One Room Challenge, Week Three – Spring 2020


One Room Challenge Week 3, Spring 2020 - Inspired Haven Design

Small confession: I’ve been freaking out just a little bit this week.

It’s Week 3 of the One Room Challenge, in which I’m a guest participant, and the bulk of the work is yet to be completed. If you’re unfamiliar with the ORC, it’s a semi-annual event in which designers and design bloggers renovate, remodel and/or update a room in their own homes, and share with you the process and their sources. Better Homes and Gardens is the official media partner of the One Room Challenge.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out the featured designers and the guest participants. There are some amazing projects going on right now!

Last week I shared my vision for my husband’s home office update, and if you’d like to see the “before” pictures and the list of what we are doing in the space, you can also check out my Week One post.

This week we had the painter in to measure, order materials and schedule the cabinet paint work. I also caulked and filled nail holes in the baseboards, and caulked wherever the cabinets meet the walls.

Caulking gun ready to caulk baseboards and trim

The next step was to add 2 coats of the main paint color on the back and front walls. And this is where the “freaking out” portion of my story begins:

I started cutting in the paint around the window and cabinets, and my first thought was “IT’S PEACH!”

Cutting in with greige paint over the existing green gray paint
Cutting in the first coat of greige over the deep green beige

Now, having specified paint color for about 20 years, I’m acutely aware that when there is a change in undertones, the new color always looks hideous on top of the old color.

In this case we are taking the room from a very Tuscan green beige wall color to a much lighter griege. The combination of the pastel white base and the grayer color will read peachy, taupey or mauvey by comparison. It’s also wet paint. This part I know. So I kept painting and got the first coat on.

I even had my 4 year old help roll on some paint, until he thought he might like to roll *in* the paint, and quickly packed it up to move the party outside for a while.

I digress. After the first coat was up, I wrestled with my color choice. So I texted my designer bestie and hashed out the details.

I was struggling with the difference between the painted sample board I have, and the way the color reads on the wall.

Actual wall color compared with the sample

The sample is a flat sheen and the wall is an eggshell sheen, plus the wall is textured. The way the texture and sheen pick up and reflect light makes it read a little more frosty and feminine than I’d like it to. So, I debated switching colors to something with just a little more green in it.

BUT. Thank God for designer friends, who can talk us down from self-created ledges. She confirmed my backup choices were good ones, but after all was said and done, I decided to wait before making a decision. More than likely, the original choice will stand.

Here’s why:

The room isn’t finished, so the new paint color is being read in the context of all the old, existing finishes. And the overall yellow color of the unfinished red oak is making the greige read pale taupe by comparison.

On top of that, the cabinet color I chose is also sampled in a flat paint. It’s going to be an eggshell finish as well, but will also be a conversion varnish. After speaking with the painter, he reminded me that the color matching process with conversion varnish is never a perfect science, and that while the color will be very close, an exact match is not a guarantee. Therefore, that color may read differently too when it is on an entire wall of cabinets, reflecting light with their textured and profiled surfaces.

BM Sea Salt next to the cabinet color sample board
The wall is reading more taupey greige next to the oak cabinetry.

You guys, this is something I know, and have talked many clients off of their own ledges about, but for some reason when it’s in our own house, we tend to run with the emotional side and forget the facts. I’m sharing this with you because it is a really common experience when a new paint color first goes up in an existing space.

So I’m going to trust the process, just as I ask of all my clients, because it really does come together at the end. Every. Single. Time.

We are still waiting on some items, like the ceiling fan, which will mean we need to wait to get an electrician in to do the can lights. And there is a good chance I’ll be burning the midnight oil for the final reveal. Ha!

Thanks for sharing the journey with me!


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One Comment

  1. I love that you shared all of your angst over this, Crystal. To my eye, on the screen, it looks so very close, but I hear you on reading differently in your home.

    I bet it will be just perfect when all is said and done, but it was fun to read that you have the same *moments of anxiety* that so many of us do when choosing paint!

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