March – Fort Bragg Remodel – Paint

Who knew choosing paint colors would be so difficult? For the remodel we knew we wanted blue for the kitchen island and grey for the wall cabinets. That should be the end, right? Well, not! There are a million choices for blue and grey. To add to the complexity each color has similar hues, more shades, and complementary colors. And, in this case, there are two people with different eyes and tastes who need to reach agreement. I now know what must keep designers up at night. There was much debate, indecision, and waffling. Thankfully my husband has excellent taste and a good eye for color so it was a collaborative effort.

All our colors are by Benjamin Moore since they are available up on the coast at Norvell’s. Eve at the store was endlessly patient with us and a fountain of knowledge. We must have been back and forth to the store a half dozen times buying samples. In fact we could probably paint the entire kitchen with those pint sized samples (although it would look like a patchwork quilt).

We looked at Blue Danube, Dark Royal Blue, Champion Cobalt (too bright), Gentleman’s Grey (a grey with some blue which was a favorite for awhile), Van Deusen Blue (too blue), and Hale Navy (our final choice). According to the Benjamin Moore website – Hale Navy is a timeless classic, this deeply saturated shade of navy blue evokes rich maritime traditions and storied exploits at sea. Since the house is near the beach, we thought it appropriate. You can see the color and read more here. It’s been a favorite for a few years. Hale Navy looks different in different lights, we will also use it on the bathroom vanity. The color goes well with grey but also with taupe and wood tones, we didn’t really want to repaint the living room and all the trim in the house is redwood. This is quite a small house with an open floor plan, you can see everything from the kitchen (and the kitchen from everywhere as well).

On to choosing the grey for the wall cabinets and open shelving. There is an large sliding glass door on one side of the kitchen which lets in a lot of light (but faces North), the other side tends to be dark especially on an overcast day. I had ruled out white or something too light as I though it would draw your eye to that side of the room too much. You see that kitchen wall from the dining/living room. We wanted a grey with a distinct color but not too dark. Candidates were Wolf Grey, Inglewood Cliffs, Grey Shower, Evening Dove, Pike’s Peak Grey, and finally Sweatshirt Grey (the winner). On their website they describe it thus – This color is part of Color Preview. A collection of bold, saturated colors that brings spaces to life for those looking to illuminate their world with pure, extraordinary color. A great complement to Classic Colors, Color Preview offers a collection of 1,232 hues that excite and inspire with pure, deep, clear colors that create striking combinations. You can read more here.

I have some antique blue willow platters I inherited from my grandmother. I have been meaning to put them on the walls for several years. I wanted the colors to harmonize with the plates.

Hale Navy, Sweatshirt Grey and edge of Antique Blue Willow Platter

Hale Navy, Sweatshirt Grey and edge of Antique Blue Willow Platter

You can see that in certain light conditions (such as brighter light in the picture above) the grey is very pale. The picture below was taken on an overcast day and it appears darker. Hale Navy can look almost black depending on the light. Colors are so interesting! You will see the grey in Sweatshirt Grey is more pronounced in contrast to the wall color we chose.

Next came wall color. Currently the walls in the kitchen are a pale yellow, I knew it was a mistake as soon as I saw the final painted room, but it was too late. We needed something to brighten up the space but coordinate with the navy, grey and taupe that is on the neighboring bookcase and in the living/dining area. And again, I didn’t want something too white that would force your eye to that area.

Candidates were Calm (too white), Creamy White (a little too yellow), Sea Pearl (nice but not quite right), and finally Ballet White which we chose. It’s a white with a touch of cream.

Left to right - Creamy White, Ballet White, Seal Pearl. Above on the right - Calm

Left to right – Creamy White, Ballet White, Seal Pearl. Above on the right – Calm

Here are the colors with a sample of the backsplash subway tile.

Hale Navy, Sweatshirt Grey, Ballet White

Hale Navy, Sweatshirt Grey, Ballet White

What do you think?


16 thoughts on “March – Fort Bragg Remodel – Paint

  1. I think it’s very difficult to comment on colours online, they will be reproduced differently on everyone’s screens…just a thought though, would you consider a splash of yellow to lift the blue and add a touch of brightness?

    • I agree with you and I am far from a professional photographer as well, which makes it even more difficult. The ballet white does have a touch of yellow or cream to it, it isn’t a stark grey white. It warms the room. The “old” paint color in the kitchen had more of a yellow tone to it but it actually did little to brighten the north facing room.

      • I’m in the midst of a kitchen-change myself – had my cabinets painted, changed my back-splash; now I’m just gathering the energy to rip down all the old wallpaper and paint the walls a nice soft gray! Have fun Liz – can’t wait to see the results 🙂

      • Please post your progress! I just received some pictures of the demolition from our contractor (we currently live about 3 hours away from the house), oh my. You never know what you will find when you tear out walls and flooring although we shouldn’t be surprised at the dry rot. The kitchen sink has leaked several times since we purchased the house.

      • It’s so exciting to make changes! It’s a little tough being that far away but still fun! We also own a cottage a few hours away – just bought it at the end of last year and am getting excited to open it in the Spring! I probably won’t be sharing any changes on our blog since it’s food related but I’ll save my ideas and photograph them for ‘who knows when?’ 🙂 🙂

  2. i know exactly what you’re going through. When we didi the beach house kitchen I wanted the blue that was the same as the stormy sky we frequently saw out to sea, that took countless sample pots but it was perfect in the end. As for the kitchen in our Brisbane home, I thought it was all sorted, but we’ve changed our minds many times over. It’s all locked in, they’re starting next week. When I try and describe the colour and surfaces, they sound terrible. I love your colour choices Liz, I wanted grey originally too. I’m not decided on the small amount of wall paint colour, I’m waiting to see the overall picture although I suspect it might be another venture into finding the right shade of blue. Good luck with it all, it’s hard to manage from afar, but it will be tricky living in the mess too.

    • I love the image of a storm sky at sea. We had so much trouble deciding and went back and forth so many times, the woman at the paint store would laugh when she saw us coming. It’s locked in for us as well now as the cabinets went to the painter mid-week. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress on your Brisbane home, what colors did you choose?

      • The cabinets are white, sadly the kitchen is in a dark corner and I felt I had no choice, but we’re mixing it up with some midnight blue. We’ve chosen patterned tiles in faded/weathered blue, orange, yellow and a neutral grey colour for the large wall behind the cooker. The neutral colour will be repeated in the floor tiles and the benchtop. It sounds a bit hotchpotch when you write it down, but fingers crossed

      • I’m looking forward to seeing pictures and reading about your progress. My blog started out being just about cooking and gardening but has become a sort of chronicle. I sometimes worry that I have wandered from the path too much.

  3. I think it is all coming along nicely, how exciting to be getting a whole new kitchen makeover. I bet you can’t wait for it to be all done and ready to go 🙂

  4. Willow blue is gorgeous on a wall–we have in one of our rooms with wall paper that is very similar to the style/color palette of your plates. I also am a huge fan of Hale Navy–so yes, I love your choices. But consider Willow blue as an option too if you have a place for it.

    • We didn’t look at Willow blue, sadly it is too late as the cabinets were delivered to the painter mid-week. I’ll have to look for another place I can use that color. Step two of this is to add another bedroom and bath to the back of the house but we need to see if we have any money left.

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