Tickling the Ivory

July 15, 2008

Hallelujah, praise the Lord! The new paint color looks good.

Thank you, paint gods for this tiny miracle.

Anyone who’s ever struggled to pick a paint color will understand what I’m talking about.

Paint is a strange, bewitched shape-shifter. It looks innocent enough in the store on that microscopic chip. Oh – nice green, you think. Then, when you get it home, it has transformed. Suddenly it’s gray. Gray? What the … where did that come from? Picking paint color is an art, and I am in awe of people who do it well.

The color I used is called “Milkweed.” My husband and I just finished watching a marathon of the first three seasons of WEEDS, the quirky drama from Showtime about a suburban mom who’s a pot dealer. If you know the show, you’ll understand why I almost asked the guy at the paint store for two gallons of “Milfweed.” (If you’re interested, you can read a discussion of WEEDS on my other blog, DOLL CANNOT FLY.)

Milkweed is a lovely pale ivory color, which seems to have a base of yellow-gold (although please don’t take my word on that, since I am quite color-challenged.) I was slightly hesitant to paint the bedroom such a light color, since I like the idea of a cozy cocoon-like bedroom. But, that room is in the back of the house, where it faces north-east, so it gets less light anyway. I figured any color back there would read a bit more intense, so if I used a less intense color to start with, it would appear more intense. I had originally thought of painting the bedroom green, but that seemed too daunting. Did I want a yellow green? A gray green? A blue green? A sage green? I couldn’t handle it.

The rug I have in that room is a lovely Karastan, with an ivory center and a pattern that features bronzy browns, some green, and accents of blue and red. After a long search, I recently found a Calvin Klein duvet cover in green, which picked up the green in the rug very nicely without being all matchy-matchy. I also found some drapes from Restoration Hardware in “pecan,” a great bronzy brown. The room was really starting to come together, but I was not happy with the old wall color.

I was hoping the ivory would work, since the rug had ivory in it. My thought was the ivory would be a nice neutral background that would let the browns and greens “pop,” but the room would still be calm enough to be a serene retreat.

I’m very happy with the results. I’d love to hear about any decor triumphs you’ve had! It’s very satisfying when it all comes together, isn’t it?

My camera is still broken, but I borrowed one before I painted (the lighting isn’t great) and here’s the room with the old color, which had a sort of fleshy pinky tone. Not good. The ivory looks so much better.



  1. You’re right, paint is so hard to choose, it always seems to look different on the walls than how it looks in the store

  2. […] threw on my work clothes, grabbed the paint, and changed the color. The fireplace is now that nice Milfweed color – a soft yellow-leaning […]

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