Monday, April 12, 2010

Toning It Down a Little

We came a long way today in making decisions about who will paint our house and the colors we will use.  We’re both feeling like we may have averted the end result of our house looking like a colorful Guatemalan “chicken” bus.

At the recommendation of one of our potential painters we met with yet another interior designer who had some very different ideas about color.  First of all, it took a lot of courage for mild-mannered Hispanic Luis to warn us about the colors we were planning to use.  Most Hispanics would not dare to question the judgment of a potential client.  But Luis went a step further and hooked us up with Tim, an experienced interior designer who spent well over an hour at our house (at what turned out to be no charge) helping us pick another set of colors that we could live with for a long time.

Tim pointed out that our house was originally built in a colonial style but is much more modern in terms of its decoration.  So, whereas the first recommendation had us painting the chair-railed dining room in 3 colors, Tim recommended one color to minimize the existence of the chair rail.  Instead of a Chinese red wall in the living room that would clash with the brickwork of the fireplace, we now have a more subtle teal color. 

We now have a set of 3 rather warm neutral colors that will be mixed and matched to cover much of the wall surface, with an accent wall here and there.

The screaming oranges are gone.  The harsh yellow ceilings are traded for off-white.  Instead we will be introducing most of the color through furnishings and accessories, things that can much more affordably be changed if we get tired of them.

We have 3 estimates so far.  The bald Marine is on the high end.  The guy who got somewhat mixed reviews on Angie’s list is on the low end.  Luis is in the middle.  But after talking to Tim about his long-standing relationship with Luis, we are both convinced he will do a superb job.  And thanks to him, we now have a new set of colors that is less flamboyant and much more in line with our personalities.

It’s funny how things like this seem to work out for the best.


Blogger lacochran said...

As the owner of a red couch, I say


5:11 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

LA -- We obviously lost our nerve! We will be settling for red throw pillows that can be easily swapped out for teal or gold or any number of other colors. There are actually still some bright colors, but they are in the Benjamin Moore "Historic Colors" palette, which tend to be a little softer. And the transition from room to room will not be so abrupt, probably a good thing.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I must confess I am a "white walls" person, so I'm not the best for giving color advice. But it seems wise to town down the bright colors, because bright, funky colors are energizing at first and then rapidly exhausting. (I like white walls precisely because they're utterly blank, and they make art stand out.)

5:42 PM  
Blogger LiLu said...

Luis definitely sounds like the perfect balance for you guys. It IS funny how things like that work out, isn't it?

And, um, if you want "accents"? IKEA has a cow ottoman I have been coveting for about two years now. Just sayin'.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

Since you've been living comfortably for all these years with off-white walls, it probably would be best for you to be more conservative in your approach to adding color as you are doing now. And you've seen pictures of my house - I am not afraid of color!

You might even want to consider waiting on the accent walls until the majority of the background colors are finished. That way it will be easier to imagine the effect they might have and to see if they are even necessary. Adding color, even in such a subtle way, is going to completely change the character of your house. I'm excited for you!

10:03 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

What a great experience! Luis sounds absolutely perfect. He could have just done what you asked instead of trying to help make sure that you're happy with the end result.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

can't wait to see pictures and get your reactions to even a modest amount of color - I'm betting on Luis's and Tim's good advice...

7:12 AM  

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