Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New paint (x2) reveal

Okay, I'm ready to admit it. We had to paint part of the house twice because I made a bad color choice. And it wasn't the first time this has happened. Eventually I'll learn, though. And someday Scott will probably forgive me for making him paint the same part of the house twice in one week. (For the record, I could have done it myself, but he wouldn't let me because he says I'm a bad roller.)

At this point I'd say I'm mostly happy with our two new paint colors. We started out going 100% Restoration Hardware Stone from RH's "Slate" collection, which is a warm gray (although not nearly as warm as it looks on the RH webpage). Their cool gray "Flint" collection was too blue for me, although it looks great with my quartz countertops. Stone turned out to be too warm for our kitchen and for the wall with the media center (both are on the same wall and get southern light), so we went back over it with RH Graphite which is much darker than I wanted to go, but at this point it was too late to completely change grays, so I just did the best I could. If I were to do it over again, I'd probably choose a gray with more yellow, but at certain times of the day it would probably look muddy and I'd be frustrated with that, too.

Kitchen before -- RH Sycamore Green on the walls.
Kitchen after -- RH Graphite on the walls. Yes, the cabinets will have to go white!
I'm happy enough with our combination of Stone and Graphite. Happy enough to leave it alone for a few years until I get tired of gray and want to move on.

Another change we made was putting a few coats of white on our two walls of cedar siding. When we moved in (about eight years ago) they were stained brown. My mom immediately told me they needed to be painted white and I didn't believe her. I might have actually looked at her like she was nuts. I might have been trying to preserve the "integrity" of the house, which was insane because it's just a 70's split level with zero character (we bought for the neighborhood and the lot, not for the house). We left the walls the original stained brown for less than a year before we painted them with the same colors as the walls they were adjacent to.

This is what the bigger of the two cedar walls looked like when we move in.
The wall of cedar after we painted it the first time.
Almost done! Just needs one more coat of RH The Right White
and some new curtains, which were the original inspiration for
this whole paint project to begin with.
But my mom was right. She usually is when it comes to color. I may not be 100% happy with the tone of gray I chose for the walls, but I absolutely love the white on the cedar. The cedar around the fireplace still needs another coat of white (this will be number 3 or 4, I'm losing track) but even unfinished it gives me the light and airy look I wanted and doesn't compete with the bright colors I've started bringing in on furniture and art.

The loft when we bought the house.

The loft with RH Flax paint.
Loft with RH The Right White and RH Stone. And a whole lotta kids' artwork.
I'm pretty happy with the color on the walls that face north (pictured below). They seem to stay the most consistent throughout the day. For those walls, the RH Stone is a great cool, calm color. It's really a lovely backdrop for colorful artwork and for a tranquil feeling in the house. As I get older, I seem to crave colors that inspire calm and quiet.
Before -- looking out from the kitchen. RH Sycamore Green and RH Flax.
After -- looking out from the kitchen. RH Stone. Sorry this photo got
blown out on the right! It looks white, but it's not. It's the same Stone gray.
I've seen a few Pinterest posts with the "perfect" gray, but I'm wondering whether such a thing really exists? What do you think? Do you have one that you love?


  1. My favourite grey shades are all more taupe based rather than blue based. I think the only way to find the perfect one is to buy tester paint pots of the ones that appeal to you and paint them on the walls... good luck!

    1. Hey, Anne! I totally agree about the paint samples. I do that too. Actually, this time I even started by putting the samples on cardboard so that I could move them around the house. Then I put them on the walls after I'd narrowed it down from 3 colors to 2. I think I might have started with not enough variety, though. Live and learn!

  2. Love the greys that you choose Hillary.....two years ago we had the entire first floor, stairway, and upstairs hall repainted. The majority of the house is RH Graphite with our family room, living room and now my daughters room in Slate. We have really liked it and I love how it goes with everything.

    1. I thought I'd end up doing Slate everywhere, but when I put it up on the wall it seemed too dark. Looking back, it probably would have been fine. I think it has a little more yellow in it. Fun to know we have the same colors in our houses. :)

  3. Sharkey Gray by Martha Stewart...Via Holly Mathis Interiors, http://www.hollymathisinteriors.com/category/kitchen/
    i just painted my little boys room after many test pots and this really is the perfect gray!

  4. Love your wood floors. Are they hickory?

    1. Hi, Lori! Thank you so much! Nope, they're not Hickory, but a lot of people guess that. They're actually Birch. My husband isn't a fan because Birch is relatively soft and so it dents more than he'd like. The dents don't bother me because the color is so varied that I don't notice them. I've been really happy with them but when we do the upstairs, we'll probably end up with Hickory to please him. :)

  5. Colors that transpire calm and quiet are the colors your home deserves. Home is supposed to be your haven, so it only makes sense that you want bring a peaceful aura in it. Your choice of “perfect gray” is truly perfect as it doesn’t look dull, and it complements the color of your furniture. Mike @ Noble Paint and Trim


Thanks for reading! I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say.