Grey Beige

The first floor bathroom needed a new paint job worse than Hollywood needs Splenda.  It was horrific rag-rolling in red.

Like I told you before, this room was the lucky winner of the first makeover in our house of many colors.  Yup…that means that Will’s room is still pink and 95% of our top two floors are still toothpaste hued.  But there is just no way that I could step foot in that bathroom anymore.  The last thing that I want to see in a bathroom are walls that remind me of blood.  Creepy. 

The challenge came when looking down.  The floors are similar to this marble that I found online.  It is sort of gray with magenta veins…not really my cup of tea but like everyone else in the world, we don’t have the funds to replace it right now…so it stays.  And it is in decent shape…so that definitely helps justify it staying around.  The real humdinger is the fact that the trim is cream.  So the issue is finding a color that goes well with both gray and cream.  and it has to be light…because this little bathroom has no natural light…making it very dark. 

Enter Olympic’s gray-beige.  It actually is a very happy little accident that we pulled this swatch.  In fact, we were so sick of the bloody walls that we walked into Lowe’s, I pulled a paint color, turned and asked Jer what he thought, he said great, and I ordered the gallon.  No testing, no comparing, no taping up the swatch on the wall…just grab & go.  took five minutes.

And that evening, we got the first coat on the walls.  That’s right…we are living dangerously.  No primer for us.  The Bower’s are living on the edge.  we’re outlaws.  we’re crazy. 

And after three coats, there was no shred of evidence of previous rag-rolling.  Poor little bathroom being so violated like that. 

Thankfully, we did not have to prep the walls…although, there was a little spackling that we did after the first coat of paint…just to fix some holes and some exposed drywall tape…but nothing serious.  I’ve actually heard horror stories of people having to sand their rag-rolled walls because of uneven finishes…or using oil-based primer just to get it covered….thank you baby Jesus for giving us mercy.   

And yes, I had to climb that ladder to cut in at the top.  Shudder.  And yes, I probably said “I’M FALLING!” to Jeremy twenty something times.  And yes, one of those times I was standing on the first rung.  which is lower than the toilet.  It is possible that my fear of heights is getting worse. 

So what do you think?  I like it but it definitely was one of those happy-accident kinda things…of course, it is a really crazy kinda color…not really beige, not really gray….with some really dynamic undertones…and anything would have been an improvement over the bloodiness. 

Have you had any happy decorating accidents lately?



  1. Kayla says

    I totally just LOL’d about the afraid of heighs/rung lower than the toilet comment. Ha ha ha. Thanks for making my night KB!

  2. says

    Oh wow! That color is perfect for your grey-tile, cream-trim dilema! I actually love the color, but I really like grey.

    I can’t wait to watch your house evolve. It’s going to look so beautiful (even though it already is, I can imagine how much more it will be once you add your touch to it).

    Oh and I also loved your comment on, ““I’M FALLING!” to Jeremy twenty something times”. Made my night. :-D
    I hope you guys aren’t having this aweful thunderstorm where you are. I can’t sleep with all the racket. Atlanta weather is so unpredictable in the spring. I was so excited about the warm weather…and now it’s pouring! Oh well.

  3. says

    It already looks 100x better! Yay for picking the perfect color the first time around. I usually spend hours online searching for the perfect color, then spend hours looking at paint swatches, and then spend hours debating in my head what goes with what. It takes me weeks to even make one decision. I can’t wait to see what you do with it all!

  4. Marissa says

    de-lurking ;) paint sure is magical, ain’t it? it looks wonderful, as do all the projects you two tackle! i’ll keep this short sweet and to the point – your blog is so very special & inspiring, thank you :)

  5. Ange says

    Love it Katie. How could it not be better than the previous though..right? I’m interested to see it all finished & dressed, as to how you blend that magenta vein in the tile. In the pics it looks really obvious. Clearly with all the bloodiness it was disguised in the red hue thrown all over the place. It’s so exciting to see your stamp happening on the dream house. While I can’t have mine, I just watch & learn from you guys!

