Have a Grout Color Crisis? Here's the Remedy...

Not too long ago, I chipped out the dated old back splash in my kitchen and installed subway tile.  This seems to be the default tile of 2016, but I have always liked the bright, clean look and it suits my 1920's home.  Originally I chose white grout, thinking I wanted a clean, simple look.  In my mind, grout dark lines would make it look busy.

Goodbye, old tile...

Goodbye, old tile...

 

After hours of installing (tiling looks much easier than it turned out to be!) I finally got to the grout stage.  I did half of the kitchen and stepped back to look at it.  My heart did that little sinking feeling when you anticipate loving something and you end up not liking it.  And being a color expert, I put another level of pressure on myself to get it "perfect." When I looked at the two halves of the back splash, I actually liked the way the lines were defined by shadow in the ungrouted half. The white grout I thought would look clean looked institutional and generic.  

IMG_4501.JPG

I tried to talk myself into liking it.  Because, what are my options?  Grout is pretty permanent and I certainly wasn't going to chip it all out and regrout it.  Lo and behold, in the grout isle at Home Depot mulling over my options, the clouds parted and I saw my answer: Polyblend Grout Renew.  It comes in about a dozen colors and the medium warm gray I was picturing in my mind was available.  Hello Oyster Gray 386!  I painted the white grout with it- a bit tedious but so satisfying to inexpensively change a big 'uh-oh". 

Oyster Gray Grout Renew- the answer to my grout color crisis...whew. 

Oyster Gray Grout Renew- the answer to my grout color crisis...whew. 

Now my tile has more definition and interest, as well as looking a bit more vintage to go with the vibe of the house.  And even better, I don't have to live with grout regret.

A little before and after of the kitchen:

 

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Kitchen After

As you can see, I also put in new flooring and replaced one cabinet with open shelving.  A question I get asked a lot is about the counter tops.  They are copper sheeting and were already installed when I moved in ten years ago.  At first I didn't know what to think of them, but they have increasingly grown on me and now I love them.  The copper is constantly shifting in color, showing the palette of life happening.  The ebb and flow of oxidation and acidic spills that remove it make it ever evolving.  I can set hot pans anywhere and copper is naturally anti-microbial. So many wins.  The one drawback is that it is soft and if you drop a can on the counter, it will leave a slight dent.  After ten years of breaking it in, however, I find that I even like the story the dents leave.  Its like these counters warmly proclaim: "Real living happens here."

Copper Counter-tops

Copper Counter-tops

I am so glad I discovered a solution to my "grout crisis" and hopefully this information will help others turn and "oopsie" into and "ahhh." Now instead of thinking about grout in my kitchen, I have to actually think about what to make for dinner. 

Choosing a Color for your Front Door, Part 2: Subdued Hues

My last post covered many bright and wonderful door color options... but what if you want a color that is not shouty, one that quietly proclaims personality?  Perhaps one of these pictures will inspire you...

doors- soft aqua

doors- soft aqua

This door's subtle aqua looks incredible on this door. The chevron motif adds interest and the black house numbers and hardware take the charm up exponentially..  For a door like this, you could try Antique Glass:

The blue door below displays a little more sophisticated gray-blue, the beautiful Wythe Blue:

doors- wythe blue

doors- wythe blue

How about pink? These pinks play well together, making what could be a cold looking entry into a cheery one.

doors- soft pinks

doors- soft pinks

Sunny, buttery yellow always shines with gray siding...

doors- hawthorne yellow

doors- hawthorne yellow

Pear green looks marvelous with charcoal siding....

doors- pear green

doors- pear green

If your exterior is red and orange brick, charcoal gray is a no-fail and stately accent color... Notice how the sidelights painted in the same color add presence to the entry exterior.

doors- charcoal

doors- charcoal

This rich espresso brown looks handsome with the grayed olive and warm white:

doors- brown

doors- brown

Its not often that a pint of paint and a Saturday afternoon can completely transform a house... Take this house, below- a happy yellow door just beckons in the after photo.

before and after door

before and after door

Be inspired!

Choosing a Color for your Front Door part one: Bold Hues

Most of us would like our homes to appear respectable- even those of us with bold tastes.  One place we can get away with a lot of color personality is our front door.  This small area can proclaim your affinity for bold hues or for understated elegance.  Today, let's take a tour of bright and bold front doors with their approximate corresponding paint color....

doors- sherbet orange

doors- sherbet orange

But, you say, any door color would look great on that old world exterior- but how would it look on the basic door from the local home center?? Below, you can see that the sherbet orange transfers happily to a stock door.The fabulous rug lends some oomph and helps ground the bright color.

doors- sherbet

doors- sherbet

How about one of my favorite of-the-moment colors- coral!  I think this door, below, melds this happy shade beautifully on the chateau style exterior. The black shutters ground the pallet into a pleasant combination of on trend and timeless.

doors- coral

doors- coral

Who can resist a sunny yellow door? The emerald accents take this plain gray and white color scheme into the realm of playfully welcoming.  This is a great example of how a few minor and economical touches can add that wow factor a lot of us yearn to impart on our homes.  If you feel like your house has the blahs, you could create this beckoning vignette in a day or two for relatively little expense.

tumblr_m7j6nnLnlO1qizjwyo1_500

tumblr_m7j6nnLnlO1qizjwyo1_500

This combo below is a little outrageous, no?  But wouldn't you be just a little tempted to smile at the bravery of choosing fuchsia and chartreuse? Without these happy colors, this pale gray home could go quietly unnoticed. Instead we are left to wonder about the audacious spirit who lives here...

doors- bright green

doors- bright green

(Razzle Dazzle shows more muted on screen, but is actually a similar bright fuschia..)

Another chartreuse door... showing that it works equally well on a spare, modern exterior.  Imagine how welcoming a pot of flowers would look below that sidelight...

This cottage door, below, oozes charm in turquoise... Even though this color is saturating the market in all forms, it looks sweet and classic on this home.

doors-turquoise

doors-turquoise

Oh, the beauty of Tiffany blue- this door is perfection! Of course, this grand exterior would look gorgeous with almost any color- but I love how this blue adds an element of fun to what could be a very imposing exterior.  If you pictured this door in black, it would have an elegant yet serious and somber appearance. Don't you prefer the more approachable statement Tiffany blue makes?

doors-tiffany blue

doors-tiffany blue

As you probably noticed in these examples, what makes the above doors really work on the home exteriors is the subtle, neutral color on the main body. If the body is a strong color, you have to be very careful about your door color so you don't veer from tasteful to tacky. A "pop of color" is so much more pleasing than a "barrage of color". When your home is a neutral color, you can have a lot more fun with bright, clean colors on the door.  With this in mind, and after gazing at these cheery doors I am tempted to choose a neutral for my home the next go-round, expressly so I can paint the door every time I develop a new color crush.

Contact me if you would like help picking the perfect door color to welcome you home every day.