hallway + view into dining room as they looked during the open house
Before we even bought our house, I knew I wanted to paint the entire interior white. White walls everywhere! A blank canvas! Then the naysayers (my mother, it’s always my mother) started voicing their opinions: “White? Everywhere? That’s so boring!”
Was it boring? Was I clever and crafty and artsy and designy enough to handle white walls? Could my HOUSE handle white walls? Was it too dark? Were the ceilings too low? The rooms too small? I had no idea. All I knew was I was painting something white, come hell or high water. I painted the connected living and dining room with Behr’s Polar Bear. We chose Behr because we can’t afford Benjamin Moore and seriously, IT IS PAINT. There’s no way I would be able to tell the difference between a $30 can of paint and a $50 can of paint if you paid me. We are young barely-professionals and Ben Moore is just not in our price range and it’s not in the price range of 99% of the people I know In Real Life. I know home bloggers and interior designers love him but I am not a home blogger nor interior designer. I’m just a girl, living in the world, and wishing it was less expensive.
Anyway, Polar Bear is a nice, warmer toned white that I thought would be good in the space since it doesn’t get a ton of light all day. N liked it because it was named after a “winter animal”. Whatever.
The walls were painted and I loved it. Everything looked fresh and clean and the creamy white was a nice contrast to our dark floors. (Have I talked about our floors? I need to talk about our floors. Another post for another day.)
Yet still, the words of the naysayers were in my mind, so I figured when it was time to paint the hallway and the kitchen I would choose a color. A nice, pale gray. (Not making huge leaps and bounds here as far as color goes, I know.) I spent at least an hour, if not more, in Home Depot agonizing over the paint swatches and finally choosing a lovely pale gray. Grays are tricky, because a good, true gray is shockingly hard to find. Mix some black and white people, why isn’t that A Thing? Every single gray has a tinge of blue, or reads green in certain light, or is really quite beige when you put it next to another swatch. It was an absolute nightmare. I finally settled on one and brought it home though, and today I got to painting.
I did one coat and then stopped to let it dry and as it dried I assessed. The color was beautiful, just liked I knew it would be, but it was not at all right for the space. It was coming across very blue and we have absolutely no blue in any of the rooms leading into the hallway. It was wasn’t meshing as well as I’d hoped. So I went on Pinterest and looked up best gray colors. At this point I was so frustrated I was willing to pay more for the damn Benjamin Moore if it was going to be perfect. But the more I looked the more my gut said “Just use white! Paint it all whhhiiittteee!”
hallway + view into dining room as they look now (whhiiitttee)
When my gut speaks, I listen. It is always right. So I put the lid back on the paint can, hammered it shut, and labeled it “upstairs bathroom”. We don’t have an upstairs bathroom, BUT WE MIGHT SOMEDAY, and now we already have paint. Then I hustled to Home Depot for some more of my beloved Polar Bear paint and hustled back home to paint over the gray before N saw what I’d done and realized I had bought paint we didn’t need.
Man, am I glad I went with my gut. The hallway is a fresh white, and it looks so much more open and bright. I can’t wait to get in there and hang pictures to really add some color. Next up is the kitchen, and I cannot wait to see how transformative my cuddly Polar Bear is in there.
OH! Also, as I was waiting for them to mix my paint I saw this Glade Paint Additive sitting in a display on the counter. You pour the little packet of oil into your can of paint, mix it all up, and it scents your paint so it doesn’t smell like, well, paint. I chose Lavender Vanilla and now that the paint has dried it is like a lovely, light, wisp of a scent when you are walking down the hallway. Like I’ve just cleaned or done laundry, neither of which are usually true.