  6. Laura C says

    The new color looks like it’ll be great! I can’t get over those moldings throughout your home – beautiful!

  7. says

    What a fantastic happy accident Katie! You must be SO HAPPY to get rid of that crime scene! (Just as a side note- I can’t believe they grouted those tiles with red grout as well as the blood red walls!)

  8. says

    I love it! Just like you all we seem to choose the best looking colors for our house when we pick them in five minutes or less. Amazing how that works!

  9. says

    I just had flashbacks looking at those before pictures! Those walls look almost exactly how our master bathroom looked when we moved in. Except throw some grey into the red-orange mix. I was also one of those poor souls who had to sand almost the whole room due to a bumpy finish. Talk about a nightmare. Three colors later we now have a pure white bathroom and I love it.

  10. says

    I really didn’t get it until that last picture, how terrible the tile in the floor really is! Ugh.

    But I think the color you picked for the walls made the best of what you have in there. I love it, and I really like greige if that’s possible.

  11. Lindsey says

    Wow I kind of have the same problem….except I don’t have the blood red paint. Our builder painter all our walls tan and our trim cream. It makes it impossible to have cooler tones like gray. I may check out this paint….maybe I can replace the tan color on my walls…and make my decorating life easier. :)

  12. Mary @ Redo101 says

    Lookin’ good. The more blogs I read, the more wild I get about grabbing a paint color and giving it a try. If it doesn’t work, I can paint again! Blogs are making us into very daring women – I love it!

  13. Abercrombie Wife says

    I love it! Sometimes the right color just falls in your lap. I can’t wait to see the rest of the bathroom. I am assuming you painted the vanity red by that little teaser you shared a couple of days ago.

  14. Ali says

    Love how it turned out! Fun that you picked the color and bought it so quickly! I usually brainstorm and think and hum and ha for weeks before picking my paint colors! You were rewarded for your decisiveness! Way to go it looks terrific! Love the huge crown molding!

    ~ Ali

  15. Lindsey says

    Love the new color so much better!! The ground beef description was a good one! Now maybe you’ll be able to use that bathroom!

  16. says

    It’s already looking so much better! Question, since you’re saving the tile (for now?) are you planning to remove the grout and regrout? I think that would make a huge difference, too.

    BTW, who lived there before? Ludacris’ mom? Someone with too much money, but too little style.

    • Meghann says

      I was thinking the same thing about the grout. It looks almost pink…I bet if you regrouted it would look so much better.

      Seriously… who lived in this house.. some things are so beautiful….such as the mouldings and trim, then all the paint “treatments” are just HORRIBLE!!!!

  17. says

    I love the new color. Thank goodness that red is gone.

    Question about the tile: Have you tried giving it a good scrub down with some bleach? I know you’re not supposed to on natural stone, but the magenta tinges remind me of the mold that tries to grow on our natural stone tiles in our shower – same color. It also tried to stain our grout magenta. So I’m just wondering if a good cleaning would remove some of that pinkish tint from the tiles.

    I could be totally wrong. Just wanted to throw that out there.

    • says

      Yeah – it’s pretty bad,, huh? But we saw when we removed the vanity that the previous owners used two different colors of grout – one was cream and one was pink. We even found a chunk of the pink stuff in the corner – eww. I think that maybe they just touched up the bad grout job with a bad color grout. Craziness.
      xo – kb

  18. BD says

    Wow, the color looks *really* good! You guys must have great color intuition, because I doubt anyone could have come up with a better look! I do have a question for you – we have a “toilet room” in the master bath that is literally the size of the toilet, with a ceiling fan at the top. And it is my least favorite room in the whole house, even after painting the walls a decent color. Do you have any decorating tips for making it feel less like an isolation cell, especially with the door closed?

    • says

      Absolutely! Try mirrors and some dynamic lighting. Also, do not clutter. Small things fit in a small space but they also make the space look little. Sometimes one big item can make a space look even bigger…because it can support the size.
      xo – kb

  19. Em says

    Laughed so hard about the first rung being lower than the toilet :) And about most of the house being toothpaste colors…it’s true! All the walls are either toothpaste or bodily-fluid colored! I really wonder about the family that owned this house before you!

