Studio Green, No, Pine Grove Green in the Reading Room. Yeah.

The reading room-turned-music room has been on our minds for a while now. It was the second room we worked on in this house (after the half bath) and it has kind of always been special to us. Greta and I (before Faye came along) used to read on the couch in here and watch out the wall of windows and wait for Chris to come home. When we inherited our piano that has been handed down for generations on Chris’s side (which is, obviously, also very special to us) we moved the couch out to the living room and the piano took its place. The whole reading room changed. Not in a bad way–no–but in its function entirely. Chris plays the piano well, but only occasionally, and I am starting to teach Greta, but we overall found we rarely went in the room. Chris reads cookbooks like novels and instead of getting one of the shelves and plopping on the couch, he would grab one and head to our bedroom or the living room. No big deal, but these little things all started creeping in and we started longing to have the couch back in the reading room. Once we got the leather chair for the living room, the process all got expedited. We moved the couch back in the reading room with plans to fit the piano on the wall with the shelves surrounding it. It seemed like a perfect way for the two to coexist.


We were teetering between 1–cutting the existing bottom two shelves, sliding the piano in and then framing around the piano so the shelves had ends and the piano was enclosed, or 2–Taking down the shelves and moving them to a new location so we wouldn’t have to cut them and building new bookcases around the piano. There were LOTS of opinions on Instagram, but we decided the first option was most cost effective and would be a relatively easy project only taking a Saturday. And then the Saturday came and we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it! We realized that we were trying to force something that neither of us truly wanted. And! We have a whole downstairs where the piano will fit in perfectly–eventually. For now, we rolled it into our bedroom–which is weird and strangely romantic at the same time. One morning, Chris rolled out of bed and played a song–really! We both laughed hysterically.


As soon as we get the downstairs more of a “family/media room” with a sectional and potential projector, and less “anything goes playroom” (complete with trampoline, slide and castle) we’ll feel more comfortable moving the piano into place down there. There is a third bedroom (greta’s room and the guest room, plus one more!) downstairs there which will likely turn into the playroom sometime next year. I’ve digressed.

This post was supposed to be about painting the reading room and somehow all of that slipped out of my fingers in true backstory blogger fashion. But yes, I painted the reading room. And all of you boycotting the action on Instagram (#savethegreen! haha) will be happy–it’s still green. It’s still green! Oh, here we go with another backstory. We originally painted the reading room green, a custom color, for a Halloween party photo background. We had just barely moved into our home and halloween parties are kind of our thing, so we scrambled. The room was empty and it seemed like the perfect place to take photos of all of our guests in costume. We chose a flat finish in a spooky green (we kept tweaking at the paint store until it was just right) so the flash wouldn’t bounce off of the wall. The green was never meant to be permanent, but after the party we started building the shelves and the sconce header and it grew on us. Since then, although we still loved the green, the flat finish continually looked chalky. So, with all the potential changes happening in the reading room, I figured now would be the time to paint it in an eggshell sheen–and why not choose an actual, intentional green in the meantime.

Since there is a whole wall of windows in this room, I knew i could get away going a little darker. I have always had a color crush on Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green and knew that Sherwin Williams had most of their formulas since we color matched F&B’s Skylight there for use in our last bedroom with great results.


They had the formula (score!) but after I picked it up and started painting, I immediately noticed that it wasn’t staying mixed. I mixed and mixed and there was always a black swirl in the can and in my paint tray.


I started this painting dance where I would mix my tray up and paint a few lines and mix it up more. It dried incredibly splotchy. I thought–maybe another coat! I thought that three times. After my results were still splotchy, I called the store and they said that maybe it was an older can of paint and they offered me a new can. I took it and tried again–with the same results.


The paint just wouldn’t stay mixed. I brought my evidence back to the store and showed them the back swirls that were translating into less-than-even results on my walls and they gave me my money back and even offered to give me another free gallon if I wanted to pick a different color–since that color was just not working in their paint.

I guess I’m stubborn because I still wasn’t ready to give up on Studio Green (so stubborn, Julia! Stop!) so I took the little swatch I had (you can order a free Farrow & Ball swatch book on their site) to Ace to get color matched. They explained that the swatch might be too small and it might not be an exact match since it’s paper, but again, stubborn. As soon as they mixed it up, although the little dot on top of the can looked close, inside the paint was gray. VERY gray. I told them that this wasn’t right, but she insisted it will dry a lot darker…and a lot greener? Stubborn. I took it home and it dried extremely gray and extremely light.


I guess it took 3 days, 4 coats and a false color match for me to finally give up on Studio Green. That is my threshold. Ha!I started looking through my swatches for a similar dark dark green and I found a Clark+Kensington one called Pine Grove. It was a smidge bluer than Studio Green, which reminded me a lot of the original green we painted the room, but nearly as dark.


