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12.18.11 / A Sampling

Handy Hubby is home! And not a moment too soon. I’ve been running around like a mad woman taking the boys to and from school/gymnastics, working {more than usual, ugh}, Christmas shopping, running from doctor appointment to doctor appointment {Everett developed an ear infection shortly after HH left on his business trip and I’ve had OB checkups} and gathering paint swatches from every paint supply store in town. I know I’m probably not any busier than any other mom out there. And I’m not complaining…only very grateful that HH is back to help lighten the load a little. Boy, did I miss him. Just having him here to take over a few nights of bath time and bedtime is like vacation to me.

So, yeah, did you catch that part about me gathering paint swatches? HH ordered a paint sprayer to prime and paint the Underdog’s interior. It arrived while he was away. He’s getting antsy to use it. Which means we’ve got to nail down trim and wall colors ASAP. Basically, I’ve been scouring the internet for color ideas then picking up swatches from all the different brands available around here: Valspar, Behr, Glidden, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, etc. Then I narrowed down a half dozen ‘maybes’, had some samples made at Home Depot in the Behr brand and painted out some foam board to test in the Underdog.

Here’s an unedited sampling of the sampling…

Mudroom/dining room – Thinking of DIYing white wainscoting with a darker color painted above. If you look closely, there’s a small tile sample on the floor. It’s a lighter travertine with lots of variation in it.

Family room/mantel – Definitely wanting to keep the walls light and airy in here. {Once again, that white stuff on the mantel is my attempt at naturally removing soot from the brick with baking powder + dish soap.} All this time I’ve been sold on painting the brick surround…but I’m having second thoughts.

Family room/ceiling – HH was kind enough to hold up a wall color possibility next to a white ceiling possibility. For a minute, we contemplated painting the ceiling something other than white – like a light neutral tone instead – but decided we really liked the idea of a white ceiling.

Kitchen – Trying to picture any of those with black lower cabinets, white upper cabinets and stainless steel appliances/hood. I think we’ve ousted the middle color. It’s a little too dark.

Great room – The final two??

Boys’ room – There’s a sample of the wood flooring lying in front of the white-ish foam board. I immediately decided I didn’t like the one on the far right. Looks like baby poop. I’m leaning towards the one second from the left but I like the blue-gray to the left also. Hmmm?

Master bedroom – This is the only ‘for sure’ that HH and I have right now. Our bedroom is on the north side of the house and doesn’t receive a lot of natural light so we wanted something light but warm. I think this is it. I think.

Master bathroom – This is the same blue-gray color from the boys’ room image. It looks nice in the master bath but we’d like the master bedroom and bathroom to be painted the same color for continuity. So now we’re stuck wondering ‘do we paint the bedroom blue-gray since the bath looks good in the color or do we stick with the light, warm neutral that we really like in the bedroom and paint the bath that color as well?’ Decision, decisions.

And we’re not even discussing the nursery yet. It’s such a small space – not even 10′ x10′ – that I shouldn’t have a problem painting it out with a roller {versus the sprayer} once we get moved in and I get into nesting the nursery. The hallway to the bedrooms and the guest/kids’ bath just off the great room will probably get painted whatever color we decide on for the great room walls…to keep things cohesive and flowing nicely in those small areas.

When it comes to selecting paint colors, there’s no magic wand for us. We always use samples on foam board and move them around from room to room, viewing them at different times of the day before we make any decisions.

The hardest thing for me right now is looking at all of my inspiration images and trying to bring them to life in the Underdog while staying true to our family’s lifestyle. I.e., most of the images in my inspiration folder are of rooms with white walls and as much as I love them, I’m not sure how well they’d carry over into everyday living. The kids would surely mark them up and I’m a little afraid I’d start to feel as if I was living in an insane asylum. Still, I get all googly-eyed over white rooms. Who knows where we’ll end up with our paint selections?

I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I do.

images: all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

33 Comments

18.December.2011

After a busy weekend with my hubby and two young children ( Ava, 6 and Jack, 3) it was so nice to finally peek at my three favorite blogs…I can’t tell you how appreciative I was to find a new post from you. Just thought I would write a little note to let you know that I know and can relate to how much a busy mom has to accomplish before tackling anything of personal interest and that it brought me some joy to read of your paint sample adventures. Just writing one email can sometimes take me all morning…even all day! Have a great week:)

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18.December.2011

Yay!! What fun (and a teeny stressful) decisions, I really love the colors. Especially the warm, light colors and the ones with a touch of grey. Good luck choosing!

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18.December.2011

The colors look great- the blue gray bathroom color looks like BM Tranquility- which I just used in a kitchen remodel.I really like the slightly darker color for the great room too- what
is the color & brand?The underdog is looking really good, love the wood ceiling in the great room!

