Our house is a disaster. And I couldn’t be more excited about it.
We’ve been waiting years to do a few big projects to our house and finally took the plunge. The floors were ripped up last week, the walls needed a fresh coat of paint and the new floors will be installed this week. In the meantime, we’re living in a construction zone with all of our furniture moved out and no stove to cook on (which just means eating out or at friends’ houses and I’m not complaining about that!).
I posted about our flooring options and it was helpful to run through all of the choices and hear what you had to say. We made our final selection, placed the order and have let them acclimate in the house for the past few weeks (sneak peeks coming!). Well, once we pulled up all the carpet and existing hardwoods downstairs in preparation for the floor install, we decided it was the right time to paint the walls. Normally I’m the painter. I really don’t mind it and do a decent job. But the places that needed new paint the most – the stairway, ceilings, hallways and tall walls in the living room – were not areas I was excited about working on. Besides the difficulty factor, it would also take us weeks, and we just don’t have time with kids and soccer and work and the holidays coming up.
So we hired painters. I’ll tell you what, I may never go back to painting myself again. They do such amazing work and they are quick. Yay for nice people who paint houses for a living!
The only problem is that it costs money. And when you’re paying a bunch of money to have nearly every wall in your house painted, you really, really want to make sure you pick the right color. There are a million bigger issues out there than choosing paint colors, I am well aware. I felt ridiculous going back and forth, painting swatches, staring at five whites that looked exactly the same and yet I also didn’t want to waste money on a color that we didn’t love.
We knew we wanted white. I’ve been craving clean, fresh, light, bright. One peek at my living area pinterest board and you’ll instantly see what my eye is drawn to. We moved into our home 8 years ago and the walls and ceilings were all the same khaki-ish color. It’s a fine color, but started feeling dark – especially during our dreary Pacific Northwest winters when the sun doesn’t show up much. So white was the obvious choice.
But have you seen how many different white paints there are?! It’s slightly obnoxious and overwhelming. Some whites are cool (with blue undertones) others are warm (with yellow undertones), then there are those with pinky hues or grayish tints, bright whites that feel institutional, creamy whites that read yellow. Each color looks different depending on lighting, so a white that looks great in a friend’s house in Kansas City might not be the right choice for mine in Seattle.
We initially narrowed down our choices just based on the Sherwin Williams paint chips. I bought two sample pots and painted little swatches on several different walls (origami white and snowbound, if you’re curious). Snowbound was too stark, origami felt cold-ish. So back to the paint store to grab a few more samples. This time I compared each white to the existing color in our living room (wind’s breath, by benjamin moore). It is a good color – maybe a tiny too dark and muddy, so we wanted something in the same tone, but lighter and cleaner. I dabbed a little bit of the wind’s breath color on the paint chips to see how they compared.
I tried a few more colors (torque white, pearly white and white heron) and the winner was clear.
The funny thing about whites is that they look different on the paint card than they do on your walls. From the paint card, you would think white heron would be beige-ish. But just look at how white it looks when on the walls:
Even that first coat made such a big difference. Ryan was home when they started painting and he sent me a text: “I love the color! It’s white but not hospital and gray but not dark and tan but not dirt.” Which is basically exactly what we were going for.
Now that the painting is nearly finished, we’re so happy with the choice. Going white felt risky – white everywhere? don’t people usually paint their walls a color? – but I had to go with my gut on this one.
Now we just have to wait for the floors to go in (this week!) and this place is going to feel brand new. It’s a mess, but a pretty exciting mess!
(are you local and need a painter? We highly recommend JRV Painting. Tell them Emily sent you if you call).