Glossy Blue!

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(someday my house will not be covered in a layer of construction dust)

Michael has a great eye and he has definitely become fluent in decorator-speak after years of hearing me yammer on about this stuff. He always has an opinion (and I love hearing his spot-on ideas), but he's also really flexible, for which I'm so grateful. He trusts me and is willing to sign off on most anything I am planning to do.


Because he trusts me so much and because I decorate our house as part of my job, he usually just lets me do my thing and chimes in when asked (except for the big decisions/purchases, of course). So I was a little surprised when out of nowhere he told me he would love to see blue lacquered walls in that little space next to the library we are planning to use as a music room... Uh, okay!!


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Miles Redd

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Miles Redd

We pulled out my paint decks and I was showing him darker blues with a healthy dose of green (like F&B Hague Blue and Ben Moore's Gentleman's Gray), but he was drawn to more clear and bright blues.

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Miles Redd

I told him I wasn't sure about doing an Yves Klein blue with our bright red door only a few feet away, but a bright blue with just a hint of green in it seemed really lovely. So I threw up five samples (all colors are Ben Moore -- the pale gray is from the other samples we were doing for the main rooms).

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Pretty quickly I pulled out Symphony Blue because it was too purple in real life. Michael nixed Blue Danube (too green) and Gentleman's Gray because it was too dark (a fair point with all our dark paint projects in the house lately - mudroom walls, stairs, fireplace, bedroom walls...). We both were really drawn to California Blue and Champion Blue, so I painted out the other colors.

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Michael says he'd be really happy with either choice, and I like both of them too. We bought a new vintage sofa a couple weeks ago that's a peacock blue velvet that I considered putting in the library, but now I'm thinking it will stay in the living room (some of you spied a sliver of it in this post). I like the idea that the bold wall color would be like a little preview of the sofa color. 

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While I love the inky depth of color in Champion Blue, I think I'm leaning a bit toward California Blue, just because it would be fun to make a big statement in this really small space. There will be a big mirror in here probably and guitars on one of the walls, the camel leather Chesterfield, a piano and a rug to break it up, so the bright contrast might actually be really perfect. What do you think? I'm mostly just thrilled that Michael chose the direction and that he gets a room that's all his idea (for once!).

PS After I nail down the color choice, I'm going to do some experimenting on plywood with DIY lacquering vs just high gloss latex and I'll be sure to share what I learn. Lacquering walls is notoriously tricky, so this one might be a job for the pros. 

93 comments:

Kimberly of Kimberly Lewis Home said...

The Kips Bay dining room was designed by design superstar Kristen McGinnis! ;) Love the glossy walls look!

mtadams1208 said...

I am really glad you're the guinea pig for this :) I've been wanting to try this for some time, in a powder room or other small room, but glossy all over the walls seems vary daunting and different than slapping on a coat of satin. Good luck! I am sure it will look wonderful and i am anxious to see how it turns out.

by the spoonful said...

I definitely would recommend going with the darker, more muter blue, especially if you are going to do a lacquer finish. Every time I choose the more saturated color for a wall paint color, I am disappointed and redo it with a more muter version. It still gives a bold statement but without as much of a "yowza" reaction.

Zoe Royall said...

Dear God of All Things Decorating, I LOVE the direction you are taking with this!! How much fun is this room going to be?!?! Either of those colors with the leather Chesterfield and the beautiful wood of the guitars...so good, I could cry big fat tears of Miles Redd happiness. They are both so fantastic. Is there a way you could use both given you have the tray ceiling to play with?

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Wow! So dramatic! I love the darker one.

Sara said...

LOVE this! I'm a fan of the darker color.

Alexis Middleton said...

I am really drawn to the California Blue. I'm sure either would be lovely.

Devaney said...

I really love blue so all blues are great, but I think with going for the lacquer look, the Champion Blue will really look better. Just look at all your inspiration pics! They are all more of the Champion Blue.

Love This Space said...

