When B was gone at the beginning of November, my mom and his mom came over to help me tackle a few projects. The first project was to get rid of the cobalt blue in the baby’s room, and project two was to put up beadboard wallpaper in Nell’s room (reveal soon, I promise!). While my mom was here, she talked me into having the master bedroom and bathroom painted professionally. These two rooms are big and vaulted. When we moved, we hired out the painting of the two story living room (mostly due to lack of equipment to handle the height of the ceilings), but I swore I’d paint everything else myself. I intended to paint our room this coming summer (post baby when I feel like I can safely climb a ladder again). But Caroline said to me, “We put all this time into making the kids’ rooms great, and getting the room ready for the baby. But I think your room should be ready for you when you are a mom of three little kids.” She’s absolutely right – when we moved into our our first house, our room was our top priority. After moving I was so fixated on getting the main level and the kids rooms to my standards that I deemed the paint in our room “Not so bad” and called it a day.
Here was the master on move-in day. I ripped the curtain holdbacks off the wall about 30 seconds after moving in, but we didn’t take down the plastic curtain hardware brackets until we were prepping it before painting.
Here’s our room as it stood just a week before Thanksgiving. The color truly wasn’t bad, but it didn’t do much for our burlap headboard and it just wasn’t us.
And here’s our master bathroom. This is our biggest looming project indoors (I will paint our kitchen cabinets myself next summer, but this is the big, hire-it-out when we’ve saved the cash project). We want to give our bathroom a complete overhaul, so I considered holding off on painting it altogether, but as you’ll see in a minute, I’m so glad I threw it in the mix. Can you tell I tidied up for these before pictures for you all? You’re welcome.
So, with Caroline’s prodding, I called up our painter who was able to come the next week. Which led to a mad scramble to pick a paint color. Downstairs, we have Benjamin Moore Gray Owl Lightened 50% everywhere. Upstairs in the kids rooms, we have full strength Gray Owl. I wanted our room to be moodier, so I went to Benjamin Moore for a sample of Sea Haze, the next swatch down from Gray Owl on the card. And I really liked the color, but I knew it was too dark for our room. So I thought I’d try some Gray Owl darkened 50%. And that was the ticket – such a subtle difference from the full strength Gray Owl, so the whole house will still flow seamlessly. It’s still neutral, but just dark enough to satisfy my desire for a different shade of my go-to paint in this house.
I called my mom the day the painters left and said, “I didn’t realize how bad the brown was with our stuff until it was gone!”. The gray just gives everything a lighter, more neutral canvas to work with. And in the bathroom, the new paint makes the tile that read so brown before just kind of disappear. It’s amazing what a little paint can do. Carpet and ugly lighting aside, I feel less like we have to renovate the bathroom RIGHT THIS SECOND. Which is good because the outside of our house needs painting (and a new garage door…and new lighting…and new doors…and we have two or three tress that need to come down) and all the money we’ve saved for house projects is looking targeted at the outside for 2014. Prioritizing – would be fun to just do it all right away, wouldn’t it?
I still have lots of plans for our bedroom (and major plans for the bathroom, but we’ll get to that later). Definitely new window treatments and hardware and we need to hang artwork above the dresser, but the paint – with our tall ceilings – was the big hang-up. And I’m loving how my house is looking as it goes gray. What do you think?