That Time We Repainted the Living Room

Happy New Year!

December was a lazy month for me. I’ve been meaning to write this for weeks and am finally sitting down to do it. I wasted 15 minutes between typing the title and the first line by Googling “ab exercises, best haircut and slow cooker artichoke dip, but I think I’m good now.

When we moved in to the house in September of 2014, the living room looked like this….house.living house.living3

I hated the beige walls (too…muddy? too blah? Plus, does anyone like beige? These people, obviously. And the lady from Calico, who recently suggested maybe we paint our living room beige. Umm). So we added the living room to our to-be-painted list.

I wanted something clean, fresh, airy. Something white. I brought home dozens of white samples (you wouldn’t believe how many whites there are) from Benjamin Moore before they started charging for the 8 x 10 sheets (which I’ve no doubt I had something to do with) and even though several design bloggers (what do they know, anyway) said to stay away from Navajo White (a “dull, boring” white), I went with it.

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Old pic during remodel. Couldn’t find recent.

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The color definitely helped the room. But it still didn’t feel right. Was it airy? Sure. But now it was too airy. And plain (damn those design bloggers!). I realized the problem was that I was fighting with the room. I wanted it to be a Northern California room when it so clearly wanted to be Grosse Pointe. Okay, fine.

In January (we’d painted the room in October ’14), I wanted to repaint while the guys were here doing the kitchen and family room, but my husband wasn’t on board. In November, he all of a sudden wants to get curtains and gives me the go ahead for a repaint as well. Hurray!

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Deciding to go blue seemed the most logical choice. Our dining room was green, our kitchen, a gray-green, our hallway, a gray-tan (not beige!) and upstairs we have different variations of gray. Yellow was too….cheery and other colors like red or orange, too Victorian. I’d actually already selected a gray-blue, back when I thought we might be painting in January.

Of course me being me, I had to go through the process all over again. Back to Benjamin Moore, scouring the internet. I had visions of this….

Blue walls, pink chairs.:

to die for, right?

and this…Blue and Green: I picked up some paint samples, just to see. But painting it a deep blue, even though it would look beautiful and moody, would not really flow with the rest of the house. I tried to justify it in my head by saying that the room could be shut off with the double doors and therefore didn’t have to flow or that it was our house, we could paint it whatever we wanted, couldn’t we? But ultimately my dark blue fantasy room would have to wait.

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But the pink chairs would have looked so great with that deep blue. Sigh.

Another issue was our huge vintage poster. It has a striking blue background, so whatever blue we came up with would need to not clash with it, not match with it perfectly, not have too much green in it, etc. I was beginningĀ  to realize that blue is a tough color to get right. As my mother-in-law stated, “it’s a commitment.”

For a day or two I toyed with the idea of a light blue (the Calico gal suggested that as well, to match the little blue flowers on the couch). And went back to the store for more samples. But a light blue living room made me think of an old lady’s house where you walk into the room and there are individually wrapped caramels sitting in a bowl. Just no.

I was going mental over it and my husband was done hearing about it. One evening, after begging him to deliberate with me once more, he rolled his eyes (okay I can’t say that with 100% certainty, but there is a high probability), threw his hands in the air (maybe) and said “well you love the dining room so much, why don’t you just paint it that color!” This ended the conversation and I was beyond annoyed. I mean beyond.

And yet.

I did love the dining room color. Nantucket Gray. The perfect green. Fresh but not too bright. Welcoming, but somewhat mysterious. My favorite color in the whole house. It would solve the problem of the blue painting and would certainly flow well with the rest of the house. Genius.

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I love it. The room feels much more inviting and looks tied together. I think once we get the curtains up (another harrowing decision oh my gosh! I’m so nervous about it), it will look even better.

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So that’s the story of how the living room got painted green.

The December List is up next. It’s snowing as I write this, but just a light dusting. We’re hoping for more this month (I mean, if it’s going to be cold, I’d rather it snow), but it’s been such a warm winter. Relatively speaking. Happy January!

Tile Obsessed – The Belle Isle Aquarium

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IMG_7698 (600x800)We took the girls to Belle Isle this weekend. It’s a small island in the Detroit river that used to be owned by the city and is now a State of Michigan park.

IMG_7695 (587x800) IMG_7688 (669x800)IMG_7691 (600x800)I’m not sure if it’s because I have kitchen remodel on the brain, but I was obsessed with the gorgeous tile work inside the aquarium. Brilliant greens flanked by shiny black subway tiles and more green tile patterns on the floor. I wish I had taken more photos, but here are the few that I did get.