In the previous post, I noted that I got a little carried away with the historical paint-color research before we dove into our renovation. As a result, I picked some colors I later came to seriously dislike.
We started righting past color-wrongs by turning to the sunroom, because it seemed easiest. In fact, the sunroom was a no-brainer. The problem (yellow-y white walls) was clear. And so was the solution (i.e., make those bad boys whiter).
The living room was tougher — truth be told, it’s been stressing me out for a while now. We spend a lot of time in here. And it’s the first room in the house guests see when they walk in. For months I stared at this space, wondering why I didn’t like it more. Finally I couldn’t ignore the answer — which, in all fairness, had been staring me in the face all along.
It was the color. I’d gotten it wrong — really wrong:
What I wanted when we moved in was something ‘historically sensitive,’ which is how I came to choose Benjamin Moore Crisp Khaki for the walls. (I know, I know… “Khaki? WHAT was she thinking…”). On top of that, I chose to paint our enormous, spectacular fireplace BM Cream Fleece. So there you have it: In a misguided attempt to stay true to long-dead trends, I erroneously went with khaki and cream.
While I have detested this color combo pretty much since we put it on the walls, I have remained steadfastly *in love* with the color we chose for the kitchen: BM Simply White. So I got it into my head that this was the color I should use for the living room too.
Because I didn’t want to make a mistake again, though, I did due-diligence. I bought six paint samples — all of them at least two shades lighter than what was already on the walls — and put them in various places throughout the room. For a week it looked like a super lame paint ball fight had taken place in our living room. But at the end of the trial, Simply White was indeed victorious.
[Left: BM Crisp Khaki; right: BM Simply White]
Now, lest you think I’m a total goon, let me say this: There were/are issues that obscured the fact that the paint was all wrong, which is why (I’d like to think) it took me so long to start formulating the fairly straightforward plan of fixing it.
The first issue is laziness. We already painted the room once. Re-painting = super sucky times.
Another issue is related to light. There is no direct sunlight to this room. NONE. ZIP. NADA. It’s weird too, since there are four windows. Two face the front porch. The other two face the side porch — which was closed in by previous owners and turned into the sunroom. So now those windows overlook the sunroom. (Yeah, old houses have their quirks…)
A third issue I’ll mention, even though it doesn’t directly relate to paint or painting: layout. You enter into the room directly from the front porch — so you have to walk through the center of the room to access the rest of the house. This means placing floating chairs before the couch, for instance, is a no-go. Basically, the furniture needs to at least sort of hug the edges of the room. I don’t love this fact. And, in the end, it distractedly me a bit from the need to repaint.
(Don’t you just love that Tilly obliges me by
posing snoozing on demand?)
A few slight furniture adjustments have helped considerably (as did the procurement of one ENORMOUS plant, visible in the corner of some of the photos — Big Boy is looking good!).
These pics also show that I finally — finally! — got around to putting some art on the walls. The space above the couch has been a total headache. It’s yuge, you guys.
In our typical fashion, it’s a bit of a high/low thing we’ve got going on here: The basket over the couch is thrifted. The small painting beside it is by French-Armenian artist Jean Jansem. It was a wedding gift from Manny’s grandmother. The painting in the guilt frame beneath is by 19th century French-British artist Alfred Montague. We bought it at auction here in Savannah recently for less than a tenth of its fair market price, if my research serves us correctly. (That, my friends, is why it pays to shop at Savannah auctions!)
The painting over the mantle, visible in the ‘after’ collage above, is by a mid-twentieth century Yugoslavian artist named Mirko Počuča. It too was a wedding gift (from my family). The portrait above the little desk is a copy of a work by Amedeo Modigliani I got at a flea market in Florida for five bucks.
There is still work to be done here, of course. My goal is to have a room that looks like it was designed by Estrid Ericson and Josef Frank. (Yeah, I set modest goals…) That means more textiles, by golly! We are also down a coffee table at the moment, which leaves the center of the room especially bare. And I’m planning to paint the inside of the front door a nice glossy navy or cobalt shade.
All that aside, we’re enjoying no longer feeling like we’re in an early twentieth century cave. Benjamin Moore Simply White for the win!