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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Paint color help for Country House with T&G Fir ceiling

kailuamomNovember 15, 2012
Hi There -

My husband and I have bought a cute little place in the country (built 1961). We love the T&G fir ceilings with huge beams and beat up oak floors. There is also a huge old brick fireplace.

My quandary of the moment is what color to paint the interior walls. The living room has a huge, shaded, west facing window. this window generates big heat in the summer afternoons, and makes it cold in the winter. So far since the season has changed, it is also very dark. I'm hoping that will change when the trees drop their leaves.

I haven't started decorating, as we are a ways off from moving in. However, I need to get some drapes up for temperature control. Since I don't want any drapes that would natch the peach walls, I want to paint.

I like taupes. I want a color that will contrast well with the ceiling and floor and look great with my mostly brown furniture. I currently use mostly cranberry accent color - but am thinking of going to a dark teal color as accent. I like some of the neutral grays, but am worried that they may seem to cold in the winter when there's not much natural light. If we go with something warmer, I think it will be too warm in the summer with the wood walls and ceiling.

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BTW - these are pictures from the listing - NOT MY FURNITURE
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Suzanne White
Hi there. I know how you feel about trying to figure out colours for your beam and t&g ceiling room. We built a timberframe addition to our 80 + year old little house. We chose Wedgewood Grey by Benjamin Moore to match the walls of our open concept house which are White Sand by Benjamin Moore. It is a very calming blue tone and not grey like the name says. It compliments beautifully the warmth of our beams and our t&g pine ceiling. Not one person who has walked through our doors did not comment on how nice the paint colour looks with the wood. Our room is not quite finished but will try to get you an idea by sending a picture when it is daytime. I know for sure that it would also go super nice with your wood floor. Suzanne.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:14PM
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Merry Powell Interiors
What a beautiful space! To bring the various textures and colors together, pull a color from your brick. I agree that a WARM gray would be a good choice. (More taupe than blue) Go to your Benjamin Moore store and pick up a few color chips. Then bring them home and try them next to your brick. One of them will speak to you. Try these and any others that appeal to you: HC-172 Revere Pewter, HC-173 Edgecomb Gray, AF-685 Thunder (my favorite). I would also suggest keeping your main furniture pieces pale and neutral. Add your cranberry or teal in small doses for the most impact. A pillow or warm throw creates more of an impression than a whole sofa done in your accent color.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:23PM
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I suspect that there isn't much insulation above that beautiful ceiling and it is a big and expensive job to install a "Michigan roof" to add some--basically it involveds insulating the sheathing and building a new roof with firebreaks on top.

Good storm windows and caulking and weatherstripping help, and closing insulated blnds and drapes at night also help, and keeping them down in the summer heat helps as well.

I like taupe/greige type colors or antique white--nuetrals that have a bit of warmth in them, but don't feel hot in the summer. My house had butter yellow walls, ceiling and shag carpet when we moved in August, and that was a bit much on a hot day.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Thanks for the comments - funny, I was putting my paint chips against the wood, not the brick. I may have to do over! I was looking at revere pewter and abalone. I think that abalone may look too blah in winter. I am so happy to hear someone else say a color could be too much on a hot day! That is a huge issue for me. I was having a really hard time ignoring the contrast with the current peach walls.

When the previous owners re-roofed, they added that sheet insulation, which helps. The windows are newer so that helps. What doesn't help is that there is central heating that has only two vents. So the house gets COLD in the winter. It actually stays pretty cool in the summer until late afternoon, then it's hot.

In my old house, I used the accent color on drapes and a couple of pillows. Since I want to get drapes now, I'm trying to figure out colors. I'm also having trouble figuring out the right fabric as I can't go formal on this house. Velvet looks so great for insulation...but won't cut it here.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:41PM
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Here are some more photos, the living room view and the kitchen of doom.

Nest series of postings will be about the kitchen re-do and then the master bed/bath re do.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:43PM
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Merry Powell Interiors
All of your warm air is going right up to your high ceiling. Ceiling fans set on winter mode would help circulate the warm air back down to where the humans are, but I would have to be REALLY cold before I would hang a fan on that beautiful ceiling. Maybe you should call an HVAC guy. There are a number of ways to insulate your windows with window treatments. Thermal lining on your draperies is one.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:53PM
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Merry Powell Interiors
Consider a heavy linen, interlined and lined with Thermasuede for your draperies. Be sure to have returns on them that attach to the wall to block drafts. Again, I would keep them light and neutral. Remember, it will be summer again and you don't want dark "blankets" on your windows.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:57PM
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Suzanne White
Hi again. I wanted to give you a sense of what our home looks like with the timberframe addition added to the remodeled kitchen. Of course, it's hard to see the colour but you can see how it compliments the beams and the ceiling. The floor got tiled in a slate charcoal colour to contrast the caramel colour cork floor in the kitchen. We are super happy with the choice of colour we picked. And I agree, that it needs to be a warm tone. Make sure you look at your chips daytime and evening time with lamps, as the colour will change. Good luck.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 6:02PM
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Gosh, I really like the retro kitchen. I would just change the flooring, move the washer and dryer or hide them if I could, and put in a stainless sink. The cabinets are pretty and in good condition it looks like, and are probably solid wood. Love the countertop actually--so cheerful, but easy enough to replace with something more neutral, but thin and with a square edge.

Think hard before tearing it all out--could be a gem in the rough! Don't know where you live (Australia?) but RetroRenovation.com is a fun website with loads of info on older kitchens--most are on the funky side.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 6:10PM
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For insulation of the windows, I had triple cellular shades installed on our floor-to-ceiling windows. The shades are installed inside the window frames. They pull up to almost nothing when open, but can be pulled partway down to shade during the summer, but also form a nice barrier in the winter. My husband can now sit on "his" couch with his back to the window in the winter. One can use other window covering over the shades, which I have done.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 8:20PM
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Thanks for the feedback!

We could use a fan for both winter and summer but..... I have a hard time thinking about adding something like that. The ceilings are high, but not that high, I don't think it would be aesthetically pleasing. That said, give me a couple more seasons, I may get over my aesthetic.

Husband is nixing my gray ideas, I need to buy some samples so I can actually get some big patches on the walls.

We are in Northern California, in Yolo county. It is very rural farming community. It gets HOT in the summer.

The kitchen..... We will be downsizing from a 3200 sq foot house with a laundry room and pantry to a 1500 sq ft house. I need every inch of that kitchen to be functional. All of the big lowers have enormous wasted space and the appliances are 1961 originals. So, while I agree that aside from the washer/dryer, I could live with the look, it really just wont function.

Here's where I get in trouble... I start adding space, knocking down walls. On the other side of the dining area exterior wall, is covered a patio with the same ceiling. I am itching to knock down that wall, use most of the current kitchen as a mud/laundry room, and move the kitchen into the dining area. Here's a photo of the patio... Unfortunately this house is so cute...I could spend big money tailoring it to our needs. I just don't have those big bucks at the moment.
    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:38AM
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