Step 2 of my magic wand decorating scheme was to paint my living room. The biggest challenge was picking a color. I don’t know about you, but I’m very seasonally motivated when it comes to color choices. If it’s summer, I want to go all light and airy.
But in the winter I want warm, dark and cozy. Especially when our temps are hitting ridiculous lows like the -27 F we had last week, or today’s ‘practically balmy by comparison’ -7.
Dark walls have really been on my radar lately. First I saw Danielle’s home office makeover for her husband …
Gorgeous, right? You can read all about that makeover on her blog Finding Silver Pennies.
Then my friend Meggan, a.k.a. the thrift doctor, emailed me to say that she painted her sun room walls black!
As a reminder, I shared a full tour of Meggan’s home back in 2015. At that time her sun room had pale green walls. But now they look like this …
The dark walls are perfect for showcasing her milk glass collection.
And as a sidebar, isn’t that cupboard fab? It was free! As Meggan says, nearly everything in her house was either free or is from the thrift store. She painted the inside of the cupboard in a minty green and switched out the hardware, but otherwise left it ‘as is’.
I think Meggan’s dark walls are perfect for emphasizing the amazing view out her bay window too.
Isn’t that gorgeous?
So after seeing all of this fabulous inspiration, I decided to embrace the dark side in my living room. I went to Home Depot thinking that I could easily pick out a deep, rich dark charcoal grey for my walls. I started pulling out the little paint chips and every time I grabbed a different one, it totally changed the look of the last one. I don’t know about you, but I find that even when I have a specific image in my head of the color I want, I have a lot of trouble finding it in the store. The terrible lighting in most of the big box DIY stores doesn’t help either.
Over the years I have found that it’s wise to bring home some samples and test them on my own walls and at various times of day to make sure I get the color I really want.
The Home Depot paint guy recommended I try these Sure Swatch thingies for that.
Instead of painting your test swatches right on the wall, you paint this 9″ x 12″ film and the temporary adhesive back allows you to move it around to different locations on your wall to see how it looks. For example, you can see how it looks next to the window trim, and then how it looks on the wall that gets the most sun, or maybe the wall that is next to the bookcase. You get the idea. They were quite convenient, except I moved them around so much that the sticky back lost most of its stick-ability.
After studying them in various lighting conditions, I was surprised to find that I liked the color called Black Locust (Behr) best. I thought for sure I was going to go with Grey Tabby (PPG) while I was in the store. But I really loved the depth of the Black Locust.
Next came the easy part, first I coerced Mr. Q into sanding the edges of the existing horizontal stripes on the walls.
Today’s q-tip: If you have taped off stripes on your walls, there will be ridges in the paint wherever it met the tape. You absolutely must sand those down smooth before repainting your walls or you will see those lines.
Then I coerced my bff, Vonda, to come over and help me paint!
Jobs like this always go so much faster when you have some company.
We were done in no time! The paint covered really beautifully. We did only one coat of cutting in and two coats of rolling.
You guys, I absolutely LOVE this color! And it works beautifully with my existing pale blue ceiling and front hallway color.
It didn’t take me long to realize that the farmer’s market sign from my dining room would look amazing hanging above that archway instead. I made that using a cast off side rail from a bed.
My newly styled bookshelves really become a focal point in the room with the dark walls, although it was a little difficult to get a good picture of them on a gloomy day.
So, the last remaining item to take care of in this room is buying new furniture. My old stuff is in terrible condition and has needed to be replaced for years now. I have an idea of what I want but need to find the time to get out there and see if I can find it. Then I suspect I’ll have to order it and wait 2 years for it to arrive! So you’ll have to be patient and wait for the final reveal of this room.
In the meantime, I’m going to move on to the next room and see if I can get some of that tackled.
But first, tell me, have you embraced the dark side at your house?