July 17, 2013

Somewhere on the Dull-Bright Continuum

From the number of walls I have painted in numerous dwellings, I get the impression that many people equate pale colors with brightness. Pale does not equal bright. Quite the opposite. I find that pale colors make a dimly lit room appear dull. Personally, it feels oppressive to me. Case in point, the room to be Odd Bird Studio's home. 

Despite sporting a huge, east facing picture window, this room does not get sunlight. At least not this time of year. The roof over the narrow front porch shades the window and prevents the sun from entering. Although I pine for a bright, sun-filled studio, this room is better for photo printing (um, once I learn how to do that digitally, minor detail) and will prevent my embarrassingly enormous fabric stash from fading.

The challenge is to take the minimal amount of light that enters the room and multiply it, reflect it around the space. Even though I love, love, love the brightness and look of Scandinavian homes with white walls, white floors, white ceilings, that decorating scheme is just not for me. I admire it the way I admire morning people. I think both are great, but neither of them are me.
   Instead of something like this (source: Alvhem),
or this (source: architecture, art, design), what is one to do?

My preferred solution is bright, saturated color. Below is the original pale yellow, along with patchy spots of white Kilz over the spackled areas.
And here it is later the same day with a brighter yellow cut in along the crown molding and in the corner. See how the bright yellow pops and the pale yellow recedes?
Here's two coats of the new yellow around the doorway to the hall, shot in very low light. The wall beyond the doorway, the one with the stair rail, is the same dull, pale yellow the studio used to be. Quite a difference, no? 


  1. Love the new color Laurie. I can't wait to see the whole house when you are all done!

    1. Thanks, Nikki! Can't wait? You and me both. I'll do a full reveal in about 10 years from now. Hmm, make that 15. I forgot about the yard!