Tag Archives: hale navy

Painting the Kitchen and a Trip to Farrow & Ball

It’s hard to express how happy I am to be back home in our red house after four months away.  I’m so appreciative of the light and space and the fat furry creatures who live here with us.  I’m also grateful to have an outlet for the considerable energy for household projects that built up while we were gone, and I opened the floodgate this past week by painting my kitchen walls.  Three times.  I felt like Goldilocks: at first it was too shiny, then it was too light, and finally, it was just right.

Red House West:Dark to Light 7

I knew I wanted the blue in the kitchen to be just slightly darker than the dining room.  The difference is subtle enough that it’s not obvious in all light, but to my eye the slightly different tones help delineate the rooms.

Red House West:Dark to Light 9

Uncharacteristically, I didn’t dither about the color at all.  Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore was a strong contender when I was choosing paint for the dining room, and I knew it had just the right depth of color for our kitchen.

So what led me to paint this room three times?  An inability to stop before it was too late.  I began painting with a quart of Hale Navy I had on hand, and managed to get a decent first coat up before it ran out.  When I went to get more, I realized that the paint I’d used had an eggshell finish, rather than matte like the rest of the house.  Did I stop? Nope, I soldiered on.  The finished walls looked like plastic compared to the matte blue of the adjoining dining room, so I decided to redo it – properly this time – and get a gallon of Miller Paint’s Evolution line (which I used and loved in my dining room) color matched to Hale Navy.  After the first coat I was thinking it looked a little light, a little – dare I say it – Smurfy.  Did I stop?  Nope, I soldiered on.  It did not become miraculously darker when it dried, so back I went to the store for the third time.  The folks at Miller Paint were great and mixed up a fresh (correctly tinted) gallon free of charge.  And, thank goodness because I was losing my will to live, the color was just right.

Red House West:Dark to Light 4The real reason I like these dark walls is because they provide such a nice backdrop for this lithograph of Dean (well, a cat that looks a lot like Dean) that I got at the thrift store.  I am in grave danger of becoming someone who collects anything that resembles her furry little darlings.  Help keep me sane folks, but this one was too good to pass up – am I right?  The artist really nailed Dean’s haughty glare.

Red House West::Siamese Cat LithographNext on the agenda is painting the living room.  A couple of weeks ago I shared some Farrow & Ball colors that I really wanted to see in person (but didn’t want to pay shipping costs for),  so I made a detour to downtown Portland on my final trip back from Walla Walla.  It was totally worth the extra hour in the car (I cleverly hit Portland just at rush hour) to go into the cool, clean, industrial-chic boutique and see the lovely displays of Farrow & Ball.  I gotta say that I pretty much felt like Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman’ when she went to the shop on Rodeo Drive in her hooker garb and everyone sneered at her.  Except instead of prostitute garb I was in my comfy but disheveled car clothes.  And the saleslady wasn’t mean to me at all, she just gave me a weird look when I literally purred over the cute little F&B inspiration booklet she gave me.  And of course I’m just somebody who blogs about her house,  not a prostitute with a heart of gold (has there been a worse premise for a movie??) and this parallel is falling apart – BUT I did feel out of place because the store was clean and pretty and I smelled and looked like road trip.  The awkward feelings were worth it though! Just look at the goodie bag I walked out with (this ain’t no hardware store folks).

Farrow & Ball Schwag

So I’m really excited to move forward and get painting, but I admit I’ve been having a little trepidation about the flow between a light-colored living room and the dark-painted dining room/kitchen area.

Red House West::Dark to Light

All the paint colors I’m considering for the living room are much lighter than the current greenish color.

To ease my mind I did an online hunt for rooms with color contrasts similar to the one I’m envisioning for our house.

And now I feel better!  I think it’s going to look just fine.  Thanks for reading along – check back in on Wednesday for a post from Mera!

Katie’s House: Paint colors for the dining room and how I dragged home a(nother) chair

I’m home! And covered in cats, just as I’d hoped! I’m attempting to type this post with the use of only one hand, as the other one is currently pinioned beneath the fat and furry body of Dean.  Carl (aka Tiny Tiger)  is here too – shorn like a baboon after a trip to the vet for a bite on his tail (likely from a raccoon).  It’s so good to be back – baboon butt-ed cats, useless limbs and all.

