Moody Dining Room Paint (& Lessons Learned)

January 4, 2018

Shortly before Thanksgiving I decided our dining room had to be repainted.

Well, let’s start at the beginning.

When we first moved in our house the dining room looked something like this.

Not terrible. It was at least a fairly neutral slate, but definitely not our style.

After we moved in we painted (with lots of help from my mom) the entire downstairs, had new hardwood floors installed, added chunky baseboards, and replaced all of the light fixtures. I mean those original baseboards were 1.5 inches… not making any sort of a statement.

We kept the dining room this color for a little over a year until we decided it wasn’t the right color for the room (the above color is Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore). I really like the color, but due to the large, north facing window in this room it looks washed out or reads very blue/purple depending on the time of day. So the week of Thanksgiving I decided it was time for a change, just in time to host 12 people for turkey dinner at our house. We wanted something a bit bolder, a bit moodier. When dealing with a north facing room I have found dark colors can actually make the space feel cozier and less cold because most lighter colors (besides those of the yellow/orange/red hues – which aren’t my personal favorite) tend to read more blue or green, even when they aren’t.

I REALLY wanted a dark green/blue color, so we started testing out paint samples on each of the walls in the room. Top right – Chelsea Gray by Benjamin Moore, bottom left – Salamander  by Benjamin Moore, bottom right – Thermal by Behr.

I fell in love with Salamander. So that’s what we went with.

One coat down and we quickly realized it was completely wrong for the room, which made me so sad, but goes to show you can’t use how a color looks in someone else’s home, or even in another room in your home, as a reflection of what it will look like in your room. Granted these pictures were taken at dusk, so it was a little extra dark in the room, but the paint looked black, and it weirdly made me dizzy. I think it was a combination of the dark walls with the shadows from the chandelier. I was so, so sad because I liked how dark the room was and I really do love the color, it just was not the right color for the room.

So instead we went with the color that was Nathan’s first pick, Chelsea Gray by Benjamin Moore.

3 coats of paint later (1 coat of Salamander, then two subsequent coats of Chelsea Gray) and the room was feeling muchhhh more like us. I am so happy with how it turned out! I’ll be honest though, it was hard to admit Nathan’s first choice was the right choice for us. 

This dark, moody gray is the perfect shade for this room. When we first started painting it looked more brown, but I think that’s why it works so well in the room since the undertones are warmer. We will eventually get new dining chairs (the black chairs are our outdoor patio chairs), add a buffet, and other accessories/art, but for now she is just right. It just warmed my heart to hose our loved ones in this space for Thanksgiving and makes me so excited to get this space finished up.





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