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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Monday's Method

In today's Monday's Method, Lisa, who writes the lovely blog Destination Seaborn, writes in with a question about paint color and wood trim. The beautiful picture above is from Lisa's blog. Sigh ~ I wish I was there..... sorry for the digression :) Here we go...

Dear Paula Grace,

I'm having trouble deciding on a paint color that that will go with my wood trim.

About our room, it's currently a collection of leftover furniture and a play room. I plan on eventually scrapping everything except the piano. Here's a list of photo's that I've included in this message:

Sofa: this is the sofa we'd like to purchase for the LR...please ignore the pillows.

1)Fabric that I would like to use in the room as accent pillows.
2)Tile that I would like to use around the fireplace
3)Paint swatch Pittsburgh Paint Delicate White 518-1. Supposed to be a "pure white".
4)Drop cloth to use as affordable curtains?

We're thinking about changing the white plantation blinds to wood blinds to blend in with the trim?

I favor light colored interiors with dark wood (i.e. British Colonial Style). I'm realistic that I live in central Ohio and have two pre-schoolers:)

Thank you,


Here are pictures of the room before they did some work (BTW ~ what a cutie)...
After a bit of work ~ refinished floors, border removed....
Wonderful job on the floors Lisa! The woodwork is in excellent condition!

A couple things before we move on to the paint. The first thing I notice is the ceiling line. This room has wonderful bones; it needs a bit of finishing work...
Crown molding. The room has such lovely molding everywhere except there. It does not need to match the rest of the woodwork in color, just in style. It can be inexpensive molding painted. This will be the creme de la creme in finishing architectural touches.

I agree with you that the white blinds need to be changed out. You mentioned wood blinds to match the trim. You are on the right track. My preference would be to use woven wood shades. They are a bit more of a current look and you could also match them to your trim.
In another email you also mentioned loving natural fabrics and here mentioned considering using a drop cloth for inexpensive drapes. I think that is fine. You also may be able to find inexpensive linen fabric online that may suit your needs. If you do stationary panels for aesthetics versus function (the wovens are the functional piece here) then you won't need much fabric to complete the job. I found this linen at Amazon for $12.98 a yard.
Moving on to paint. I really like the selection you have made thus far with your tile, fabrics, and sofa. It is wonderful that you have selected these before your paint color. Paint color is best chosen when it directly relates to what is or will be in the room. Many try to select their paint colors prior to fabric or art selection. Then people are trying to find things that 'match' the paint. Paint colors are infinate ~ the perfect color can be created for one's palette. Fabric and art are not. Yes, there is a lot to choose from but selecting at least fabrics first will be make it easier to coordinate the paint color ~ and may in fact inform the entire palette.

With that said, I think the paint color 'pure white' in your picture is too white. My concern it that the contrast with the wood trim will be too great and it may make some of your fabric colors look dingy ~ we don't want that! I am working from my monitor so the colors may vary. I think a cool color picking up on the blue-green in your swatches would be nice. I also think a white with some gray in it would be lovely. The cool hues will be balanced by your woodwork, and the golden hues in your sofa fabric and tile. Lets look at them all together... (here's my mosaic for Mosaic Monday)...

These are Benjamin Moore colors ~ Colony Green (694) and Gray Mist (962). You said you love light colors with dark wood. Both of these fit that description. You may also use Ben Moore's Natura line (this paint has zero VOCs and is practically odorless ~ good for you and your family and good for the environment). But please, please, please do not select your paint color from little swatches. Please email me your address and I will order several large swatches of these paint colors for you ~ if you'd like. Place them all around the room and observe them for several days at all hours so it may be seen in different lights. With this observation time, you'll be able to make a more informed choice as the appearance of paint color varies in different lights. Or simply buy a small sample and paint white boards and do the same exercise. The white boards or large swatches do away with painting samples right on the walls and then having to live with your 'samples' until fully painted. A caveat ~ I have seen folks place several sample colors right next to each other on the wall. This sets people up for indecisiveness as the colors contaminate each other. You want a pure sample ~ meaning try one color for a few days then change it out for another you are considering. This is where the large swatches or white boards really do their job. What ever paint color you choose for the walls, remember to mix 20% of it into ceiling white for the fifth wall in the room. This mixture will guarantee the ceiling relates to the wall color. I do this all the time unless I am painting the ceiling a different color than the walls.

Good luck Lisa! I hope this helps.

If you would like a Monday's Method of your own, just email your question with some pictures to me at paula@paulagracedesigns.com. Please place Monday's Method in the subject line.

