With demo completed and framing well under way, we are two weeks into to our little remodel and could not be more pleased with the progress. Things are actually going so well and so profoundly on schedule that the pressure is on for me to make some decisions about paint colors post-haste. Power over the palette has been ceded to me, as the hus-b has reached his saturation point after making the lion’s share of the design decisions thus far (thank goodness for the guidance of our wonderful decorator and dear friend, Lindsay). I may have been able to claim tile blindness and ineptitude with architectural details thus far, but I’m pretty sure choosing paint colors is a responsibility this lady will not be able to skirt. Don’t get me wrong: repainting our home is a completely thrilling prospect (especially given the less-than-optimal choices of the prior owners), but the pressure to get each decision just right is more than a little daunting.
First up: our living room. This room is not going to change a great deal due to the remodel, save for some minor lighting redesign, stripping and refinishing of an original pocket door (hopelessly ill-functioning after one too many slap-dash paint jobs), new moulding and, of course, a fresh coat of paint. We are, however, hoping to transform it into a more gracious, welcoming space than its current incarnation. The dingy cream-colored paint and misaligned picture rail moulding have got. To. Go.
The hus-b and I received this stunning Persian rug as wedding gift from his father and stepmother. Gorg, no? We’re not especially keen on the deep vermilion reds and midnight blues of more traditional Persian rug patterns, so the warm creams, muted blues and chartreuse accents in this particular rug suit us (and our vision for our home) perfectly. I am especially enamored with the chartreuse hue, as it reminds me of that unforgettable John Galliano (tsk tsk) for Christian Dior gown that Nicole Kidman wore to the 1997 Oscars. We plan to display this rug in our living room, so the paint (and eventual fabric) selections for that room should coordinate with the color palette established by the rug. While I am already dreaming of a pair of chartreuse and ivory striped throw pillows, the prospect of including other non-stripe patterns completely terrifies me. I am far from talented at combining prints and patterns, and to me this rug seems to (in nerdy lawyer-speak) occupy the field. A color- and pattern-phobe? That our decorator, Lindsay, even puts up with me is a testament to her extreme patience.
Farrow & Ball provides some wonderful advice on the method behind paint selection. Given that our living room is spacious, south-facing and formal, F&B suggests using cool colors and a less-pigmented palette to create a light, airy space. Less-pigmented? Only the most glorious paint description we’ve ever heard! F&B “Borrowed Light” is recommended as an ideal choice for such spaces, and we can certainly see it coordinating well with the myriad blue hues of the rug. We also adore how cool the tone is and can see it being featured beautifully in the abundant light of our living room.
A blue shade, however pale, is a bit of a commitment for this pigment-phobe, so perhaps something more neutral like F&B Blackened would be an easier color to decorate around. We wonder whether it is a somewhat uninspired choice, though…
A more pigment-rich neutral shade, F&B Archive feels a little less like we’re mailing it in color-wise. It would also play nicely with the ecru colors in the rug rather than competing with them as a blue hue might. However, it (unfortunately) reminds us a little to much of the infamous “Relo Beige” and seems a little too warm for a formal entertaining space such as a living room.
All of the moulding throughout the house is either being replaced or stripped and repainted. We could not be more pleased about this given the heavy, yellow-y cream paint currently weighing down our wood accents. A crisp, bright white will add light to some of our darker rooms, and otherwise lend an overall cleaner look to our home. We are especially fond of F&B Great White, a neutral/warm white that F&B describes as being “neither yellow nor cold”. They are reading our minds!
Remaining conscious of the cool color palette we are aiming for, perhaps F&B All White would be a more appropriate choice? Described as F&B’s cleanest and whitest white, it would certainly be an antidote to the current state of affairs but we wonder whether it might be a touch too harsh for a cozy family home.
We’re still working through our process (and color-phobia), but this feels like a strong start towards paint selection for the rest of the house. P&V would also love to hear if any readers have suggestions for formal wall colors or moulding colors that they adore!