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Thundercloud in the spare room

painted fireplace 2

Back in October, we painted the spare bedroom after doing considerable repair on the walls and the ceiling. It felt good to put a big check mark on the to-do list, but I figured I would wait to post about this room until I knew I had future updates in store. And here we are… nine months later. Whoops. Surprise: we make more progress indoors when it’s chilly and wet outside.

cream bedroom (before)

Just to recap, here’s how the spare room looked a year ago before we got our hands all over it. Blue carpet, cracked walls, textured ceiling, and wallpaper trim. The small cupboard and the chipboard fireplace insert were also due for removal.

SR wreck

And here’s how it looked in its worst moments, when everything was getting repaired at once. We removed the mismatched architraves, so everything was looking extra nice thanks to the exposed cement board. It had been a perfectly acceptable bedroom before, just not to our taste, but at this stage it looked decrepit and scary.

(You can also see that my indoor photography also left a lot to be desired. A few key elements to getting better indoor shots are a tripod, a low ISO in order to prevent graininess, and a wide-angle lens. It’s real fun to look at my old October photos when I wasn’t using any of those things.)

blue grey samples painting thundercloud

I knew I wanted a blue-grey in this room, and it took a few tries with paint samples. What I thought would be a pleasant medium blue-grey ended up shouting BABY BOY NURSERY once it was on the wall. Yikes.

Our final choice was Taubmans ‘Thundercloud’. On the chip, it’s a steely grey, but on the wall it becomes this beautiful, complex blue-grey that shifts depending on the light. There’s enough green in there to prevent it from feeling too cold. I like the soft aqua in the living room, but this darker hue is Jamie’s favourite paint colour in our house.

SR may 2014

And now we’re back to the present day. So far so good.

The present day happens to feature a foosball table that was a Christmas present for Jamie from his brother, a very large present that has been used three times. No disrespect intended, it’s a cool gift, but it will get in the way once this room is set up as a guest bedroom. (I can’t wait to have visitors from interstate and overseas! So exciting.)

The room may currently be a catch-all junk room and foosball parlour, but believe me, I have plans. That busted cement board is also getting covered up soon; we finished milling the new architraves and they’re ready to be installed! Yay.

painted fireplace 1

I’m really pleased with this blue-grey. My two cents on choosing paint colours:

  • Go less saturated than what you’re aiming for. That calming celery-green paint chip will look radioactive once it’s up on the wall. All the blues I looked at (and eventually chose) came from the ‘grey’ end of the chart, but they’re definitely blues.
  • For greys, look closely at undertones, especially if you’re after a true grey. Most of them have an undertone of blue, green, purple or brown.

I painted the fireplace in the same light gray as the hallway, but I think I’ll paint over it in a satin enamel, rather than leaving the low-sheen finish. I’m still due to make significant updates to the fireplace, as detailed here, but the most important elements will be sealing off the top and re-laying a hearth to ground the fireplace. I know I can make it pretty!

4 thoughts on “Thundercloud in the spare room”

    1. I know what you mean! My eyes glaze over when reading long, jargon-filled tutorials.

      One more thing about indoor photos, because I can’t help myself: if you’re taking photos of things that move, like people or animals, use a high ISO rather than a low one. A higher ISO allows more light into the camera, which means you can increase the shutter speed and reduce blurriness, without the photos coming out too dark.

      When I’m taking photos of static rooms, I’m happy to set up the tripod, use a low ISO and a long exposure time, because nothing’s going to suddenly shift on me and make the photo blurry. (My camera is also an older, cheaper model; newer cameras can achieve better quality photos at higher ISOs.)

      Sorry if I’m over-explaining, or if you already know all this!

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