Monday, February 7, 2011

Decisions, decisions…


I am stumped.  While I usually find it easy to help select paint colors for someone else, I’m having  a hard time trying to decide what I’m doing for myself!  I’ve always leaned toward earthy colors, but I’m trying to get away from them and move towards the gray palette.  A cooler look, without being sterile.  I started searching in my Sherwin Williams paint deck last week and happened upon several colors that I thought I could love.  One of them was actually used by blogging friend, Pat, from Back Porch Musings. She used SW’s “Sticks and Stones” in her kitchen, hearth room, and breakfast room and it turned out just beautifully!  After seeing her photos, I knew that had to be the color I would choose to paint my study. 


What looked gorgeous gray in Pat’s lighting turned to warm chocolate in mine!  


Pat's breakfast room

This is a shot of Pat’s  hearth room.  It appears to receive quite a bit of light, so the color looks true to the paint chip.






And this is the color in my room. It’s actually showing up lighter in this shot.  I think that the color tends to go more brown with the lighting in here.  In fact,  I think it looks like a chocolate milkshake.   Am I always thinking of food?!






dining room

So, just for kicks, I decided to try the color in the dining room, which is another space that desperately needs a color make-over.  It’s been green for much too long.  But, although the study and the dining room both face the very same direction, the lighting  in here brings out a purple cast in the paint!    aaaggghhhh……   Guess I won’t be using the paint in here!


I think I want a gray that’s more like this-

amazing gray

This is the second color from SW that I applied to the study walls. It’s called “Amazing Gray” and it stays pretty true to this color both day and night.  After living with it for a few days, I’m thinking I really like it for the study.





both grays2

Here are the two colors side by side in the study.  Do you see what I mean about the one on the left looking more brown than the one on the right?  Nice, but not quite what I had in mind.  Why couldn’t  I have Pat’s lighting?

So, in an effort to be absolutely sure that I’m going to get the gray that I truly like,  I’ve selected two more colors  to have made up.  I’m off to the paint store this afternoon to see if I can come home with a color that’s exactly what I want.   Do you recall that old adage about the cobbler’s children going without shoes?  That’s kinda  the way I feel- like the kid whose dad makes shoes and I’m going without!  I’m working on a project for someone right now and it’s been a pretty easy job of selecting colors for her new house.  So, why am I having such a difficult time for myself?

Decisions, decisions…..


Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Wow, Sue! It doesn't even look like the same color, does it? I had the same thing...loved a color in my bathroom...but in the guest room...nope! I think choosing a paint color is one of my least favorite things to do...just above trying on swim suits! lol Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

I LOVE the Amazing Gray! The other one really is too brown. And purple.

I have a hard time picking out colors, too. Last time I ended up mixing my own and having it color matched at the store.

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

that's the thing with's all about the lighting..and windows:)

Pat said...

That is so funny Sue, Sticks and Stones looks like a warm grey here, with the sun and the clouds. I am wondering how it will be during summer. I love it and the affect it has in these rooms.

We have SW Mink in the condo kitchen and entry. The whole time J and our son in law were painting, our son in law kept telling me it was purple. I never did see it and I still don't, except when the light hits the breakfast bar at a certain angle. When he told me that I thought OH NO!! I don't want to start over!LOL. We have Mink (leftover from the lake painting) in the powder room, here at home, it's on the west side with a small window. It has no purple cast at all.

Light does funny things to color.
Good luck with your search. I like the Amazing Grey.

Thanks so much for the mention.:-)

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

It is amazing what light can do to a paint color. I always paint a big square of paint on the wall and watch for about a week with different lights and even light from lamps....

I love the second color you chose.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Yes! I know what you are saying. The color of green in my guest room is not what I had planned. It is ok and as much as I dislike painting, it will remain that color. :D
I do not like to pick out paint colors almost as much as I don't like to paint.

Jo said...

What a difference! I like the first one but I lean towards brown - it definitely is not the gray cast you want I'm thinking abt painting 2 rms and not looking forward to the "pain"

Andrea said...

