Gavin adds richness & drama to his “coolonial” living and dining rooms with gray painted walls

Gavin wrote me recently:

I have to share my new color:  Sweatshirt Gray/Ralph Lauren. Home Depot is discontinuing Ralph, and it was $13 a gallon!

.He continues:

BTW Pam…today you talked about painting the insides of bookcases accent colors. Here’ s what I did… I got the idea of painting my shelf background black from the cover of Better Homes and Gardens – November 1944… Instead of spending 40 bucks on a can of paint (only to find that it doesn’t work) I stuffed every piece of black clothing or fabric I could find around the books and items on the shelves and then lived with it for a day. It passed the test, and now I use that method for everything from draperies to upholstery. The bookcase is to the right of the dining room picture. I don’t know if you can pick out the black on the bookcase, but it’s great with the leather chair and slate fireplace.  Now all I need are two cheap  (but fabulous) Duncan Phyfe 40’s dining room chairs under the windows, opposite — painted black. People tell me to cover that scroll work over the bookcase — but I tell them no… I don’t live in a condo.  My house is from 1939, and proud.

Thank you, Gavin. And readers, if you are stressing over paint colors, my first reco right now is to look at California Paints. They recently introduced a new 20th Century palette — with 55 colors straight from mid-century archives. Whenever I am in a pinch, I start by looking at “authentic”. In my mind, California Paint’s extensive new, authentic palette is now the #1 place to to start.

Disclosure: California Paints recently signed on as an advertiser on my site. That said, I write about retailers that interest me, whether they advertise or not. In fact, I hope to have someone start helping with advertising sales soon, so I don’t have to think about or even know what’s up with whom. Me just wanna research and write.

  1. Gavin Hastings says:

    Basement DO NOT count.

    I call those items “on tour” and the Not Ready for Prime Time Players…..

  2. jkaye says:

    Would love to see more of this home. Can’t help wondering what is just through that doorway in the dining room — the kitchen I presume. What’s going on in there, I wonder?

  3. Jeff says:

    Gavin, love the house and the color!

    My folks used a similar gray/white combo in their 1953 storybook colonial in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and the overall effect was not only elegant, but correct for the house, and the period- right down to the Baldwin brass fireplace accessories.

    You’re right about these homes being hybrids as to style- my ranch is certainly Japanese-Atomic, but I am going to do the guest bedroom in traditional colonial decor, since I already have the furnishings, just need a great colonial wallpaper, and I should be set!

    Cheers on a really super place.

  4. Just another Pam says:

    What a truly beautiful home, the stuff of dreams.

    The ‘Not ready for………..’ is wonderful too, I shall probably have three opportunities to use it today alone. Credit will be given.

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