Ha! Michael is attracted to TARDIS blue! That is going to be a fun space for sure. Can't wait to see how this is done. I've never seen it in real life.

Esther said...
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Esther said...

My eyes were on the Champion Blue from the beginning. I think it looks more elegant and less tween boy's room. Though, I'm sure you of all people could swing either one. :)

wordgirl312 said...

Oh my god, lacquered walls!!! I'll be waiting on pins and needles to see more! Yum!

Virginia Roberts said...

Fascinating! Most of our walls are either 40s lathe and plaster with a weird texture, or new drywall that's been sprayed with that awful texture in a can stuff. I know it made it easier for the builders, but ugh!

I felt like I can't do any kind of lacquering or high gloss in most spaces because of all that texture, but we do have a small bathroom I've been doing in an increasingly nautical vibe (but not over the top, I swear.) So I might steal your idea for that smaller space; I'll be excited to see how the experimentation goes!

Gretta said...

Get outta my head, Komendas! Just kidding, of course. I've been making similar choices. A cobalt entry (which doesn't have bright lighting so the yowza effect is definitely there but muted without having to pick a grey version. This is a preview, like you said, of the blue and white ginger jars on the mantle and the blue-grey velvet parsons chair. I'm so, so happy with it. Good choice, Michael!

Martha Reilly said...

California! Definitely.

averagebelle said...

Yea I was immediately drawn to the California Blue. Soooo pretty

Haley Atkins said...
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kiki said...

This room is going to be SICK! Love the Champion Blue.

Liz Poggi said...

We've really enjoyed BM New York State of Mind in our dining room, as a rich, deep color with verve. (Just in case you need another contender.) I type this seated on my mystere peacock velvet sofa :)

Kim said...

My vote is for Champion... I like that it has a hiiiint of green it!

marybeth said...

I was drawn to both of these and my favorite is the Champion Blue. Although - go with your gut since you are seeing it in real life and know the house best! Good luck1

Heather said...

Champion blue all the way!

Kackie said...

Wow...you are a nice wife! I am drawn to the darker myself but can't wait to see. I have painted 2 different bedrooms the clearer blue over the years and everyone loved them but I found them difficult over time. A music room is the perfect place for something like this.

Vicki Nugent said...

I am feeling the California Blue. Either choice I am sure will be fabulous. I can't wait to see your tutorial on the lacquer technique!

Sarah @ 702 Park Project said...

I really don't think you could go wrong with either, but I lean towards Champion Blue. We went back and forth on colors for our masculine office, and finally decided on a navy...we haven't painted yet, but I can't wait to see how it turns out! I just love rich colors!

Daphne said...

I would also choose the California Blue. The other color seems a bit too moody, and I have charcoal gray dining room walls. :)

Jane Durham said...

I love it! I would try mixing the two together and try a sample on the walls. Something in between might be perfect. But otherwise, I'd also say California.

jill danyelle said...

I like both of the blues. I painted a dresser in glossy California Blue though and it was awesome. I really loved how it turned out, so maybe I am partial to seeing the color on the walls. The room needed a little kick in the pants not to be too serious and traditional and California Blue delivered. I think you are right, since your room is a small space and you will have big neutral pieces - a piano, leather sofa, & a mirror - breaking things up, it could work.

Here is the dresser if you want to see the color. There is also gray and wood in the room and it looks great with the antique rug . . .

THIS was a late afternoon shot, so it looks a little moody, probably darker and more purple than it really is.

THIS is probably more true to color.

Can't wait to see your room!

Meagan {Melange by Meagan} said...

My vote is also for champion blue, I feel that it ties in with the lighter blue/grey in the other rooms. Best of luck-Can't wait to see the results!

Michelle Ash Latham said...

I love the Champion Blue, but I bet the California Blue is going to look awesome too! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

www.ahealthymrs.com

Tara said...

Benjamin Moore Blue Note. You won't be sorry - it's the nice middle ground. Will pop once lacquered but is not crazy.

Sarah C said...

