And The Winning Living Room Paint Color Is…

…Benjamin Moore Silver Gray!


Are you surprised? I’m sure most of you expected me to use Iceberg. That was actually my plan until the last minute, and I had a change of heart. My reasoning was that if I do the birds and butterflies “wallpaper” in the breakfast room, I’ll need a super light background color for that pattern, and Iceberg is the natural choice. But I didn’t want Iceberg in two rooms.

So then the choice was between Smoke and Silver Gray. Smoke seemed to have just a touch of green in it, which really didn’t look great with my Gentleman’s Gray (dark blue) kitchen cabinets. But the Silver Gray looked awesome with the kitchen cabinets.

But can we also talk about the lack of rectangles everywhere? Doesn’t it look so calm and peaceful compared to this…

dining room picture frame moulding and trim progress - 16

…and this…


Yeah. This was definitely the wrong room for picture frame moulding. 🙂 I really like how the door and window trim can stand out now.


Oh, and I’ve decided to keep the sunburst over the fireplace. 🙂 Is it too big? Yep. But I’ve grown to really like it there. It’s like a rebellious little sunburst, thumbing it’s nose at rules and bursting outside of its prescribed borders. Maybe that speaks to me. Or maybe I just like big, shiny things. 😀

Anyway, you might be wondering why I always crop those corner pictures in such a way that you can’t see into the kitchen and breakfast room through that doorway. Well, that’s because those cabinets are still green, and that will totally skew your opinion of this paint color. Silver Gray and my green kitchen cabinets do NOT play well together.

But I did try to get a picture straight on so that you could see the wall color with the Revere Pewter and Gentleman’s Gray on the back wall of the kitchen. We’re all friends, right? So you won’t judge me too harshly for my filthy, drywall dust-covered floor, or for the fact that half of my kitchen light bulbs are burned out because I’m slowly switching to all LEDs, and I keep forgetting to buy new bulbs each time I head to Home Depot. But you’ll get the idea…


On my monitor, that picture above is actually the most accurate as far as the new wall color goes. And I’ll make sure all of my bulbs are working when I take the final pictures of the finished rooms. 🙂

And once again, let’s admire the calmness of the lack of rectangles…

dining room picture frame moulding and trim progress - 16

One note on the kitchen…

I had been planning on using some of the blue grasscloth in the backs of those middle upper cabinets, which is why they’re still empty and unfinished. Well, I’ll have to come up with a Plan B, because I did go ahead and cancel that order. I didn’t want to wait until February to see if they might possibly have it in stock again, or if I was going to have to wait even longer.

And the biggest change is, of course, the entryway. I know some of you are still mourning the loss of the mural…

entryway after 1

But look at what a pretty backdrop I have to work with now…


I’ll have to find something else to go in the entryway, like an actual entryway table, because the buffet is moving to the breakfast room as soon as the walls and floor in there are finished. It just makes more sense to have a buffet in the actual dining area, right?

One last thing…at the suggestion of a commenter on yesterday’s post (thanks, Beverly!), I tried Benjamin Moore’s Aura paint in a matte finish. Oh my! Y’all, it’s truly the most awesome paint I’ve ever used. I did the entire living room and entryway with one coat, even on the areas where I did the cutting in with a brush. Those areas usually go on thin, since brushing applies less paint than rolling, so I always find myself having to do the cutting in twice just to get enough paint on those areas. But not with Aura! The brushed areas and the rolled areas looked exactly the same (other than the very slight texture difference). One coat covered everything, and when I was finished, I still had just under half a gallon left! I’ve never gotten such good coverage from paint before.

It’s definitely more expensive than the Behr I generally use — more than twice the price. I think it was around $65 for a gallon. So you have to ask yourself if your time is worth the extra money. For me, the answer was yes. And the matte finished is gorgeous. This will definitely be my go-to wall paint from now on.

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  1. You’ve made a lot of progress! I’m glad the sunburst is staying over the fireplace, at least for now. Congratulations!

  2. Oh oh oh please please PLEASE leave it like this! The blue walls with that gray fireplace with the golden sunburst mirror? I am in heaven. I’ve loved every change you’ve made so far in that house, even un-doing and re-doing of the table, piano, trim, etc. but those curtains and paint colors are so you. This is my favorite re-decorating of yours to date. Beautiful.

