Picking Paints: Or, In Search of the Perfect Greige

We have swatches up all over our house. I got the idea from the ever-amazing dynamic duo behind Young House Love, but I admit I got a little carried away. From the dining room to the bedroom, I had them taped up by the dozens for easy viewing in all kinds of lighting. At one point, it looked like we had decorated the wall behind our bed in some kind of abstract multi-colored pixel painting. There were that many colors up there!

We whipped out a trusty extra-fine point Sharpie and starred the ones we like at different points of the day. If a color was obviously wrong for the space, we pulled it off the wall. One by one, the swatches came down, and now just a few are competing for space.

The dining room is the easiest, it turns out. I know I just want one deep-toned accent wall that, if Emeril saw it, he’d say “BAM!” (To my surprise, my husband liked the raisin and sangria colors the best, as did I. We turned down the reds I had picked in favor of the almost-purples.) Otherwise, the rest of it is going to be the same pale neutral greige as the rest of the open areas of our home.

(The exclamation point print is a limited edition Daniel gave me for Christmas a year ago. It’s from one of my favorite spots in Nashville, Hatch Show Print. We plan on getting it custom framed, and it might move to another wall. We’ll see.)

Here’s a close-up of the colors:

That’s where it gets tricky.

For a small townhome condo, we have A LOT of open area in our home. That greige will be everywhere, and it has to suit everywhere. I’m pretty sure Daniel is going to get tired of my over-using the word “greige” in random conversations when I drift off to decorating-land in my head and try to visualize how it will look in this area or that. (Side note: if you’re just as obsessed with the perfect greige as I am, Apartment Therapy had a great post on this very topic recently.) From the dining room to the hallway to the living room to the open staircase to the upstairs landing (which is practically large enough to be a small room of its own), we have one big tall-ceilinged room, esseentially. That’s what you get when you live in long and narrow. It’s a bit like living in Amsterdam.

The kitchen is a conundrum. Its countertops are apartment-bland and have a bit more yellow in their light toned cream than I would like.

I’m pretty sure that countertop would clash with any greige I picked, since I’m going for slightly cooler-toned neutrals. With the all-white cabinets paired with those cream countertops. I just don’t know what to do! White, maybe? Or pale yellow? We have silver, white, and red appliances. I don’t want to go dark or it will feel claustrophobic, and I don’t want to go too bright because of the pass-through window to the dining room has a full view of the bright accent wall I’m planning. I’ll have to think on that.

Fortunately, with our budget still not covering painting any of the rooms, I have a while to mull it over. I just don’t want to take too long. After all, this is a temporary rental home while we save for a house. We might be here two or three years, but we’re certainly not going to be here beyond that, and I’d like to enjoy it and feel like I’ve completed its design before we leave!

Hmm. That Amsterdam sky color wouldn’t be bad in our bedroom …

{Photos: Amsterdam row houses - alesia17; Our house – Andrea B of Behind Closed Drawers}

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1 Comment

Filed under Dining Room, Kitchen, Living Room, Painting

One response to “Picking Paints: Or, In Search of the Perfect Greige

  1. Pingback: The Great Media Console Search | Behind Closed Drawers

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