Champion Blue for sure! It speaks to the sofa better and will still be a vibrant pop (without competing with the beautiful door).

Dana Frieling said...

My dining room is waiting on pins and needles for the results of your experiment! ;)

Sarah C said...

Champion Blue for sure! It speaks to the sofa better and will still be a vibrant pop (without competing with the beautiful door).

Kimberly Hannon said...

I painted all the interior doors in my house BM Polo Blue in high gloss. Its a great color. Your choices are more bright and I think the color might read too black on such a big wall, but its a wonderful color - lots of depth and very "neutral". The high gloss paint worked great with my doors which have a pretty smooth finish. I just bought Behr Interior/Exterior High Gloss Enamel (cheaper than a waterborne alkyd)and couldn't be happier.
I am so excited to see what you do with a large wall (short of having the walls professionally skim coated level 5) to get that beautiful glossy look!

Tanya said...

Both nice, but I think that the Champion Blue would go better with the rest of your house. Can't wait to see it finished!

Laura said...

I love Champion Blue. I feel it looks better with the paint color in the other room. Also a bit more subdued so perhaps I will have more longevity. Either choice is a bold move. Can't wait to see the results.

fiorella said...

I love the blues, Jenny! I actually just finished painting my front door with Hollandlac from Fine Paints of Europe. The look is amazing, but it is definitely a labour of love. It took me nearly 2 months to finish a double door, and every last ounce of DIY determination! Good luck! If you're interested, I can share my work & what I learned.

Miggy said...

California blue was my first choice from the get-go...so clearly you're on the right track. I can't wait to see more of this house come together!

Clarke said...

I painted our piano California Blue - I love that color.

heather said...

California Blue! I love bright and bold colors though. I'm sure either will look great! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

kai said...

The two blues you choose are the same I like too :-).
Which ever color you choose it will be a BEAUTIFUL
room. So excited to see the transformation :-)

Carolyn said...

Love the blues! We have Blue Danube on a big wall in our house, which has sight lines from the front door, kitchen, and dining room. I still get a thrill when I come through the front door and get a peek of the blue wall. On our big wall it certainly reads blue, not green. But it is not as true of a blue as the two that you are considering. Good luck!

Anna Bazhaw-Hyscher said...

I liked California Blue straight away, but have loved bright red with bright blue, ever since I saw an advert as a teenager. I believe it was Reem Acra, an elegant blue evening gown with surprising red pumps.

Anna Bazhaw-Hyscher said...

I liked California Blue straight away, but have loved bright red with bright blue, ever since I saw an advert as a teenager. I believe it was Reem Acra, an elegant blue evening gown with surprising red pumps.

Sassy said...

California Blue would be the choice in our house...I saw the first picture and assumed this would be another case of a designer going for a more muted color (and I tend to like the more pure colors) so I was THRILLED to read that you are leaning towards bright.

Sarah said...

I'm loving the Champion. Either way it will look gorgeous!

Sarah said...

I'm loving the Champion. Either way it will look gorgeous!

Kimberly Morris said...

I think either of your choices will be lovely and I applaud Michael for his suggestion. Yay for bold color! I used BM Cobalt in our den and I love it. I just wish I had smooth enough walls to lacquer. Looking forward to seeing the finished project. I'm sure it will be beautiful as always.

Elizabeth said...

I used Gentleman's Gray in my tiny foyer. It's a gorgeous color, but definitely dark, and a little "velvety" in a satin finish. I've been pondering a layer of gloss on top to reflect what little light we get in Seattle. I'll look forward to seeing how you achieve that lacquered finish!

colleen said...

My eye goes more toward the champion blue....what a flexible husband u have,my husband wanted to paint the exterior of our newly remodeled house dark navy blue...i vetoed the idea with the builders support....happy exploring.

Jen @ RamblingRenovators said...

I like Michael's thinking! A small, creative space seems like the perfect space to try a daring paint treatment. I'm leaning towards Champion Blue though... the moodiness of it seems, I dunno, more musically inspiring somehow. Curious as to what you'll do with the ceiling?

td said...