I love the amazing gray colour! Good luck with your choice!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Sue, the lighting does play such a huge part on paint colors. I have had difficulty in my house, too. If you want a lighter gray try Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. That is the color in my other guest room.

Secret Garden Cottage said...

It's amazing how different paint colors can look from a paint chip in a hardware store to the walls of our homes... all depending on the light it receives. I'm lovin' the "amazing gray" color! Should be beautiful when it's all done, Sue!
Have a great week!

Jemsmom said...

I have the exact same problem!!! I wanted to do gray in our guest room and kept going for the grays with a blue. I didn't even realize the range of grays! Kim led me to revere pewter from BM and it is fabulous!!!! I do like the one on the right in your picture. That is a pretty gray! You will make the perfect choice and hey... it is just paint! That is what I keep telling myself!

farmlady said...

What a Chameleon color "sticks and stones" is. I'm so glad that you put a big sample of it on the wall. This happens with a lot of colors but this one seems especially skittish.
I like the "amazing gray". We will wait to see your finished study.

Mumzie said...

I love the "Amazing Gray" .... you are so brave to try it out on all the walls first. I really like the "Sticks and Stones" one too...but not in your dinning area. Oh...I need to paint our house, but don't look forward to the task. Bravo to you! Mumzie :)

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Paint color is a funny thing..especially when it comes to using them in 2 different homes with different lighting. You also have to remember what you are seeing on a blog photo may look entirely different in person. I know you will find something out there that will look great! Good luck!~Hugs, Patti

Blondie's Journal said...


I think the Amazing Gray is the color you are looking for. It IS amazing how many different tones there are in a paint color and how the light affects it. But you are making a wise choice to look at a few more colors. I can't wait to see what you choose and how it looks finished.


Vanessa said...

Hi Sue! I really like the Amazing Gray in your space! I totally understand about making those decisions for ourselves that seem so easy to make for others. I think too that sometimes when our creative energy is going into someone else's home it makes it even harder to focus on our own. Does that make sense? I really think that you are going to end up loving the new direction you are heading in though and I can't wait to see how it all turns out!

Kathleen said...

I don't like picking colors. I know that after paying the painter, even if I don't like it it will stay!
Good luck with your choice!

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Hi Sue, that's crazy! Can't believe the difference light makes! My DIL used the green I used in my dining room (SW or Duron Fenwood), but because of the light, she had to use the color one step darker on the chip....go figure! Can't wait to see how it all turns out for you. Linda

Cindy said...

Amazing Gray...looks nice!!!

Stacey said...

It all depends on your light, doesn't it? I tried that color the Nester loves so much a couple of years ago. It just looked like muddy yuck on my wall. I've learned that sometimes it takes a few swatches to figure it out.

Balisha said...

I think the gray is amazing. :)
I always have trouble selecting colors. You have to live with the colors so long that you really want to like them. Balisha

Miss Char said...

Oh Sue I feel your pain. I've got at least twenty color chips upstairs right now trying to find just the right pale pink for a guest room.

I'm with the others...the Amazing Gray looks like a keeper. Hopefully tomorrow you'll be set with paintbrush in hand and be doing the happy dance over your paint choice.

Carol said...

I know what you are going through, happens every time I pick color. Wishing you luck to find the color you fall in love with!

Mary Ellen said...

Oh I am so with you on the paint color agony! I hate, HATE, having to decide on a color and then when you get hundreds of paint chips in your hands- my mind just zones out and decides to go for something sweet like in food!

bee blessed

Lori E said...

One year there was a prize home locally that had the most beautiful cafe au lait colored walls.
My sister painted her house that color and it looked great.
We have the exact same hardwood floors and I painted my house the same color (original aren't I) and the color was hideous. I lived with it for a week and then repainted the whole place.
We lived about 20 minutes apart too so the light should have been the same.
It is hard to tell from a photo.

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

It's amazing how different paint can look, isn't it? Even from the same can, in the same hallway, room, etc. Just the way the light hits makes such a difference. I like the second color too, it definitely looks more gray, although the first one does look beautiful in Pat's home.
Good luck to you ♥

xinex said...