Now I am hoping you can help me with a bit of housekeeping. I have two questions I'd like YOUR help with. I have seen Followers posted on many blogs and many that do not have them. I don't have a Followers section in my side bar. I see that Followers may sign in to the blog if needed. Is that the benefit? I want to be user friendly. Please let me know if you think I should have Followers in my side bar and let me know why.

poll by twiigs.com

Second is that I have been enjoying wonderful parties on many great blogs ~ for example Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday, Little Red House Mosaic Monday, Smiling Sally Blue Monday..... I love to entertain and I pledged to do more in a comment I left last year. Well, here's my chance. I have been thinking of hosting a blog party on Tuesday. I would call it Timeless Tuesday. The theme would be timeless classics (rooms, furniture, clothes, recipes, etc.) or trends that you would like to see become timeless. What do you think? Would you join the party?

poll by twiigs.com

Now that you've completed the question on parties... check out these wonderful parties that I have joined ~ Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday, Little Red House Mosaic Monday, Smiling Sally Blue Monday, Cottage Instincts Make it for Monday, A Soft Place to Land' DIY Tuesday, and Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special!



  1. Oh Paula...your recommendations are great! I love the idea of crown moulding. I always thought moulding should match in the same room, so I never thought of adding it here. I'm also liking the idea of saving money by using stationary panels. Thanks for the tip about the side by side paint swatches...I'm so guilty of that!
    Thanks for taking the time to personalize your answer to my question. This was far more than I expected.

    Sincerely, Lisa

  2. You're welcome Lisa. I'm glad you like the recommendations. Your swatches have been ordered :)
    Paula Grace ~

  3. Is the first photo from Hilton Head? Beautiful post and design tips.

  4. Such wonderful information in this post! I was jiving with everything you suggested. Lisa's room will look so lovely....especially love the crown molding and woven shade suggestions. I'm drooling over the character of her home....

    Also, the Follower thing helps me when I go to others blogs to see if their content is actually getting a following (whether it's 20 or 2000!). Sometimes newer blogs with fewer followers slip under the radar for a bit, but if they continue to have decent content...as you do (!) I'll eventually find them again. It's also fun to see your numbers change, and it gives you a way to visit those who follow you thru their profile page.

    Definitely need a Tuesday party...love the idea you've come up with. Count me in! Let me know when you start and I'll add it to my list of weekly parties on my sidebar to help get the word out.

    And thanks for coming to Mi4M :)

  5. Hi Paula!

    Thanks for stopping by-I so appreciate your comments.

    I totally agree with your recommendation on the white she was considering. Too stark. I love Sherwin Williams Eschelon Ecru and Navajo White.....also Ben Moores Lancaster Whites.... some of my fav's!

    Your Timeless party sounds like a great idea!

    love, kelee

  6. Looks like you are VERY busy! I love redecorating and especially seeing it when it is all done. I enjoyed voting in your polls!

  7. I am stopping by from Destination Seaborn. I love the advice you gave her!! More importantly, I love the fact that you are approachable and giving. Thank you for giving bloggers such a good name!


  8. Love the recommendations!! Keep em coming!

  9. I would pull out the blue-green from the swatch. The room does need color. Happy Blue Monday.

  10. Love seeing your work in action this way!
    Fantastic recommendations!

  11. Wonderful post Paula...I took the time and voted girl...thanks for coming by...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  12. My first time here but not my last. Love the post. ~Jeanne

  13. Hi pretty Paula! I loved reading all of your advice for this room. Now I voted on both thingys! Love the sound of the Classic meme you might host! Isn't Blogland fun?
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  14. I really like seeing how you tackle such decor problems, Paula Grace. Your suggestions will all look absolutely amazing. I think this is a wonderful series and I truly enjoy reading the responses above, also :)

    I just read your comment on my post and the answer is of course, yes! I would be honored to!

  15. What a wonderful suggestion to mix wall color with ceiling color for a coordinated mix-this is why I need a designer to help me!

  16. What a great post. It's so fun to see a different perspective on one room. I also love the fabric choiced and the suggestion to add crown.

  17. Hi Paula, I'm so excited to tell you that we've began shopping for and implementing some of the changes as suggested. I have a question about the crown moulding, do we paint it the wall color or the color of the ceiling? Thank you, Lisa

  18. Hi Lisa,
    The answer about the crown molding is.... it's depends. If you are using the blue-green color and you are mixing 20% into ceiling white then you use neither on the molding. I would use the gray white color I suggested for the walls on the molding in the semi gloss finish. If you are using the gray-white on the walls and 20% of that in ceiling white, then yes, I would use the the ceiling color in semi gloss on the crown molding. I hope that makes sense.

    I am so glad you are implementing some of the changes! I can't wait to see pictures!

    Paula Grace ~


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