Right now there are pieces of poster board painted in varying shades of gray lying all over our kitchen. On the floor, against the countertop, beside the cabinets. There are stacks of tiny paint swatches everywhere I look. We’ve been to the Sherwin-Williams store more frequently than the grocery store, carrying in our floor sample, a piece of granite and a drawer from the cabinets. This has been going on for close to three weeks, because I can’t decide what color to paint the walls of our kitchen and sunroom. Repose Gray or Agreeable Gray or possibly Requisite Gray lightened by 25%. Or Malabar, but that looks too much like the tired beige that’s on the walls now. The sunroom should be a lighter color but not too light or it will wash out. And then at night, all the samples look completely different. I found a nice Benjamin Moore color, but our painter doesn’t like that brand of paint, and it’s hard to get locally. On our last visit to Sherwin Williams, we were told they can create another company’s colors, so then that color is still in the game.
Arggghhh!!! I am normally not so angst-driven about decisions, but I despise picking paint colors. This color thing simply escapes me. I tend to choose too cautiously and then wonder why my room doesn’t look like the pictures on Houzz or Pinterest. We’ve been through this before without any major fails although there is a bedroom at our beach place with walls that look more like lime sherbet instead of the intended golf course green.
This project started because we needed to replace a kitchen floor gone buckled and limp from fifteen years of absorbing dog pee. Now that a new floor is going down, I thought it would be nice to freshen the walls and put in a backsplash behind the counters. Home projects never have clear margins. They tend to metastasize and grow into financial and logistical malignancies.
The paint trend these days is toward gray neutrals but there are literally hundreds from which to choose. (And does gray really go with cherry cabinets? Oh yes, say all the Pinterest queens.) We have painted visual pictures on Sherwin Williams handy little color snap visualizer, but I don’t know that what you see on the computer screen accurately shows the color.
I invite my friends with good visual sense to come over and we hold the samples against the granite, the wood trim, and the flooring sample. We take them over to the windows, fretting about undertones and light reflection, carefully weighing one greige against the other. I even got a color analysis from an online decorator. She was wonderful but almost gave me too much information in her perky little online voice. “Now that floor would prefer just a tinge more purple and at night, I see just a wink of green in those undertones.” Huh? Purple? Who said anything about purple? Isn’t gray just gray? No, apparently not.
I don’t know how this is all going to end up. Right now a plumber is here attempting to disconnect our downdraft range so that the floor can be installed, and I hear grunting and muttered curses from both he and my husband who just announced that this is the last project we’re ever going to do that involves moving that stove. Meanwhile the paint swatches remain on the counter, staring back at me, daring me to pick the wrong one. “Thought I was neutral? Gotcha’. I’ll look blue once you get me on the wall.” I haven’t even started to think about the backsplash.