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18.December.2011

Dana, have you given any thought to Sherwin-Williams Duration paint? It’s supposed to hold up to the worst your kids can throw at it…

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18.December.2011

I can totally relate … Homeschooling mom of 3 girls, husband who travels, just moved into a new home mid-November, trying to unpack, organize, Christmas shop, pick paint colors and tile backsplash, plan meals for us and family in town … It’s exhausting.

Is it bad that I really want to spend my time decoating and the heck with all the rest? Yes, probably! ;)

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19.December.2011

Hey ! It looks like you’re getting there with your color choice … great ! I’ve got a few questions/comments for you :
- do you plan on having all the ceilings/trim/baseboards the same colour in every room ? white ? and the windows, they don’t get any paint ?
- do you pick a different color even for rooms that can be seen from each other ? in that case, do you pick colors that you like AND that go along well (ouh – double choice !!)
- I think you should go for a white room if you really like it. Pick a good wipable one ! Maybe the master bedroom, if your kids don’t go in there too often.
- I just love the color you chose for the master bath ! so chic !
Take care, enjoy some family time and have a wonderful xmas !

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19.December.2011

you are making me want to paint my entire house again! :) isn’t it the HARDEST to pick out a color? we just went through that with our master bedroom! yikes! can’t wait to see your house when it is completed! happy monday! :)

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19.December.2011

I think all of those colors look really great! Any that you pick are going to look perfect.
My two sense on white – definitely sterile and asylum like – but I may be biased because my last apartment had only white walls. It was white everywhere. And I did have the time or money to paint just to have to paint it back. It drove me insane. I just did feel like home at all. The apartment I live in now has has light tan/beige walls and its just so much warmer and homier. I think white looks great in inspiration photos, but I think it is so sterile in real life. But that is just my opinion – if you love it – go for it. Its your house you want to love it.

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19.December.2011

Good luck I think picking paint colors is the hardest thing to do. So many colors it is overwhelming.

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19.December.2011

I love the master bedroom color and like the idea of using it in the master bath as well. I had wains coating in my dining room but it “chopped up” the space. I hope that makes sense. The room feels much more open and light without it.

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19.December.2011

Hi, I have been following then work on the Underdog, and am really liking the layout and feel of the whole place, so congratulations on that.
Now to the paint.
The white for the ceiling and moldings and such for certain.
For the kitchen and big room, go for the lightest colour. It may seem like a vast space now, but trust me, when you get all of the kitchen stuff in and sofas and all, it is going to look a lot smaller. So keep the breezy feel by keeping it light coloured.
Keep the fireplace as is if you are iffy, and then just paint it later if you don’t like it.
The bluish shade for the boys for sure.
The other rooms, when in doubt, go for the lighter shades.
Just had to chime in on this.
Other than that have a lovely, lovely Christmas and good luck with everything.
K.

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19.December.2011

go with your gut! we just painted out great room & halls china white by ben moore & i couldn’t be happier. i, too, noticed all my idea files showed crisp white rooms. we have young kids & pets & have had no problems. furniture & accessories keep it warm. and nothing is better than a crisp white bathroom.

good luck!

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19.December.2011

I have seen you mention that you are using baking powder and dish soap to remove the soot on your mantle. Are you sure you don’t mean baking soda? I use baking soda and dish soap to clean my oven and it works like a breeze. If you are using powder and not having much success, try the baking soda. Just a thought.

About your paint colours–it’s tough to get it absolutely right the first time. You don’t even have your floors to work off of yet!

All of my walls are one step up from flat for maximum scrub-ability. Just a thought.

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19.December.2011

Some of the paint undertones are too blue for me – given that the flooring (esp. the kitchen tile & wood) has a brown/tan undertone. I know that colors don’t ‘translate well’ via on-line images. Just a thought!
Regards – Janet

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19.December.2011

my mom’s house had white painted interior and it always felt “unpainted” it felt ever worse during the mid west winter. Once she added color to the walls the room instantly felt more comfortable and calm.

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19.December.2011

On the whole, I agree. Inspiration photos of super white spaces DO tend to be oogle-worthy. White spaces generally photograph beautifully with the right camera and person wielding it. But to me, in a lot of instances, these spaces don’t live as well as their image. Being in them in person can be a bit cold and seemingly unfinished. I like the route you are taking.

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19.December.2011

Just wanted to pop in and say it is looking AMAZING! I checked my blog feed this morning and actually clapped my hands and said “Handy Hubby is back!!!” My husband was like “????”

I reassured him that I am not actually replacing him with blog husbands. Yet. :) I am so excited to see the color choices up on the walls. You both have done amazing things!