I think the last gray is perfect, Sue. I can't wait to see the finished room...Christine

xinex said...

I think the last gray is perfect, Sue. I can't wait to see the finished room...Christine

Dawn said...

I've been seeing the grayer tones in a lot of magazines lately and they really look nice. I always do a lot of samples on the wall first too.

I was thinking all the same things about the sleep test, LOL! But I was too embarrased to say it! I've heard of the hospital food diet but don't think I want to try it.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Gray are tricky. It all depend on their undertones. I like the amazing gray. Looks pretty true gray to me. It other does have pink undertones to me so I can see how you'd see purple. Good luck with your samples!

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Oh Sue, we're trying to chose colors for our condo and I KNOW what you're going though! It's soooo hard! We kind of just want a terrific beige color but there's a million shades and the light dynamics of the room changes color completely! YIKES!!

Thank goodness for those little paint samples we can buy now.

Big hugs, Sherry

Stay warm my friend!!

Pam said...

That's why I have been trying to find a color for my bedroom for over a year now. The light is all weird in there and it keeps changing the tone of my samples. In my last house I painted a room a taupe color and EVERYONE thought it was purple. So now I stay away from taupe. I don't have good luck with paint.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Sue, I've read that before - decorators have no problem selecting colors for others, but when it comes to their own colors, they freeze up! I can't believe how brown that color looks (and then purple in another room). Colors are SOOOO difficult. It NEVER looks the same on the wall as it looked on that little card. I think I still have about 20 "sample" paint cans in the garage from the last time we painted. I don't think any of them are the colors I ended up using!! I know whatever you do will end up looking beautiful. I can't wait to see. laurie

Enchanted Rose Studio said...

I feel your pain GF! For what it's worth, go with what makes you feel good.

Light, floor and furnishing will change a color's hue. Also, a goof by the clerk in the paint store on the color formula will do it as well. So when I see a color I love (on my monitor), I print it out and take the printout with me to the paint store. That way I match it to what I see on my screen and not what I'm told the color is. ha! FYI, those colors you show come up tanish on my monitor. For some reason, my monitor gives off a slightly pinkish hue, cah-PEESH?

Thanks so much for your visit! Love your comments!


French Hen Farm said...

Thats so funny! I drive my husband crazy. I am a trained artist and approve colors in my real job every day, but can't pick a paint color for my walls if my life depended on it...ever! Last time we painted our walls I spent over $100 in those crazy little samplers and I still ended up with a color I don't like. So, most of my walls remain white!
Good luck!!
Have a great weekend!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

What beautiful rich colors! I love them all!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Yep...I looked at that catalog from front to back. What fun to much I would like to have!

thestonerabbit said...

I HATE to pick out paint colors. When we built our house 6 years ago, the worse time was the hours I spent with paint chips. When the painters put the sample colors up I had selected for the rooms.....ICK they all looked horrible cept one. I can't recall the name (it's on a paint can in the basement) but it was my least favorite on the paint chip and quickly became my favorite on the walls. SO I had them paint the whole house in that color....and still love it. It's a light greenish, tannish, goldish that looks different in every room and every light of the day, but it always looks good to me! :)

I had a horrible time selecting a gray for the outside of our old house. I wanted it to have a "warm" gray look and not a cold gray. You know what I mean. It took alot of sample colors before one looked OK....once I had it, we kept that same color for years. :)

Have fun!!! dana

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Sweet Sue!

Oh my gosh... the PAINT dilemma... Isn't it something? I've chosen paint for so many people and it always turns out perfectly. They love it. I love it. And, then there's MY paint.... I can't tell you how many problems I've had just like this one. Oh yes....there was the pale yellow that turned green not to mention the very soft petal pink....from the card with orange, that turned purple.........and the Hubbs' bathroom that was exactly the same color as baby poo....... and the list goes on and on.. I love the grayish one.... I wish I had gone with that color.... well, maybe not, it would probably be orchid here.