Thursday, February 21, 2013

going green


We read the New York Times to each other over breakfast, Mr. Husband pouring over the hardcopy which is delivered, while I look at the online version on my laptop. Its Thursday, so the Home section is front and center, that is, after we talk about cyber-hacking and how companies should- but won't - admit to it. 

"Look at this!" He thrusts the paper at me. A discussion of style follows regarding two studios, one on top of the other on 57th street: how women often go light while men go masculine and dark. Guess which one we prefer? The gentleman's room seems much bigger - the eye moves around more. It also looks like he doesn't have a TV. Blessed one. (We haven't had cable for about two years now. Deprived? Hardly. We stream the news on a small flatscreen that is housed in a bookcase.) Yeah. There are a lot of chairs, but I'd be happy living there with the wood, gilded ceiling and all those paintings crawling up the wall. (Find the article on these two apartments here. The photography is by Bruce Buck for the New York Times.)  

The gentleman's room makes me think about painting our living room green now that we have overhead lighting. A dark room going darker? Many decorators suggest this approach. I tried it once, painting the overmantel area and the walls above the book shelves Providence Olive. But it seemed much too dark. Now that we have better lighting, the idea is rearing its head again. Interestingly, our apartment was once painted a darkish green in the 1940's, which I discovered one day while cleaning the front door. A green straight out of Rope

Opinions welcome! 


17 comments:

  1. Have Benjamin Moore mix the color you love but at a reduced saturation: 80% or 60%. It just might give you the color you crave without the darkness you don't want.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the excellent idea, Janeray. You are right: I crave color!

      Delete
  2. Highly recommend this approach! You can never disguise the fact that a room is dark (or light for that matter) so go with it and enhance it's natural characteristics. Dark will make it super cozy and you will love it. I think the walls recede with a dark color so the room will feel even larger. Share with us if you decide to go this route!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the encouragement to take the plunge- as it were. I will certainly share it if and when we 'go there'. Right now that would be late spring, early summer.

      Delete
  3. In my opinion, and it is only my opinion, dark is the way to go if you realize that everything in the room, except the piano is going to have to change. There is going to have to be some richness to the color, whatever you chose. You might begin with a color in your rug or you might look, and this is my preference, at the darker colors in the Farrow and Ball color book.

    Green Smoke, Studio Green, Tanner's Brown, Drawing Room Blue, Hague Blue, Pelt, etc. Aubergine would be fabulous as would lighter and redder Eating Room Red, for example. In each case I would make sure the walls were glazed for sheen or lacquered for deep shine. It occurs to me, too, that something like a peacock blue, deeply varnished, could look very Aesthetic - for a greenery-yallery young man, don't you know!



    The unconsidered thing in your post is skin – how would any of these colors make human skin look.

    ReplyDelete
  4. On second thoughts, rather than dark go for rich and deep, varnished or not. Picture Gallery Red is a lovely terracotta from F&B. What color are your curtains? I don't remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Blue. You do read my mind. I've been in love with all the Farrow & Ball colours (ha) you've mentioned from the get-go, and have their chart hidden in a box like a relic. Since their shop is only a few blocks away, I may be doomed.

      Re everything changing: do you mean the existing colors need to be richer?

      The curtains are deep green that have a touch of iridescence. I call them my Lord of the Rings curtain. Very elvish.

      Delete
  5. When I say everything will have to change I mean that once the color is on the walls you will have a room that will need much modification - perhaps other upholstery on the sofa and two chairs, the ceiling in two tones (maybe). For example, if the walls became Hague or Studio Green the curtains would likely fit right in but if you chose Picture Gallery Red you might decide that the curtains don't work and the sofa is too near the walls in tone. I'm not saying that this all with happen but when our fuchsia linen curtains were hung it was a real event and still is having (none negative) repercussions for the room as a whole.

    I like your place, as you know, but have only seen it during the evening and I think you said somewhere that you get northern light in the living room and northern light is cool. So, the question is: do you go with cool or do you chose warm. Personally, I'd go cool but I'm not living there. My impression of your place is one of warmth.

    Difficult

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This all makes sense, Blue. Thank you!

      Having made my own curtains (one set is green silk damask while the other set on the other side of the room is green velvet), I'm inclined to pick a color that works with them if only because paint is much easier to change! I hear your point loud and clear however. Change one thing and everything else is thrown in relief. Red is out I think. Way too stimulating. Yes. Warm color rather than cool. (it all started with the orangish-brown fireplace tile). Perhaps a green with more yellow than blue in it? Though you never know until you get a bit of it up on the wall, right?

      Delete
    2. Cat Piss Green – as Mark Hampton called Chartreuse – or a good. old-fashioned bottle green.

      Delete
  6. How do you want the room to feel? And does green say it? Or are you attracted to the dark warmth of the coral, gold and orange I the NYT article photos?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Blue as said: Greenery-Vallery man here!

      Delete
    2. How about the greenish gold of the Tiffany you've pictured in your 10/16 post?

      Delete
    3. That lamp which is in another room, probably needs a darker colored background to show it off, which is how Tiffany showcased his lamps. This I learned from an exhibition at the Met Museum a few years ago - a great show which replicated his library with several windows and lamps. The wall color was a dark green-gray.

      Delete
  7. If money is no object, Farrow and Ball has some spectacular wallpaper.
    http://us.farrow-ball.com/brocade-bp-3207/brocade//fcp-product/203207

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Janeray. They certainly do! Even if money were no object, I like keeping the pattern on the floor and seating rather than the walls in our living room. My thinking has always been that books are more than enough 'pattern'.

      Delete

I welcome your comments.