Sunday, January 16, 2011

Obsession: Gray and Brown

I'm so sorry I've been quiet these past few days ... I promise, the blog has not gone dark. I've been working at getting the house put back together again (all the kings horses and all the kings men ...) because we're having Scott's birthday party here tonight at 7pm!

Here it is 12:35AM, and I'm painting the foyer. Again.

This time though, I'm loving it. A soft gray/brown from Martha Stewart called Monks Cloth. And it is that beautiful gray brown of linen/burlap used in Monk's cloaks:

Here's the combination we've got going here at CDLV, Restoration Hardware's Graphite in the living, dining, and sun rooms with MS's Monks Cloth in the foyer. As much as I wanted to push my house into the "Swedish Spotlight" I realized that it wasn't something that I really could do with ole' CDLV. And it brings me to a point that I'll blog about in the future. Good Design is as much about listening to the bones and architecture of the structure as it is paint and fabric. But, not to digress ... after all, it has been a week - on to what I have in store today!
I do need and want, (crave really) a lighter overall look to the house. So - how do you take a chocolate brown room and make it light? Good question - off to the inspiration file:

Great rooms, right? All with chocolate or deep taupe walls - but no foyers. Keep looking ...
Yes, I know - it's not paint. But you get the idea ... poking around a little more I found a GORGEOUS combination of chocolate and linen:
Can we take a moment and pour over this image? All the things I want in my dining room (sans the settee) ... turn leg ottomans with turkish kilim upholstery, french cane seat chairs, round pedestal table, and seagrass. I.N. L.O.V.E. What about you?

Pictures of our house (redone) will be on the blog this coming Tuesday for Inspiring Spaces ... so check back for the way it turns out ...


  1. Artie- Those rooms are gorgeous...I am loving the dining room too.

    You are worse than me..painting your foyer at midnight for a party in the evening. I painted our sitting room the night before I had 40 people here for a baptism that started at 1pm that rock, Artie! Hugs- Diana

  2. New to your blog and have to say i love it! That colour is very similar to the one I used in my kitchen and living/dining. Gorgeous. Have a great party.

  3. Hey Artie! I have been MIA myself for a while and just had to check and see what you are up to--plenty, as usual, I see :) I love chocolate brown, especially when it is paired with lighter colors in great textures. Our bedroom is chocolate and pale blue and I have not gotten tired of it. Can't wait to see Tues. Tell Scott Happy Birthday!

  4. Artie...
    So glad you're feeling better. Love the color combo...I think contrast, whether it textural or color is 'key'. And...if you can achieve both...well...perfect! Have a great party and happy birthday to Scott!

  5. Omg I love this last image, too. I really can't wait for Tuesday. I can soooo relate to the painting at weird times, under a crunch. Is there really any other way, when you're a decorator?

  6. Hey when the mood hits you grab the brush. We desinger types love the process when we are in the mood. It hardly seems like work, nothing like a transformation to get the blood flowing!!! Enjoy your party and I am looking forward to the unveiling,Kathysue

  7. I am loving the colors you chose, Artie. And the inspiration photos are fabulous! I have been looking at grays with a hint of brown...keeps it a bit warm. I am looking forward to Tuesday. Have a wonderful party!


  8. You are really making me love these colors! Have a great party...can't wait to see your photos.

  9. Hi Artie
    I am trying to catch up with visits. I've been pretty busy for awhile.
    I chose paint colors yesterday, for a couple of rooms upstairs(SW Antique White) and our kitchen, hearth room, breakfast room. The painters will be here bright and early in the morning.
    I cannot believe I am seeing the images you have here today! I chose Sticks and Stones from SW for the three rooms in the kitchen area of our home. It is very dark. I hemmed and hawed around but I finally went with my heart. The gold is going, after 7 years. The new color is almost the same as the mortar in the hearth room fireplace. I am hoping this dark background will have the same affect on the furnishings of these rooms as it does in displaying photos photographs. We shall see.
    Thanks so much for this inspiration!

    Happy Birthday to Scott!

  10. Cannot wait till Tuesday.. I'm giddy just thinking about the eye candy that will be coming forth! Glad you are feeling better. And I totally understand about repainting at 12:35 am! Happy Birthday wishes to Scott

  11. Artie, I love where you are going with this, and yes, your inspiration picture is wonderful.

    I so agree with this statement:

    "Good Design is as much about listening to the bones and architecture of the structure as it is paint and fabric."

    Amen, brother!

    I'm sure you are about to have guests descend, but please allow me to wish Scott a very Happy Birthday and both of you a Happy New Year!


    Sheila :-)

  12. I know Artie!
    It is a scrumptous color scheme...I have lived within vanilla, gray and chocolate walls for quite a while now, I add a dash of burnt orange or perdoit green and I am set!


  13. All these rooms are amazing. I have used darker brown and grey colors in my bathrooms, but these pictures want me to paint my family room. My upholstery and furniture are similar to image #2 with lots of painted white wood to keep it light - tempting.....

    Love it, Love it, Love it!

  14. I'm right there with you!! Gorgeous!! Great clips as well. Found you via Mr GW

  15. Gorgeous images/combo. I'm crazy for the wallpaper in the 4th image. I want some in every room.

  16. We ave a grey-brown in our bedroom and I LoVE IT! I had tried the space in blue (During the first SATC movie) but like like a rubberband - bounced back and been with it ever since.

    Love your inspirational images Artie!!
    :D Lynda