Our first major investment in the house was having it painted. We considered doing the work ourselves, but between the crazy-high ceilings of the LVR and our own sketchy track record (cough – nyc living room – cough), we decided to have a local professional do the common areas of the house, which includes the living room, dining room and upstairs hallway/loft that overlooks the living room.

The big debate was white or gray. Flipping through my inspiration binder and magazine collection (Anuj begged me to purge some of it this year so I gave up a few years’ worth of Country Home and a dozen or so House & Gardens, but no one’s coming between me and my Dominos!), white was favored to win. Open living plan, clean country look, let nature be the color, and all that.

But then we decided: let’s bring some nature inside. Give the house some warmth, some life beyond the many shades of white. So we went gray. Gloomy? Surprisingly no. I ear-marked a few gorgeous gray rooms from my magazines, but we knew how much lighting (and a few style editors) played into that. Choosing the right gray was crucial. We went Edgecomb Gray.

Here are the Before & Afters. Our painter did an amazing job, and so did my Dad (remember the trim project?):

Dining room Before

Dining room Before

Dining room After

Dining room Not-Quite-After (1st coat)

Dining room After

Dining room After

We weren’t sure how the gray would turn out, but we love it. Notice how different it looks depending on the time of day/sun. The rug is a recent hand-me-down from my Mom. Thanks Mom!

Upstairs hall Before

Upstairs hall Before

Remember the fugly cabinet thing in our hallway? Interior window much better:

Upstairs hall After

Upstairs hall After

Upstairs hall After

Upstairs hall After

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