Not the Smartest Way to Pick Paint

I forgot to tell you about painting the stairway to the basement and the dining room down there.  I did it before my sister’s wedding…(for those of you who are new – my little sis got married at our house last September and we did a bunch of reno-ing to prep for the shindig….like making the bathroom finally functional, working on drywall and painting, and improving the look of the patio)…so it was forgotten that I even painted the space with all the hulabaloo. 

Yesterday I showed ya the foyer…and that glass paned door leads to the basement.  

Before the walls of the hallway and the landing area and the dining room were just like the foyer – all toothpaste colored.  A refreshing minty green….not the worst color in the world…but definitely doesn’t look right with tan trim and reddish tiled floors.

Oh and just so you know – basically all these photos are cruddy.  Dang me and my lack of white balance.

But the real problem wasn’t the color.  I could have lived with the color.  The real issue was the dirt.  Every wall was covered in fingerprint marks, scraps of dirt and general uncleanliness.  I swear I found like eight boogers on one wall.  It was like where boogers go to die.  a booger graveyard if you will.

But the even bigger issue was that the paint that the former owners used was flat paint.  Unscrubbable, show-everything flat paint.  That’s why it is $8 cheaper than eggshell people…because you can’t get the evidence of gold-digging off the walls without leaving a giant streaky booger-wash mark.  Yum.

 So we decided to throw up some paint on the walls and hide the dirt from the masses that would be descending upon us for the wedding.

Here is the little landing at the bottom of the stairs.  We have all sorts of weird little nooks in this house that aren’t straight. 

And the look from the dining room all the way back toward the stairs.

And this is the view from the entertainment room…the one that we had already tackled.

So we headed to the store, picked up some paint swatches and headed home.  Immediately I was drawn to the Allen + Roth paint color called Portico.  Yes…mostly because of the name.  I found this online swatch of it…which looks strangely similar to the existing paint color we had down in the basement.  Weird, huh?

But in reality, it is much less green and minty and more blue…kinda similar to our office wall color.  Again – excuse the terrible photos…they were taken during a brain fart. 

Now the downstairs is a much bluer (but not baby blue like the photos show)…

And SO much cleaner. 

This is just to show you the view coming down the stairs….

And the view going up the stairs.  Yes, my friend Brook helped me paint down here and I give her all the credit for cutting in the ceiling bits on the stairs….I did the second coat and cried the entire time.  It was terrible.  Apparently my fear of heights is like my complexion and is getting worst with age.

Probably not the best way to pick paint – based on the name….but in general, it worked for what we needed.

Honestly – now I can’t wait to start tackling this space…dining rooms are so fun to me…and this one, with a smaller footprint is much more my speed than some of the larger rooms upstairs.

I’m thinking I need to get some fabulously large frames to hang on the walls…and maybe some mirrors to bounce light around (since this is one room that has zero natural light)…and that hanging boob light has already bitten the dust….more on that soon…and how ’bout some fun in here?!?  Maybe funny face photos like in the movie The Joneses….except…well, I would totally steal Demi Moore’s photos and just pretend they are my own :)  

That’s been our project – a year late.  I gotta get on this procrastination thing.  Said with an english accent.  Some of you may actually get that joke :)



  1. kelli says

    I talk about those pictures in the Joneses for days after each time we watch that movie!! would love to see what you come up with! Ive thought about taking pictures like that and modge podging them to canvas.

  2. patty says

    i was just thinking why not use the dining room table you’ve got in your downstairs d.r. upstairs – switch them out? just a thought… this table looks really pretty and I know you’ve been wanting something different in your upstairs d.r. love everything you’ve done in your house Katie B. xo

    • says

      We probably would try that but the basement will be the permanent home for the bar height table so we figured it probably should stay down there. More laziness than anything :) Don’t worry though – I am always hunting down the right table for the upstairs dining room.
      xo – kb

      • patty says

        oops didn’t notice that it was bar height…i get it now… i think a nice white white paint to match the hutch and fabric chairs would do the trick upstairs and not break the bank.. i love your home Katie and it’s all coming together beautifully. hope you have a great w/end. xo P

  3. says

    Looks great! Don’t be so hard on yourself! I can totally fall in love with a paint colour based on a name… I think that’s why they have such fun names! No one would want to paint a room “vomit green” or “poo brown”.

  4. says

    Even though you say otherwise, you (and YHL) are probably the busiest, least procrastinating folks ever! (I was going to write “folks I know” but then I realized that I don’t actually know you.) Anyway, I’m also so inspired by how much you get done (and how little you sleep!). I am simply amazed by your productivity – I’m the one that needs to stop procrastinating! Beautiful color, you’ve done awesome work on your house!

  5. says

    We just bought a house and we have the same issues with the DIRTY walls. I swear the kids who lived there before us ran around with a crayon in one hand and actual dirt in the other. I’m hoping I can just bite the bullet and paint all the walls a neutral-ish color to make things a bit cleaner, even my trusty magic erasers aren’t working their magic on my walls!

    Yours look great! Very clean!

  6. Suz says

    Nice color – I just repainted my bathroom 3 seperate times this weekend to get just the right color, so picking a winner on the first try just by the name doesn’t sound too bad to me!

