Interior paint palette: clouds and sea

study painted

We’re at the painting stage in more rooms! The study and the hallway have been checked off the list. Oh god finally, more of our rooms are becoming liveable.

paint palette

Here’s the interior paint palette we’ve decided on. Blues and greys. Our paint can collection has grown. The only rooms we’re not painting in this renovation whirlwind are the bathrooms, but they’ll fit in somewhere here too.

If I had a “colour story” in mind, as though I were designing a fashion line and not just pointing at paint swatches, it would be: THE SEA. From a cabin somewhere in the mountains. On a partly cloudy day.

snowy view; interior paint palette inspiration

It reminds me of the view from our apartment, a little bit. It snows maybe three times a year, and last week was one of those times. I was inside drinking coffee, thank you very much.

All that coolness will be counter-balanced by plenty of timber, textured knits and linens, and glossy green plants. I mentioned this before, but it’s a house to be lived in, not a showroom. It’d be great if that balance of colours and materials can help make it feel cool in summer and cozy in winter.

study work

Like everywhere else in the house, the walls in the study were busted. Next time they look this bad, we’re replacing the lot with plasterboard. Not that it would happen for years and years; the previous cracks did take 65 years to accumulate, after all. But screw having to do this all over again though.

study painted 2

There we go! No more purple walls, no more purple ceiling. The colour is Dulux ‘Beige Royal’, half strength. It looks beige on the chip, but turns into a warm grey on the walls. The light in this house goes blue, especially in winter, and I chose a taupey-beigey grey with a green undertone to counter that. If I’d gone with a true grey, it would have turned icy on the walls.

I hate the term “greige”, but I suppose that’s what this colour is. It’s a true greige. I still prefer “warm grey.”

study fireplace after painting

As this is going to be my workspace, I wanted neutral paint on the walls. It’s eventually going to be covered in posters and prints and postcards and other junky ephemera, and a massive shot of colour on the walls behind the inevitable crazy would feel overwhelming to me. It needs to be a productive space.

I’m not wild about the dark red brick of the fireplace. It’s been poly’d in the past, as evidenced by the heavy gloss coating and the yellowed grout. Nice. I’m only hesitant to paint over it because of how difficult it would be to reverse, if it turns out to be a bust. I like knowing there’s an escape route if I mess this up.

Right now I’m considering giving it a white-wash or grey-wash to mellow out the dark red, but that may look too rustic in here. Decisions! In the end it’ll probably just get an opaque coat one shade lighter than the walls.

hallway work

Just like every other room getting its walls did, the hallway was filled with plaster dust. It tracked into every other room and made me feel like the house would be forever unclean. Never been so happy to carry around a bucket of soapy water and a sponge and watch the water turn into chocolate milk, over and over.

hallway painted

Hey, paint. The hallway walls are also neutral, since the living room and bedrooms all have colour on the walls. I went ahead with warm gray, but lighter. It still keeps that sense of dimension against the ceiling and makes it feel less like a blank box.

We picked up a pale warm grey again: Dulux Grand Piano, quarter strength. One shade lighter and a tiny bit more beige/less green than the Beige Royal. We were all set to go and then at the last minute I was all, hey let’s do a two-tone wall. We used the two colours we already had going, with the darker Beige Royal above the picture rail. I’m surprisingly okay with the results. It’s subtle and it adds a little more interest to the blank space.

The door frames will be stripped back to natural timber, stained and varnished, because the frames are all varnished on the other side, and none of the doors are painted. I really like timber against grey. It’s like how brown shoes go with grey suits. It just works. And yeah, space needs that architrave replaced and a good mop.

The paint colours will look less stupid when the trims are stripped back. I swear.

hallway moodboard

What I’m thinking, overall:

  • Warm grey-on-grey walls.
  • Door frames stripped and varnished.
  • Ball pendant lights. I was set on a more formal type, as in a glass globe and rod base, but Jamie is keen on Edison bulbs since they look all sciencey and cool. That might be the go: get cheap black pendant cord bases from IKEA, splurge on these dope LED Edison bulbs. It’s easy to change out bulbs and shades on those basic pendants as the mood strikes.
  • Black-and-white runner. This one came and went on Wayfair, to my disappointment.
  • Picture rails actually used as picture rails. The picture rails would work very well with this particular style of hanging. I may paint them darker once the door frames are varnished.
  • Cool prints. I just stuck in that particular Wordboner print because it’s monochromatic and I already own it. It’s true, I find swear words deeply inspirational and a vital part of every one of my days on this earth. Yup.

We’re still working on everything at once, and of course, soon we’ll be moving in! !!!!
Doesn’t even feel real.

6 thoughts on “Interior paint palette: clouds and sea

  1. Hi Steph,

    I am throughly enjoying reading about your adventures in remodeling. Years ago in Kansas City, the old house (built in 1914) on Harrison Street presented numerous and continuous challenges, but I still enjoyed the work on my place and the results.

    I am not sure but you seem to have become more Australian in your spelling (color with a “u”) and some phrases. Rather salty at times, don’t know who reads this.

    Remain calm and carry on. Winter is coming here and I am grateful. The switch flipped after the autumnal equinox (Sept 22) and temps are now double digit.

    Take care, I miss you

    1. HI DAD!

      Aw, I’m glad to hear it’s worthwhile reading. Jamie and I are finding this all very satisfying, despite the little frustrations along the way. We can’t wait to move in and have people over.

      I’m conflicted on the language thing! It’s a blog I’m writing in Australia, where I regularly write in Australian English professionally, and where we have a house and use Australian products. But I definitely still think in C-O-L-O-R. I feel like a phony writing this in either variant, honestly.

      You should hear how people talk over here 😀 but yep, point taken.

      Miss you all, too.

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