Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Project House Update: Sampling Grays

Although we're still in the middle of working on the front rooms of our house (and by the middle, I mean we haven't done anything since my last post), we decided to pick up some samples of gray paint for the guest room. We agreed on gray because our house is quickly becoming very colorful. While the hallway is stark white, the front rooms are lemon and the great room is green (I swear I'll actually post these pics someday, maybe once it's actually clean). We wanted a guest room that's neutral, but also clean, modern, and young. Gray's the new trendy color, don't ya know? Much better than the old cream/ivory/off-white color it's currently sporting.

While we usually agree pretty quickly on a color when we look at swatches,once it's on the walls, we usually panic. It always ends up darker than we expected, and even though we do love the yellow in the entryway, we made a deal to paint on some samples from now on. So, the three winners were "Full Moon, "Gentle Rain", and "Silver Drop" (the middle colors on each chip).

Left: Full Moon - Center :Gentle Rain - Right: Silver Drop
We were both sure that "Gentle Rain" would be the color for us, but we committed to swatching at least three different colors. (Side note: don't you just love that blanket? It was waaaaaay overpriced at Target, but after thinking about it for weeks, I had to have it.)

Here's the thing: we know we're busy. We know we aren't that motivated to get this room painted. It wasn't a priority, but we could get a start on it by throwing some color up on the wall. At the same time, it's the guest room. Who know when the next time will be that the in-laws will come down for a visit? It's not impressive to have a bunch of streaky paint all over your walls.

So, we came up with either a genius or idiotic idea (still too early to tell): we painted the samples in a pattern. In an "artistic" way. Something that might pass for art if we had company.

I picked two walls and taped out two different patterns. The wall with the squares gets direct, Northern light from a window on the opposite wall and the wall with the rectangles gets very little light because it contains the window. This way, we would know what all three colors looked like in two different types of light.

Left: Silver Drop - Center: Full Moon - Right: Gentle Rain
Left: Silver Drop - Center: Full Moon - Right: Gentle Rain
(Side Note: The rectangle picture basically shows all the things that need to change in this room: the vertical blinds, the chain to the ugly ceiling fan, the hand-me-down green bedframe, the hand-me-down beat-up end table, the holes in the walls from the outlets and switches we no longer need.) (Other side note: I'm battling a cold, hence the constant box of tissues.)

Once the tape was removed, Voila! Kind-of Art!

Left: Silver Drop - Center: Full Moon - Right: Gentle Rain
Left: Silver Drop - Center: Full Moon - Right: Gentle Rain
It's hard to tell because I'm a terrible photographer, but it's a good thing we did the swatches! "Full Moon" is basically white. We have a shade of white we like, we need a gray! And "Gentle Rain", the one we loved so much? It's so dark! Much darker than we wanted. It's a color, not a neutral. No more colors! It's hard to tell from these pictures, but "Silver Drop" is the perfect shade for this space. It's clearly gray, but it's also not overpowering. The reason it's hard to see in the pictures because it is the same level of darkness as the current color, which doesn't really feel like a color.

Two downsides to this "art" method. 1) It really doesn't look like art. It looks like shapes of paint. I like it better than just random brushstrokes of paint (yay, miniroller!), but if I did this again, I'd spend more time figuring out how to lay it out. It could definitely look like art if I thought about it more. 2) Because it is taped off shapes, there is a defined edge around each color. Once we actually paint the room, it's my job to sand the edges of the shapes so they don't show through. I don't know how that happened, maybe it was a trick my husband used against me in my cold stupor, but sanding them is my job. We'll see about that...

Anyway, "Silver Drop"! Agreed?

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