Got a call a few weeks ago from my talented friend, Jane. Jane is a real estate agent but also a design maven with an incredible eye and has done her fair share of residential home staging. She had a new listing but decided to outsource the paint color selection and staging to professionals.
This house, built in 1937, had been lived in and loved. It had exceptional light, views and great bones. But it definitely needed a major interior facelift (and some exterior tweaking) before going on the market.
Grrr.. forgot to snap the “before” photos. Suffice to say that the palette was dated and involved pastel pink and blue. The pastels had worked with the previous owner’s furnishings and rugs but those wall colors had to go. In the living room, the elaborate moldings had been “picked out” in white– the effect– like icing on a wedding cake. We decided to temper the formalilty of the room by “painting out” the frame moldings and chair rail in the same color as the walls. I wanted the eye to be drawn up to the crown molding, so painted the ceiling a subtle color to highlight that and the height of the room.
The floors, a combination of original pine and oak, were refinished but left in their natural warm gold-orange tones. I used 5 different pale grays and off-whites on walls, ceilings and trim throughout the first floor to knock back the warmth of the floors and take advantage of the beautiful natural light.
Red House Staging did a fabulous job with clean contemporary furnishings and artwork… maintaining a neutral palette with lively pops of orange throughout the first floor.
The result is a subtle shift in light throughout the whole house. The shift creates just a bit of movement from the sight lines throughout and makes the rooms flow seamlessly.
The stairway leading to the second floor was also layered in whites above and below the chair rail, stair risers were painted white and the handrail black.
The old pine floors give character to the new kitchen, wrapped in a warm white to match the cabinetry.
The walk-out basement got an uplift with a warm camel color–cozy and warm for watching TV in the evenings.
The master bedroom was painted in a pale green… dreamy and atmospheric with leafy views from all windows.
This was indeed, a transformation– with wall color highlighting the strengths of this classic Virginia home. The result? In one day….
I often talk about the paint colors I use on projects but have decided not to include them here. Why? When using nuanced “off-whites” it is essential to test– pale colors and whites look very different depending on the light source and flooring. Attempting to replicate a look by simply using the same paint colors is often fraught with disappointment . My advice? The perfect white, especially when making a choice for interior or exterior trims, can make or break a color scheme. Hire a professional and get it right the first time!