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It’s a home improvement weekend

It’s a home improvement weekend

September 2, 2006

My favorite colors for painting walls in my house have names like toasted almond, cracked wheat, or warm oats. Yes, I realize that they aren’t actually colors at all, but rather are shades of white and off-white.

Recently I have been trying to be brave and venture out of my colorless comfort zone. Mostly I have been dragged out by my husband who, it would seem, is born from circus people. That is how much he loves color.

One of the things that was on my to do list was to repaint the mudroom/laundryroom. It was a nice calm Navajo White. Or it was when I first painted it. Now it is still Navajo white on the top 2/3 of the walls, but the bottom third is a mix of dirty fingerprints and scrubbed off paint. Because my children take the name mudroom a little too literally.

So today I was sitting in my breakfast room looking into the mudrom and decided that I would just go and buy paint today and paint the room a new color. Without consulting Rob I would pick a color, an actual real color, and paint the room.

At about 6:00pm while I was perched atop my step stool which was on top of a rubbermaid, because I would rather risk bodily injury than get out the stepstool. You could call me lazy, I don’t mind. Rob called and asked what I was doing.

“I am painting the mudroom.” I said.

“You are?”

“Yes and it isn’t white.”

“How is it going? What color is it?” he asked, a little shocked.

“Oh, you will never guess what color it is. Really, it’s going to be a surprise.”

“Is it white and you are being sarcastic?”

“No. It is a color. A very colorful color.”

“And I would never guess, huh? As long as it isn’t purple! Hahahahahaaa”


“Uh. yeah.”

But in my defense the purple didn’t look quite so purple on the swatch.

And most importantly. When I sit at my breakfast room table the mudroom is directly in front of me and to my left is this view of my family room:

Stained glass window

See all the purple in the stained glass? But, uh now I am not digging the color so much. I feel like I should be stencilling daisies on the wall and hanging gingham curtains. You know while my husband and children practice their juggling skills in the background.

Posted by Chris @ 8:33 am  

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  1. sarah says:

    I like the color! It looks nearly neutral to me. I have always loved those Victorian colors. The purples, greens and oranges make me feel right at home, but my dad is the guy they shoot out of the cannon. ha ha

  2. earthami says:

    Since I am the circus people in our family I think it looks great. Now keep in mind our bedroom at one point in time was painted green with orange and purple trim. My dh was hmmmm, tolerant, shall we say. Our bedroom in our new house is still contractor white.

  3. Keri says:

    Oh it’s LOVELY! Purple is my favorite color! The purple you have goes really well with the stained glass window and the lime green walls. The living area in my house has three shades of purple: dark purple on one wall, light purple on 1 and half wall and medium purple on another short wall as well as lime green on the short wall where the fireplace is. And my couch is red! ;) My house is full of color and I love it. Most people come in and immediately feel cozy so hopefully they will start taking risks with color like you did! =)

  4. Kimmie says:

    I love it!!!! It goes great with the stained glass. It’s not like you pulled the color out of….uh….mid-air. LOL

  5. Tammie says:

    Love it! Nice, bright color, and it is easy on the eyes. It’s a keeper, Chris.


  6. Heather says:

    It looks lovely, I really like the color alot. It enhances the purple colors in the stained glass, which is gorgeous.

    Good risky decision, it looks great. :)

  7. Julie says:

    Great choices.Congrats on venturing away from the “whites”.
    Purple and green are my favorite color combo’s.
    Great Job!

  8. Laundry Woman says:

    Hahahaha! I knew when I read that line “as long as it isn’t…” we were in for some trouble.

  9. Suebob says:

    I like both colors just fine. I am a big color wimp myself. Mr. Stapler told me to pick out a yellow for the guest room. I didn’t want it to be screaming daisy yellow, so I picked a very…subtle shade. When we got it painted, he said “It’s not so much yellow as it looks like a smoker lived in this room.”

    Don’t let me pick the paint.

  10. Jordana says:

    I guess I came from circus people. :) I’ve been working to obliterate as much of the white as possible from my walls. Nice off-whites are a different story though. I could probably like those, though my tastes tend towards darker colors.

    And I have a purple powder room and the girls have a lavender bedroom. I haven’t stencilled on any daisys though.

