Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Little Break & The Paint Dilemma

Hopefully you had a happy, happy Thanksgiving this week!  I took a blogging break while we were enjoying some time with the fam.  

Both sides of our families love Thanksgiving, so we did lunch with my family in Maryville, TN and dinner with his family in LaFollette, TN.  The Needhams rented a mammoth cabin in the mountains and all 431 (a slight exaggeration) of us packed in and enjoyed turkey, fire, and togetherness.  

Before dinner, Grant's Aunt Meredith whipped out her camera and took some pictures of each family unit...


She snapped this one of Grant and me out in the be-yooo-tee-ful wilderness. (Unfortunately, the girls... our dogs... were being boarded, so they couldn't be in the family pictures. Sad!)

Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday, and we had such a nice, relaxing time.  This year, we were especially grateful to be back in Chattanooga and to have supportive families and sweet pups. 

Hope you had time to enjoy the things you are thankful for! 

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One of the most difficult things in decorating is choosing a wall color. (Maybe it's just me?)  The sheer number of choices is overwhelming, then throw in the thought of trying to pick just one based on a two-inch square.  It's enough to make me feel nervous already.

Fret not, though! I have painted many a-room!  Some have turned out like I envisioned, some have not.  (I painted our kitchen in Birmingham twice in the span of about six months because the first was not what I had in mind.)

Here are some things I have learned... mostly the hard way.

Find the color you like, then go lighter:  Typically colors-gone-wrong are wrong because the color is too intense, too bold, or too dark.  The lighter color will look more like the color you want once you get it on the walls.  Why? Because unless you live in a model home staged for a photo shoot, there isn't as much light in your room as there is in that room on Pinterest or on the paint store's idea card.  Also in the dark corners, along the floor and ceiling, the lighter color will be darker.

For example,


I wanted the master bedroom to be robin's-egg blue, and I really liked the gray-green undertones of Benjamin Moore's "Kensington Green" (on the center paint strip above).  However, because robin's egg-blues are tricky, and I've only ever regretted going too dark, I chose "White Rain," which is the lightest shade on the same paint chip.  This guarantees the color I chose has the same undertones and feel of the color I want, but none of the darkness... or regret.


Secondly, there is a way to narrow down all those choices:  I avoided a paint-color-choosing meltdown by finding colors I liked on Pinterest or other blogs and writing down the names. I mean, I wrote down a lot of paint color names... maybe 60-80?  Then I took my list to the paint store and found the chips I saw online.  I ruled many of them out, and some colors were on the same chip or in the same family.  I walked out with 23 paint chips (some are shown in the picture above)- a much more manageable number, but still plenty of shades of beige, blues, and grays from which to choose.  When we needed to paint the living room, my office, the hallway, etc., we chose colors from our chips; those were our only choices.  The keyring of paint chips definitely simplified the process.

Use the least sheen you can get away with:  Most paint stores recommend a semi-gloss for kitchens and bathrooms, but you can generally get a similar durability from satin or soft-gloss without the harsh reflective quality.  Also, if you're using the lighter version of the color you want, you won't need the sheen to bounce light around.

Now go fearlessly conquer paint color decisions!

Happy painting!

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