Photo by Joseph M. Nicolia
People sometimes assume that just because I write for a magazine known for its beautiful home ideas that I automatically have a perfect Southern home. Wrong.
I don't write about interiors. I do sit next to the homes section, so I get to see all that amazing fabric and furniture and hear about what my colleagues are planning. (This includes the side benefit of cupcake tasting, but I digress.)
So, contrary to popular belief, when it's time for me to work on my house I don't just wiggle my nose and have interior decorators at my disposal (though I did get that for my garden). We've been in our house for nearly five years, and it's taken me that long to figure out my aesthetic (which is really more loft dweller than suburban house), change my mind, and have the planets line up to be able to do what I'm about to do:
Have our foyer painted.
The background: our house is two stories, with the first floor open from room to room. Something nice for being able to watch a 4 yr old while cooking/paying bills/working entertaining, but difficult when choosing colors. The foyer unifies all the rooms on the first and second floors. Plus it's really tall, which means that painting it involves scaffolding and expertise far beyond our DIY reach. (I like my bone structure.)
On home improvement shows they always say paint is the cheapest way to change a room, but this is not one of those rooms and that is not always true (especially when you take into account those of us who aren't great painters and change our minds before the paint dries).
So I set out to find the perfect color. No rookie to the paint process (second house, and have done lots of other rooms) I thought finding the right gray would be easy. Wrong. I went to Sherwin Williams. Benjamin Moore. Restoration Hardware. To the Interwebs and blogs and friends. What was their "must-have" paint?
And I came up with this (which is not true to color because my flash was acting funky):
The cans were lined up side by side. (And at $5 and $7.50, it's not a cheap endeavor.) A friend slid me her "recipe" for a no-fail color. I watched the samples turn various shades of blue, green, purple, and brown in the early morning and then evening light.
Forgive me for going into Carrie Bradshaw territory here, but why do we obsess over paint colors? Yeah, I know it's just paint and it can be changed. Perhaps it has something to do with our attempt to gain control, to achieve an effect based on picking up "Lemongrass" or "Uncertain Gray."
I'd like to say that in my case it's just about covering the knicks in the walls, and for creating a uniform palette of greys and browns upon which to hang the art and photos that tell our story. But if that was the case, why would I spend this much time lingering over paint chips and cleaning brushes in the sink?
What color is my parachute?
Stay tuned. Hopefully it works. If so, I'll share tips. If not, I'll be back at the paint store, saying, "can you match this???"