Save my marriage

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 8:10 PM


I am in need of a design intervention.

I'll give you the rundown, and you all come and tell me what to do. I've got an idea, David has an idea, and we aren't really seeing each other's vision. This is where you come in, dear readers!

I got new curtains this week. I love them, they are absolutely perfect for our color scheme and style and everything. These curtains have the terracotta from our living room, the orange from the kitchen, the blue form the TV room...and they've made me reconsider an idea that I've had before and pushed aside. It's kind of crazy. Want to hear it?

See that rock wall? See all that stucco (it's everything gray in the pictures)? I kind of want to paint it all white. Nor stark white, but just barely not-white. Here's why:

1. We have *a lot* of color going on here. I feel like it is time to find a neutral, something that can carry through the whole house - hallways, some "through" spaces, just something to rest your eyes on. The current gray of the stucco now is, I feel, too dark to be that neutral. (It's darker in reality than it is in these photos - it's most accurate in the first one, to the right of the rock wall). The house is quite dark on the inside and I think the lighter color would be just the thing to perk it up.

2. We also have a lot of "features" to work with: dark wood doors and trim, arches, rock wall, wood beams, columns, stucco, fireplace...just a lot of eye-catching 70's design details. Some of them I love (beams, dark trim, fireplace) and some of them I am neutral on (rock wall, columns), and some of them I could definitely live without (stucco, arches). I feel like painting the stucco and the rock wall would tie those things together, and if they were light and neutral, like the ceiling and hallways, they would be relegated to "background" status, allowing the beams to take center stage. I would also want to take that accursed arch over the fireplace down and put a horizontal wood mantle up, to echo the beams. (I'd love to get rid of all the arches, but that might be a long-term project.)

3. I hate the kitchen orange and the stucco gray next to each other, and from the dining area that color combo is right in your face. I hate it. I have tried to ignore it for a couple of months, and I still hate it, so one of them has to go. David thinks we should paint the kitchen the terracotta color of the living room, and I think we should paint the stucco white, and round and round we go.

4. See how pretty those curtains are? The lovely balanced color scheme? No gray. Just cream. That's not a coincidence.

5. I have a lot of sad, 70's brown oak cabinetry. Perhaps you noticed it. It's in the kitchen, every bathroom, and the mysterious wetbar. I think the cream would flatter that wood more than the gray, and since a kitchen remodel is a giant financial leap away, I do want to work with the existing cabinetry.

My husband loves gray. It is his favorite color. We painted his office pencil-lead gray, lest you think I am completely heartless and domineering. I don't dislike the gray stucco color, in a vacuum, and I do think it makes the stucco look good. But I still think the white is the right move for all the reasons detailed above. So, vote in the comments please:

a) Paint it! Paint it all! White is clean, fresh, and modern. Rachel, you are a genius.

b) Leave it gray, are you nuts? Why do you keep repainting everything? Your husband must be a saint.

c) I have a great idea that will solve all your design problems. It is _________.

If you read all this, you get a cookie. If you can actually help me solve this dilemma, you get two.

Comments (16)

Well, I sure don't expect cookies (since I never got my towel-holder prize), but:

I would go cream/white like you want. I adore your vibrant colors, and have to say the gray doesn't really do it for me. The fun colors deserve to be highlighted, which a light color would do.

Why don't you paint the gray stucco white. Leave the rock wall for last since you said it made you nervous. See how the white works for you and if you really like it, then take the plunge.

BTW, I love that curtain. It really is "you".

I am Team Rachel! : ) lol.

I have to go with white/cream to accent it. gray just doesn't "go"...

and this is coming from someone who's entire house is still the boring neutral cream that we bought it as...ooooh I wish my husband would let me paint!

I say leave the rock wall alone. Paint the stucco, but leave the rocks natural. It looks like they have the same colors as your curtains (a little blue, a little terra cotta) so they go with your colors. I've seen painted rock walls and they never look as good as the natural rock. Painted brick can look amazing, but I think that's because the uniform size of the brick makes the pattern neutral. I really don't like painted rock, it looks like somebody is trying to hide something. In my opinion it stands out more than just leaving it alone.

Also, I totally vote for getting rid of the fireplace arch. If you did a traditional surround made of smaller river rock in complementary colors and topped it off with a mantle that matches your exposed beams I think you'll be really happy.

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I choose A. Paint the stucco white, I think it would look good, brighten the place up a bit, and make the other colors pop. Just don't go falling off any more ladders.

Do no paint the rocks. I've seen it done before. It catches your eye in a bad way like when you see a hairless cat.

Ha! David is very happy that you all are recommending not to paint the rock. I for sure will start with the stucco and see how it looks, then reassess the rock. I was googling for a picture of a painted rock wall yesterday and couldn't find one. That is probably not a coincidence.

I am a designer in town & think I can help you!!
1. Def DO NOT paint the stone. You will regret it.
2 One way to change up the fireplace would be to tile the inside of the arch & give it a more morrican/wordly feel. There are such beautiful tiles that would carry the feel of your house to the next level. The drapes can be the inspiration for the tile.
3. Rearrangement of furn would help. I would just need to see more angels of the rooms.
4. You can call me if you would like. Email me & I will hive # @ or FB me!!

Sherry, that Moroccan/global thing is just what I am going for here! It seemed like the best way to mesh my personal style (which tends toward global/modern/eclectic/colorful/organic, I know that sounds like I just like everything but I promise it makes sense, I think) with this house, which has a very distinct personality all its own that we need to work with!

i like the stone, but i think it'd look fun to paint the stucco lighter.

LOVE the curtains. love, love, love. SO you.

Awww . . . even the thought of the title of this post makes me a wee sad. I just was reminded of how much I love you BOTH! ;)

David is so dear and very patient. Good husbands always are. I think it's darling how much thought you put into your lovely home. I think if you're hankering for cream, you should try it, but remember it may highlight the stucco that you so despise. I think the cream peeking through the side of the rock wall will be enough to satisfy. I too am in favor of leaving the rock wall as is. I'm all in favor of replacing the fireplace arch! with that free floating mantle, or even a full one. I think if you can really create a presence of that beam brown around the fireplace it would create a nice balance. Note: I am also extremely tired at the moment and wish to offer a disclaimer for all my comments to be made null and void at the recipient's discretion for at least the next 48 hours. Love you!! (except that comment. ;)

That rock wall would be hard to paint, no?
Why not paint creme instead of white? The curtain looks more creme-y than white.
I think I agree about not painting the rocks. They are kind of dated, but/and cool b/c of that. I like them.

You could also paint the gray a way, way lighter gray. Just as an option.

Samantha, it would be more of a cream than a white. Definitely not bright white at all.

A very light gray is an option. I'm still stewing over all these, guys.