Going Grey: Choosing a Paint Color

Happy Thursday! Thanks for all the Facebook feedback after my last post.  Grey is such a popular color and it’s fun to hear what shades all of you have chosen for your own homes.  Two colors many of you mentioned were also colors I’d considered for our living room:  Chelsea Gray and Revere Pewter (both Benjamin Moore).


(via Southern Living)

I’ve had the above photo pinned for quite some time now. I just love the deep warmth of the lighter gray walls (Revere Pewter) as it contrasts with the island (Chelsea Gray). Both colors give off a vintage vibe and I love that they pair well with a variety of accent materials such as copper, oil-rubbed bronze, natural wood, gold, silver, and marble.

Knowing Chelsea Gray was darker than I desired, I choose to start my paint search with Revere Pewter. I’d  heard so many great things about the color, I was sure it would be perfect before I even opened the sample can. This would be the easiest paint choice ever.


Chelsea Gray


Revere Pewter         

Wrong. I loved Revere Pewter when I first painted it on our walls, but as it dried, it got much darker than I desired. Still a lovely color, but not what I was going for. After seeing Revere Pewter on the wall and observing the contrast between trim and wall color, which was greater than I expected, I knew I’d need to go lighter than I thought to obtain the seamless look I wanted. I took a second look at my inspiration pins and realized the wall color was barely darker than the trim, so I headed to Lowe’s and Home Depot to look for a paint color that would fade gently into the background and let my furniture make a statement. With more direction and focus, I grabbed a handful of light gray paint color cards even crossing over into the tinted white color section. When I got home, I held each color up against the trim in various location in my dining and living rooms, easily crossing out all but two options.  I set those two cards on the edge of my dining room table and left them there for a week so that I could monitor them at various times of the day to make sure they worked in all kinds of light.

I also searched online and found the following colors that helped guide me to the right shade and intensity:



Cloud Nine (Benjamin Moore)

While I monitored my paint cards and pondered over Pinterest recommendations, I made one last-ditch effort to make Revere Pewter work.  I took it to my local Sherwin Williams store and had them lighten it by 75% by adding white to the original color.  Again, I came home, sure that I had made the world’s best paint color even better, but again was not pleased with the results when I painted it on my walls. It just looked purple.

By this time, I was starting to warm to one of the colors that had been sitting on my dining room table for the past week: Silver Birch by Glidden, picked up hastily at Home Depot.


Silver Birch, Glidden

I decided I liked it enough to buy a sample. When I painted it on my walls, it looked nearly white, but as it dried, it took on a subtle warm-grey tint that just slightly contrasted with the trim.  I let it dry fully and then continued to monitor how it looked in the morning, noon, and afternoon light, and most importantly in the evening with artificial lighting.  I was pleasantly surprised that I loved the color variations throughout the day.  As different light hit the wall, Silver Birch ranged from a white to a warm grey, but never took on yellow undertones.  Sold!


 The physical work of painting lies ahead of us, but the hard part of choosing a color is done!  If there’s anything I learned from choosing a color, it’s that natural lighting makes all the difference.  What works in one home might not in another simply due to lighting. The paint-card-on-the-table was a great trick that worked well for me.  It required some patience, but it really helped me to see how paint colors varied throughout the day before I purchased and painted a sample on my wall.

I can’t wait to show you the final results of the room.  We’re planning a paint party within the next few months – anyone care to join us?


Going Grey

It’s a long story, but when my husband I decided to move back to our hometown four years ago, we were lucky enough not to have to hunt for a house we loved. It was one of those “perfect timing” things that led to our house never actually going on the market. We sort of fell in love with it at first sight during the restoration and claimed it for our own. Because of our relationship with the previous owner, we were able to have input on many finishing details, consult about certain aspects of the rehab project, and even help out with a few tasks. A win-win for all involved.

Of course, we were fortunate that the previous owner also had good taste, so most of the chosen paint colors were ones we also loved. The dining and living rooms were painted a calming neutral called Canvas Tan (Sherwin Williams). When we moved in, the only furniture we owned to outfit these rooms was a dining room table and a couch. The color has worked well as we’ve collected additional pieces and defined our style over the past four years, but the time has come to make a change.


We’ve decided to go grey.

While Canvas Tan is a fantastic neutral that I will keep in my paint color arsenal, it’s beginning to feel too yellow to me. I’m craving walls that disappear with a grey that is warm, but barely noticed. Both living and dining rooms receive plenty of natural light, which we take advantage of by leaving the curtains open most of the day. In searching back through my pinterest board, I came across the following photos that capture the look and feel I’m hoping to achieve.

02-pretty-little-things-living-room-0414-lgn-83250734   via Country Living


via  Coco Lapine Design


via Country Living




via Vintage Whites

Choosing a warm, pale grey that acts as a quiet canvas will enhance the architectural details of our old home and the vintage pieces we’ve had fun collecting over the past few years.  It’s a small change that I’m hoping will make the perfect difference.  Check back soon for a reveal of our pale grey paint color candidates, our completely informal and unscientific process for narrowing down our choices, and, of course, the big winner!


From Blue to Beautiful: A Bathroom Remodel

Today we are so very excited to bring you the story of our first design consult job! Heather contacted us a couple months back, asking if we would be interested in helping her with the design of her upcoming bathroom remodel. It was rather surreal, as our dream of consulting was finally being realized. We headed on over to see what we were working with and…holy wallpaper!!!




The floral wallpaper and blue fixtures were visually overwhelming and we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us, but were excited to take on the challenge. The first big decision to be made was color scheme. Monochromatic (all whites and grey tones) or contrast (add in some dark wood and color)? Heather readily agreed with our initial suggestions of subway tiles for the shower surround, hexagonal white tiles for the floor, and grey for the wall. The vanity cabinet, however, was not such an easy decision. After nights of pinning ideas, shopping online and in local stores, and wrestling and grappling over choices, we all decided finally on a dark wood, stream-lined, carrera marble-topped piece. Beadboard, a shelving system above the toilet, and lots of primary colors for decorative accents rounded out the decision making to transform this dated bathroom into a classic, yet playful bathroom suited for kids. Here are the fabulous results:

IMG_7550            IMG_7545     photo 4photo 5    photo 3   photo 1





The styling was an absolute blast. An impromptu photo shoot of the family’s four beautiful kiddos provided sustenance for cute frames, purchased from Target and Tuesday Morning. The artwork is a mixture of framed pages from the family’s favorite bedtime story, “Goodnight Moon,” a fun graphic print, and an framed anchor. The anchor is fabric from Hobby Lobby and the mat surrounding it was cut from scrapbook paper from the same store. An estate-sale frame provides the contrast needed to complete the look. Another personal touch comes from the fun, polka fabric-covered initial for the family’s surname. The fun vase on the vanity countertop is a recycled bottle, covered in yellow burlap, mirroring the whimsical knobs on the cabinet doors, another Hobby Lobby find.

We could not have asked for a more wonderful job for our first. Heather and her amazing family were such a pleasure to work with. She never got overwhelmed with the decision-making process and listened to each suggestion with great attentiveness and consideration. Thank you, Heather, for reaching out and giving us this opportunity to express our creativity in your home.  We hope your family enjoys their new room for many years to come!


DIY: Easy Hand Painted Letters

Today I’m sharing my secret to hand lettering. This easy DIY project complements the greeting card art I recently hung over my bed and the technique can be used in a variety of ways.  The possibilities are endless, really.  As always, I hope this project gets your creative juices flowing!


After framing the Happily Ever After card, my little hand-painted “M” was missing its partner “A.” Here’s how I added the “A” in about an hour.



Choose your font.  I matched my “M” with the typewriter font that comes standard on my computer.  Check out dafont.com if you need some inspiration.  Size your wording and print.



When you’ve printed your letters or words, flip the page over and use a pencil to shade over the letter.  No precision necessary, just make sure you cover the entire letter or word.



Cutout your letters or words and lay them out on your paper for placement.



Using your pencil, trace the outline of your letter or word.  The graphite you shaded on the back of the letter will appear as an outline on your paper, making it easy to fill in with paint.




Fill in your lettering with your choice of paint.  It only takes a small dollop of paint.  A small brush will keep detailed letters precise.





  I’ve always enjoyed the process of hand-painted lettering and love the personal touch it adds to my home.  Try using it with your favorite font or with your own handwriting.  You can paint a favorite saying or inspirational quote to hang on the wall or paint your street address on your front door.  What hand-letterd projects do you have planned?