The hundred-year-old house that the Modern Love Machine and I bought a few months ago is blessed/cursed with dark-wood trim EVERYWHERE. Blessed because it’s beautiful, old and in great shape. Cursed because dark wood is a huge challenge when it comes to paint choices, furniture colors and lighting. It’s like a fussy old lady — you might want to dismiss it, but it’s loud enough you can’t ignore it. Sure, I could paint it white and make it easier to work with, but even though it’s our house I can’t bring myself to do it. It just seems, I don’t know, disrespectful to the house?
I won’t say every room in the house needed painting, but a few of the color choices were curious in that they were totally dismissive of this beautiful wood. Take, for instance, the room that’s become our home office.
The wood isn’t quite as orangey as it looks there (I couldn’t get around using overhead lighting for this shot), but it definitely has some orange undertones. The floors are even orange-ier. Orangyier? Orangier? Red is great and all, but being in this room made me itchy.
The MLM and I have had a hard time agreeing on paint colors. He likes BRIGHT colors, regardless of the house style. I like bright colors too, but they don’t all work in this house. Red is his favorite color. The room in question is my home office, therefore I won on this project.
So we moved everything into the living room.
And we primed.
And then we painted.
The color is Benjamin Moore’s Marina Grey,** and despite having every trick in the book to try to light this photo properly fail me, it’s gorgeous. A little bluer than I’d expected despite sampling it for a week, but I love it just the same. It’s soothing. It makes the wood trim sing. It works with the red couch. It allowed me to buy the World Market curtains I’d been lusting after for a while. And despite office = work, this room has become my favorite room in the house.
The room doesn’t have any crown molding along the ceiling. The intersection of the 100-year-old, nine-foot plaster walls and ceiling are incredibly uneven. Taping would have been futile. So would one of those edging devices. The only method I could figure out that would work was cutting in, ie. freestyling. Let me assure you, freestyling the top of a nine-foot wall is a BITCH.
I suppose it’s all worth it now that it’s just cool enough for me to throw open the windows and let the breeze do this to entertain me:
**Read my thoughts on Benjamin Moore’s VOC-free Natura paint at The Greenists.