Let’s Talk Paint… all the rest of it

I’ve already painted the bathroom and the back bedroom, so that leaves me the living room, vestibule, kitchen, upstairs hall, and front bedroom. I’d like all this done before the electrician comes in to finish his work so he can put the covers on. And so I don’t have to worry about letting the roller slip and getting paint on my switches and outlets. I totally would.

Also, the ceilings, radiators, and woodwork will be the same off white throughout the house. Most of my doors are made of nice wood that I’ll be staining. The rest will be off white, coherence be damned.

So anyways, my living room has an exposed brick wall, a stained glass transom, and an oriental rug I bought before I thought the house was going to be expensive. (My mom is now using the rug and is in no rush for me to take it back) This room and the front bedroom face west, but I won’t know what the light really looks like until Phase 2 when the awnings come down.



I’m thinking that Vivacious Victorian Amy was right and that this room ought to be gold. Not too yellowy of a gold; the spray foam insulation looked terrible with the brick.

Then there’s the kitchen. I’m not choosing what the cabinets look like till Phase 2, but it has exposed rough sawn beams on the ceiling and a lot of weird angles. The floor will be light wood and the patio door will be stained dark. Whatever color I use has to be the same on the walls and ceiling, show off the beams, look good with the living room color, and leave open the possibility of white appliances if I go that route in the future. I’m considering keeping the walls and ceiling just a warm white. If it’s too boring, I’ll have cabinets on most of the walls anyway and can make them a color.


And in the front bedroom I’m going to use Victorian mahogany and brown marble furniture.

wash stand


The marble is not particularly dark but the mahogany is. My first plan was to make this room as stark as I could to balance out the furniture, but then a family friend gifted me a period (1920’s coloniaal revival?) light and an oriental rug. (Fun fact: the shades were added in the 80’s. Less fun fact: there were rosettes around the bulb sockets that are now lost before the shades were added. But now we’re talking about Phase 2 problems.)



So anyways, with these things in the mix, the plan to tone the furniture down was out the window and I decided to make it look like a brothel instead. But now I’m thinking of going in the middle and painting the room dark blue, maybe navy but after misnaming the color of my siding I’m not labeling it.

The vestibule is tiny and one of its 2 walls is paneled; the other is exposed brick. I’m thinking of painting the walls and ceiling with what’s left over from the bedroom.


And then there’s the upstairs hall. With stained doors, random width floors, 2 ceiling lights, a skylight, a restored railing, and a 26 inch width, and 3 different colored rooms off of it, I think neutral is the way to go. Possibly the same as the kitchen.


So it looks like once again I’m turning into my mom. This time it’s making everything match a lot. I welcome your ideas. Buying paint is still a week away.


11 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Paint… all the rest of it

  1. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    So glad you’re not going all white. I’m sick of blindingly white houses all over the internet. Color is good, and I like the ones you are considering for your house. Your bedroom will be really dark with navy and mahogany furniture, but bedrooms are not bad places to go dark. Unless you have a hard time waking up in the morning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      And I’m redoing the room in 2 years anyway so I can change it then if I don’t like it. The big risk is the money wasted on buying good paint just to paint over, but dark colors require good paint


  2. infinitequery

    If you go for a light color VirginiaElizabethBarnes.com used a very pretty color all through her 1890 Victorian. You’ll be able to find it faster than I can-its towards the beginning of her Blog. She is very meticulous and researches everything 3 times over so it has got to be fantastic. I would recommend white appliances over stainless-not stylish but what a pain stainless is if you actually use your kitchen. With white you wipe and done with stainless you wipe it smears you wipe again no better you buy product makes it smear more you research the internet and on and on arrrrrrrrgh!


  3. Mary Elizabeth

    OK, here’s my take on paint colors. Your house has windows only in the front and back, right? (And do I remember a skylight somewhere upstairs?) So you will need lighter paint in most areas than you would if you had natural light everywhere. Lighter paint doesn’t have to mean all white, however.