    1. I love it! So calm and relaxing looking already. So glad you took down all the moulding and simplified everything! Looking forward to seeing the rest of your work as it is always beautiful!

    2. That’s what I was going to say! It’s spectacular. Please leave it this way. The best thing is it is so perfect with the grey fireplace. Love the drapery fabric, as well. You can’t improve on it, so enjoy!

    3. I love the ‘too big’ sunburst mirror (I don’t think it’s too big), all your new colors, new drapes, love the kitchen, etc. I agree with Mehgan and Tinag…all these updates and changes are the best to date. Love the colors!

  3. WOW! Looks absolutely lovely! Congrats on making those very difficult decisions to undo beautiful hard work but you made the right call. Love the blue kitchen cabinets, love the new wall color in the front room, love the oversized mirror over the fireplace, love everything about your home! It’s going to really come together nicely…can’t wait for the next update.

  4. I LOVE it, and I’m not a lover of blue! Guess I just like it in other peoples’ houses, but can’t imagine me living with it.
    And I love your spunk at keeping the sunburst mirror. Who needs rules anyway? As long as you like the finished product that’s all that counts.

  5. You are so on the right track! The living room walls look 👍with everything. I have to agree with you on the sunburst mirror too. The scale of it looks 😎

  6. I liked the molding so much – but that’s probably because I want it in My house ! You have to do what speaks to you in Your house .
    Aura in matte is a rock star paint for sure . Regal is very nice also .

  7. i loveeeeeee that rebellious sunburst. The gold looks amazing on the gray background

    I also don’t think its too big! Who cares about “decorating rules” 🙂

  8. It is super calming and smooth! The fabric in the curtains gives it a little oomph and I think you’ll get a little more with your other accent pieces, velvet sofa, etc. 🙂 It’s turning out great! At some point, when the breakfast room is done, you’ll need to take some shots through the openings into the breakfast room and then from the breakfast room, though the kitchen, through the openings in to the music room and living (formerly dining, formerly living) room. Great work!

    Do you miss the coral and green at all? I know they weren’t your ideal colors for long-term-this-is-your-house-forever, but I did like them.

    Keep trucking!

    1. I actually don’t miss the coral at all. I will be working some green into my house, though. Green is one of my favorite colors…just not kelly green on all of my cabinets. 🙂 But the coral chairs are sitting in my music room right now, and every time I glance at them, I just find that they give me an unsettling feeling. Those colors are just so jarring to me.

  9. When I first saw your starburst mirror, I thought the over-sizing was intentional, and I liked it. It says “I did this on purpose to stand out”. 🙂 It’s beautiful and should stand out.

  10. how does the “matte” finish compare to flat or satin in the BM paint? I usually use satin over flat, so I’d love to know how the matte finish would compare – or what finish would compare to a satin in the BM paints.

    Looks wonderful by the way!

    1. The Aura paint doesn’t come in flat. The flat has a rougher feel to it, and it harder to wash and scrub. Evidently the matte is washable. It looks very similar to flat, though, and doesn’t have a sheen to it at all. The satin I’ve used does have a sheen to it, and the darker the color, the more it shines, even if the finish is just satin.

  11. I think I am in love! This is beautiful!!!

    My daughter is buying a condo. I wonder if she will let me paint it, walls, trim, kitchen cabinets and all. Sooo beautiful! I think I am gushing 🙂

  12. Sooooo much better without all the moulding! I always thought it was just too much for that room. Like the dining room idea, it just did not work. There was so much going on, your eyes did not know where to focus. Now, it is much more calm and soothing, which a home should always be, in my opinion. You want to walk in and be able to relax and wind down. Too much detail or too many competing colors prevent that from happening. I like the new direction!

  13. Beautiful. Love all the changes. BM paint is the best. Been using it for a long, long time.


    Wish we could click on your pics and see them enlarged.

  14. I was wondering if now that you are using the room as a living room and you have changed the colors back to blues and greens, if you might bring back that beautiful upholstered, tufted coffee table/ottoman that you made. I absolutely love that piece. I guess it might depend if the fabric on that piece works well with the new draperies. Just a thought. I was always disappointed that piece had to go.

  15. I am so happy to hear you will keep the Sunburst Mirror over the fireplace. It is stunning there. The color compliments the new kitchen cabinets perfectly. I am just in love with your changes (however, I was really digging/rooting for those black and white curtains). You definitely made the right decisions for YOUR home.

