Inspiring Interiors

What was that I said about white walls?

Monique and Richard over at Day at a Glance are doing amazing things with the walls in their new apartment (see here and here), and the results are making me seriously consider un-whiting some of the walls in our house.


Photos by Day at a Glance

So-called “feature walls” painted in trendy colors always make me a bit uneasy (as do overly-curated, overly-thought out frame arrangements), and my experiments with using bold colors in select locations (see: purple hallway disaster recovery) have not gone well. For whatever reason, it has just never occurred to me to approach wall covering in another way—un-faux finishing methods like those pictured above. These walls look like they belong to the house, they look right.

I need to think some more about my white walls.

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7 Comments

  • Reply Jaimie October 17, 2007 at 10:45 am

    I think doing white well is a lot more challenging than people realize. As I try to explain to my dad, simply picking any old white and slapping it up on the walls is not enough (particularly if you don’t have nice furniture in the room to give it cohesion and interest).

    I think the white you’ve shown in your home looks airy and fresh; but if you are interested in experimenting I can see the two moodier examples you posted looking intriguing too.

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 17, 2007 at 11:03 am

    I definitely agree with you, Jaimie. We struggled for a while trying to find the right whites for our house (I think we test-painted with about a dozen whites). I was looking for a white that resembled the color of our freshly-replastered walls when the sun was shining on them. We definitely have that now (Benjamin Moore Moonlight White, very warm and sunny despite the name!), and I’m also very pleased with our trim color (BM Simply White), but seeing unconventional wall treatments like I’ve posted here are making me think about things differently.

    The weird thing is that these walls (even the top picture) read very similarly to me as white does. There’s a purity and neutrality to the colors that doesn’t overwhelm the rooms, which is what I fear with colors. Our house is so full of fancy moldings and trims and details and “character” even before we put our personal stuff in it, and I’m always afraid of paint having to compete visually with that.

  • Reply nicole October 17, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    i really like the old schoolhouse charm of that first room.

  • Reply Adam October 17, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    I’m not crazy about the first picture, probably because it resembles (or is) a chalk board and with my job, the last thing I want to see when I get home is more chalk boards! I do like the second one though, it is subtle and visually interesting. I do have to agree with Jaimie, I think working with an all white palette is very challenging and you have met that challenge well. I do not have any white walls in my house, they are all colored.

  • Reply Jaimie October 17, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    (I can’t stop commenting!) Anna, I also think you have to be true to your own inclinations. Sometimes I admire homes with vibrant colour, but in my home I want everything to be soothing, calm and peaceful. I don’t look to be “energized” by my home; to me home-energy comes from refreshing myself and relaxing. Throughout our house we have warm whites, greys, blue-greys and blue-greens. Sometimes I think it’s a little too Martha Stewart palette to be considered “original” but I guess I’d rather enjoy my colour choices than push myself to sleep in an orange bedroom.

  • Reply lesley October 17, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    When I bought my house the sellers had just painted all the walls a color that a friend named “Ken Doll Flesh”. I had just moved out of many years of white-walled apartments, and although color scares me in general, I wanted a *little* something. I settled on a nice pale silvery-toned gray (Ben moore–LOVE that paint–the color changes so nicely depending on the light, and it covers like a mother) and used it for 90% of the walls. One bedroom is also the gray; one is a green tone and another a blue tone. I tried 2, yes let’s just call them what they are: ACCENT WALLS in the LR/DR, just a darker gray than the main color, but they have always bothered me, so I’ll probably paint them the main gray, sometime. OTOH, one corner has the darker gray, a blue sofa and a huge 2C blue Iggy Pop poster, and boy, is it blue over there. So that wall may get a… gasp… warm tone. I do love white though, esp in houses that have a lot of mouldings and chair rails and whatnot. What I think I like best about the examples you posted is how the people used the chair rails as a border for the wall funkiness–they didn’t ignore the architecture of the wall. Understated and kinda nifty. The top one is fabric if I recall, yes? Not digging that one as much as the bottom one. But hey.

  • Reply dayataglanceblogspot.com October 17, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    w.o.w! I was just checking in to have a look at your site and was really surprised to see parts of my apartment up! I am glad you like. I wanted a sexyish, sleep in till 11 bedroom that wouldn’t be too girlie. I am still coming to terms with it and have a way to go but thats half the fun. Thanks for all of your comments and thanks for putting us up there. 😉

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