    For the living room and vestibule–I see in the Oriental rug a pale yellow/gold color. You can bring home samples to match to that color. The red in the rug and the yellow in the rug will tie in the brick and yellow walls. I think it will also look good with your off-white woodwork.

    For the kitchen–I like the idea of going with white walls (perhaps from the same can as the woodwork) and painting the cabinets in a bold color–you seem to like dark blue, and that or a burgundy red (such as New London Burgundy in Sherman Williams or Benj. Moore) would look really nice in there.

    There is a picture of another Oriental rug. Is that going in the front bedroom? If so, there seems to be a hint of a light gray-blue in that rug that would make a great wall color. Then you could paint one accent wall in the dark blue you are leaning towards. (Just be sure the dark blue you pick is on the same spectrum with the paler blue so they complement one another.) And as Jessica said, for the dark color, you could get your primer stained. This not only saves on paint, but also it keeps the white in the primer from bleeding into and streaking the dark color paint. Be sure to tell the person mixing the paint that you want primer for a dark color. And you would need only a quart of primer and a quart of the the dark color because you are painting one wall.

    And I don’t think the combination of that lamp, the furniture and the rug will make the room look like a Victorian brothel. For that you would need a bunch of red scarves draped over the light bulbs and Moulin Rouge prints on the wall. I think it can look rather like Mark Twain’s billiards room/work study in Hartford.


  4. Stacey at Dohiy

    I do a lot of light restoration, and the rosettes on the fixture are pretty easy to replace. Check Antique Lamp Supply or Grand Brass online. There’s also a section for lighting parts on eBay that’s pretty robust. Good luck!


  5. amyheavilin

    I’m on board with all of this, even the kitchen being a white, and I loathe white spaces. But, you have texture with the totally fantastic beams, and if your color is going to be basic, you have texture, which to me is the only way that basic works (I say this, fully aware that I am not most people). The bedroom – the marble is in charge there. It is a STRONG pattern and color, so you either need to go super basic to back away from it, or really bold to confront it. You know me – I’m all for bold. I love the idea of a navy, but I’m not totally sold on it with the marble.

    (Side note : WHAT IS HAPPENING with that pattern on the upper left of the brothel rug picture? Is that your mom’s? I’m thinking yes, because you’ve told me she and I like the same patterns. I LOVE IT.)

    Don’t use those shades on the light even temporarily – just use a clear round bulb. I really like that fixture!

    Contemplate a chocolate brown in the front bedroom with that marble and the oriental rug. I don’t know if it’s the right choice, but contemplate it.

    As always, remember that this particular color advice is coming to you from a person who is currently painting a bedroom black. So, you can ignore all of it. (Except the gold in the parlor. I’m totally right on that.)

    Dear everyone reading this comment : I’m a nice person. I promise. Delightful, even. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      For the kitchen – I wondered if you’d approve or not. But because I’m having all the cabinets I can shoe horn into that little space, if I make them a color, it won’t be a white room. But the drywall soffits above the cabinets will set them off from the beams. I think it gives me a good balance. You won’t like my Phase 1 temp job. I won’t either, except I’ll be ecstatic to have a kitchen that functions.

      For the light fixture – I’m on board with turning it into a bare bulb fixture with missing parts. The electrician is installing it for me and I’ll remove the globes (and the non-original clamp-on globe fitters) before he does.

      For the living room – I think the historically correct name for the room is a Dutch hall. I dug up some stuff just about what living rooms used to be named and I’d like write something digressing into that when I’m on vacation from renovating.

      And for the bedroom – I’m not a huge brown person, so painting the room brown to coordinate with the brown wood and the brown marble probably won’t work for me. I can take a risk knowing that the room is getting some pretty disruptive remodeling. And I’m hell bent on doing all this painting in a week.


  6. Goldnrod

    2nding the vote for gold in the front room, white or neutral in the kitchen & gray-blue in the front bedroom. Love your blog!



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