Home Improvement, One Color at a Time

When I first stepped foot into my home, I fell in love. There was a porch. There was a porch swing. There were hardwood floors, recently refinished very tastefully. There were plaster walls, with all their imperfections. There were big, old windows, that let in lots of light. There was just the right number of rooms. The interior had recently been repainted a neutral grey, which looked beautiful with the white trim and the bare rooms. Everything was so stark and so clean. I loved it.

And then I moved my furniture and artwork in. I still loved my home, but I didn’t love the grey walls as much as when I first viewed them in an empty state. So started the “color my house” project, back in November. I went to the hardware store and collected dozens of paint chips. I taped them to walls, imagining each room a different jewel color. A neighbor, who is an architect, ordered larger paint chip samples for me so that I could get a better picture of what the walls would look like. Each day I walked from room to room, trying to imagine what the walls would look like, painted in a color. 

so many colors

Yes, I really was considering all of these colors at one point

And then one night I had the dream. My walls were still grey and Rainbow Brite rang my doorbell. She asked to come in, and then immediately threw up. And each room was a different jewel tone color.


I didn’t want my house to look like Rainbow Brite threw up in it!

In January, dear friends from San Francisco came to visit. I explained my plan: paint the walls, buy area rugs, and then install funky light fixtures. Holly, an interior designer, kindly told me I had the order wrong. Focus on lights, then carpets, then paint colors.

I tried. I really did. But I just couldn’t get excited about light fixtures. So I focused on area rugs. And searched the internet. And by February I had ordered a couple. Honestly, there are just too many choices out there. And as soon as you visit one site, ads for rugs start showing up on every website that you visit. Paradox of choice turns into paralysis. But I fought the paralysis and obtained rugs for my living room, my dining room, and my bedroom. It was time to focus on wall colors.

I decided to choose a color for my office first since that was the smallest room. I had taped about a dozen samples of brown to my wall. My office in San Francisco had been brown, and I loved it. I loved walking into the warmness of cocoa each morning and starting my day. As I stared at the samples, I realized I was trying to recreate my San Francisco home in Asheville. It was time to let go. Brown was great there, but brown wasn’t the color for my new office. Blue. Blue was the color for my new office.

I chose two paint samples and painted patches on my walls. I immediately hated both. I waited a few days. I still didn’t like them. I held the paint chip up to the painted sample on the wall. Yep. It matched. I realized then I have no ability to imagine what a room will look like based on a 2-inch chip of paper. I went back to the paint store and ordered two more samples of blue paint, what I thought was closer to what I wanted. I painted and wasn’t immediately repulsed. But didn’t like those samples as they dried. So once again, I went to the paint store. They’re mighty friendly there. I ordered another two paint samples and came home and painted. When I applied one of them, I thought, “This is it. This is the one.” And the next day, after it was dry, I didn’t love it.

samples of blue

I tried to love them, but I didn’t

But I wanted my office painted! I had been applying sample patches for two weeks and I was ready to have a painted office!

I awoke on Saturday morning and went to the paint store. As I was walking in, I realized, “You didn’t like any of the samples. What color are you going to choose?” I looked at the book of chips and selected a color I hadn’t tried before. I had an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Do I order another sample, or do I just go for it? Clearly, I didn’t have the gene that allows you to imagine the outcome of a whole room painted simply by looking at a paint chip. But I wanted my office painted. I bought a gallon of paint.

I came home, washed the walls, lay the drop cloths, and taped the trim. I was able to tape the entire room with one roll of tape. Except for the last six inches. This really annoyed me.

almost enough tape

So close!

I began rolling the paint. It was pretty. I had a good feeling. I hoped I would still love it once dried. I made a salad and read an Oprah magazine while I waited for the first coat to dry. I cam back in and still loved it. I applied the second coat of paint. I touched up trim. I pulled masking tape off and cleaned my brushes.

The next morning I entered the room. I still loved it. I started putting the furniture back in place.

The next morning, I entered it to work. I still loved it. The blue was so cheery and just made me happy. Three weeks in and I still love coming into my office every morning. I need to hang artwork, but for now, I’m enjoying four walls of Benjamin Moore Rendezvous Bay

And I don’t feel like Rainbow Brite has come to visit.


Still needs artwork, but I love it anyway

6 thoughts on “Home Improvement, One Color at a Time

  1. > My walls were still grey and Rainbow Brite rang my doorbell.

    😂This is such a Lori dream! I _love_ the color you landed on. As I was reading and scrolling I saw a corner of the photo and immediately thought, “Ooooh, is that aqua-green-blue color the one she’s going with? It’s gorgeous!” That was a brave move to just go for it, and it paid off. Now I want to repaint my office.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s