  11. Anne says:

    Nice! I like that color, actually. And the green walls too! My husband and I just bought our first house….a fixerupper that needs a lot of cosmetic work. He’s threatening to do a halloween theme in the kitchen (black cabinets, orange doors) and I just may let him do it, to shake things up a bit! ;-) Otherwise, the kids’ rooms are going to be mocha brown (to cover the possibly messies) and the bathrooms a really really really light yellow. Oh, my arms are going to me so sore when I get down with all of this! Anne

  12. Gwen says:

    Nice choice in colors! I have a deep crimson wall in my front room. That was really scary to paint since the rest of my home is a combination of “toasted almond” and “cracked wheat.” Now it’s may favorite wall in my house!

  13. Suzanne says:

    I LOVE IT! Of course, this is coming from a woman that has a house without a single white wall.

  14. peepnroosmom says:

    So pretty. I am afraid most of my walls are still off white. I did paint the baby’s room a soothing pale green, though.

  15. Fold My Laundry Please says:

    When I read the word “purple” my first reaction was yuck! But after seeing the picture, I really liked it. Especially next to the green on the next room’s walls. Hmmm…maybe *I’m* descended from circus people!

  16. T in HD says:

    Well, I like it. But purple and green are my favourite colours. Still, from the pic, it looks a subtle shade, nothing garish. I could definitely see using that shade in my own house, if I could be bothered to paint. I was a tad worried when I was looking at the pic in Flicker though and saw that hideous bathroom. It just didn’t seem to fit with the good taste the other pics of your house have shown. Then I realized it was a “before” pic. Thank goodness.

  17. Lilly says:

    I know a woman who likes white so much that when she moved to a new house, other than painting all the walls white and upholstering the furniture in white, she had all the pink and purple flowered bushes pulled out and planted ones with white flowers. She said she found color too chaotic! Maybe with seven kids you prefer the peaceful background of white for all that activity….. The purple looks very nice though and the stained glass is beautiful.

  18. Erika says:

    I must be from circus people then. Our first home was a big beautiful victorian. Our LR was red, our dining room a nice yellow, our den was called wheat, our foyer was our most boring, with a creamy wall and wheat ceiling :) Our bedroom was Golden rod, and our nursery was green and purple with white trim. It was my favorite room, next to the living room, Red really is my color ;)

  19. Jess says:

    Great color! And the stained gladd is beautiful. The nice thing about paint, is, when the kids have muddied it up and it’s all scratched and gouged through, you can just change the color again!

    My house is mostly off white, too, and I’m painting a little bit at a time. I started with my laundry room–yellow. then my bathroom– chocolate brown. I’m trying to get up the guts to paint a room that people besides me actually see, like the family room.

  20. Joy H says:

    Beautiful! Color is good; that’s the fun part — if you don’t like it, it’s JUST paint.

  21. momslo says:

    Love it!!- in fact I think it’s very similar to my powder room color- which everybody loves-it looks great with the green and the stained glass- You did GOOD!

  22. rachel says:

    I’m looking forward to owning a house simply so we can paint walls something other than white! Or, we being my husband. ;)

    congrats on the experiment - I love shades of purple, and this one looks more subtle than most shades. I also love the green, which suprises me because I’m not big on green.

  23. Debbie says:

    I like it. But then, I don’t have to live with it :) Are you going to repaint it then?

  24. amber says:

    Goodness I have been reading here forever but finally decided to comment! :) I think it looks wonderful! Did you happen to notice it almost matches the purple on the comments? LOL Sorry just noticed!

  25. allysha says:

    honestly, I think purple and gingham don’t really work together, so you’re safe from the curtains for now! I’ve been painting lately, too and the color that goes onto the walls is always is bit of a surprise! Give yourself a week and if you still don’t like it then repaint. Fortunately, it doesn’t cost too much…

  26. meritt says:

    LOL… too funny. So what DID the husband say when he saw it was purple after all?

    (At least it’s not BARNEY purple!)

  27. kalisah says:

    I really like it! But I love color and my husband - who otherwise has some most excellent design taste - likes the beige and the taupe.

  28. AmyBee says:

    What did Rob say? What did Rob say? What did Rob say? When he saw it, I mean. And it’s not purple…it’s Aubergine. How did you keep children out of paint?

  29. Gretchen says:

    When you started listing paint colors, I didn’t immediately think “those are just other names for white.” I thought, hmmm you’ve got a food theme going there….along with the apple green! LOL I’m thinking maybe the color didn’t come out true on my screen, because that “purple” doesn’t look so obnoxious. I’m waiting to hear what Rob had to say too….

