Sunday, June 17, 2012

The part of the job I hate

Naturally, when working on the walls with Megan over the past few weeks the talk turned to wall colors. As I've said many times over the years, I hate choosing colors. There are just too many choices and I agonize over it. 

One thing I know I don't want to do is duplicate the color scheme of another room on the first floor. With its red walls and gold frieze, the dining room was my one bold color scheme. For the parlors I don't want bright, clashing colors, but at the same time I don't want the room to be boring or dark. This is an 1895 Victorian parlor, after all. I'm certainly not doing a reproduction of a Victorian parlor, but I don't want the room to be plain, either.

So, for the past month or two, any time I got a magazine or catalog in my hands I scoured the pages for images of rooms that don't have boring white walls. There are a lot of nice rooms to look at, but many of them are utilizing colors I have already used, to some extent. I have rooms on the first floor that are green, white, cream, red and gold, and blue.

I saw one room in a Ballard Design catalog which was charcoal or gray color with white trim. I thought it looked really nice, but as I was in the parlor slather on some plaster I mentioned it to Megan and as the description came out of my mouth I no longer liked it. 

Megan said she would keep her eyes peeled for colors and I warned her flat-out that I would hate every one of her suggestions at first and to not take it personally. I hate every one of my suggestions on color when I first think of it, and in three instances I've hated it even after the color was on the wall and I then had to repaint!

A day or two later Megan sent an email with a grayish blue paint chip she found someplace. Naturally, my immediate response was, "Ugh! No way!". Then the next night after opening the email a half dozen more times I started to think, "You know, that's not too bad". 

I need three colors in the room. There is the field of the walls, the frieze and ceiling,  and the trim. The walls I think should be darker than the frieze and the trim lighter still. I was down at Sherwin Williams buying primer today, so I went up to the wall of terror (paint chips) and made some preliminary choices. This is very preliminary and could change many, many times over the next few weeks before paint goes on the walls. Hell, it could even change after the paint goes on the walls.

Now, I know I said I didn't want to duplicate any color schemes of other downstairs rooms, but I'm not going to count the laundry room. It is the smallest room in the house and you must go through two other rooms just to get to it. So where I'm headed is blue walls, lighter blue frieze and ceiling, and white/cream trim. (You see, just writing that down makes me not like it.)

For the field, sw6241 Aleutians or sw6249 Windy Blue or sw7601 Dockside Blue or sw6242 Bracing Blue

For the frieze, sw6238 Icicle or sw6525 Rarified Air or sw6224 Mountain Air or sw6239 Upward

I din't get any samples for trim, but maybe Honied White, which is what I used in the kitchen for trim and cabinets.

Then, of course, there are the two medallions, which I will be giving an understated paint scheme to, similar to the one in the stair hall.

I'm also revising the idea of clouds on the ceiling and frieze with skylarks streaking across the ceiling. Probably won't happen, but it is something I've always wanted to do.


Jayne said...

You know what I think would look fabulous on your ceiling? The Bradbury paper with the gossamer-looking spiderwebs. Go ahead, say you hate it, I won't be offended. ;)

Greg said...

It's not that would hate that, it's just that is not the look I'm going for. I want a nod to the past, but I don't want to live in the past. B&B wallpaper says, "I'm doing a full-on Victorina restoration" and that is not what I want. I know people who have spent fortunes on B&B wallpaper. I love walking through their homes and looking at it, but I'm not sure I would want to look at it every night.


Shasha Kidd said...

Have you thought about confining your choices to a particular palette, like the Sherwin Williams Victorian palette:

That really took the headache out of choosing colors for us in our remodel.

Greg said...

I looked at that for the dining room and still couldn't decide. If anything, I will probably expand where I look. For the dining room I went to half a dozen paint stores and bought samples to test on the walls before painting.