Colors Can Make a Difference

While we are wrapping up a few things in the kitchen and I can’t do the BIG reveal yet, I’ll post a bit more about what’s going on in the other rooms. Since the entire house is a work in progress, we are constantly improving everything bit by bit.

Generally, the project outline for the first floor is finishing the kitchen, re-doing the dining room, and lastly making the back bump-out (the space that used to be a sort of butler’s pantry) into a bathroom.

Happily, the dining room is a low-level and low-cost restoration project. Overall, our goals are to install a built-in hutch (done), expose the chimney brick (done), paint the walls (done), re-texture the ceiling (done), and install new flooring. Long term, I’d like to put in a more era-appropriate light fixture, and create built-in seating bench around the table, however these goals are not necessary to ‘finish’ the room.

Now that you see the big picture, this episode is dedicated to our project of re-painting the dining room. The dining room was painted a rather drab shade of yellow-brown. While technically it could be considered a neutral, and neutrals are usually safe bets, this shade had the effect of making the room look constantly dark and dingy.


Baby poop brown, I call it.

This room gets a lot of sun, and it had the potential to be really bright and airy. Since the rest of the first floor is heavily reliant on a sturdy Arts and Crafts style, I wanted to bring in more of the Art Nouveau look that we love so much into this room. In order to tie it in with the rest of the rooms, I decided on a French-styled, rustic look with Art Nouveau accents as the goal for this room. A lovely blue and yellow Provencal jacquard tablecloth was the inspiration for the color scheme. I was also inspired by the sturdy, yet still French feeling architecture of Montreal.

We decided that a light blue would be best, and (as I always do now!) we painted a few swatches on the walls. The best thing to do, I feel, is to swatch a few days in advance so you have a chance to see what the color looks like in the day and night. We chose our favorite blue, and went to town.


You know you’ve gone over the edge when you spend days deciding between two such very similar shades of blue for a room.


Rampant swatching

Not since painting over the neon colors in our upstairs bedrooms have I seen what a difference a color can make. As we rolled on the paint, the baby-poop brown walls instantly morphed into a bright, cheery atmosphere. Even in the evening hours, the walls now seemed happy and full of light. I always had thought that the saying that “dark colors make a room seem smaller” was untrue, however I was proven wrong in this case. As soon as the room was finished, it felt as if the ceiling had raised by a foot, making the area feel more spacious and larger than before.


Love this color! It feels so clean.


The dog likes to get in all my pictures. (If you are paying attention, I did get behind the hutch to paint when we exposed the chimney in this post).

In this case, I think a coat of paint made all the difference between dingy and lovely. Do you agree?


You can see the whole room in the windows here! Also you can see the inspiration tablecloth in this picture. I think I nailed it, color-wise.


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