Monday, August 10, 2015

Fifty Shades of Gray

It's dirty. It's clean. It's warm. It's cool. There are so many shades of gray. Too many? Maybe not enough?

It all started with the purchase of our first home. No more renting! We finally owned our very own house. We could finally paint it and make it our own. I really stepped out and painted it...taupe. I know, I know...I took a walk on the wild side. Hang on, it gets better.  I've learned a lot over the years of painting our home. For example, removing the switch plates is a lot easier than taping each one before painting. Also, don't change the color scheme of your living room if you are eight months pregnant. Once you have your baby and your hormones go back to normal, you might not be as pleased with your irrational color choice. 

Fast forward to our second home purchase, a true fixer upper.

It was a beautiful home built in 1929 with good bones that just happened to be stuck in the 70's. It came complete with avocado appliances and gold shag (matted) carpet. I couldn't start painting fast enough. At this point in my life paint colors didn't scare me and I had fun with it. So much so that a friend came over and saw my home for the first time and said, "You're house is so...(uncomfortable long pause)...FUN!" I know she meant it in a sweet sort of way but I have to admit, it was a bit much. Lesson learned: Too much of something is not always a good thing.

On to our current home. At some point a fixer upper is only fun if you have the time and the money, both of which were draining us therefore we made a huge decision to build a home. Now paint never scared me. It's just paint after all. If you don't like your choice, just paint over it. Well, that was until the builder wanted me to pick out paint colors for the entire house by a certain time. I stared at the hundreds, maybe thousands of paint swatches that stood in front of me. One by one, I picked out colors that I thought were pretty. I brought the color chips home, taped them to the walls and was very pleased with my choices. That was until all of the walls were painted. Initially, I thought the colors were very nice but once we moved the furniture in and hung curtains, I became dissatisfied with my choices. All of those pretty colors locked me into a color scheme that I couldn't get out of without repainting my walls once again. 

There were two lessons in this. 1) When picking out a wall color you should take into consideration the big pieces you are working with.(ex: your furniture, curtains, carpet, etc) These are things you probably wouldn't replace often. Accessories such as pictures, pillows, etc...can be replaced easily over time. Lesson 2) This one is huge! Buy a sample size of the paint you are considering. There is no way you can get a good idea of what the paint will look like off of a two inch color chip. Just because the color is pretty on the chip doesn't mean it will be pretty on your walls. 

Now for the final lesson. Be true to yourself and don't get caught up in trendy stuff. I recently became hooked on the show Fixer Upper.

 If you haven't seen this show, it's definitely worth checking out. You can visit their blog at for episode information and a peek at their awesome home transformations. On the show, they use a lot of shades of gray in their homes. Each home was prettier than the next so I thought it would be a fabulous idea to step outside of my box and go gray. Who knew there were so many shades of gray? I'll bet I picked up just about every swatch of gray that was out there. 

I remembered my "lesson's learned" and narrowed it down to a few different shades of gray and bought the sample sizes to try out on the walls. I successfully narrowed it down to a medium tone warm gray and proceeded to paint my kitchen. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I have painted my kitchen four time before this in only twelve years. It's not because I love to paint that much but rather because I hadn't learned my lessons yet. The color was beautiful. I loved it for about two weeks then something was bugging me. It's not that the color wasn't great, it just wasn't me. When looking around at my home, I realized that all of my furniture and accessories were warm toned and even though the gray was considered a warm gray, it wasn't me. 

Okay, so my lessons are learned. I have just painted my kitchen for the sixth time. 

I chose a warm beige.

 I know that sounds boring but it goes with everything. I wanted a neutral color that I could change up my accessories with the seasons or whenever I feel like it. Now I'm pretty sure that with all of those layers of paint, I have reduced the square footage in my kitchen but that won't stop me from painting again should I grow tired of my new paint color. It's just paint after all.


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