Monday, February 25, 2013

Paint Color Update

Although my apartment is not ready for "prime time", I thought I would at least share my color choices and what I do and don't like about them. Choosing paint colors is very tricky and it is useful to search the web looking for what has worked for others so I consider this my chance to give back to the online community.

I have huge, expansive walls in my apartment not only because of the high ceilings but also because most of the walls don't have windows. All the windows are along the one wall facing the street. And, although I had the crusty old texture scraped off the ceiling, the cement beams are somewhat uneven and heavy looking. Because of these features, I thought a bold color would be overwhelming and so I did what I have avoided doing for the past 25 years and painted almost everything white. I chose Benjamin Moore's White Chocolate which is warm and creamy white. I could not be happier with this color! It has given me the antique feeling I was going for without being on that pink, dusty side of white. It looks gorgeous with the warm brown blinds I inherited from the previous owners and fits well with my "vintage" (worn out) furniture.

I debated with myself endlessly about whether to keep the bedroom white. I finally choose a very subtle color called Greenmount Silk from Benjamin Moore's historic color collection. The paint chip for this looked pale green in Brookline, MA but when I brought it down here it looked just plain yellow! This caused more debate since I prefer green over yellow. Had I been fooled by the color's name?  I decided to live dangerously and just go with it (I had a pale green bedroom for the past 18 years) and I am so glad I did. This is a gorgeous color! When the afternoon sun comes pouring through the blinds, the walls simply glow. 

As you can see, it is a very subtle contrast to the creamy White Chocolate on the ceiling.

And it does look green at certain angles and behind my Grandmother's pink sofa. Now, this sofa truly is vintage! (and in great shape!)

Now this color is a little more subtle than I had hoped. This is Benjamin Moore's  Lancaster Whitewash  and it is just as it is described on their website: a "greenish-gray tan".  I put this in what you might call my "breakfast nook" which is right in front of the kitchen but open to the rest of the apartment. I wanted a subtle color change just to give that area it's own character.   

Here we are looking from the "breakfast nook" (outer kitchen?) into the kitchen. Notice I had that strange high wall (seen in this blog post) removed so we can see the tops of the cabinets. So glad I did that! Anyway, the little bit of wall you see around the cabinets was a golden opportunity to use a strong color and I decided that color would be Benjamin Moore's Anjou Pear. Wasabi was seriously in the running but I thought the slightly more golden Anjou Pear would work more harmoniously with the orange/gold/brown of the cabinets. 

Now we enter the weird little room. We've been looking at a lot of yellows, creams, yellow/greens, greens. Very hard for me to get away from the warm green family! The best I could do was this lovely green/gray/blue called Tranquility, also from Benjamin Moore. I think of it as the urban version of their Wythe Blue which was their 2012 Color of the Year.

This is almost impossible to photograph, but what I have done is paint the ceiling of the little room charcoal gray. I like to take little rooms and make them feel even more little because there is no way to make them look big. The ceiling color is Street Chic from, you guessed it, Benjamin Moore. I was really worried this would be too dark but now I wish it was darker. Was hoping for more drama.

In the bathroom I had the challenge of dealing with the tile I hated and a very low ceiling. Why they brought the ceiling down in this room, I will never know. Hope to change that someday! To meet this challenge I simply decided to blend with, or play down, the tile. Picked a color that matched one of the lighter tones in the tile. That color is Cedar Key (Benjamin Moore). It looks very beige on their website and too beige in my bathroom. The color chip, however, had a more mysterious grayish pink cast that I liked. The lesson here is: do not believe the color chips.

Anyway, it does what I wanted it to do. It blends with the tile so that the tile does not scream out at you.  It's is also light enough so that the walls and the ceiling could be the same color and not be claustrophobic. I wanted to avoid having a low white square hovering over my head. I get tired of white ceilings especially when the ceilings are low. 

So that wraps up the painting. I am slowly unpacking boxes and hanging artwork in between career fretting and dog walking. The place is looking good and I am very happy with the building and the neighborhood. Moving here was a good decision. 

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