Blue to Gray to

Waaaay back when Hurricane Sandy hit, Bower Power and friends were hosting a fall Pinterest Challenge. I was so in. I had a photo pinned of a living room with a navy blue accent wall, a huge window and a white couch. I've loved that room forever. It was my inspiration for M's nursery (well that and our navy and hot pink wedding.) I jumped in, psyched to finally be painting my navy blue living room accent wall.

In anticipation of the hurricane, we stocked up on much needed essentials - a couple gallons of water and a gallon of navy blue paint. I got to work painting the wall behind our mounted TV in the living room while S played with Little M. I pinched a few pennies and didn't buy our usual Benjamin Moore paint, so it was a little stinky in the room. I opened all the windows and screen door to air the place out at bit while I painted. Then, at 4:30, I heard a huge crash, turned to see a tree falling across the street one house down from us and the lights went out. The house was about 55 degrees at that point since I'd let all the heat out. And it was getting dark. Aaaaand I've got a ton of frozen milk in our freezer so panic set in. The TV anchor panicked along with me:

We saw that our neighbors had extension cords strung across the street to homes where they still had power. In the morning we knocked on the door at the house across the street, asked to borrow power, and strung a cord across. We had just enough juice to power the freezer and a light in the living - just enough light to continue painting. Whew.

By the time our power was restored we had a dark blue accent wall. Just like my inspiration photo. Except we don't have a white couch. Or a huge window. And our light gray walls suddenly looked pale blue. The navy blue I loved in my inspiration photo, that I adore in my nursery, looked...juvenile. It was not what I'd hoped for at all. Womp, womp, womp.

I tried moving the chairs around. We hung a pendant above the green slipper chair that we stole from my office. I added some fall pumpkins. But nothing really worked. It was ok, but it wasn't great. I didn't love it.
We lived it with for exactly four weeks...until S went on his next trip and I zipped over to the Benjamin Moore store and bought a quart of the darkest gray on same color card as the living room's pale Iced Cube Silver walls, which, was appropriately called gray.

Since the label on my quart of Aura paint said I had exactly enough paint to cover the square footage of the accent wall with one coat and I needed two, I decided to paint the entire wall with a 2" brush and not waste any paint on a roller. I painted that entire wall with a 2" brush twice over the course of two evenings after Little M went to bed. And because it was Christmas time and a giant tree was secured to the wall and fortified against little monkeys, and because I was all by myself and couldn't move that tree, I painted around it.

When S got home, he thought the light from the Christmas tree reflected oddly on the wall. It didn't occur to him that I'd painted the wall around the tree. In three years he hasn't yet learned that he should assume I've painted something every time he returns home.

And my mom thought we bought a new TV because it blended so nicely with the gray wall (she'd seen the blue wall two weeks earlier.) It didn't occur to her that I'd painted the wall again.
see the perfectly artistic outline of the tree?
It took us a few weeks after taking down the tree and one embarrassing conversation with an architect where I mentioned that we like to DIY projects and caught her glance at the tree-shaped blue area on the tree-less wall. I waved my arm and said, "and we were more apt to finish those projects before Little M came around." Of course I haven't taken an after photo of the gray wall yet. Little secret - I'm missing the curtains we took down a few months ago. The room doesn't look finished without them, but I'm hesitant to put up new curtains when we've got other big projects in the works that will affect the curtains in here. Maybe I'll ask S to hang the rod back up this weekend for me, just a little interim maneuver.

I definitely learned my lesson about coveting rooms that don't resemble mine at all. Navy works beautifully in Little M's room, but I adore the dark gray wall downstairs. And in hindsight this gray would have been the perfect gray for below the chair rail in the dining room - a decision I obsessed over forever!

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  1. Great choice of color!

  2. This post makes me laugh because I am notorious for painting. In fact, my living room will be painted . . . again. For what seems like the 14th time. And yes, paint is considered a "much needed item" during natural disasters.


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