Ace let me return the way-too-gray Studio Green (luckily the same girl was working that convinced me to take it home even though I was hesitant)in exchange for a gallon of Pine Grove in eggshell. And, I mean, the rest is history.


Our “reading room green” finally has an official paint color that has an actual name in a sheen we can live with. The before and after paint color isn’t a huge difference, but if we liked the original color, you could say we LOVE the new color.


I am still working on putting the room back together (obviously) but I finally picked out a rug and coffee table and a few accessories for the room, too! Can’t wait to share those, along with a much more pulled-together before and after, when they arrive.

Color for the Colorblind

This week I have been repainting the reading room–so many things to talk about there early next week–when this video from our friends at Valspar landed in my inbox. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

Valspar is on a mission to bring color to those who don’t have it (and to remind those who do to appreciate it–done!) They recently launched “Color for All” and through a partnership with EnChroma, a manufacturer of color blindness correcting glasses, Valspar is gifting this special eyewear to a number of colorblind individuals while raising awareness about color’s impact on our lives. You have to see when these people put them on for the first time!

How moving and beautiful is that? It’s hard for me to wrap my head around nearly 300 million people living in a “dull world.” Color has been such a large part of my life as an artist and as a home maker. One of my favorite exercises as an artist is to start with the primary colors and black and white paint and mix and mix until I can match a given hue perfectly. To not be able to do that–it is making me appreciate the rich colors we have in our home in textiles and on our walls, too. Sometimes I can be so particular about getting a shade just right (again, reading room–Monday!) and this video has definitely allowed me to step back and realize how fortunate we are to be able to appreciate the color we have and to live in such a colorful world. Something I take for granted at times. (Give me all the paint colors!) The visual impact of color, both physically and emotionally, is truly incomparable.

Are you or someone you know colorblind (You can take a simple test right here)?  How has it affected your life or home?

Ps.  This is not a sponsored post, but I wanted to pass along the information because it is a subject I am so passionate about. If you are colorblind or colorblindness affects your life in some way, share your story with #ColorForAll or at Some of those submitting stories will receive EnChroma glasses, courtesy of Valspar. Additionally Valspar will be working with art museums across the country offering up the glasses to enable even more people to see color for the first time. To be a fly on the wall…

My Hunt for the Perfect Persian Rug

When searching for the perfect rug for the laundry room, I went through hundreds of options and tried to take my time to find one I thought would be perfect for the space–and then ended up with two at my doorstep earlier this week. Ha! This rug will likely be the only real color in the room, besides any art I can squeeze on the walls (you can check out the mood board here), so I wanted it to be interesting. I started searching through vintage Persian rugs on Etsy first. I have learned I am most attracted to rugs with a little bit of navy blue in them–even more if it’s the base color. This is probably no surprise considering our living room rug, but I love the freshness and navy adds to even vintage rugs–it adds a modern element, I think. Etsy had a lot of beautiful, but pricey options to be honest. I wasn’t looking to spend $400 on a 3×5 rug. And then the heavens opened and I stumbled upon a shop called Oh Comely Vintage and this little rug with a navy background for $140.


It was love at first site. The geometric detailing, the blue and coral. Although the size was a little smaller than I wanted for the laundry room, at 2′ x 3’4″, it was too pretty to pass up.


After looking through the rest of her perfectly curated shop (and instagram!) I had to exercise great restraint not to add this little curio box or this candle holder. Table runner! Everything is so reasonably priced and beautiful, Oh Comely Vintage quickly became my new Etsy crush. You might be able to tell from the above photo, I ended up laying my new favorite rug in the hall bathroom.


It’s just the right size, incredibly soft underfoot and could not tie in the deep navy walls lined with art any better. Of course that put me at square one with the laundry room rug. But for once in my life, Facebook ads actually pulled through. They must have caught on that I was looking at Persian rugs and this one showed up in the sidebar of my feed for $119 from that looked really promising. I remember muttering, There’s no way that one with the navy blue base and cool geometric details is $119. I was so sure I was going to be a victim of click bait and end up on a very un-special option–you know? But, it really was. And! It was a 3.5×5!


I ordered it within 10 seconds and the two rugs actually arrived on the same day. It was like Christmas! It fits perfectly in the new laundry space, which is where Charly hangs out a lot of the days (no idea why) and she has really taken to the new rug. I pulled it out to the living room area to get better photos in the light and she came right out and plopped down on it again. Haha!



We have tried dog beds, pillows, blankets and even a large Ikea chaise for her to rest on and this is the first thing she has consistently wanted to lay on. I think the other options were too hot for her, but either way, we’re chalking it up to our girl having good taste. ;) Wins all around. I know persian rugs are having a major moment–what are your secrets to finding a good one? Is there something you look for specifically?

Ps. The laundry room makeover we did for our friends is on Wayfair today! You can check it out, and a few other laundry and linen makeovers, right here.