The Yellow that Kept Me up at Night...

Before we purchased the mansion, it had previously been under contract with another buyer. The person who intended to purchase it had painted each room prior to our seeing the house. He painted all four main rooms (+ the mega-foyer), as well as both bathrooms.  We actually really liked the bold colors he had chosen from the very beginning.

As we began to live in the house though, something just was not right. The foyer, living room, dining room and guest bath were all painted a sunshine yellow. Now, if you know paint colors (not claiming that I do), you know yellow to have multiple personalities. The same shade of yellow will look different in each room, depending on the number of windows, etc. in that room. I should take an opportunity here to disclose the fact that I, Amy Abel-Kiker, am a lover of bold colors in the home. I am immediately attracted to anything that is non-traditional and "happy". As a result, our house is a quilt of bright florals, abstract cow paintings (yes...cows. We'll get to that later), and mixed up prints. There...glad I got that out in the open.

Back to the yellow...
The yellow in the foyer, bathroom and dining room were fine. I was and currently am satisfied with the state of the yellow. It is happy, welcoming, attractive and versatile. In the living room, however, it gave me nightmares. Perhaps it is because I chose a red and brown theme to go with it, which I was not willing to negotiate on. More importantly though, the yellow was not conducive to relaxation. The living room is where I like to relax. It is where I like to clip my coupons on Sunday mornings, watch the news and drink my coffee. SO the yellow had to either go or we had to tone it down with something else.

I knew that "something else" would have to be brown. Not sure just had to be. SO, I thought about painting the ceiling brown. After toiling with paint swatches for a month or two, I realized that painting the ceiling would not only be risky, but it would also be physically difficult. I was pretty sure that if I asked Chris to paint the ceiling with me, we would probably want to kill each other by the end of it.

So...enter "Behr: Mocha Latte," stage left.

I tell you all of this to tell you something more important: painting is hard. Painting with a dark color is harder. Painting with a dark color in a crazy sunshine yellow room, decorated in horses, cows and books though, will save the day. So many people tried to tell me that painting the room dark brown would make it look smaller, too dark, etc. etc.. I didn't listen (surprise, surprise) and I am so glad that I didn't. The high ceilings and extra tall windows in the room + the fire place and other nooks really made the brown "work".

Here are the before and after photos. I can now sleep soundly knowing that the yellow has been laid to rest behind a subtle, cozy color that has TOTALLY changed the feel of the room.  Disclaimer: I take pictures with my phone. They are sub-par. Use your imagination to determine what these photos would look like, if I took them with a real camera.  :-)

Forgive the photo: it seems to be the only one I can find of the room when it was yellow. We have re-arranged almost everything since this photo was taken, but you get the idea. This is from April 2011. We also only kept the red blanket on the sofa for Thomas to snuggle up in. The pig, as you will learn, basically runs the mansion.

<And here is a photo of our fun little built-in living room nook, during what we call the "yellow period".

<Same living room nook, but post-"Mocha Latte". See...don't you feel more relaxed already?

We also changed the color surrounding the fire place from a burgundy color (same color on all 4 fire places in the house), to a darker brown.

Moral to the story: Don't be afraid of paint. We painted this room ourselves, and took a risk with the dark color. Paint is not permanent (even though it is a pain to deal with).

1 comment:

  1. Amy, I love the Mocha latte!! I have to confess that we just painted every room in our house "Sand basket beige" except the dining room which is "Lemon Verbena (green)" and the office we left a deep red. I am a fan of more neutral colors although I would have painted our bedroom or the bathrooms some shade of dark plum if my husband...the color nazi... would have allowed it :)
    Love what y'all have done with your house!