Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Validate Me, Please

We're in a war here, people.

See this red room? This is my living room.

Way back when, 12 years ago to be precise, we were in love with these red walls. We loved this red so much that we actually painted these walls the exact same color we had in our previous house.

These red walls have brought us tremendous pleasure over the years. They are such happy walls.

I have loved these red walls. And the sweet window treatments I had made for this room. (No, I said "had made" not "made"--there's a difference.)

But times have changed. And now I think it's time for red and me to part ways.

When I look through decorating magazines and blogs I notice that nobody . . . nobody! . . . is showing red walls anymore. Everything is muted. More subtle. Neutral, if you will.

My dining room is a nice, neutral shade of taupe. (That's the room to the right of the bathroom.)

Here's a view between the two rooms (with my grandma's grandfather clock smack dab in between the two). Red living room to the right; neutral dining room to the left.

Now, here's the deal. I'm ready for a change, which, for me, is a very big deal because I am seriously one of those I-hate-change kind of people. But I want this room to be different. Toned down, perhaps? Brought more up to date at the very least.

BUT, like I said, certain other members of this family are having a hard time letting go of the red. They are putting their foot down and saying, "Don't change it. Ever!"

Would that be because in about another 15 years red might be back in vogue and it's easier to just not do anything with it? Hmmmmm?

Anyway, I do have at least one other member of my family in my corner. And she's the artsy one--the one with taste (only because she agrees with me)--so her vote actually counts for two, I think. And the fifth member of the family hasn't really expressed an opinion. Can't decide, which is normal.

So it's a little bit like Libya around here. Red! No, neutral! No, red! No, neutral!

The fighting, it never ends!

So will you help us come to a peaceful conclusion? Please tell certain members of my family that the red needs to go. And that it needs to be replaced with a more subtle, neutral color.

Here are the paint samples I've had hanging on the wall for a couple of weeks. You get the idea of where I'm going here, don't you?

Here's a closer view. The color on top is the color of my kitchen and family room which are right next to the living room. I'm thinking of using the darker color on the bottom: Danville Tan. I think the browns to the right are a little too dark.

So, in an effort to make peace, I turn to you, my readers, because I know you are all really hip and up-to-date and, while I've had my nose in a book or at the computer, you actually know what's going on in the decorating world. Believe me, I think you will be much more effective than the U.N. anyway.

Alright. Validate me. What do you think I should do with my living room color?



  1. No! I love the red! (Sorry. I can't help you.)

  2. Well, since I just "toned down" a red themed room myself I will vote for change. And red is my favorite color! My problem was that it was in almost every room of my house and was looking a little too kitchy in my dining room. I wanted more elegance.

    I like the color at the bottom of the sample card with your kitchen color on it. It seems to have a little more green in it than brown and I like that.

    Also, are you going to get new furniture? What color is your couch? I can't really tell if it is blue checked or what?

    I love to change things up but I understand what a big job it is to paint and then to paint over red, well.......

    Thanks for letting us be a part of this!

  3. I love bold colors in houses (my own walls are golden amber) BUT I also want a change now and have been considering a shade similar to the color of peanut butter. It's still a neutral but has a bit of boldness. I say, make the change and then see how everyone likes it. Or leave one wall red, like a focal point.

  4. While I too am a former red room lover, we broke up a few years back. My neutrals are so soothing! Just remember to add a little unexpected pop of color in some accessory. That'll add some personality and give nod to your former love... bye bye red.

    ~ lysa terkeurst from my phone...

  5. Linda, red is my favorite color too. I have pops of it all over my kitchen and family room. And the furniture will have to go. It's OLD!!

    And isn't that fun?? If Lysa Terkeurst says the red should go, well then . . . Love you, Lysa!!

  6. I don't think you should change it just because no else does red schmashion!!! But if you really like the new colours (and they're lookin' good!) then I say GO FOR IT!!!


  7. I say paint it if you want to! I love painting and there's nothing like a can of paint and a days' work (sometimes two) to make everything look so fresh and bright! Of course, this coming from the girl who has painted every room in her house at least once, sometimes twice, and maybe three times (okay, so only one room have I painted 3x, I think). Love the Danville tan!

    See, this is my dilemma with my kitchen cabinets. No one has dark wood! All kitchens are white and bright or painted some funky (though in neutral family) color. I think I want to paint them but cabinets are a whole 'nother deal from slapping paint on the wall!!!!

  8. Whatever you decide I can recommend a painter.

  9. I say keep the red ;) I have a red wall in my living room and I don't plan on ever changing it! I've always been one for lots of color on the walls. My kitchen has red, purple, and dark green, my office is purple and orange, and we're going to paint the laundry room turquoise! I don't pay attention to what's "in" right now, I just go with what I love!

  10. Shelly: I love the red with the white woodwork - but here's what I'd do just to freshen it. I'd put up chair rail or a border print to divide the walls up and down, and put the neutral on top and leave the red below. That way, you're picking up the red in that gorgeous carpet, but the room is more restful. And, you can change out the window treatments to a more formal fabric - perhaps have Dagmar make padded valances with a fabric with baroque leanings, and you've got a whole new, more formal room, and you've still got your red. If the couch is in good shape, just reupholster it! Or, have a slipcover made!! Good, sturdy couch frames aren't made anymore. I have one that is about 45 years old - maple frame (!) - it was Lee's before we got married - and I had it redone a couple of years ago in denim. Looks great, and the style is universal.

  11. I won't be of any help, but I am going to comment anyway.
    I just moved into a new house and painted the following
    Kitchen - peach
    Living room - bright aqua blue
    Entryway - RED!
    Dining room - light aqua blue

    All of these rooms are visible from each other. It is crazy (In an awesome way.)

    See? I told you this would be no help.

    I think you should definitely update the curtains. THey are really cute though.

  12. Here's a little pun on words. If you change colors, the room would never be the same.
    RED is you!

  13. YES get your stain killer out! I say any of those colors are beautiful...and if you want to get really about a muted *brace yourself* purple????

  14. I see those are Benjamin Moore colors. Hubby works for a store that exclusively sells Benjamin Moore and they have huge color squares (18 x 18 I think) that you can get to tape to your wall to see if you like it. They have a pretty decent selection. At least you could tell if you want to go a certain tone or shade such as more green or brown or grey. They're only a few dollars and you can use them for picture mats afterwards.

  15. KEEP the red. CHANGE the furniture.

  16. Here is my advice, Shelly. Paint the color YOU want, while everyone is at school and work.

    Now, do you still want to be my friend? :)


  17. Keep the red! Anyone can see why you've enjoyed it! Also you would miss the vibrancy of the walls & find the neutrals too bland in the long run. Solution: update your room's layers, the curtains, recover a piece of furniture, throw in a textured throw, but keep your jeweled walls!

  18. My dining room is red. :) And I love it. BUT...when I think about putting our house on the market in a couple years, I know we'll have to paint it the same color as our living room - paperbag brown. Or, beige, as you might call it!

    I think if you want to change it, CHANGE IT! I miss redecorating. (We haven't done much since having Annalyn.) Then again, I hear that painting over red is a big deal...

    (I am NO HELP!)

  19. Bleeker Beige (to the left of your kitchen swatch) was the color of our old living room/downstairs. It was the perfect warm neutral for us. I like the ones to the right, too, that are a little more grey. I don't think you can go wrong. What's the worst that can happen? You miss the red and you paint it back!

  20. Our house has bright colors in every room. I could never go "muted" :)

    P.S. If you ever need someone to fix your Grandfather clock, my dad does house calls in the Chicago area. :) He's pretty desperate for business.