Beach Get Away

Recently my family and I returned from a short vacation in Destin, Florida. After a whirlwind of a summer with the huge house remodel, we were happy to slow down even though it was for a short time. It takes us between 12-14 hrs. to get there, but in our opinion, the sun, sand, and ocean is well worth the drive. I tried to run at least every other day because it gives me a chance to really take in the ocean air and see things I wouldn’t  normally get to see riding in a car. I love all the beach houses along Highway 98. Some are teal, pink, steely gray, bright blue, and yellow. I would join in the color fun if I lived on the beach. I’m also inspired by all the colors I see while we play with the kids and build sandcastles.  photo 1

Sunny Day on the Beach

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Cloudy Picture

Cloudy Day on the Beach

I could put an entire house color scheme together from just one of these pictures.Good thing I have a nifty little app on my phone called Sherwin Williams Colorsnap, and if I’m loving a certain color, I can open the app and snap a new photo, use a saved photo, or explore color. Usually I go for the option of using a saved photo. Once I choose the photo I want to use, I tap the image to choose a color. I can select up to 8 colors from one photo!

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I opened the cloudy beach picture in the Color Snap App and picked out 8 colors.

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After choosing the 8 colors, I went to color details and save. It conveniently listed each color name and number and whether it is available in both interior and exterior paint.

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After saving my picture and color choices, the app conveniently catalogs everything for me to see.

This app is so much fun to use, and it’s free in the app store!

Picking Your Paint

Paint. One of the easiest ways to change the “look and feel” of a room. Paint can make things so right, and buddy, it can make things so wrong. I’ve had some history with paint myself. As a young college student you live in a white dorm or white apartments. After you graduate, more than likely, you rent another house or apartment where there is guess what?? white walls. You learn to coexist with white walls and bring in color through accessories. This was my life until my husband and I found our first home. My first reaction to those white walls? HELLOOOO WALLS…WELCOME TO THE NEW WORLD OF COLOR.

YES. I. DID. I made what I’ll call the “rookie mistake.” I grabbed paint colors I thought looked nice and started slapping them all over the walls. No, I did not compare the paint strips to see how all my new colors would “gell” together. I did not try out samples on the walls. I did not stop to think, “Is there a reason these rollers are so cheap”? I did not research different paint sheen nor did I look at the differences, reviews, or performance between different brands. I was just plain happy to never again look at a white wall.

Guess what? I REGRETTED MY PAINT CHOICES. As I walked from room to room I saw red, yellow, poop dark brown, beige, green, taupe, and pink. Yes, I had almost every color under the rainbow in our new home. Many of the rooms were open to one another. I didn’t stop to think that maybe one color could effect the other. Needless to say, it took time to repaint all those rooms to a more cohesive feel. I learned my lesson.

With our current home, one of the first items on the agenda was to pick out paint colors. We haven’t painted all the rooms, but we wanted to paint the main areas of the house simply because they required scaffolding, and we would be installing new flooring in those areas. We also wanted to paint the rooms where carpeting would be installed (bedrooms).

I have heard many theories of how to choose paint colors:

  1. Look at a rug for inspiration (or any other type of fabric or textile). Pull out colors that are similar to a color in the textile that you like.
  2. Do you have a favorite painting? Use it for color inspiration.
  3. MY METHOD….Look at paint swatches and choose a color you like.

526I knew I wanted gray in our house.  I knew I wanted colors that would GROW with my children i.e. I didn’t want to be painting my daughter’s room a year from now when she wasn’t really “feeling” the teal and white zebra stripes. My motto: Gray for everyone…here’s your gray, and your gray, and your gray… Yes, every room was going to be gray. I patiently waited for paint to go on sale at Sherwin Williams. They have smashing deals when their paint goes for 30% and sometimes 40%. My first reaction when I looked at all the paint swatches: HOLY COW. HOW IN THE WORLD CAN THERE BE….yea I’m gonna say it.. 50 SHADES OF GRAY?!?!I l purchased 16  varieties of gray quart samples I liked. BEST IDEA EVER.



Invest in actual paint samples. They look totally different than a paint swatch. What you may love on a swatch, you may hate on the wall.

I promptly went home and grabbed large sheets of white paper and began painting at least 2 coats of each paint.


Paint your sample on a white background. Painting the sample directly over another paint color can distort the way you see the paint. You get a clearer truer vision of what your paint will look like. 524

Next, I took my 16 large pieces of paper to the house and taped them to the walls. I looked at the samples together and separately. I looked at them in different lighting: morning, noon and night.

Rule 3

Hang your samples in different areas of the room. Look at them in different light (on cloudy and sunny days). A color may look one way  in the morning and another at night. Make sure you like what you see. 529

I chose 3 main grays that would be used throughout our home: a light, medium, and dark. I made sure they had the same undertones. There are grays that are cooler (meaning they have more blues and greens) and others are warmer (reds and yellows). More than likely, a cool gray and warm gray aren’t going to really coexist.


Rule 4

If you have open spaces that flow into one another it is a good idea to have colors with the same undertones.

I also picked out a gray for my daughter and son. So, we have a total of 5 gray paint colors in our home. Guess what? I LOVE EVERY SINGLE ONE. I am supremely happy with the colors we chose. They”play” really well together. Another nice thing about choosing colors of similar hues? You can easily move furniture from one room to another. Most things just work. My method isn’t for everyone, but I think it is a really good place for people to start when a contractor is asking for paint choices, you have multiple rooms to paint, or you are simply lacking inspiration but really like a color.

Needless to say, after the marathon of painting( I purchased 30 or more cans of paint)the Sherwin Williams staff and I got to know one another on a personal level. I LOVE THAT PLACE!

(I was not paid or perked by SW. I simply love and believe in the product and don’t mind sharing it with the world.)