  30. Allanna says:

    When you said “purple,” I was thinking a deep, bright royal purple.

    This is a very pretty and soothing purple.
    Has it grown on you or will it soon be a different color?

    (So tired of living in an apartment where we’re not allowed to paint.)

    What does your family think of it?

  31. Katie says:

    I think purple can be a tricky color to get right on walls. I painted the twin’s nursery a lovely shade of lavender and I was the only one who liked it (my husband painted it periwinkle a year later). I think your mudroom looks fine and I love your green walls (but I think I’ve said that before).

  32. Erin says:

    I live in an apartment and can’t paint the walls unless I want to forgo the $300 security deposit or repaint them when I move out. When I finally own a home it may very well look like circus people live there because years of apartments and dorms have made me despise white walls.

  33. Daisy says:

    My husband walked by as the last photo was up and said, “We could do our Great Room (the large living room) like that.” Really. The green for the walls, the white for the trim, and the stain glass for the top of the bay windows that cover almost the entire South wall. It’s an 1892 Victorian, by the way.

  34. peggy says:

    I love it and since the majority does too are you going to keep it?

  35. mothergoosemouse says:

    I really think those colors are beautiful, and I typically prefer neutrals myself.

  36. Renae says:

    I love the purple (and the green). The purple in the stained glass ties the 2 rooms together I think.

    We have a dark crimson feature wall in our bedroom and I didn’t think I’d like it but hubby talked me into it. Now I love it.

  37. Brigitte says:

    Was afraid you would go with “mud brown” there for a moment. I actually like purple, though maybe it SHOULD have been a bright one, to spite Rob and to hide marks.

    We got daring and painted the baby’s room yellow - OK, my brother painted it. We hate painting AND are color wussies - if we’re sick of a room’s color theme, we find it easier to change some of the stuff in the room than to repaint! (though our “eggshell white” walls are looking a dingy pale gray lately, maybe it’s time to rethink my painting issues).

  38. Dee Dee says:

    I love the color! Purple and green is one of my favorite color combos.

  39. bluepaintred says:

    oooh I liek the purple!

  40. nabbalicious says:

    I LOVE that color! Nice work.

  41. Grace says:

    It looks GREAT! The stained glass really ties it all together. Good choices!

  42. Susan says:

    I like your purple. My instinct would have been to paint it mud-colored, to hide the, uh, mud.

  43. house-n-baby says:

    I love, nay *adore* paint, and the names are just as important to me as the colours.

    I’m actually going out for some sample pots today - in “Kosciusko” and “Boc Choy” :)

    I love your green walls best.

  44. jody2ms says:

    I love it. The stained glass really pulls it in.

    I wish I had been a little more brave with color in our current house. Lots of “desert sand” and “peach calm” etc. My boldest color is in the master bedroom and Mias room…”sea grass”.

    Oh, and my hat is off to you for painting with 7 small children present. The last time Bill did that (with 4), they spilled a gallon of oil base paint on the waxed wood floors in my den. Bill now knows what I would look if I saw Satan himself dancing in my den.

  45. kate says:

    I agree I like the color as well!

    I think that you were very brave in branching out to color! Good for you

  46. Gillian says:

    I love the color but, of course, now the living room color is wrong. It needs to be a softer, grayed green. Then if you sit and look at that your enraptured eye will move to the next room…You see, this is how we ended up hanging off the end of the continent playing in the surf of the Pacific Ocean. It is just bloody hard to stop.

  47. jen3 @ amazing triplets says:

    Are my eyes going … or does it kinda match your blog??!

  48. zookeeper says:

    It’s great!!! Love the green! You are so brave for using green- it can be a tough color to choose. Too much blue and it’s “hello 1980″, too much yellow and it’s as attractive as cleaning up after a sick child…but it looks like you nailed the color just right!

  49. del4yo says:

    What a beautiful color, and a great choice, a good color for a mudroom indeed.

    Let’s say, it’s not purple, it’s mauve,maybe with a hint of Taupe…so everything is OK!!

  50. robiewankenobie says:

    my husband and i were all about the home improvement weekend. i think that’s why he got sick. i’m going to the hardware store anyway…because i’m optimistic that way.

    (btw…that green is the color that my oldest picked for his room.)

  51. InterstellarLass says:

    What pretty stained glass! And I love that green.