floors or trim were installed (hence the cheap price).
Thing is, it wasn’t too long before I regretted our color choice. Sometimes it had more of a gray tone and I didn’t mind it. But other times it had a pinky hue that kind of drove me crazy. Eventually I no longer saw any grey, just PINK.
Pink as pink could be, pink.
And the kicker, beyond the color, was that they painted in flat paint. Flat paint has it’s place (ceilings!) and on big walls it can be a good idea, because it definitely hides imperfections in the wall.
But for all that is good, it is NOT a good idea on high traffic areas, like say…a staircase? A staircase wall that a little boy touched ever. single. time. he walked up the stairs as he was learning to climb them?
A staircase that showed every little smudge from every piece of furniture we’ve ever carried up the stairs:
Grody to the MAX.
Thing is, at least with the old flat paints (the newer ones are coming out with wipeable versions), you just can’t clean them. You could scrub all you want and it it won’t come clean. And then if it does come clean, you wipe off so much of the finish that it leaves a mark where you cleaned.
There’s no winning with it.
But we couldn’t just repaint those stair walls because a.) there’s no way the color would match perfectly b.) the walls are about 25 feet tall.
Uh, this girl? Not going up there. :)
So they sat there, all grody, and honestly I didn’t know that we’d ever be able to do anything about them. I just thought it would be too much to have them painted. But man, that staircase was looking AWFUL.
One day the guys that have been working on the basement took me to a house to show me how they had done something. While we were there they pointed out all the stuff they had done in the house, including painting a two story family room.
DING DING DING!!!
I had no idea they could do it, and it planted the seed.
So months later, we saved up the money (which turns out wasn’t even much more than we paid the builder!) and had it done and I AM SO HAPPY!!!!
The color is Analytical Gray by Sherwin Williams and I am head over heels in love with this color. Here it is in the dining room soon-to-be library:
(The top isn’t cut in because I will reinstall the crown up there eventually. The dining room transformation is coming along, more on that soon!)
Here’s that room with everything crammed in there as they painted – I had painted the dining room myself, but you can see where it stopped on the wall going to the front room:
I used to have a piece of trim up there so I could paint each room a different color. You can see that’s gone and I’ve since installed the wainscoting around into the dining room (above). Doesn’t it look so much better?? (And my money plant is growing like a weed!)
This is a LOVELY neutral color, beige mixed with just the right amount of gray. I think they call it “greige?” I call it perfect. :)
I took some before and after shots of the spaces to show you the difference this color has made. Here’s the living room window wall, before on the left, after on the right:
Oh my goodness, I can’t believe how pink those walls look now that I look at them in pictures!
Here’s the desk area in our living room, before on the left, after on the right:
The foyer/staircase area looks soooo different:
Not sad to see ya go.
Here’s my favorite before and after:
Ah yessssss…the joys of an eggshell finish. I use eggshell pretty much everywhere in our house – it’s not too shiny, and it wipes up well. (Sometimes eggshell is called satin.)
And I like that it bounces the light around a little bit – I swear it makes the spaces brighter because it has a teensy bit of reflection to it. The flat just absorbed all the light and sucked it up into it’s dark, pink, flat chasm.
OK, drama. But for REAL my Squeezies. This is huge. I think this is one of the BEST changes we’ve made to our house – LOVE IT!!
I’ve already made a few other changes because of this one, so I’ll show you those over the next few weeks. WHOOO!
So do you have a go-to neutral paint color? It can be SO hard to find one that works for so many different spaces, like this one had to. If you’ve got one you love, please share!
P.S. Did I mention…WHOO?
P.P.S. You can see more on the rug in the dining room here!