pretty blue wallsGolly, so many “epic” stories over the past few months (Kate and I are crankin’) that it seems like … we don’t just stop and look at one pretty room — one pretty paint color — anymore. Kind of, “stop and smell the roses.” Or: Stop and ogle the gorgeous Tiffany blue paint in Hillary’s living room. Hillary uploaded this photo in our recent festival of 176 reader fireplaces. She noted, cryptically, “Traditional FP in 1949 cottage – Hillary.” Oh Hillary, this room is so glowy! And see, everyone, how I always talk about the sun dappling through sheer curtains? Dappling! I am getting sheers for under my pinch pleats this year once and for all, that’s that. But Hill — may I call you Hill? — what is the paint brand and color — we must know. Yes, for now, I’m calling it Tiffany Blue — just like the Breakfast at Tiffany’s blue — what a wonderful mid century provenance that is.  And, umm, is that a real Saarinen womb chair? And is that your grandma’s sewing machine? Your two-tone color palette, rich noble woods, mix of modern and traditional — all laid on with a light touch… with restraint: Nicely done, grl. Now: What is the paint? xoxo

  1. Hi from Toronto Canada!
    Love the room and the serene blue. It is calming and elegant without
    looking contrived or staged. We have the same coffee table, LOL! I was told the coffee table with the curved edge was designed by Grete Jalk. After doing research on it, I liked it so much that I gradually acquired other pieces by her, including end tables and an entryway bench. Bravo, an inspiration. Proof that turquoise doesn’t have to look kitschy.

  2. Scott says:

    That’s a truly yummy room and color really transports you. I don’t think that room could have been staged any better if it had been done by professionals. Hilliary, are you holding out on us? 🙂

    I have a very similar color in my room, called Aztec Aqua, which I pulled from a 1969 Ford Automotive PPG paint chart. Vintage interior house paint swatches seem somewhat hard to find but automotive paint charts are common and quite affordable. Best of all they are actually painted with enamels, not printed, so the color hasn’t faded or changed over the years. I took my paint chart into Home Depot last fall and they were able to custom mix an exact match.

    Just about any automotive Paint Chart between 1956 and the early 70s is a treasure trove of great color ideas. I have dozens and dozens of them and plan on pulling the colors for my other rooms the same way. I really like how these charts can help you pick an authentic period color by going directly to a period resource.

  3. Natalie MC says:

    I have Tiffany blue in my downstairs bathroom. I took an actual Tiffanys bag to Lowes and the paint tech was able to match it exactly.

  4. tammyCA says:

    Lovely! Looks just like the living rooms from my vintage magazines. Nicely balanced and good idea not to paint the entire room in blue as it would be overpowering (I need to do that in my aqua blue room). Love those little plastic doilies…we had them when I was a kid and I actually found one a few years ago at the thrift store but too bad it was damaged.
    I also remember back then that most people had living rooms that rarely anyone ever went in so they looked so nice and neat…mostly people hung out in the dens/family rooms which were less formal.
    And, I love dappling sunlight thru windows…I just can’t have heavy curtains on any of my windows as I love the light.

  5. Janet in CT says:

    Hillary, your room is just lovely! I especially liked the way you put just one drapery panel up on the two narrow windows next to the fireplace. I love sheers too but my cats shredded the ones in my bedroom so that was the end of using them there! I am curious if anyone can speculate if the floor length curtains on these big picture windows were not common back in the day. Both my husband’s mother and grandmother had late fifties ranches with the 120″ wide picture window and both of them used the 65″ long drapes. They indicated to me when we bought the grandmother’s 1958 ranch that no-one put up floor length drapes back then. I don’t know if that is generally true or if maybe they had to be custom made and were very expensive, probably the latter. I know I put up the short ones and the $120 cost was alot of money to me in 1978! Anyhow, beautiful job.

    1. Hillary says:

      I’ve noticed the shorter curtains too, in old magazines. They even took down long and put up shorter in one of the “modernization” articles I was reading. I like my long curtains though, because they hide the outlets and the cold-air return. I’d definitely go with the shorter if I had some low furniture that fit under the windows.

      1. Janet says:

        How interesting! I do love your windows though; the long ones look just perfect! I had the short curtains on my picture window and it took me a long time to find a sofa that fit under it that fit in with the age of the house. I am mad that I didn’t take my mother-in-law’s circa 1960 sofa when she replaced it. It had those square arms and that indestructible off-white nylon glimmery fabric that was so popular in the day, with a matching chair in aqua! They still looked brand new when she replaced them in the eighties. We had a regular sized window on the other outside wall which I hated because it spoiled all the wall space in the room. It had the usual large doorway into the kitchen and the fourth wall as is common had the fireplace. We removed that window so I had space for a line of tall bookcases and I never regretted it.

  6. Rick S says:

    I love how this room welcomes you right in. It has an ageless feel to it. I like the comments about how people,then and now, collect and it does make our homes more personal and interesting.

    I love the lamps on either side of the sofa and the “column” shaped one behind the womb chair.
    This shade of blue would be great in my upstairs bathroom.

  7. Mary says:

    Nice room! The layout of the living rooming room in my 1940 Cape is nearly identical. We have a long radiator under the big window, which makes it tough to position anything in front of it without it feeling like it’s floating alone in the middle of the room.

  8. Nancy Stevenson says:

    Stunning! Just proves, less is more. I love the light, airiness, the classic styles, and the BEST color ever! (I also have it in my house) A truly lovely room, Hillary! I LOVE your furnishings, and the fireplace! (Some people just have good taste, and a good eye!) Thanks for sharing :o)

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