Sitting Room Makeover: Picking a Paint Color


This post is a lesson in going with your gut! I spent months researching inspiration for our dining-room-turned-sitting-room paint color. For the longest time I’d envisioned turning that space into a cozy, inviting, library-esque room with a traditional inspired vibe. I knew the time would come where I’d need to make a choice and I wanted to be ahead of the game. Let’s just say, I’m not the most decisive individual so planning ahead tends to work in my favor. I ended up gravitating toward a ton of blue-green-gray paint colors. My color of choice is typically in the green family, but there was something about the blue undertones that I was really drawn to so I took that as my sign to roll the dice with a little more color and saturation.

Because we live in a raised ranch, this particular room flows into the entry stairwell and the hallway. That means there is a lot of variation in light source which impacts the way color appears on each wall. I picked up three samples from Lowes to try in a few different locations. The same color looked completely different on an adjacent or opposing wall which, as you can imagine, made it very difficult to narrow down. The samples sat on the walls for a few weeks and as we got closer and closer to a free weekend we’d be available to paint I decided to just pick the one I had been leaning toward most – Cambridge Lily by Valspar. One might say Junie steered me in this direction – ha!

The second we started painting I knew in my heart of hearts it wasn’t the right one. I even said to Matt as we were painting the first door, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we painted all of this and I didn’t like it?” I just kept telling myself I needed to see more painted, then maybe the second coat would be a better reflection of the true color. After we finished painting the second coat on all of the doors and trim and slept on it for a night I hung my head and told Matt it wasn’t the one and I wanted to pick a new color. I think he saw it coming because he was a saint and offered to help repaint. Thank goodness!

Truth is, Cambridge Lily is a really beautiful color. Unfortunately, with part of the room in bright natural light and the hallway in complete shadow it was just reading way too blue and did not feel like the vibe I had in mind at all. I’ll certainly give blue another try in the future, but perhaps in a smaller space like the guest room.

Past Molly must have known what future Molly needed, because while I was sitting for weeks thinking about the samples on the wall I ordered swatch books from Farrow & Ball *just in case*. Turns out they came in super handy for round two of picking samples. I ended up getting F&B Light Blue and Pigeon color matched at Lowes in Valspar Signature. Both leaned more green than blue and didn’t feel nearly as saturated as Cambridge Lily. After throwing them both up on the wall and letting them dry Pigeon was a pretty clear winner. I was hesitant for a moment because I was worried it might be too dark, but when you know you know and that one FELT spot on. So, we painted again, but this time I knew it was right. I am so glad I didn’t let the extra work steer me away from picking a color I absolutely loved (and, even better, that Matt loved!)

We still have a bunch of painting to do in this space including painting the ceiling in the same F&B Pigeon, painting the railings, front door and fireplace a rich black and painting the bay window (though I haven’t decided on a color for that yet).

More to come!


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