As you read this post, hopefully, somewhere warm and dry with your bum on a comfortable seat, I will be decorating. That is, I will be up a ladder, standing on a dust sheeted table, or wielding a paint roller with the dulcet tones of an electrician in the background, hacking a channel out of our plaster work to relocate a light switch. Because that’s what you do when you’re in search of perfection, no?!
If the paint roller had been the least of it, I would not be complaining – with a week off from work, we decided now would be the time to re-decorate. But in my infinite wisdom and as our lounge and dining room are open plan, it seemed only sensible to decorate both of them at once. I reasoned that if I did one or the other, the other would potentially get paint splattered or dusty anyway. What I didn’t consider was that I was basically unleashing chaos on the heart of our home. At the present time I have not put my bum on a seat, (including our sofa that I am practically having hallucinations about collapsing onto,) for five days. Five whole days of being stood up, climbing ladders, sanding (read: destroying my nails) painting, (read: getting paint in my hair) and now I’m fast approaching complete knackered-ness. All of our downstairs living area is in disarray – either covered in dust sheets, covered in plastic bin bags, (as are the fireplaces) or covered in piles of paint tins and wood offcuts.
Then there is the dust. The dreaded dust from sanding back Edwardian skirting boards and replacing the picture rails. We’ve also been finishing off the arch created when we knocked through from the front to the middle room 5 years ago. Yes, for 5 years it has been a bare rectangle of painted plaster which we were ‘going to finish off soon.’ And now I look at it finished I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner.
It’s been a slog through. As I write, my Mum and her partner Phil have just left. He’s a bit of a handy man with a saw and he and Pete saved us about £500 on employing a joiner, by installing the picture rail and architrave (decorative wood around a door frame) themselves. It’s taken the best part of 2 days but I’m so proud of them and grateful we had the help. Mum has been cleaning around us all like a demon, painting, hoovering up, keeping the troops fed and watered, and generally being fab. Thanks Mum!
So today’s post is dedicated to what we’re halfway through achieving, the perfect grey room. I wanted something contemporary but elegant and in keeping with the period features of our home. We already have a neutral sofa and blue/brown 2-tone arm chair, plus some hessian-look roman blinds with a blue/brown edge that I’m undecided whether to keep or not. I wanted a true grey, neither so pale as to be mistaken for off-white, nor so dark that it looked like cement. Chic but not cold looking and the existing colour (Dulux Egyptian Cotton) was a pale taupe that already looked grey in some lights, so it had to be different to that.
Let me tell you, it is seriously hard to find the right grey. We started off at Farrow and Ball, (which we considered still an economy as we tend to lean towards wallpaper usually, which would have cost much more) determined that spending money would yield the perfect shade. How wrong we were. For all its great press for fabulous neutrals, the greys were all slightly green, too beige, cool blues. Our preferred shades were splitting hairs when compared with the existing paint so F&B, however luxe and lovely, was out.
Top row, all Farrow and Ball, bottom row as labelled.
Disheartened, we headed to B&Q and bought them out of tester pots in everything resembling grey. I’ve never been a paint snob and true to form it was here we found our chosen shade. I wonder if you can guess which one?
So today, I’d like you all to make me feel a little better! Let’s hear if you’re decorating – have been wiped out by a project like this, or if you have got the perfect shade of grey paint in your home?
Oh, and ten Florence Finds points for any of you who can guess which shade I chose
PS. Did I mention we have new carpets coming tomorrow? Eeeek! Which means we need to be finished by then. Double eeek!
PPS. Please excuse the rubbish iPhone pictures. I promise there will be a full, beautifully photographed before and after soon, but for now an iPhone is all I can muster!