Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Home Renovation Diary

The color composition was finally coming together:  

We’d tried close to a dozen different color chips/swatches on the walls.  
And re-tried a few more -- and still more.  

I adore that Dorothy Draper at the Greenbriar look. 


The decorating diva recommended thinking about the way a room looks from within – as well as from adjoining spaces.

So I did.
I viewed the passages as frames that make each successive wall area pop – especially when viewed as a whole composition.
Getting there with the Draper inspiration

We changed the color of the dining room and sitting room area to a Martha Stewart paint.  Martha Stewart  

Truth was I was trying to match the view from our perch overlooking the water in the Highlands.  
We are blessed to see the sun rise on the northeast, right side windows and the sunsets, often looking like a low hanging, giant orange, on the left side. 
The gorgeous sunrise was the image I shared a few blog posts back.

I was also inspired by a Tiffany bracelet– you know – the new Rubedo Tiffany & Co. line the storied jewelry maker introduced this spring that touted the sunrise, saying it is a “Tiffany metal that captures the rose luminescence of a sunrise.”  Ahhh, be still my heart.
It’s a blend of gold and rose.  Sounded divine. 
While Home Depot couldn’t match the bracelet on the spectrograph, I did find the Martha Stewart Precious Metals line there. The color Sherbet is perfect I thought – goldish with spice/orange smiling through.  Very nuanced. Very rich. 

We loved the way the sample punched up and complemented the other colors and the heroic mirror I purchased from the Cosa Nostra, Genovese family estate sale.  

This paint decision would prove to “controversial.”

Troubles started with the color finishes! 
Most of the painters we interviewed wouldn’t go with anything other than a flat Benjamin Moore. Don’t get me wrong, I am enchanted by their Benjamin Moore Color Stories  and will attend the BJ Colour webinar this week.
I just wish the painters would embrace the full palette of colors and finishes as opposed to the oh-so-common flat, safe colors. 

Repeatedly, I kept hearing the house painter’s admonishment, “You have to have this or you won’t be able to wash the walls.”
This seemed so odd and jangled with my lifestyle but couldn’t put my finger on it.
Finally when I repeated this Painterly Commandment to my girlfriends, the one exclaimed, “Who the F--- washes their walls?!!”
Enough said.
I was back to asking for a paint with a higher sheen – around 7% or so.
I am in love with Farrow & Ball – their high depth paint colors and quality because they use natural pigments and low or minimal VOC.

The super, sensitive painter Roy, Royal Painters, was initially cool to the idea of working with paint sheen like this – but did agree.
And so we agreed to work with him.  (For other reasons too, of course, but this was key.)
He also agreed, reluctantly but adventurously, to working with the Martha Precious Metals paint.

He also eyed me somewhat suspiciously (or was that malice in his eye?!) when I told him I was going to be putting up a swath of skeletal leaves on the wall.
Under the paint.
To give the wall the illusion that leaves had just blown in. scattered-like effect.

The thing is the paint is so thick (later I learned there is a kind of “glue” in it, according to the artist who is doing an original, artful wall color transition).

The garden dining room and sitting area and loft were first up.

The BJ blue-green of the loft turned out perfect right out of the gate. The color seemed to pull in the see and the sky just beyond.  

The Martha Precious Metals paint, on the other hand, had a rather difficult birth.  
It was thick, yes, but dried quickly and the small, special roller that was recommended didn’t allow Roy to move fast enough to get the paint on without long roadway lines up and down the architecturally soaring walls.
Further, after the first coat, the color was Bright orange: pumpkin!  Yikes.
This wasn't even the same family as the Pantone color of the year!  Where was our princess?

Later, while discussing the issue with Roy, we determined the color was “puddling” due to the concentration of color ¾ the angled ceilings were painted the Sherbet color too, you see, probably causing the intense color correction. 

Soooo, I thought and thought about this while looking up.  I suggested we paint those angled walls/ceilings with the same Gypsy Moth, light, light salmon color – looks whitish in some light.
We’d been “told” to paint only the flat-topped areas as ceilings so the angles were considered walls, not ceilings.

So, the primer went back on, the Gypsy Moth ceiling color went on. 

Then we tried two of our earlier paint choices on the wall to see if the change in paint would in fact be better - especially in a room with so much natural light.  

Yuck.  The terra-cotta and gold I initially liked looked so lifeless and drab compared to the Sherbet Precious Metals - even in its comprised state.  
It Glows! Precious Metals Sherbet on Wall & chip

"Roller Roy" has the advantage!
Further, Roy determined it was time to make an educated, professional decision and change the roller.  I agreed. We had to try.  Roy secured an 18” roller that had similar longish lamb’s wool threading that help make the fauxish finish. 

I was upstairs writing and working while Roy and Herman worked downstairs.  On the day when we expected that room to be finished, it was like waiting for the birth announcement.  Nerve-wracking.
When Roy called me to come down, I was nervous. This was almost our last ditch effort to make it work.  My husband had thrown up his hands long ago on this issue saying, “Just paint it all blue.” 
But I had faith – there had been those glimmers on the shorter wall and I believed we could overcome the problems.  Sort of…

When I walked into the room, Roy was looking at me for the reaction, much like the TV show Home Improvement where the host yells, “Move that truck!”

I looked.  I held my breath and my heart.  It was glorious!  The light was streaming in from all sides, rendering the walls a burnished gold, spice color! 
There was depth, nuance, and a richness.  It reflects and refracts, and changes throughout the day and evening. 

Oh happy day. 
Good things come to those who wait….

And to those who have a good, patient and fellow home d├ęcor explorer as a partner. 
Roy was justifiably proud. 
And now, he recognized that he could add to his portfolio of color and texture treatments for other clients…
Win, win, win.

I love it.

The other colors went on with no battle scars. 
The creamy yellow looks classic and happy next to the dark wood of the kitchen cabinets.  
And I can’t wait to see it next to the reupholstered living room furniture fabric. 
The Farrow & Ball Organery next to the fireplace stone is stunning and so spot on.  
The Dix Blue in the hallow captures the filtered light of the front door, offering a sky-like backdrop for the sparkling stars that dance on the walls there.  
It’s very special…

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