"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Color Me Happy

Back when I was in High School, I was heavily into art.  I had some skill drawing although painting and sculpture were more difficult for me.  Most of the honor's or awards that I won in art competitions were with my black and white pieces. 

Pencil, ink, charcoal...That sort of stuff. 

Then I went to collage and discovered that art doesn't pay the bills so I went into general undergraduate studies.  I found that Psychology was VERY interesting to me.  I aced those classes as easy as breathing.  I loved delving into figuring out how people tick. 

Until I figured out I'd have to work with crazy people. 

Uh...not so much.  So I gave that up as a profession even though I still enjoy analyzing people and situations.  Long time readers have seen me write posts that link to different personality tests like Myers-Briggs.  (I'm an INFJ BTW)

Anyhow, one of the more interesting things that I've always enjoyed is discovering how people respond to color.  Oh, there are personality tests for that too, but I always like to keep it simple.

Do you like warm or cool colors?  Very basic. 

And I'm always aware and surprised how different I feel emotionally if a room is decorated warm or cool.

For example, the office building that I work in is going through a huge remodel.  Before everything was grey, blues, whites and silver...very cold considering it's a medical office. 

I've hated it from the first day I walked in it. 

They've got a smart designer running the show now who is incorporating both warm and cool colors.  Very smart!  Creamy beiges to offset the whites.  Carmel brown carpets with a rich blue pattern.  Softer lighting instead of harsh fluorescents.  Something to suit the comfort level of all personality types and trust me, it makes a difference in how a patient feels.

So whenever I make decorating choices for my own home, I always go warm.  SM too likes warmer tones but lets me guide the way as far as decorating goes.

The new loveseat and recliner are upholstered in what was described as a "Heather Brown".  The sample swatch we looked at when we ordered it could be described as a rich brown with an undertone of gray.  I wasn't sure at the time but it was the best of the three colors they offered so we went ahead and ordered it.  Once delivered, it appeared more grayish brown than I would have wished.

It also looked horrible with the deep gold walls that the living room was currently painted.

"I don't mind it at all."  SM replied to my observation several months ago that the room now looked like crap and that we'd need to redecorate because of the new furniture.

"Repaint.  New pillows, curtains.  Probably new art work and furniture too."  I said ticking off a list of changes that needed to be made.

"It's fine...really."  SM said in a last ditch effort to try to keep his wife from spending a boo-coo wad of cash.

I'm on to him though.

"Sorry Baby, it's gotta be done and it's way over due anyway.  Most of this stuff is 20 years old.  Get with the program!"  I told him swatting his backside.

So this weekend I taped up color swatches.  Hemmed and hawed.  I wanted a neutral tone like a soft beigey brown and SM agreed.  I ran over to Sherwin William's who was having a 40% off Sale this past weekend.  I brought home a sample size can of the color we wanted (this ain't my first rodeo) and applied it to several walls. 

What we didn't expect was that the room itself changes the colors we put in it.  

It dried and we stood back, judging. 

"Huh.  Does that look gray to you?"  SM asked me. 

"Yeah.  Do you like it though?"  I asked SM thinking that maybe I was going a bit overboard with the whole warm-cool thing.

"I'm not sure.  It does look good with the new furniture."  SM pointed out.

"Yeah, but could you see yourself being comfortable in here?"  I asked.

"It's definitely cold."

"So no."  I confirmed.  I walked back to the kitchen table where I'd laid the paint tray. 

"Look at that."  I said pointing.  "In this light it looks warm.  In there it looks cold!  It's gotta be the lighting."  I said shaking my head.

"Well...that's what happened in the bathroom too."  SM said.  "We'd bought that nice cream color and it ended up looking peachy."

"Very true.  I wonder how the peachy color would look in here?"  I mused.

"I don't want peach in here!"  SM slamming on the breaks.

"I'm just curious if it will look like a warm beige."  I told him, heading into the garage for the left over paint.

Applied and dried.  Judgment? 

"It looks white!  And cold!"  I said astonished.  "Are you kidding me?"

"I wonder what the kitchen yellow would look like in here?"  SM asks.  "I like that color.  Maybe it will be neutral enough."

Yellow as a neutral?  I shrugged.  Might as well see what happens, so I went and grabbed that.  Applied and dried.

"Much better!"  SM tells me.  "Lighter and brighter."

"And softer.  Not bad at all."  I say.  "Are you sure you're OK with me continuing the yellow in here?" 

"Yeah.  Some houses do that, you know.  The same color throughout."

So there we have it.  Taped up, two coats, tape down and 7 hours later. 

Ta Da!

Much softer in person than what the picture shows. 

Now I need to stain the wood trim, paint the back door, find curtains and accessories. 

Not sure if I'll do that today or not.  The garden is calling to me. 



  1. I think it looks nice. My requirement is that the cat hair shouldn't show (that much) on the furniture...or maybe I should say cat barf since that's what the darn critters have been doing lately. It's shedding season. You must have the same problem with the dogs. Sometimes when I get to work and look down at myself, I think I'm turning into a cat.

  2. Funny how one thing (the purchase of a new couch) suddenly turns into 10 new things on your to do list!

  3. Although I'm a sucker for yellows, the second picture does look nicer with the furniture. I've been wanting to paint my only (non log) kitchen wall a yellow. Wann'a come over & slap up some paint for me? :)

  4. It's lovely! :) Great job! In my experience, painting isn't for the fain of heart. :)

  5. You should be happy . . . the new paint on the living room walls looks great. Yellows are always cheery, warm and welcoming. At least in my book. (Or on my walls.)

  6. Lookin' good. My, you are certainly ambitious! One lil' thing like paint color can make such a big difference.