Monday, February 2, 2015

Building your own home: Paint

Some of you know, some of you don't, my husband is a builder.  We started building our first home about 2 years ago and moved in October 2013.  We learned very quickly that there's nothing easy about building your own home.  There. are. so. many. options.

Michael and I spent 3 full days picking out our paint colors and at 8 months pregnant, I shed more tears over it than I'd care to admit.  Who knew picking paint could be so damn stressful.

Did you know there's like 1 million different shades of grey?!  Grey with blue tint, grey with purple tint, grey with brown tint & when you line all those greys up they don't even look fricken grey anymore.

Advice #1: Don't bring home 20 samples like we did.  Narrow it down ahead of time.  Choose 3 colors and when you bring them home, don't do it with the idea that you can go get more samples if you're not satisfied.

Truth be told, we probably sampled around 30 different colors.  & guess which ones we picked?  Our first pick, from our first round of samples.  Don't make things more difficult than you need to!

Advice #2: Access how much natural light enters your home.  If you have tons of natural light, you can pull off a darker color.  If you don't, stick with lighter shades... You know, so your house doesn't feel like a dungeon.

Advice #3: We worked with the sweetest designer at Restoration Hardware.  She helped us pick all our big furniture pieces for our home and after doing so, was kind enough to offer paint color advice.  She advised we paint the trim darker than the walls.  We were a little skeptical, but decided to go for it in the end.

My advice?  Only do this with lighter colors UNLESS you have a great deal of natural light.  I love how Beckett and Ellia's rooms turned out.  The walls are such a light grey they look white & their trim is just one shade darker on the color swatch. The darker trim blends beautifully with their rooms.  (Not to mention, both rooms have a great deal of natural light)

We did one shade darker throughout the rest of the house.  Meaning, what we used on the kids trim, we used on the walls on the remainder of the home and then used the next shade darker on the color swatch for the trim.  In some rooms it looks wonderful, in other rooms it's a bit dark.  (it goes back to accessing the amount of natural light before choosing medium-dark colors.)

On our next build, our current plan is to use the colors we used for the kids rooms for the whole house.

#4:  Keep it neutral.  Colorful decorative pieces go a long way!  AND you can always paint a room a different color later.  Paint isn't permanent, but f you go bold with your colors all over your home and decide you don't like it, it could be a pricey fix.  We kept our entire house neutral and then last month my husband decided to paint the underside of our stairs purple.  I wasn't thrilled at first, but I have to admit it's starting to grow on me :)

You could also add pops of color by painting a door, a statement wall (like the chalkboard wall I ever so cleverly opened this post with) and if you want something less permeant than paint, you can always use wall decals (which is what we did in Beckett's room).

I'd like to note that I am not by any means a designer.  I've never taken any classes & my expertise goes no further than helping my husband with projects and watching HGTV.

That said, I hope my little bit of advice helps you on your next home painting venture!

Until next time, Molly


  1. Like everything else, home-building could be a trial-and-error experience. But then I presume that it’s the indecisiveness’ that prolonged your home-building process. That’s okay, though. After all, that home is where you’ll spend most all of your time in, so you’ve got to make sure all its schemes and colors are aligned to your liking. Thanks for sharing those tips!

    Oliver Matthews @ Flower & Fendler

  2. Thanks for sharing your experiences on painting your home. Great point about taking into account how much natural light the room gets. We have some rooms that are really dark, so I will make sure to stick to lighter shades in those rooms. I don't know if I have the skill to paint my own home though. Perhaps I will look into hiring some painters.

  3. You are definitely right, Molly. I guess it comes down to paring down your color choices; trying to use every color that piques your interest will just look weird when you get the finished product. And always decide with respect to what the surfaces of your home are like. After all, that's what the paint is going to be working with respect to. Good day!

    Harlan Sanford @ Painter Ready Knox