    I love your blog….It is the highlight of my day 🙂 and I’m a long time follower.

  16. Oh, that looks lovely especially next to your new kitchen colors. Much more calm and serene. Can’t wait to see what you do with the music room and the piano. I love how Peeve (it that her name?) likes to get in the photos. Silly kitty.

  17. I love the silver gray, it was actually my first choice, but I didn’t know if it looked different on my computer. Two questions: Are you keeping the buffet the same color when you put it in your breakfast room and what did you decide to do with your piano?

    1. No, I’m not keeping the buffet black. In fact, I’m trying to rid my house of all black on big items, including my interior doors. Those will still be dark, but just not black. Probably closer to my fireplace color. As far as the buffet, I’ve been dreaming about green, but probably need to wait and see how the room comes together with the blue chairs and the stained wood table and the walls first. I’m also unsure about the piano at this point, but it will be something much more tame than bright yellow. 🙂

  18. I just want to say at I love the starburst over the fireplace. Even though it does stick outside the top and bottom molding a bit it still all looks symmetrical and looks intentional to me. I love the BM Silver Grey paint with the curtains. It brings out the blue in them but doesn’t compete. I loved your green cabinets but I totally agree with your choice to change them and now they look perfect with the colors you’ve chosen for the living room and I think you will be much happier with how everything flows from one room into the next now and you seem to really have found your vibe with this new color scheme. I can’t wait to see what you share next!!!

  19. It looks fantastic. Bravo! Yes to all of it being redone. You got this. I have yet to try Benjamin Moore paints but next time that is what I am using. I hear so many good things about Benjamin Moore. Thanks for sharing!

  20. I do love the color you chose. It seems to go well with the drapery, the fireplace and the new pain colors in the kitchen. Win-Win!

    Your front room is coming together and you’ll soon have a lovely place to sit and enjoy your fireplace.

    I was one of the people who encouraged you to keep that starburst mirror – I love the super size as a pretty focal point.

  21. Beautiful, calm and classy. The mirror looks awesome and is such a stand out piece. Glad you are following your heart and not letting trends or what a magazine might say dictate how you decorate YOUR house. The colors now seem more cohesive. There’s more of a flow when you look into the kitchen. Everything ties together instead of competing with each other for attention. Just a thought . . . would it make sense to paint the inside of your front room door the same color as the fireplace? The gray just looks so awesome with the wall color. And yes, it’s totally worth the extra money to buy a more premium paint. I switched years ago and it’s sure nice to paint a room pretty much one time, instead of rolling it all twice! Money well spent! Enjoy the rest of the process of seeing your home become the home you really want.

    1. Yes, the door will be repainted. I’m considering the fireplace color, but I’m also considering just a touch lighter for the interior doors. I’m basically getting rid of most (if not all) of the black in my house, at least on large items. It just seems too harsh with my new colors. I haven’t jumped right into painting the front door yet, because I’m really considering just going ahead and replacing it. I’d like one that has glass in it, but I can’t decide how much glass, and in what configuration. And then I keep going back to my dream front door with the “window” that opens on hinges. Do I have it custom made? Do I tackle it myself?
      *sigh* One thing leads to another. 🙂

      1. I absolutely love all of these new changes. The new color scheme is so regal and soothing. Definitely a welcoming tone. I have been following your blog for about two years. You are my daily addiction. Each morning I can’t wait to see your new postings. You are a decorating rock star!! Thank you so much for blogging.

  22. I have a room in a very similar colour and it’s been painted like that about 9 years back – I still love the colour so much! What I probably like about it the most is its calming effect! I think it’s really great that you went with the slightly darker shade, as it matches the fireplace and mirror (I love the size in that spot!) perfectly. Well done and chosen 🙂

  23. I love how the windows look so framed now that all the busy rectangles are gone. I too love the paint color. I think this is the best re-do you have done.

  24. I just think it’s amazing to see how color transforms a space. That color is so calming and gorgeous and flows so beautifully. Quite honestly, you have the ability to make anything look polished and well designed, but holy cow does it pop like magic when it all falls into place like this. It’s almost magical. Thank you again for sharing your journey.

  25. I’m so glad you have found the wonderfulness that is Benny Moore paint. Been using it for 25 years!
    If you want your mind really blown away, try to find a deck of their CSP colors. Took me 4 years to get my paws on it.
    They are full spectrum colors and absolutely gorgeous! They only tint it in the aura base.
    BTW- so glad you are keeping the overscale starburst on the fireplace!!!!

