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Bye Bye Beige

2013 July 31
by Becky
We’ve had a bit of a “brown” problem in the main hallway of our house.


At first, I didn’t think it bothered me. I made grand statements about how our new house “Was painted in great colors…no need to paint!” and “This is the first house we won’t have to paint!” Well, I must have been crazy, because this yellowey-beige paint was doing NOTHING for the beautiful woodwork in our entry.






No wonder I had no desire to spend time making this front area look good. We slapped up a mirror and a coat rack the first week we lived here and haven’t touched it since.


Why did I hesitate to paint? Because it meant I’d have to paint the foyer, downstairs hall, staircase, upstairs hall and upstairs landing. That’s a loooooot of wall.


But last week, after being stalled on our kitchen floor installation (due to my back issues, I can’t do it and our contractor is all booked up), I started painting swatches. I was curious about how Stu would react to huge splotches of gray and white paints in various areas of the foyer and hallway, but was pleasantly surprised at his positive reinforcement, “Hey! You started painting the hallway!”


Sweet. He was on board.


After testing several options I decided our kitchen paint, Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine, would work just fine…making the rooms “flow” together in crisp gray freshness. Plus, since we have both stained and painted trim throughout the area, the gray would look good with everything. This color is my go-to neutral—why look for something else when I love it so much? 


The rolling went super fast (took me one morning of school and a two hour nap time) and then I spent some quality time with our ladder. As has been the case in our last three homes, our ceilings are so high they require me to stand on almost the top rung of our six foot ladder to cut in the wall to ceiling. I’m not a heights person, but somehow I make it through.




I DO NOT do two coats of cutting. Absolutely not, no way, not gonna happen. I just make sure to get lots of paint on my brush and use both sweeping AND what I call “splotching” motions to be sure I have a nice coat from the get-go. Sometimes I’ll have to touch up a spot or two, but for the most part, my one coat works.


There was a small portion of our staircase I couldn’t reach, so I was very grateful when Stu offered to climb the extension ladder. To be honest, the cutting on this corner is no where near perfect. I will possibly hire someone in the future to touch up the ceiling.


But for now, it looks fabulous.




We used a roller on an extension rod and this tool to cut the unreachable spots. The tool is not amazing, but it worked.


Once painting was complete, the theme of our weekend became, “Holy Cow…it looks SO much better!!!!”


We must have said it 1000 times. I really don’t feel like these pictures do it justice, don’t capture just how much lighter the halls are and how much more the wood pops, but I think you can get the idea.




It’s more modern, cleaner, and just more “us”. $5 for little shades to cover those naked-looking sconces was a good investment. I’m also scavenging our house for frames of all kinds to do galleries instead of large prints.


**Tip: Hang your pictures with their center 57″ above the floor, that way everything is at the same height throughout your house and always correctly hung…not too high or too low.


I just need to replace a few pictures (like the ones in the wrong orientation). 




We realized how scuffed and grungy the walls were as we repainted them. Fingerprints and grime…it always feels better to paint when moving into a new house.


The wood looks richer with the cool gray walls.




The front door actually stands out now, doesn’t just blend into the beige-ness.




And our original stained glass window shines brighter then ever. It’s colors more vibrant.




Stu replaced all the yellowey-off-white switches, plugs, and plates with sparkling white…that in itself makes the space look fresh and new.




The upstairs hall and landing look like different spaces entirely. Sure I’m reorganizing the whole place, but the paint is a great start. My library cart is loving the contrast.




The office needs lots of work, but since I can’t sit in my desk chair anyway (due to my lovely back disaster), first priority is this big bright blank wall. I’ve got all sorts of plans in mind. None of them involve a balance bike on top of the bench.


I’m also looking forward to saying goodbye to another eye-sore—the kitchen floor. The weird textured, cracked, pinkishly-hued, dirty brown grout tiles are just really not our style. They gotta go…we’ve even found a very wallet-friendly tile option and can’t wait to get it done.




Sneak peek…




I guess I lied to everyone, especially myself, when I said we didn’t have much painting to do. But man does painting provide an instant update and clean feeling to a house! Hard to resist. And it always seems more daunting then it really is.


I always forget how much I like it until I put a brush to the wall.

We didn’t spend much on this huge project, just $65 in paint, $10 in sconce shades, and about another $50 for the switches, plugs, and plates (there were a LOT). Not bad for such a dramatic change! I plan to use as many owned things as possible to decorate the space to make this as low-budget as possible.

What’s your favorite “neutral” color? 

7 Responses
  1. Cara Haugh permalink
    July 31, 2013

    Looks great and makes a HUGE difference for sure. Love it.

    • Becky permalink*
      August 1, 2013

      Thanks! The guest room will be painted soon too…hint hint :)

  2. Amy Voboril Kohlhepp permalink
    August 1, 2013

    That staircase is STUNNING! Omg! I would Loooove to decorate that for Xmas!

    • Becky permalink*
      August 1, 2013

      Thank you!! I can’t wait to decorate it for the holidays. I won’t be able to top your three christmas trees, but I’ll have a beaut of a staircase! :)

  3. Shannon permalink
    August 2, 2013

    It looks awesome and I’m in LOVE with your stained glass window!

  4. September 24, 2017

    Looks so great and so amazing. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the inspiration. Please keep posting

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