Home Decor

Painting the houseWhen I first started thinking about having the inside of our house repainted, I always knew I’d want to go simple and neutral. For years I’ve lived with my misguided attempts at rustic-Tuscany-sponge painting in the kitchen and my older daughter’s more successful vegetarian peach-and-eggplant bedroom. I’m ready to change my style to calm and serene — with an eye to selling the house someday. A Realtor who came to give us redecorating tips said to go neutral. Our painters said to go neutral. When we went Repaintingto the paint store, the folks there said to go neutral and recommended a Pittsburgh Paint color called Dusty Trail. It was the newest most-popular house color around, they said, and I would be so happy with it. But I hesitated. I couldn’t decide: Was it too dark? Too olive-y? Too green? Too non-neutral? Husband painted a sample on a box — and did it very well, I might add — and we all agreed that it was a “yes.” But this past week when the painters first started putting Dusty Trail up on the walls, I did not like it. At all. I was second-guessing. I had paint anxiety attacks. It was the dark olive-y green all over again. I wondered how much it would cost to start over. But then, when the wall was completed and it was a solid block of color, I fell in love with its rich creamy neutral wonderfulness that adds depth without darkness. I finally understood why everybody said it was so good. For whatever weird reason, I’m telling you, the color looks so different when it’s right next to our old off-white than it does when it’s up on a wall all by itself. I do not know why this is. I’m sure it’s something that happens with paint and colors. But I’m glad it’s happening in our house on our walls.

And I love our painters. They are like your friends who come over and sweep up their messes and eat their lunches outside and tell you that the sofa really would look better over in that corner.

11 thoughts on “Home Decor

  1. Choosing paints can be a very challenging journey. You need swatches and a bottle of aspirin. The paint looks different from the swatch to the inside of the paint can itself. But you have to have faith, and let the paint dry down. It seems like now your paint anxiety has gone away, and you’re a happy camper. I’m glad for you. I have been in the same boat many times over. It’s a difficult task, but rewarding in the end.

  2. I went through the ‘rustic Tuscany’ look myself in my last house! Your colour looks very calming, and I love the reflections in the brass of the fire surround.

  3. Ooh, it looks nice! And your painters do sound wonderful.

    I too am living with the “Tuscan” faux-finish job that the previous homeowner wanted. Humph.

  4. My wife overstates my efforts in painting a sample of Dusty Trail on the side of a big box and understates how charming her sponged-on kitchen paint job really was. She was very brave to try that in the first place.

    Besides, I think paint chip always look dark.

  5. I’m a real estate agent; Dusty trail or some variation thereof is used more than any other color. Once the trim is painted white, it looks fresh and neutral – a BIG DEAL in real estate.
    If you are going to stay in a house 10 years, paint it however you want. If you are thinking of selling, definitely time to tone it all down and remove as much of your personality as possible.
    Now, I must give kudos to my ever cooperative husband who applied a finish to my diningrm/livingrm walls that I love. It is a cream color, rustic plaster effect and it was a lot of work to get it right.
    I live in an old house and when I’m sitting in these rooms, I feel like I’m back in Europe, sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen. (Cheaper than a trip overseas).

  6. Thanks so much for the encouragement. I have had my doubts but I’m glad we stuck with it — it does look so fresh and clean and everybody agrees we made the right choice.

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