  26. This looks so nice! I was super skeptical about you ditching the wall trim, but you were right. The room feels so FRESH and calm. It’s funny how much more neutral the room feels (I mean that in a good way). The wall trim (even when white) really made the room feel too busy & crowded.

    I’m curious to see if you still go with green velvet couch. I’be been eyeing one for my space, but am afraid it will get me stuck in a corner.

      1. Kristi, i have winter white furniture and i love it. I decided on the slipcover sofa and chair so they could be easily cleaned.

      2. I am so glad to see you say that! I loved your idea about a colorful velvet but wondered if it would be something you’d tire of quickly. Can’t go wrong with a classic white sofa! I have one and LOVE it. So easy to clean and decorate around. Everything looks so so good!

  27. Love the color you chose. Works well with the fireplace and kitchen cabinets. I think the mirror is a good statement piece for the room too.

  28. I am so happy you’re keeping the sunburst! I love it there, lol. And that shade is really nice with the fireplace. I really enjoy seeing your progress!

  29. Love, love, love!!! Could the Gentlemans Gray work on the back of the glass kitchen upper cabinets since the grass cloth isn’t happening?

  30. First picture I said to myself—-Ahhhhhhhh. So calm, so together, nothing screaming at you “look at me, look at me!”. Ahhhhh. Good job.

  31. I love the new look, but I’m is the teeny minority that liked the picture frame moulding better. The new look looks more modern, tract-house-like, where the moulding gave the room a more custom/classic look. Well, that’s why there’re choices. 🙂 I look forward to each new post!

  32. I love the color. It’s so funny because I can now finally see the fireplace color as grey. Every time I would see a post the fireplace looked brown. It’s all beautiful! The view through to the kitchen is so nice with all the complementary colors. I really enjoyed what you were going with originally but this is more what I could live with in my home.

  33. Still mourning that mural, the room is looking so pretty! I am enjoying the new direction you are taking. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  34. Kristi, about the grasscloth, is an online order the only way you can buy it? I’m in Los Angeles and we have access to just about everything here – I’m convinced a person could buy a black market kidney on a street corner downtown. But I digress. I’m wondering if there’s someplace here in L.A. that carries the grasscloth? If you find it here and they won’t ship, I’d be happy to get it for you and ship it to you. Just e-mail me and we can figure something out.

  35. What else can I say, but WOW…….Absolutely gorgeous and stunning! Love the color and it really compliments your ‘new’ kitchen cabinet colors now.

  36. Looks gorgeous! And I love how the dark blue in the kitchen plays off the curtains in your living room. I recently tried BM paint for the first time also. The closest BM store is almost an hour away but I was in that area for some other errands and decided to stop by the store to pick up some of the same swatches you had shown recently. Since the color I had already picked for my sunroom/kitchen is from the BM Williamsburg line, I decided to go ahead and buy the paint and see if the quality was worth the price. I usually color match SW paint since it’s more conveniently available and I’ve always had good results. Anyway, the BM Williamsburg line is only available in their Regal Select paints. I bought Eggshell since I need some wipe-ability in a kitchen/sunroom with 3 young kids and a big dog. I love how great the coverage was and there were no real brush strokes or roller marks visable when I was done. Also helps that I LOVE the color. It’s called Palace Pearl and it looks a little similar to the Silver Grey in your house.

  37. I liked the molding, but it was more “formal” in style and “formal” does not = relaxing, so it wasn’t giving your the atmosphere you wanted. (When I think of formal style, I think of more formal times; I picture an Edwardian lady sitting very upright on a stiff, tight-backed sofa while balancing her tea cup in her hand and sipping ever so carelully! Not a very relaxing image, ha, ha. ) The colors are beautiful. I love your drapes–the fabric is gorgeous. Those black and white striped ones were dramatic, but not very relaxing in the least!

    You’ve been working hard–now I hope you can relax some and enjoy it!

    Thanks for the tip about the Aura. I want to do some quick painting before Christmas, and one coat coverage sounds perfect. Also, I love Benjamin Moore colors but usually buy Behr because of price. Behr quality is good, but their colors can’t compare to Benjamin Moores’. Would you agree, or am I just having a hard time discovering the hidden gems amongst the not so great colors of Behr?