Saturday, March 16, 2013


Choosing paint colours is intense, especially when you have to choose for 10 rooms at once, rooms that you're not actually living in. You hem and haw for weeks, and then suddenly one morning, Keith calls and says, "have you got those paint colours, then?" and you just have to decide.

We started with the backsplash tile; hand-poured glass by Stone and Pewter Accents called "Agate" in a "silk" finish. Here's a link, in case you're interested in the process (better pictures that this too). This photo doesn't do it justice: it's a beautiful mix of transparent and opaque glass in natural blues and greens. It has the sea colours I was looking for, but soft and subtle.

A few weeks back, I met with a colour consultant, Amber Welton, and she gasped when I showed her the tile, and just said "yes. It's beautiful. That's your first choice, and it's gorgeous. Don't even show me any more." (I had a pile of samples.) It's informed all our subsequent colour choices.

I love over-dyed carpets! Found this blue one over-dyed with green on a really good sale at East India Carpets! How perfect is that?

Then began the obsessing over paint colours.

We gathered many paint chips... Luckily, the girls thought it was jolly good fun!

Does anybody want a bunch of almost-full sample cans of paint, some of them the half litre size, mostly in the blue/green/teal range?

We tested a bunch ...
....and took them over to the house to see how they'd look under various lights. 

 And here are some of the choices:
Farrow and Ball Green Blue. 
My friend Jo Sommervill (Hi Jo, if you're reading this!) introduced me to F&B paints years ago, and they really are unique paints, and particularly well suited, I think, to the kind of plaster walls we have. Expensive, but in the grand scheme of things, paint is pretty cheap anyway, so definitely worth it, I'd say. 

The two main colours for the hallways and main rooms on the ground floor are in these soft turqoisey colours. It was hard to find a balance between having some colour and not being too intense, toned down without being dull. F&B hits it right on the money, IMHO. 
Colours are never accurate on the computer, but you get the idea. 

F&B Teresa's Green (just a lighter version of Green Blue). Both colours look lighter in real life.

Ah, love it! Called "Morning Walk" by Benjamin Moore. Something a little brighter for the kitchen. Brings out the green in the backsplash tile and contrasts with the blue. Really reminds me of the green in our old kitchen, which is the first thing Michelle said when she saw it last night!

F&B Cooking Apple Green for the guest bedroom upstairs (though we had the colour copied in a more utilitarian brand).

An off-white, the name of which I can't recall, for the wainscotting and trim downstairs [edit: it's "Timid White" by Ben Moore]. I wanted it to be a neutral, soft, creamy off-white. Not too white as there's going to be a lot of it! I agonized over this white, so fingers crossed!

Katie wanted pink. It's a really pretty, soft pink, aptly named "Ballerina Pink" by BM.

Fifi wanted blue; this is Harbour Haze by BM. These rooms are actually done already. Will post pics tomorrow.

I wanted to find a ceiling colour that would glow! And this definitely does it! It's quite amazing. Has a bit of a greenish undertone, which perfectly creates the "ethereal" look I had in mind but wasn't sure how to achieve! So pleased!

It's Cloud Nine by BM. Darker than the ever-popular Cloud White, which the colour consultant recommended and which we are using for trim in the bedrooms.

Random pictures.

Thinking about colours made me think about this Still Life with Fruit at Jane and Lorraine's place, which was just begging to be photographed. And what a beautiful backdrop that wall colour makes!

And that made me think about the baked apples they made that night. Delicious and photogenic. You see why we didn't want to move out of this neighbourhood?


Unknown said...

I love everything! It is surprisingly difficult to pick out paint colours. I agonized over a grey colour, eventually wound up just grabbing one off the shelf and going with it. Unfortunately it's more mauve than grey. Oh well, too late now. I love the carpet too. Back when you posted about the carpets you wanted and that they were very expensive I was blown away cuz I had been surfing around internet looking at almost identical carpets just the day before. Us sisters have almost identical tastes. It must be those years of browsing through the Sears catalogues.

Unknown said...

Yep, Sears catalogue was our Pinterest then: like. Don't like. Like. Yeah, I did what you did with a couple of colours. Hadn't quite nailed them when Keith asked for them, so eyeballed the chips in the store, and just bit the bullet. (Granted, I had an idea of what I wanted and had collected a few chips that were close but not quite right.), but it's amazing how well that can work out sometimes. I once agonized over greys for months, painting strips on on the walls, etc, and finally had to choose, so picked one based on a chip in the store, and it was absolutely perfect: called Airstream, but I can't now find it (tough one to google). Greys are hard because because, like white, there's always some kind of undertone. Here's a good page with lots of greys.