Saturday, April 16, 2011

Living Room Blues

The drywall is up and mudding is well underway. We should be ready to paint within a week or two, so I'm busy finalizing color palettes for all the rooms. Since I have been looking at color chips and deliberating over palettes for more than a year, one would think the decisions would all have been made already! But not so. You know the axiom about the task expanding to fit the time available for it? That's exactly what has happened.

So here I am down to the wire and still going back and forth on colors, with the living room in particular posing a real challenge. I'm aiming for something that evokes the feeling of the sea, but not too clear and bright--something a little bit muddy instead, like waves during a storm. A greyish blue leaning toward aqua for the walls, and a chalky white with hints of grey-tan like a bleached seashell for trim and ceiling. Or maybe a slightly more putty color for the ceiling...? I also plan to use some darker blues for the French doors. And that's just the paint colors; furniture, fabric, and accessories will add their own color and style.

Here are all the top contending color chips along with some seashells I gathered on our latest trip to Georgia and South Carolina. Using the shells as a point of reference for the whites is helping me a lot. I've already weeded out the whites that are too cold, too bright, too yellow, too blue, or too violet--leaving just some lovely greyish and creamy whites.

For the blues, I'm drawing inspiration from the paintings of an artist from the Faroe Islands named Sámal Joensen-Mikines. I love his work. It seems to capture the sea in it's infinite variety and complexity of moods.

Lightness and darkness, high contrast, intensity, odd pairings of colors... And look at the accent colors! I love this Benjamin Moore "Evening Sky" #833 color with the painting below it. It's a little more purple than I would have ordinarily chosen to go with the palette above, but it might just add the right touch of warmth. Hmmm. Something to think about.

Artists are such great inspiration because they don't allow themselves to be constrained by "good taste" or "correct" color combinations.

I've tried to be inventive in color use before in quilting and house decor and it is a lot harder than it looks. Maybe it is just me, but I find it especially hard to pull off something that looks effortless and natural. Too matchy-matchy and the whole room looks forced. Too discordant and the effect is just plain ugly!

In about two weeks the choices will have been made and the paint will be on the walls--for better or for worse. I'll post photos and let you be the judge as to whether the final result matches my aspirations. Wish me luck.