Over the weekend, we embarked on our dining room update project, and boy was it a learning experience.Β Like I mentioned before, we had originally planned on creating a chair rail 3 feet up the wall, so taped the wall and only painted above that point.
So up the navy paintΒ went (full crossover of Farrow & Ball’s Drawing Room Blue in Benjamin Moore brand Regal Select eggshell paint).
ButΒ after living with it for a day, I realized it chopped off and diminished the size of the room. It feltΒ uncomfortable, squat, and stuffed, sort of the way you feel after eating Thanksgiving dinner. This would have worked if I lived in a large house with super tall ceilings and no radiators on the wall, or even in a smaller space like a bathroom. But it just wasn’t right in this room and it just took me a little trial and error to figure that out. My husband was all ready to start his DIY project before I stopped him, to his surprise. My husband, who is basically my free contractor, is not used to this kind of creative process but he was as patient as he could be.
So after a little bit of hemming and hawing, we shoved the furniture aside again, got the paint supplies back out, and painted the lower half.
We also extended the color into the living room andΒ painted over the darker navy accent wall to create more continuity, and I hope to share more pictures of that space later.
As for the ceiling, I decided that since the walls were going to be so bold, that I should go more subdued up above. So I stuck with the safe bet of Benjamin Moore Palest Pistachio. As you can see we have some unfortunate-looking ceilings which I believe was probably caused by an overflowing bathtub in the upstairs unit in years past. But they don’t bother me much and certainly give the room more character.
So by the time we sat down for dinner on Valentine’s Day evening, the walls and ceiling were done and dinner immediately becameΒ more romantic and cozy, which is exactly how I wanted the room to feel. The color even looks beautifulΒ by candlelightΒ and I love how it retains its “blue” color without turning to black in low light, as some other navy paint colors do.Β I am really eager to paint the honey-stained doors and awkward honey pieces of trim on the floor bright white as well as dining table but the simple update we’ve made already makes the room feel like it’s beaming with energy. I can’t wait to start styling and hanging pieces on the wall so that it feels more like a finished room.
I always kind of dreaded doing major paint projects, but after this experience I realized that as long as I do the prep work, i.e., cleaning the walls and taping the edges, that my husband can quickly and easily do the actual painting part. I don’t do the paint rolling myself because my time is constrained to Oliver’s nap schedule, I’m short, and I don’t have as steady of a hand as my husband does. I’m a painter but not that kind of painter! Think of me as Kandinsky and my husband as Mondrian…
I also learned that as long as I properly feed my worker, he can do most anything for me! Since he was working at the hospital that morning and then was working on this project for me, I relieved him of his Valentine’s day cooking responsibilities and made dinner and dessert myself. We enjoyed thisΒ short rib ragu with pappardelleΒ for dinnerΒ and bananas foster for dessert (yum). As you know I’m not a pasta lover but I had to give the man what he wanted!
Hope to keep you updated on the finishing touches of the room. It might take a while to sugar up my contractor to do the remaining projects for me, but hopefullyΒ he’ll come around if I keep taping the walls and making him treats. :)