Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How many swatches does it take to paint a room?

By my count, at least 20!

I had a vision for what I wanted my boys' room to look like, and it involved a fairly dark wall color. I'm not afraid of wall color--the further away from white or cream it is, the happier I am! But choosing the right shade was tricky. If I was off just a little bit, the room would look like an 80s remake. And while those 80s styles are coming back in clothing, they're definitely not returning to popularity in home decor!
I was aiming for a dark teal. Every time I went to a home improvement store (often), I picked up more swatches. What looked perfect in the store was murky deep-sea green or super blue at home. Twice I thought I had the right swatch picked out and brought home a sample jar to try on the wall.

I wasn't kidding when I said I was all over the place on the right color--look how different these two are!
And, a quick side story. Getting the boys' room completely put together was absolutely first on my list (well, actually tied with removing the kitchen wallpaper).  The day the movers brought our things to the house, my best friend, who is an interior designer, was visiting to help corral the boys. She and I disappeared upstairs while my husband was immersed in kitchen boxes, trying to get our house in some semblance of working order. Meanwhile, she and I are merrily auditioning the first sample color on the wall, holding up fabrics for matching and looking from different angles to see how the light changed the color. I had an expert in the house--I wanted to take advantage of getting her opinion! Makes sense right?
About 20 minutes and several boxes later, he comes looking for us. Seven years of marriage means that he *knew* I hadn't disappeared to unpack boxes. His incredulous response: "You're painting? We have a houseful of boxes to put away and you're trying out paint colors?!" Yup. Clearly we had/have different priorities! :) And I'm so grateful that he's an incredibly efficient box unpacker. He had that kitchen whipped into shape before we went to bed!

The swatch that is X'ed out is the paint color I bought. Menard's mixed a primer for me that was the color of the swatch with the arrow. I put that up, thought it looked pretty good, and wondered how much darker the X'ed swatch would be. The answer: TOO dark. I went back the next day for a gallon of the arrow'ed color. And if anyone wants a gallon of a very dark (but beautiful) teal, let me know. I've got one to spare. Click here to see pictures of the finished room, the quilt(s), bumpers, closet curtain and wall art that go with it, and my future plans to convert it from nursery into toddler style.

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