  7. Chris says

    Wow – how weird is it that I read this post while taking a break from painting our stairway going upstairs and cursing (literally, some bad words flew out of my mouth since the kids weren’t around to hear!) the previous owners for using a flat paint! Luckily it was boog-free, but still so so so dirty and gross!

  8. says

    So lovely!!! Love the blue that I see… baby blue… it’s actually what I want to do in my kitchen and dining areas but I wasn’t sure how it would look with my reddish-toned floors and my strikingly similar kitchen and dining tables! Who knew I had such fabulous Bowerish taste???? Thanks for making me feel great today! :)

  9. says

    Love that blue!! Your home is so beautiful, and how fun it will be to decorate all those little nooks. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. :)

  10. Christi says

    I love the color!!! And looking at your house makes me want to have Brad apply for every job in GA so we could find one like yours!!!!

    I don’t know about the “Jones” thing but a whole bunch of cool black and whites would look great down there!

    I think you could do weddings there every weekend and make $$$$ in addition to being the photographer!!!!


  11. says

    Um I think it’s scientifically proven ( or soon will be…by a woman ) that picking things by their name or colour or general loveliness is veeery accurate. Whatever the reason, it looks fantastic, so much better than the generic builder beige paint that is like a perminant chalkboard timeline of yuck.

  12. Sarah C. says

    So I have a unrelated question for you (although my confusion about the basement layout from this post led me to the basement tour post which contained a picture of the front of your house which is why I have a question so I suppose it’s not completly unrelated :) Do you have a room on the third story? I ask since it looks like there is a window over the ‘Jack’ room but I can’t remember you ever mentioning it so perhaps it is a fake window seen from the front yard? My parents’ house has a third story loft which had a ladder (with wooden slats like 6 inches wide so it’s not too ladder-y) and I loved that loft growing up, it was a great play space.

    • says

      The attic is HUGE. Like if we ever wanted to finish it, it would have at least ten foot ceilings…hence the weird fake window. I guess maybe the builders decided that if they ever wanted/needed the additional space, it’s good to have it available :)
      xo – kb

    • says

      We definitely want to cover those bad boys up one day. We already talked about using laminate (the kind that looks like planks of wood) but for now it will stay on the back burner (we just don’t see the point of spending the money on some area we hardly use!).
      xo – kb

  13. Arthi says

    Hey firstly congrats on the baby boy no. 2! That painting -I liked!;)
    Also ur basement…huge…what are ur plans for it…Playroom, etc..?? I would love to see your version of a playroom .. im kinda trying to get some inspiration myself! So plz if i may say so….Hurry up! LOL :)

    • says

      I would love to one day have more plans for the basement but since we so rarely use it, we probably are just gonna put things in that we already have (with a little tweaking of course)…nothing spendy till we need the space, ya know?
      And I do have plans for a small playroom (it’s the one off Will’s current room and it’s more of a small nook room)…so I guess you’ll have to stay tuned :)
      xo – kb

  14. Amanda says

    I really wish the glass paned door in your foyer led to a phone booth. For realz.

    And I love your house and how you decorate it! Keep up the great work! =).

  15. says

    Love the color. I’m in the process of picking a color for our basement main room and basement bedroom right now too. It’s hard because the current color has glitter or something in it! (AHH) Plus I’m lazy and indecisive, a bad combination!
    Completely off subject: will you be posting any of your maternity photos or are you keeping those to yourselves?

  16. Melissa says

    Most random question of all time but…how do you do it? I have a 19-month-old and barely do anything I am always so tired!! Always in my pj’s and barely shower longer than two minutes. How do you plan your day with Will? I have tried so many things!!

    • says

      haha…I don’t. I fail all the time and I think I have several hundred unread emails in my inbox as I type this. I am a horrible planner…so I just try to make priorities a priority and let the rest fall by the wayside. And I am always so tired too…and I voted in my pajamas today.
      xo – kb

  17. says

    I’m thisclose to picking a grey called “Irish Mist” for repainting kitchen cabinets. I don’t love it love it but…I’m Irish. I feel like maybe it’s a sign. ;)

    Also, The Joneses – I pinned a picture of the stairwell almost a year before I saw the movie. So as I’m watching it, I had one of those freak out moments where I was all, “I’ve been in that house!” and Jerry was all, “No, no you haven’t.”

    He doesn’t get it.

    Have a wonderful night!

  18. says

    Good work! What do you plan to use the basement dining room for? Is it near the back patio or another space that you hang out in a lot? Just wondering!

    • says

      It’s actually on the opposite side of the house from the patio…so right now it’s purely excess. And we rarely hang out in the basement…unless we are working on building something :)
      xo – kb

  19. Jen from Ohio says

    I really like the color, it looks like the color of my last apartment that I loved so it’s near and dear to my heart. My mom picks almost every paint color based on name. She’ll know the color family she wants and goes from there…. and her colors look great. So I think thats a great strategy! :)

  20. Jessica S. says

    Your house always looks great! Can’t wait to see what you do with the down stairs dining area. What about white wainscoting with some sort of patterned or textured wallpaper above? I bet that would look nice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *