Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Goodbye Pistachio!

One of the first things we wanted to get rid of when we bought the house was the paint. The last homeowners really had a way of picking colors. I say that with as much kindness as possible. Literally every.single.wall in this house has to be repainted. I find it really hard to believe that they lived with this palate!

Case in point. The entry way/stairway/upstairs hall. Oh heavens. Some called it pistachio. Key lime. Green? Yellow? Puke?? It really hit you in the face when you walked into the house. It changed shades throughout the day all over the spectrum of hideous. Alright. I might be exaggerating a tad. But it really was quite unpleasant and not one person disagreed. Honestly, it is yellow. Yellow is SUCH a hard color to paint a home. Almost no one gets it right. I don't mess with yellow. They clearly shouldn't have either.

We (meaning, Steve) actually ended up painting the downstairs bath before this space because we thought we (again, Steve) would knock out the entry/stairway/playroom wall first, but in the end we decided we couldn't wait for that. We figured, we'll just paint and then repaint as need be when/if we do the wall removal in the future. Thank goodness!

I went back and forth on colors, but after living here a bit we decided to go with a gray color scheme for the house. Not all gray per se, but gray tones. My style is leaning more towards neutral walls and punches of color in accessories and art. I think in the last house, I used more color on the walls (red, chocolate brown, New England blue etc) because I wasn't sure how to incorporate color into our home. Now I have a better idea of how I want to pull off certain schemes, and it's not on the walls.

So, for the hall we chose a gray-green. It had to be something light/bright enough since the same color would flow up the stairs and into the windowless hallway. I also wanted something that would go well with all the adjoining rooms, and this one seems to be it. Now that I've lived with it the last few weeks, I like it even more actually. It is Sherwin Williams Ancient Marble. We had Lowe's color match their Olympic Premium No-VOC paint to that. It is very soothing and welcoming when you walk in and has a modern edge to it because of the gray tone and crisp white trim. I told you about the trim before right? How it's the same color as the FLAT walls?? Yeah.... Hello semi-gloss white!! Love you.

For this project we also painted the black metal stair railing white. When we tackle the opening up of the other side of the stairway into the play room, we'll be replacing it with a wood one. Until then, it looks infinitely better white.

Here is the space before. Don't mind the terrible before shots. I told you, I'm not great with those yet. Getting better though, promise.

So these shots don't make the wall color look bad at all! Here it looks like a normal yellow. Don't let them fool you. These were taken on the iphone at night. Not accurate. But you get the idea. These were after Steve started spackling (he really likes spackle, as you can tell).


See that wall on the other side of the stairs? We are hoping to open it so that it reflects the open side. It will really open up the room. It is a load bearing wall though, so we have to decide how we want to do it. Here is a shot of how it will look though, if opened (I realize this is a tangent):

Better huh? That is exactly how our entry looks, with the dining room on the other side. It will make a big difference. 

Back to the point though. Here is the upstairs. We are also planning on replacing those lovely '90s hollow-core doors. They are next up actually! Those and the brass door knobs. Gotta love 1996 (when the house was built). They just make the space seem so much darker than it really is (plus these were at night, like I said). Again with the non-white trim...


(I'm standing in the master doorway here)

After priming & painting the walls (satin) and trim (semi-gloss), here it is (try to imagine how nice it will look without that wall!)

Don't mind the lack of artwork or the random chair and wreath. Like everything in the house, it's in progress. Trying to decide what I want to do in the entry. Love the bright, fresh door now (it was cream before).
And upstairs (sorry it was nap time so all the doors are closed, making it pretty dark):

Here are some side by sides (don't mind the difference from iphone and real camera, in terms of size):

Once you see the after shots, you can sort of see just how bad the yellow was. I love me some bright white trim! It looks nice and clean now.

Left on the to-do list for this area:
-Figure out artwork for entry & stairs
-Hang chandelier above stairs in the big open space (sorry you can't see it here)
-Entry way furniture
-New white paneled doors
-New satin nickel hardware
-New white outlets and switches (bisque now, yuck!)
-Open up stair wall

So much nicer already! Brighter. Cleaner. Fresher.
Up next, I'll show you around the almost-done playroom. We worked on it all weekend and it is really coming along.


  1. Great job! So fresh and clean looking :-)

  2. can you let us know what color the gray walls are...looking for a nice gray for our bedroom...thx:)

    1. hi! the green-gray we used here is Sherwin Williams Ancient Marble. We had Lowe's color match it to their Olympic Premium No-VOC paint. Here is the formula and such:


Thanks for your feedback!