Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Primary Colors, Vol. I

R.H. and I can hardly wait until the Color Marketing Group releases their color choices for 2013. The day it comes out we're heading straight to the paint store to buy paint to redo our entire house in their choices. I only hope they don't tell us to buy beige. I don't fare well in beige.

And if you believe that we are waiting on their choices with bated breath, I have a dozen more lavender lies to tell you. No, I do read their choices with interest but don't jump ship easily. It has been eight years since we remodeled this farmhouse and painted five rooms. Longer than that since we painted the other rooms. Over the years since we bought this dear little 1920 farmhouse we painted over the ugly brown 1970s paneling in two rooms.

Our bedroom became a creamy candlelight white, fine for the room that is my version of English cottage cozy. Attached to it is a dressing room, closet, and second bathroom, added on five years after we moved here. It is all still a baby blanket yellow but its days are numbered.

The brown paneling in the living room was transformed into a room of what I like to think appears at casual glance to be white wainscoting below and a warm red above. I asked for the chair rail to be put at 4 1/2' high, giving the room a quaint look more suitable to a farmhouse.

The third room of brown paneling, the office for our family business, also was painted a red almost as intense as the living room because it is an interior room with windows only on one side, the chilliest room in the house. It needed the red to set off the old roll top desk that R.H. uses and the oval oak dining table that I use for my desk.

The surprise when someone comes for the first time to our door, of what looks to be a tiny farmhouse, is the back of the house. The old kitchen, previously converted from a long narrow back porch, is now a small dining room where the grandsons used to have their table at family dinners.

And there is a pantry where I formerly washed dishes in a claustrophobic corner.

Close by is the old bathroom, gutted, a shower replacing the old nondescript tub, with a pretty porcelain pedestal sink. This bathroom is painted orange--Benjamin Moore's Pumpkin Cream, to be exact. With French blue towels and the old Delftware tray of many colors framed for a wall, and fun photos of our children when they were young, it is cheerful though tiny. Very important in a windowless room that could use one of those solar tubes to bring in natural light. Orange is supposed to make you happy and I'm still crazy about it. When we do repaint in there it will be an even brighter orange, that of the Cliquot champagne box.

The family room, an addition from the 1980s that was here when we bought the house still has the floor to ceiling bookshelves on either side of the fireplace. Only now the large plate glass window is gone, 14" double laminated beams that took four men to lift into place, to avoid having a center post, letting us walk right into the new addition, a long kitchen with three windows to the deck. The tiny laundry closet became the refrigerator nook, and added on beside the new kitchen is a laundry room viewed through a 15-paned red door. The french doors and the trim around the opening between family room and kitchen are also red.

All the walls in the kitchen, family room, and small dining room are Benjamin Moore's Yellow Raincoat. Wood floors remain in the family room but others are black and white checkerboard ceramic tile, something I had wanted ever since I saw Dee Hardie's kitchen on the cover of House Beautiful in 1983. 

And as I posted on November 3, there are the plain white cabinets in the kitchen suitable for a sensible little farmhouse, and black granite countertops.

To be continued tomorrow.


  1. Oh I did love this walk through your gorgeous farmhouse and can't wait for more pictures!

    1. Thank you! We're so glad you liked the farmhouse and hope you do come again.
      Dewena & R.H.

  2. What a beautiful house. Loving the tours.

    1. We're so glad you like the tours through this old farmhouse. Please come again!
      Dewena & R.H.

  3. Dear Dewena,

    You live in a most charming and cozy farmhouse, the kind that I long to frequent when visiting Canada on my trips home! Your warm reds, cheery, rich yellows, along with those necessary punches of black and white make your pretty space inviting, but more importantly, make you feel like staying a while. It's no surprise that your family and friends visit you so often - aside from your generous hospitality and sweet demeanor! I know I'd have a hard time leaving this most cozy and quaint estate coloured in primary paint!



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