  20. says

    Great color, and kudos to you for picking the right one so randomly on the first try! I’m curious to see whether you choose to re-grout the current grout or not – that’s on our list for our kitchen tile grout…

    • says

      We talked about it…but I think that we will just regrout when we retile one day. No point in salvaging something you hate, right?
      xo – kb

  21. Alicia says

    Jeremy shouldn’t be letting you climb on ladders! Especially since you don’t even put your arms out to stop yourself when you fall!! LOL. I couldn’t resist! The bathroom looks great! It’s an improvement already. I can’t wait to see the rest!

    • says

      Couldn’t agree more Alicia. But then again, that would mean that cutting in wouldn’t happen…his hand is as steady as a horsebackrider.
      xo – kb

  22. Laura says

    We had actually painted our living room, dining room, and hallway that color a year ago. We fell in love with it’s creaminess. It doesn’t look as grey in our house though. Now we’re selling and had one couple complain about the color, I couldn’t believe it, it’s about as neutral as one can get. Love it and so happy you went with it :)

  23. says

    That color is PERFECT! I wish I could just walk in the paint department and pick something…I’ve had such horrible picks in the past though that I’m too scared (and cheap!) to get the “wrong” color and have to repaint again.

  24. Mary says

    TEASE! I was getting excited because I thought it was the final product, and was getting frustrated because my computer wasn’t cooperating. For SHAME! And Katie, the true name of that color is “greige” =)
    Also, is rag rolling still an acceptable form of painting???

  25. Tiffany says

    Hey Katie! I can’t wait to see the rest. I have a question….you said the trim was cream so that threw an extra monkey wrench into picking the color. Any thoughts on changing the trim color as well? I know it would be a lot more work with everything else you have going on, but just curious!!

    • says

      Well, I wanted to change the trim color too…but the door and the trim & doors in the rest of the house are also cream…AND they need a complete overhaul…which would mean that sanding and filling and more sanding would have to happen…thus making a little job a VERY big one…so for now, the trim stays cream :)
      xo – kb

  26. says

    Oh man, from the pictures I was sure you’d have to sand, so glad to hear it wasn’t needed!! I do like the paint color, way to shoot from the hip on that one. :)

  27. says

    Looks great! I would be so freaking out on that ladder, too… I get nervous when DH is on it, and I tell him to “be careful” over and over. Nagging wife ;) Can’t wait to see the whole thing!!!

  28. Jill says

    Oh my gosh, Katie, that is SUCH an improvement! That color… that style (?)… I just don’t understand why someone would do that to a room. Love the beige/grey/cream color :)

  29. andrea p says

    Wow Katie, that color couldnt be more perfect! I’m excited to see pics of the whole bathroom! :)
    Also…you know the little dining room cabinet that you painted light celadon green? I would love to know the brand/paint color you used.
    Thank you & keep up the great work :)

  30. says

    You are lucky you didn’t have to sand the walls! The previous owners of our house sponge painted stars on the walls of one of the bedrooms. Ugly gold stars over dark blue walls. We had to sand each and every one of those stars because they were raised enough to show through the next coat of paint!

  31. says

    Amazing how you were able to match the paint color to your tile so perfectly – it’s obvious you have a good eye for color and photogenic memory :)

    This paint color is a variation of greige (a mix of gray and beige) – taupe to be more specific (a greige with pink undertones).

    The bathroom looks so much cleaner and current now, great job! :)


  32. TheOtherKTBower'sMom says

    WOW! You picked the perfect paint color for the redo and I love the sconces.
    Now you can go potty without wanting to hurl or claw your eyes out!!!

  33. Amy says

    I wish I had seen this post three days ago when I went to pick out paint for the basement suite I’m renovating! That’s EXACTLY the color I wanted….and I ended up with blue.

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