April 25, 2016

One of the only things we wanted to tackle when we first moved in and before our second baby was born was painting the living room and laying hardwood floors. I wanted the living room to be black, but you know how colors can be more intense once they are up on all the walls, so I toned it down to a charcoal. Well, I did not like the final product because what do you know, it looked charcoal and not black. That could have been foreseen, but the even bigger problem was that the color (Ralph Lauren’s Chalk Stripe) which had no apparent blue tones in the swatch and test pot was CATEGORICALLY ENTIRELY BLUE LOOKING in person once we painted.

Immediately I knew the color was not right and wanted something different, but for several reasons we waited on repainting. First, we did not really have time because we were finishing up floors in other rooms before baby. Second, once the hardwoods in here were laid, I knew the drastic change in flooring color could significantly alter how the color read.


Combine this with not wanting to deal with the hassle of painting the built ins until we were sold on the color, Chalk Stripe stayed for the past eight months. (I am kind of amazed it has been that long!)

Worse than living with the color that was not just right was living with the built ins not painted. I knew they would be so much better when they were one continuous color with the walls. Instead, the choppiness really breaks up the room. Also, the baseboards remained wood for the time being because they would be easier to paint when we took them off to lay the floors. Okay, so much waiting, so many things dependent on each other. BUT NOW IT IS TIME.

Yessssss. This is what I wanted. It is so cozy and moody and neo-traditional and I am in love.

ABSOLUTELY we decided to paint the brick and mantel too, but I made myself go piece by piece just to check and reassess each step of the way that I really did want to paint them. Since, you know, wood and stone do not exactly do well with being un-painted.

Yes, our old living room rug that had been quarantined to our son’s bedroom is now back in a high traffic area, WHICH IS NOT SOMETHING THAT DELIGHTS ME. Red is firmly blacklisted in our house, and this rug is cheap and ugly. Still without a rug and just bare wood floors the room feels so un-cozy, even the bad rug is worth it for now. Still hounding my favorite ebay source for rugs, he says he has a new shipment coming soon.

To answer your question, yes, Rolling Stone’s Paint it Black was stuck in our head for about 10% of the work time.

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  • Chris

    What a bold move – it looks so good! I love that you have neutral colored furniture in the room. It makes everything blend so nicely. You said that you don’t especially like the rug so I’m curious what you plan for the floor. Anyway, the black on the built-ins (which I love) will really make anything you put on the shelves pop. This is a very cool room…

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks Chris. Yes, I want something really muted for the rug. NOT a bold red. The furniture is just hand me down stuff, so we’d like to change almost everything!

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