Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Botany Beige

Botany Beige by Kwal

Botany Beige is my nemesis.

Leonard and I have lived in this house for two and a half years now, and other than decorating Millie's room, it looks pretty similar to when we moved in. That's not to say I don't have big plans for this place. I've got big plans. Plans that occupy my mind those last moments before falling asleep. That give me pause while cleaning the kitchen, my mind a whirl of paint colors and tile. That cause me to furrow my brow and murmur things like "hmm.." or clack my tongue while looking at a bare wall and contemplating bold artwork. I'm glad we haven't done any big projects yet as I feel like I've been marinating in this house, figuring out it's strengths and flaws. It certainly has it's strengths - open floor plan, spacious rooms, beautiful wood work.

But as for flaws, it's greatest is botany beige. Botany beige is a nice enough color. A safe neutral, used frequently on walls to add warmth and complement many design styles. However, this is the color the builder chose for all the interior woodwork. It covers the trim, columns, baseboards, window pane casings, and even some of the exterior doors. Even the bleeping outlets are botany beige. To make it pop, a fairly dark milk chocolate brown color was used on the walls which do make the botany beige look light. That is, until you put a white piece of paper against it and realize that botany beige isn't light at all. And that's where my design dilemma comes in. When it comes to color palettes, I'm a gray girl. I like cool light grays, blue grays, and charcoals. And those colors would look great in this house, but certainly not against botany beige. And since Leonard and I are planning a revamp of the sewing room (coming soon!), I needed to figure out a good salmon pink (bold, I know!) for my cabinets, but in order to do that I needed to know what wall color I should choose, and in order to that I needed an arsenal of tones that would complement Botany Beige. So I went to a local Benjamin Moore store yesterday to get some help from their color consultant as my mom entertained and toddled with my toddler.

November Rain by Benjamin Moore

Turns out Botany Beige has purple undertones, and any of those cool grays I like would bring those out, which is why they just won't do. Francine, my matter-of-fact and knowledgeable consultant, recommended yellows or greens for the walls. I wasn't interested. So we settled on a warm, light, gray green called November Rain. And I'm in love. I bought a sample and painted a poster board, and as Francine recommended, I've been moving it around from room to room at different times during the day. Sometimes it looks gray, sometimes the greenish tinges subtly shine through, and sometimes it looks like an off-white. It's gray enough that it doesn't look minty and green enough that it still looks warm, but not too warm. And it looks pretty nice against that conniving Botany Beige. My plan is to start off with November Rain on the walls of the sewing room and see how we like it, then eventually use it to cover up those brown walls in the larger living spaces of the house.

Coral Buff by Benjamin Moore

And speaking of the sewing room, I bought some Ikea cabinets which I'm having painted. I feel like I can be bolder in this room since it's meant to inspire all sorts of creativity, so I thought a salmon pink would be a good choice for the cabinets. I wanted it to be an orangey pink, kinda like the black sheep of the pink family. We finally decided on Coral Buff which is bold but not too bright and goes great with November Rain as well as Regent Green, another color I plan to use in the sewing room and throughout the rest of the house.

Regent Green by Benjamin Moore

I'm satisfied with what I've got so far, and I couldn't have done it without Francine. Well, Francine and the color that inspired it all. Botany Beige helped me step out of my cool gray tone comfort zone, so thanks BB!


Denise said...

have fun, megan!! once you start painting it's hard to stop!! I lost track of how many times Nathan and I changed colors on the wall with our house in Providence or remodeled rooms! It's addicting!!!

megan said...

I know, it certainly can be addictive. And the problem is once you paint one room you've gotta keep going so everything blends. Poor Kyle...

Leslie Lim said...

I would like to share it with all my friends and hope they will like it too.