I grew up with white walls. And, for some people, there's nothing wrong with white walls. But I am not a white wall person. I LOVES me some color. So, like I was saying, my first 18 years were spent with white walls. Then I lived in dorms or apartments with more white walls, where painting was not allowed. Twenty-nine years of my life, I lived with white walls. But Then we moved to Ithaca and bought a house.....and I went a little crazy.
My favorite color is orange. I'd dreamed of having an orange kitchen. That was the first room we painted. I heard somewhere that if you want to make sure contrasting colors will look good together, find colors that go together in nature. Like, if you look at a flower or a piece of fruit, it will have many different colors in it. I took this and ran with it.
The next big room I tackled was about 2 years later when the nesting urges came with baby number 2. This was the family room. This room is a large open space that acts as our play room, as well as one of the main entrances to our house. I wanted a fun but classy feel to the room. After thinking about the color for what seemed like forever, I kept coming back to our daughter's play table and how much I loved the lime green color. I found the EXACT same color in Lowe's Olympic Premium low VOC paint and figured it must be a sign. Our family room has some beams that I didn't want to get paint on, so I created a white boarder all along the top of the room. I taped out "frames" to keep white and hand painted the murals. I painted some of our mismatched furniture off white to match the couch and chair.
We had these beautiful couches and after much contemplation, we decided to paint the living room and dining room red and tan. This is the only room I can find before pictures of. What a difference some color makes! If only we'd known to use a tinted primer. That red took over 5 coats.
Finally, I wanted our entry way to be warm and inviting and flow with the living room and the family room. I found this color combo on a piece of clearance fabric I had purchased a year earlier. If you look closely at the pillow on the living room couch and the top of the shelf in the entryway, you'll see the fabric. It contains the red, the green and this entryway coral color.
By the way, I used that Olympic Premium low VOC paint in every room except the kitchen (and also in rooms not pictured). Its fabulous color has held up well. The green gets visible scratches and prints more than the other colors, but I'm very happy overall.
Looking at these pictures made me laugh at how bare all the rooms feel. They were taken soon after the painting, and before the rooms had been well lived in. I doubt my house will ever be that clean again, but that's okay. Our rooms are filled with toys and papers and shoes and clothes and messes; but most of all, they are filled with love and happy memories. And that's what makes a house a home.