Kittie Howard


Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Colorful Question Amid Snow, Snow and More Snow

While California struggles with a parched earth and the worst drought in over 100 years, snow keeps blanketing other states. From my window, the snow looks pretty, a Currier and Ives winter landscape that kisses the snow-filled horizon . . .



 . . . whoa, more snow's coming today and tomorrow . . . a couple of inches here in Northern Virginia . . . a foot and a half projected for Maine.  For us here, temperatures will rise to the mid-50s next week. We've been warned the upcoming melt could lead to flooding. Yeow!

During the hiatus, hub and I have busied ourselves preparing for the upcoming move to Eastern North Carolina. Since the first wave of stuff that made the downsizing cut will go into a storage unit there in mid-April, we boxed many of the books and collectables that have come to be an extension of who we are, a good thing. One's life needs a decorative touch, warm reminders here and there of goals achieved in another time, another place that nudge the spirit to focus forward, to experience what lies behind the next 'mountain.' An African expression comes to mind: A river that doesn't flow stagnates and dries up.

But I've given much more thought to paint. Specifically, which palette will work best in our new home? Here's the frontal layout: traditional foyer with dining room to the left, study to the right; after a wrap-around, two steps lead to the sunken living room, almost a great room if it weren't for the family room off of the kitchen (to the back, left). Since long panes are alongside the house's entry door and large Palladium windows are on either side of the fireplace that anchors the living room's far wall, there's plenty of natural light, perhaps too much at times.



Since we're just a few minutes from the beach, I'm in a quandary about how to create a light, airy entrance without turning the house into a beach cottage. I'd love your suggestions as to which paint neutrals/colors you'd use. . . without using blue as I left my 'blue stage' years ago and don't really want to return. . . and, no yellow as the living room area is currently a light yellow . . . nice, but stale looking to our eyes . . . it's time for a change . . . Please, please, how would you switch out that yellow?








19 comments:

David Macaulay said...

hard to keep up with your moves - whereabouts in northeast North Carolina - I used to live in Elizabeth City

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Minutes from the beach? Wilmington?
Sorry, decorating a house is not my specialty.
No more snow coming here, but it's raining. We are very saturated at the moment!

Patrica Ball Morrison said...

stuck in the doldum pallettes of neutral here where the snow is almost igloo size but we have not had the storms that plagued the east. I do need to replace bed spread in our bedroom and the living room draperies. Get tired looking. So the old stuff stays.

mshatch said...

I tend to favor warm colors so my kitchen is a Mexican yellow with Jalapeno green trim, the livingroom is pottery red with muslin trim, and my room is plum perfect with muslin trim. It sounds bright but it actually looks good - to me!

I also used to paint houses and vowed I would never succumb to off-whites.

I think the colors have to suit you, your personality.

Good luck!

Gail Dixon said...

You're moving? Well, I do hope you enjoy your new locale. As for paint, I'd have to see other furnishings and the house itself. I prefer neutral colors on the walls and making a statement with colors in pillows, rugs, and other decor. Let us know what you decide! Best of luck with the move.

Marguerite said...

Your new place sounds wonderful and near the beach is just perfect! I like neutrals on walls with colorful accents and maybe a few beach accents here and there.

All that snow sounds dreadful! We are finally warming up and are supposed to go up in the mid to upper 70's this week. You should come down for Mardi Gras, cher! :)

Janie Junebug said...

My son, Favorite Young Man, has gradually been painting the dull interior of my house. I've made some bright, bold choices, such as red for the kitchen with black counters and white cabinets. I understand you don't want blue, but we used a very bright blue in the foyer. My bedroom has one red wall and the rest of the room is a beautiful dove grey. We also used grey in the black-and-white tiled hall bathroom. We'll use taupe for my bathroom and the extra bedroom. I'm really pleased that I didn't go neutral for once.

Love,
Janie

Out on the prairie said...

Hard to pick the right one, I take my time and work with a lot. Wait I have a yellow living room.

Linda Starr said...

I've gotten lots of good decorating advice on the garden web forums in home decorating category, post a photo of your room and synopsis of this post and you'll get tons of great ideas.

how about lavender, peach or coral? even a pale green

William Kendall said...

It's not my area of expertise... I'll have to leave suggestions in more capable hands.

Norma Beishir said...

You're moving...I don't envy you! I've moved many times, and I hate it!
I think being able to decorate a new place may be the best part of a move.

Inger said...

I am getting tired of the strong color in our living area, which will stay regardless of how I feel.But I love this soft, soft green here in the study/second bedroom. It's a lovely color that one does not get tired of. I see that they paint in some strong, a bit darker, deeper colors these days. Why don't you get some magazines and check colors out from there. I'm sure you will find something nice. When are you actually moving?

Liza said...

Perhaps this is too beach-y for you, but I favor sea glass greens. I too, live near the sea, and have incorporated that color, though not to a sea cottage extent. Another one I like, on the neutral side but with a bit of it's own "peculiarity" is something called "Warm Spring Stones" by Benjamin Moore. Good luck moving, and painting!

Denise Covey said...

Hi Kittie! Paradise! Now what's wrong with the beach cottage look? My favourite and that always calls for that pretty French blue and white to me. You need Michael di Gesu here!

Geo and I are talking about the same sort of move as I think I'll stop teaching this year and concentrate on the writing. We already have a beach house, but it is HUGE, built when our kids were mainly at home. So, downsize is in the offing. Now, to build again (we've already built a house twice!) or buy...but it will be as close to the beach as possible.

Snow? Send some please. We're dying over here from the heat!! Never under what you would call 100F these days!

All the best with the choices!

Denise

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Kittie - the move near to the beach sounds wonderful. I like Denise's idea .. the blue and white ... yet Mediterranean colours spring to mind ...

I tend to have plainer walls with everything else bright and breezy - Africany colours ..

Good luck with all the packing, sorting etc - but exciting thoughts for the spring and summer .. cheers Hilary

Julie Flanders said...

I'm the world's worst when it comes to painting and decorating so I can't offer any advice, but I can't deny I turned a little green with envy when I read "minutes from the beach." :D I hope you have a very smooth move and are happy in your new place.
Love that African saying, I've never read that one before.

Stephen Tremp said...

I'm currently repainting the entire interior of our house. Some rooms remain the same, others have new colors.

Some paint stores like Sherwin Williams allow you to upload pics of a room, then select different colors to see how they would look. You should remove some furniture for the pic though.

Nicki Elson said...

A decorating project! How fun. Hmm, I'm unable to give color choices (I'm a huge fan of "brown" in all it's many shades) but advice I can give is to not count out a shade darker than what you'd normally consider, especially with all the windows to keep the rooms light. Also, be sure to test the color out on different walls and note how it looks at different times of day---some colors completely change depending on how the light hits them. Mostly, I agree w/ Denise---you should ask Michael Di!

And now if you'll excuse me, I must go shovel the huge pile of slush at the end of my driveway so my car doesn't get stuck in it...again.

'Lara said...

Decorating not my area of expertise...all the best with the move....a beach house is so cool