Part One: In Which I Refer to a Chair as a Female Person

Yesterday my mom – who had been visiting us in Walla Walla – and I drove from eastern Washington to Eugene; from the wide open sky of ranch country and into the heavily forested valleys of home.

Through the windshield

A couple hours into our journey we pulled into a tiny, windswept town in search of ice cream, and – by the grace of the generous chair gods high upon their bentwood throne – also found the chair of my dreams. Or maybe a chair of my dreams.

Chair in situ

Ah, she may not look like much.  The poor girl is weathered and worn, and those dirty orange cushions could make even the prettiest lady look dated and dumpy.  She was crying for rescue – hollering that she was better than this one-horse town, that she was gonna be somebody, that she could be a star.  I heard her cries, saw her potential, and decided that this little Norma Jean had a destiny (less tragic, but no less beautiful than her namesake) to fulfill.  It almost didn’t happen–my car was already packed to the gills and she squeezed through the back door with less than a millimeter to spare. It took plenty of willpower and some serious Tetris skills to make everything fit and I really wish I’d taken a photo of the contents of my car strewn about Main Street, but I was so intent on jamming it all back in that I didn’t document it.

So you might be reading this story, looking at that sorry photograph, and thinking I’m a nut.  That the old girl is too far gone. But please take a moment and remember this picture I shared last week of one of my dream rooms:

Take a good look at those chairs, and then take a look at my girl once I got her home and freed her from the orange vinyl:

Side view of road trip chair in front of garage door

Pretty similar, right?  Once I hydrate her parched bones with oil and love, this little honey is going to be the beauty she was meant to be.

Part Two : Turning my Dining Room into a Cerulean Grotto

After I dropped my dear mom off, my chairs and I (the McCobb, ready for its new seat cover, was in there too) stopped by the hardware store to pick up paint samples for my dining room.  I am dreaming of deep blue walls, and – after considerable online research – chose four Benjamin Moore colors to try:

Paint swatches with text copy

As you can see, the dining room walls are already pretty dark.  They are a shade of purple – Benjamin Moore’s Cabernet – painted by the previous owners.  Purple is not my jam, but I’ve now lived with this color for two years and I am confident that this room, and the adjoining kitchen, can not only handle a heavily pigmented color during the relentlessly gray and dreary Oregon winters, but actually look better with it.

The kitchen is currently painted a darker shade of purple – the accurately and evocatively named Dark Purple, also by Benjamin Moore (their creative-name team must’ve been taking a break).  The east wall (on your right in the picture below) has white cabinetry.  The door at the end of the room in this picture leads into the laundry room.

I love the greeny-blue tones of the peculiarly named Gentleman's Gray.

I love the greeny-blue tones of the less accurately named Gentleman’s Gray.

The other side of the dining room leads through an arch into the living room, which will also be getting a coat (or -more realistically- five) of paint soon. I’m looking at whites and very light hues for that room, which I think will contrast nicely with blue in the dining room.


The cabinets in the dining room are cherry, and the countertops are black granite, so any paint color will need to play nice with both of those (because of this I’ve pretty much ruled out Hale Navy, which is too flat and too dark of a color in this context).

comparing color with cabinets and countertops

Cameron's dad built the table as a wedding gift.  He also built the bench which is acting as a dining chair until I can round out our motley crew (if it were Crue the McCobb chair would totally be Vince Neil) of thrifted chairs.

Cameron’s dad built the table as a wedding gift. He also built the bench which is moonlighting as a dining chair until I can round out our motley crew (incidentally, if they were a Motley Crue, the McCobb chair would totally be Vince Neil) of thrifted chairs.

Today, in this overcast light, I am leaning toward either Newburyport Blue (far left in the picture below) or Newburg Green (second from left) for the dining room walls. Tomorrow the sun is supposed to emerge and perhaps a clear paint color winner will emerge with it.

I definitely plan on changing the curtains, but I haven't yet decided to what.

I haven’t yet decided on new curtains, but these will definitely go

It feels so great to be home and I’m excited to be tackling this room! Once I decide on a color I’ll get rolling and will definitely share the result. What do you think? Do any of you have a deep blue color you’d recommend? Mera and I will be back on Friday with some DIY inspiration – thanks for reading along!