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19.December.2011

Picking paint colors can be so challenging (and yet fun)! I’m in the process of picking my bedroom color. I’m currently thinking a deep teal or navy blue with crisp white trim, bedding and curtains and a diy ikat chevron wall treatment on one wall. We’ll see what happens. I favor the colors with the blue-ish undertones for the underdog.

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19.December.2011

dana– would you mind letting me know what that blue-gray color you’ve chosen is? i have a friend who has had paint swatches on her walls for over six months because she cannot find the blue-gray that she likes, so thought i’d give her another option! it would be fabulous if this could be “the one” for her too!

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replied on December 20th, 2011

Meredith – It’s Sherwin-Williams Contented. Again, all the photos are unedited so the colors actually look a little different in real life.

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19.December.2011

Just found your blog…such great stuff! I am becoming a new follower for sure! See ya soon xoxo.

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19.December.2011

Ooh, fun/hard. I recently painted our (small) bedroom three times in two weeks, while we slept in the guest room. I LOOOVED the color when I finally got what I’d been envisioning, but… now that the furniture is back in, and covering up so much of the visible wall, I wish I’d gone a shade darker so that it had a little more presence. It stands out when you see it next to the white trim, but otherwise fades into a warm background neutral.

Regarding your choices, personally I’d just steer away from the 2 or 3 samples I saw that seemed to have greeny/khaki undertones. To me, they make the light feel swampy.

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19.December.2011

Hi Dana
To add to your paint dilemma, I just painted 2 rooms in my house that do not get much natural light Grey Owl by Benjamin Moore (I copied Joan @ for the love a house) and it looks great! It’s a little bit grey, a little bit blue, a little bit “putty”…it’s really a unique color. You might want to test it out on your foam board. We also put up a planked ceiling and painted it white and the Grey Owl looks really neat against it.
Best Wishes!
Stacy Lovoy

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19.December.2011

My vote would be to do what you like most in your inspiration pictures. If it doesn’t wear well you can always paint it another color later. I suggest flipping a coin with your top 2 color pics…when the coin is in the air, you’ll know what color you really want since you’ll hope to see that side of the coin when it lands. Happy painting…

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20.December.2011

Random linkage to acid-washed cement floors: http://www.vividconcrete.com/acidstainrsmasterbdrm.html

I don’t remember if you talked about considering these or not. They look gorgeous, but I would think they would be a bit hard on the feet. Still. Pretty. :)

When we tore apart the kitchen in our condo we exposed cement floors, brick walls, and rough wood beams…. and then covered it all up with sheetrock and stick-on tiles. I wish your blog had been around then — I might have been more adventerous in my design choices!!! Everything you guys are doing looks great!

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20.December.2011

I think those neutral tones are beautiful. What about leaving the grain exposed on the ceiling? I think it would be so beautiful and Scandinavian looking!! (I live in Finland… there is a lot of this tongue and groove ceiling and neutral walls… SO beautiful to have that natural element … and a bit of a change from the everyday white ceilings we always see)
Just a thought!

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20.December.2011

What abou the master bedroom sample. What color is that? I also have a north side bedroom that needs a lighter warmer color.

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replied on December 27th, 2011

Lisa – The master bedroom sample is Benjamin Moore’s Tapestry Beige…a light airy almost gray-ish white.

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20.December.2011

I love your colors. I’m crazy into color, my house is gold, red, orange, dark green, slate blue, and rosy red, but I really love bright, light homes. Your color palette is so fresh and clean – it feels modern without being cold.

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22.December.2011

These decisions would be the death of me. Picking colors is so not my thing- especially from scratch like this. I have to see it somewhere else and then just copy it and hope it looks similar in my house. That’s why I am happy when others have “the gift”- like you- to visualize and create on a pretty blank slate.

When it’s my turn to paint, now I’ll just have another person to copy:)

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22.December.2011

Don’t know what colors you’ve chosen, but I’ve got Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter in my front hall, bathroom, upstairs hall and I may paint the bedroom with it. It’s a magical color – a warm grey that looks fantastic with wood, with white, and which changes color through the day depending on the light. Sometimes it almost looks green, mostly it’s warm wonderful grey. I completely love it.

In any case, I know paint angst. We’ve just painted our living room a neutral green. I tried 16 different sample paints before I found The Right Color. Which ended up being custom and not at all what I intended, but I like it anyway.

Fun to see someone else caught in color decisions, after two years of my own anguish.

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26.December.2011

LOVE your blog!!! This gives me great inspirational ideas for my new home:)

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27.December.2011

I can’t wait to see what you do with it! I’m a new follower and hope you’ll follow me back (but no pressure). Happy New Year!

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