Is it fair to say a paint color changed my life? Am I being a bit dramatic? Maybe. Seriously though, I have found a new love in a certain shade of gray (no pun intended towards the book - I've never read it).
For some time now I've felt that something wasn't quite right in how our first floor was finished. I've swapped out pillows, added new wall art, switched rugs in and out, painted everything I can think of gold (kidding... sort of), and yet it still seemed so unfinished. It didn't feel like things flowed. I've slowly been adding gray tones (or colors that match gray tones) to the decor - a gray and white rug, gray curtains, navy, pink and gold accents - and it all just didn't seem to look right in the room. I finally narrowed it down to the wall color. Not long after we moved in, we gave the living room, hallway and kitchen a once over with Glidden's 'Cafe Latte' paint. The kitchen was previously a darker tan and I thought keeping the same color family but lightening up the shade would look nice. It worked in the beginning when our decor was all dark browns and wood with red and orange accents, but as I started to add lighter decor, the tan started to look dated and worn out.
Painting the downstairs is a beast of a job. It's all open space from the long hallway, into the living room, which is connected to an open kitchen. You want to paint one room, you have to paint all three. Now I'm going to admit something I'm not proud of. I actually considered hiring someone to paint this for me. Is that a DIYer sin?? Back before we had Lucy I could tackle a paint job like this over a three day weekend no sweat. These days it's not so easy. I lucked out that I have two great coworkers who eagerly volunteered to help. I can't thank those gals enough!
On Friday I scooted Lucy and Jordan out of the house for a daddy-daughter day and the three of us got to work.
The color I chose was Benjamin Moore's 'Stonington Gray' - aka my new favorite paint color. I am in L-O-V-E.
We also did a fresh coat of glossy white on the trim which made a huge difference. Trim is one of my least favorite paint jobs to do, but because of the traffic in our hallways and living room, we were long overdue. The gray wall looks so, so good with our wood floors. I can't stop staring. Jordan asked me the other day what I was staring at becuase I couldn't stop checking out our walls.
Here is a before shot of the living room with the old paint color.
And a recent shot with the new pretty gray.
Looking at the photos I have to agree that it might not seem that different, so here's a comparison of colors up close.
I also took this opportunity to shuffle some of our wall art around. I still love the framed Anthro napkins above the couch, but I did take down the gallery wall in favor of a new spot for the stained wood art I made Jordan for our first anniversary.
A view of the loooooong hallway that leads to our front door. I'm realizing now that it's probably been some time since you've all seen any recent photos of our downstairs living room/kitchen area.
A before of the TV area,
And an after.
The shelves will be going back up, but we will probably put two instead of three. Jordan and I agreed that we were a little nervous with how sturdy they were now that we have a toddler running around them and thought it would be best to completely remount them and add some brackets underneath for extra support. The shelves will be going up later this week.
I moved the wall o' frames above the leather chair and swapped up some of the frames and prints. The subway sign hasn't been rehung, yet. We haven't really decided where to put that, but I'm thinking of putting it in a new place. Perhaps above Lucy's toy box next to the couch. As I started hanging frames and art in new places I felt like things are finally where they are supposed to be. The pictures don't do justice to how different the room feels now.
A quick snap shot of the kitchen. The gray paint brings out the blue in the tiles so much more and seems to flow better than before. I'm still not 100% sold on the dark blue tiles (I love me some white kitchens), but I don't see us changing them while we're in this house, so I'm making the best of what we have. I did tell Jordan that I think this paint color bought us a few more years in this house.
Doesn't the wall color even look pretty with my new kilim rug? (Hi Lyla.)
I. Love. This. Color.