At first I though California, but after "living" with it for few, I'm definitely voting for Champion. While preferring the former for itself, the latter goes doesn't fight the green in your gray walls...and would look fabulous with the chesterfield. I, too, am curious how you'll handle the ceiling. Hoorah for your husband's choice. CTD

Gwen, The Makerista said...

My initial thought from the get go was Champion. I like how clear it is, but the other blue I don't think I would ever tire of. I find that to be the hardest thing: something more neutral never gets old, but bright color is just so much more fun!

Ferren said...

The California Blue makes more of a statement. Stunning!!!

Erin Gorbach said...

Be still my beating heart! I love EVERYTHING about this. My vote is the champion blue but I always tend to vote darker :) can't wait for updates on this project

Lil said...

I initially liked blue Danube, but as soon as I saw the view from the other room, I fell in love with California Blue....and it looks incredible with the pillow from the sofa. My husband is a musician. Your description of the vision for this room makes me want one for our house. It's going to be beautiful!

Your house looks like it has great bones. I'm off to see if I can find a house tour on your blog.

Can't wait to see the finished room!

Michelle Panting said...

Wow, what a fun decorating idea. LOVE the lacquered look, but your walls really need to be smooth perfection to pull this off. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

http://www.fullbellywornsoles.com

Sarah said...

That man is a keeper!

Renee @ Casa Stephens said...

I LOVE that you're doing this!! I absolutely love the California blue best. It looks fantastic with the sofa color. No matter what though, you can't make a mistake here. Go with your instincts as usual :)

Dee said...

The floor is looking amazing! I prefer the darker blue. Looking forward to seeing what you select!

Dee@delolovesdesign

Anna-bird said...

Champion Blue all the way!! I thin that with the light the glossiness will reflect it will be slightly brighter, and California would be too exaggerated lacquered.

www.anna-bird.com

jessica said...

Love the champion blue but both are really beautiful. I can't wait to see the high gloss finish.
We've just completed our home (http://lemongrassprojects-gallowaybarn.blogspot.com) and I painted my laundry room/pantry Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy, with a fair amount of doubt from everyone. But I assured them that all of the white shelving, cabinets and appliances would moderate the very dark tone. Now that we're done, it's one of everyone's favorite rooms in the house!

Nancy said...

Hands down the Champion Blue. It's a much more sophisticated color and I don't think you'll tire of it over time. Such gorgeous, rich undertones. A winner. Good luck. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your Blog. It rocks my world and gets my creative energies flowing.

Laura @ Lulu Belle Design said...

I love the Champion Blue but no matter what it will look amazing. I can't wait to see if you decide to DIY it! I have been wanting lacquered walls for so long!

ROK said...

My living room (and dining room) is BM's Bold Blue. I really like the intense blue--I couldn't go as dark as Hague Blue. But I went matte with matching glossy crown. I'd love to go glossy, but I my old plaster walls need too much work :)
(I vote Champion Blue, but you can't go wrong with either).

ohraq said...

california! it really pops out and I think it will make it such a happy room! danube is pretty but high gloss it will feel really dark

European Paint Finishes said...

LOVE a high gloss dark blue lacquer. Without a doubt whatever you choose will look gorgeous! My husband lacquers furniture and has done walls as well. If you decide to go with a "pro" check out his work! europaintfinishes.blogspot.com Excited to see the finished music room... along with the whole house! :)

Ivy said...

Love this. I'm so excited for you and glad you are doing what you love and sharing it with us. Design should feel like it's just for you and you show us just that with your fabulous ideas and designs. Enjoy the process.

Hilary Kline said...

I love a dark wall -- I have BM Soot walls in my bedroom but you HAVE to go with California blue! It will be stunning with the lacquer AND the red door. Can't wait to see it!

hope @ hopefulgardner.com said...

Glad to see someone else's house covered in construction dust! Thanks for all the inspiration!

meryl said...
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meryl said...

