Friday, March 21, 2014

Paint it grey (with a little bit of blue)

After far too much deliberation, I chose my paint colours for the house last weekend. Our painters were coming this week, so I couldn't put it off any longer. I gathered my inspiration photos and a ton of paint chips from various stores (I'm not kidding, I had stacks of Behr chips, Benjamin Moore, Debbie Travis, Martha Stewart and a few paint companies I had never heard of). I got out my house plans and starting making my selections, writing down which room each colour would go in.

Here were a few of my inspiration photos - some of which I had been holding on to for over three years. The photo below is from Patti Rosati's home, featured in August 2011's issue of House & Home. I loved the bold colour of the bookshelves. It's Benjamin Moore's Chelsea Gray.

Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray

The next photo was featured in my blog post about narrow homes. I love so much about this room, not just the paint colour, but the overall colour scheme, the sparkling chandelier and those amazing windows. The paint colour is Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore.

benjamin moore coventry gray

And in case you thought that was enough gray-toned were wrong. I recently read an interview with Jeffrey Alan Marks where he was asked what his favourite paint colour was. His answer? Farrow and Ball's Downpipe (seen below). Since I was looking at Benjamin Moore paints, I found a pretty good match for it - Kendall Charcoal.

Farrow and Ball Downpipe
The only non-gray colour in my inspiration files was the blue-gray in the photo below. It's the living room in Patricia Herrera Lansing's NYC apartment. You can tour the whole fabulous home here. I haven't been this crazy about a colour that's not gray in a long time. The article didn't allude to the paint colour so I took the photo to my local Benjamin Moore dealer and we figured the closest match was Oxford Gray.

I took my corresponding paint chips, and pulled a few out of my existing paint chip collection, and started to narrow down my choices. This is what I went with for the second floor (each paint chip somewhat haphazardly sits on the room it's destined for). You can see from the scribbles that I changed my mind a few times on where the colour would go. All the paint chips are Benjamin Moore with the exception of Debbie Travis' Cloud Dance. Instead of going with Coventry Gray as in my inspiration photo above, I went with Subway Tile because Josh liked it better. The hallway will be Decorators White.

The main floor's predominant colour will be Decorators White. It's an open-concept space and I have a lot of colourful accessories, so it seemed like the best way to go. The colour, for the most part, will be upstairs. The main floor powder room and office will be the only spaces with colour on that level.

The powder room will likely end up wallpapered with Thibaut's Broadway pattern below. For now, we'll have it painted Kensington Blue, which complements the paper. As we may just end up wallpapering behind the vanity instead of the whole room, it was important to find a paint that worked well with it. We'll see how healthy our house budget is when the house is done before wallpapering. I'd prefer to paper the whole room, but one wall may be a more budget friendly option.

Thibaut's broadway
My office is still a bit up in the air. For now it's being painted white, and I plan to wallpaper the back wall so it's the first thing you see when you walk in. My grand plan was to go with Jonathan Adler's Syrie pattern, seen below. I ordered it from their Saskatoon distributor, but got a call from them a few days later. It turns out that Jonathan Adler won't ship to them unless they order a minimum of six rolls. I just needed one roll. As their standard rolls are actually triple rolls, six rolls is a lot of paper. They had to cancel my order and I tried to order from JA's website instead. No dice - they don't ship wallpaper internationally. I love this pattern so much that I'm not giving up just yet...I'm going to see if they have a distributor in a larger city (perhaps Calgary or Edmonton) that would be more likely to order in six rolls).
Jonathan Adler's Syrie
The Saskatoon distributor had a sample book so I was able to see the pattern in person and take the photo below. I'm convinced that having this happy pattern on my walls will help get the creative juices flowing. I've gotta find a way to get my hands on it. If it proves elusive, I'll come up with a plan B.

I originally chose Ben Moore's Metallic Gray to cover the other three office walls, complementing the light gray in the wallpaper. When I heard the news about my wallpaper order, I changed the office colour to white, just in case the paper doesn't pan out. Kensington Blue is my only bold colour on the main floor...for now.

I'm making my final decisions on shower tile this weekend. I'll also be getting quotes on countertops, choosing my kitchen cabinet handles/pulls and picking out faucets and sinks. Stay tuned!


Sylvia said...

why don't you ship to a PO box in US? or a friend? there's always Ogdensburg near Ottawa.. If your parents are going to visit anytime?

daringtobe said...

Perfect timing for this post-- we're painting the sofa wall in our living room a darker grey. Now I feel like you've done the research for me. ;) Glad the house is coming along & can't wait to see the finished product!

Jules said...

Hey Syl! Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately Jonathan Adler's site seems to look at your IP address before letting you check out. If you've put things in your cart that aren't available for international shipping, they remove them from your cart when you go to pay. So, I'd actually have to bug someone in the US to buy it for me, and ship it to me....and I'm not sure I could pester someone that much! I'm going to see if a company in Ottawa will sell it to me, and mom could bring it with her when she visits in May.

Brea - Super happy the post came in handy! Come for a tour of the house soon and you can see the paint colours in person!

Kate said...

it's a long shot, but is the wallpaper available in London (UK)? i'd happily ship it over to you!

Jules said...

Aww...thanks for the offer Kate! I haven't done much more research into it lately, but I'll let you know if I need to pester you further :) Thanks!