Sunday, February 03, 2008

PICTURED: Our living room and kitchen. Yes, I am a tad obsessed. We've lived in the house for five months now, and although the previous owners' cinnamon-spice living room was fine for fall and their creative-but-poorly-executed gray/red dining room was bearable for Christmas, it's time to impose our personality on the main-floor walls.

Our personality is clearly beige. But the perfect shade has been elusive. My husband-slash-test-painter has been infinitely patient as I've handed him sample after sample and sat around frowning and squinting at the walls.

My salvation (or downfall) has been, where they'll mix you a small can of any color and send it to you really, really fast. Benjamin Moore has little sample pots, but only for a fraction of their colors, and the pots are really tiny. Myperfectcolor will mix any color, and they give you enough paint to really slather some on. They use Benjamin Moore bases; I'm not sure I'd trust their color matches for other brands. But we're strictly a Benjamin Moore household anyway -- or so Jorge, our painter, decrees. (And if I allowed myself to buy another brand's color wheel it would extend this process at least another month.)

The personal color viewer on Benjamin Moore's website has also been very helpful -- and surprisingly accurate in depicting how big patches of color actually look on walls. It predicted, for example, that Elephant Gray was going to seem purple, despite its subtle smokiness on the chip. And indeed, two brushstrokes into the test, my husband exclaimed, "This is purple! Elephants aren't purple!" I had such high hopes for Elephant Gray.