Over the last few days, D and I have been working on the house, primarily getting the kitchen in order as that's where the most activity tends to happen while we're home. (As I'm typing this, I have a roasted red pepper sauce reducing on the stove for the next hour.) We cleared out the last of the kitchen items from our apartment and brought them back last night, so we're ready to fit my things in the remaining space once they arrive in a few weeks. And in probably four more car trips, we'll have the apartment totally empty.
The next project we're contemplating is painting our new place. The walls have seen some better days, and at the moment, every single room is the same color -- beige, as in the exact shade that comes in the Crayola box -- with the exception of the two extra bedrooms, which are Wal-Mart blue and Pepto-Bismol pink. Needless to say, we're eager to change this.
We found some neat websites that allow you to "paint" virtual spaces (generic images of kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms) with different colors so you can try out their effects. Basically, you just click and drag colors from a virtual palette -- nicely organized into reds, greens, yellows, etc., for easy reference -- into the scene provided. It's like a high-tech version of paint by numbers.
One program we tried even gives you the RGB values so you can reproduce the colors in any graphics program on a computer. So, armed with the numbers, I mocked up my own electronic paint chips to test around the house. The colors won't be identical to what comes out of the cans, but at least I can hold up my monitor against the comforter on our bed and say "Maybe?" -- or "Not even close."
What's a little baffling is how deceptive color is in small scale. What looks great painted on a virtual room -- covering the walls in their entirety, mind you, but limited to an image no more than 6" by 6" -- immediately looks overwhelming once you try to envision it in a full-size space. So I keep finding colors I think I love but then as soon as I test them out in human dimensions, I realize they're too intense. I think I've figured out a strategy, though: examine the color that looks good in miniature and then go to the section of the virtual palette categorized as "whites." The shades here are actually tinted (subtly) in hues that are like super-diluted versions of the colors from other parts of the palette. So far, I've been able to find the large-scale equivalents of what I've been testing online.
For the master bedroom:
The top row is what looked good in the virtual room. The bottom row contains options we might actually use. We have no headboard yet, so the only thing to worry about is the bed linens, which can be seen in the second picture from this post. Pretty?
And then for the kitchen and guest bedroom:
Again, the top row was good in miniature; the bottom row is what may work out in real life. I'm particularly leaning toward something close to the color at bottom right. The kitchen has warm woods for the cabinets, a slate tile floor with hints of green in it, and granite counters in a mainly flax color with veins of espresso, burgundy, and dark moss. The guest bedroom will have the red and gold comforter D's been using while I've been gone, which can be seen in this post.
Lastly, for the library, since it's a small room, we're thinking we'll be bold and try the green at the center of the top row in the palette above. Most of the furniture in that space will be white, and there will be throw pillows in mocha and pale pink.
The living room is proving to be more difficult to envision since its walls have the most square footage, transitioning into a stairway and two separate halls. D is also still deliberating on what color he wants for his office. More news as we narrow down our ideas! And certainly news when we actually get started painting. That won't happen for a while because of all our summer goings-on, but come September ...
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