I painted my family room BM Champion Cobalt a couple of years ago and we love it. It's a perfect blue: not too navy and not too grey. It's rich and warm. The room is accented with orange and my shelving is a creamy white, which keeps everything from appearing too dark. I can certainly send you a photo if you want to see a finished room in Champion.

I'm a huge fan of dark rooms - you are gonna love yours!

Kyra P said...

Both colors are great & were my 2 favorites to begin with! My vote is for California Blue though.

little miss vintage said...

My eye went directly to California blue! But either one will look lovely. Can't wait to see the final result.

little miss vintage said...

My eye went directly to California blue! But either one will look lovely. Can't wait to see the final result.

Brooke Lyons said...

California Blue! Love!
Meanwhile the more I look at your painted beams on the ceiling, the more I think my mother is right - I def need to paint my exposed beams in my living room white...

Judy said...

Can't wait to see how amazing you make this! I was immediately drawn to the California Blue.

Judy said...

Can't wait to see how amazing you make this! I was immediately drawn to the California Blue.

Laura Madalene said...

I want to see the finish design and hope you will do it fantastic. Will come soon, Thanks. Interior design ideas

Leah said...

This is the first shot where I have noticed the finished look of your enhanced trim work on the doorways. Just perfect. It really looks so simple and unique. Well done! :)

Maggie McGunigle said...

I love the Cali blue! And with big gold (antique French style) mirrors would be amazing and I LOVE the idea of that with a camel couch

Melissa@TheChicDream said...

This room is going to be ridiculously fabulous. I would go with the darker blue. I think the lighter blue may be a little bright once it's on all four walls especially in a lacquer. That's my two cents! I love seeing what you come up with in your new house.

Kari de Lavenne said...

Oooh so rich! I too like both blues and was on the bench...BUT, looking at the existing walls and the tone of the floor, I think my vote is for Champion Blue~ the bright color splashes in room will really pop rather than compete with a background color like this one. (I can see emeralds and golds and fuschias-endless options here). Can wait to see it...good luck!

Anonymous said...

A blue music room like Zooey's in 2009 Domino!

http://vainandvapid.blogspot.com/2009/01/zooey-deschanels-music-room.html

Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating said...

I have been crushing on blue walls for a while now, and am considering SW Indigo Batik for my living room. My husband is not so design-oriented, and doesn't like to take risks to boot, so I've been working for several months to try to convince him it's a good idea. So great that Michael has good taste!

Sarah Jane said...

It'll be gorgeous either way. I'm loving all things glossy and color-saturated these days so can't wait to see your final product!

Martha said...

Champion Blue all the way!

Runspud said...

Champion blue please. Beyond that, I just love watching your projects and your though processes when it comes to making design decisions, and how you share your techniques and what works best. Thank you!

RETROSMITH. said...

Wow don't you love it when men throw in a curve ball. Such a great idea though! So glad you narrowed it down to those two colours. I'm torn between the two, probably until you test them in their gloss form. It would be interesting to see if the California Blue becomes too much against the door (though the more saturated colour is my first pick) or if the Champion Blue will take on a bit more brightness, rather than absorbing all the light. Hmmm. Can't wait to see!!!

RETROSMITH. said...

Wow don't you love it when men throw in a curve ball. Such a great idea though! So glad you narrowed it down to those two colours. I'm torn between the two, probably until you test them in their gloss form. It would be interesting to see if the California Blue becomes too much against the door (though the more saturated colour is my first pick) or if the Champion Blue will take on a bit more brightness, rather than absorbing all the light. Hmmm. Can't wait to see!!!

Adriane said...

Elizabeth and James shoes would be my pick!

Katherine said...

we just had glossy blue flooring installed in our ENTIRE HOUSE and let me tell you... it RULES! obviously a big dose of color, but i am keeping most of the major furniture & rug choices pretty neutral, so the blue isn't so crazy. you will have fun with the blue walls--i swear every color you put next to it looks good! xo

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