FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

SPACES | Project Seattle Cottage, Phase 1: Desaturate

SPACESLauren Caron3 Comments
Seattle Living Room | with Light Pewter Walls

Seattle Living Room | with Light Pewter Walls

In our darling new cottage I'm planning to highlight the good old bones of the architecture and design details. In order to do so I have to wash away all of the saturated mayonnaise and lemon pudding paint colors that our landlords chose. I understand that gloss is easier to clean but when it's a yellow white, on walls with layers of old paint and wallpaper, the end result is just terrible. Since it's a rental I can't put the time, energy, or funds into sanding and skim coating the walls, but I will do the next best thing, which is to add yet another layer of paint, but this time in a matte finish. 

 Within the first three days of moving to Seattle, I purchased 4 gallons of my old standby colors, all light, neutral grays and off whites. For the bedrooms I chose Benjamin Moore China White on the walls. It's the color of old porcelain or china (hence the name) with a slight hint of gray, not cream. I love it. In the living room I chose BM Light Pewter for the walls and in the dining room, BM Classic Gray. All moldings are going to BM White Dove. All paint finishes for the walls are matte. The moldings, Pearl. 

My go-to paint colors.

My go-to paint colors.

Immediately I changed out the paint colors in the two bedrooms. They were the worst offenders. The before an after of the rooms has to be enough of an example to convince anyone to invest in a little paint. I went from one white to another, and the difference is night and day. 

One detail of note: the house is small with only a footprint of 1,000 sq ft, but the ceilings are just 2" shy of 10'. The ceiling height gives the rooms the feeling of more space and the tiniest bit of grandeur. I really want to emphasize this wonderful detail through the home. One easy way to do so, is by painting the entire wall above, below and including the picture moldings. Keeping the color consistent from floor to ceiling will visually lengthen the height of the ceilings. Often when there are picture moldings like those that are in this house, we'll paint above them a different color, usually the ceiling or trim color. In my kitchen back in NY I chose to do just that, with a white that is the match to the cabinets and trim color. In the pictures below, you can see how that little change in what I've painted extends the eye upwards.

'Master' Bedroom | Before Paint

'Master' Bedroom | Before Paint

'Master' Bedroom | After Paint - China White

'Master' Bedroom | After Paint - China White

Guest Room/Office | Before Picture 

Guest Room/Office | Before Picture 

Guest Room/Office | After Paint - China White

Guest Room/Office | After Paint - China White

Guest Room/Office | After Paint - China White

Guest Room/Office | After Paint - China White

I also painted the living room walls (top photo) but I haven't had a chance to get to the moldings yet. I was surprised to discover how cool my go to warm light gray, Light Pewter looks in this space. I think so much of it has to do with the light as well as the yellowish moldings. They're creating a lot of contrast. I know, I should have put up test swatches, but I was impatient and didn't really think it would matter too much since I've used this color in a number of spaces from bright to dim lighting. 

That room really shows off the ceiling height, especially since I also chose to hang the curtains 8" from the ceiling. The long vertical lines they create really extend the ceiling height. I have the same plans for curtains in the dining room, but these will be painfully expense since I'm choosing a custom Schumacher fabric for them (more on that coming soon.)

This check in feels a little short and not too exciting, but I have more coming. I'm trying to tackle only a few things at once. Splitting my time between coasts is definitely taking a toll on my timeline.