Our Home Update: The Reveal
Today, I could not be more excited to finally show the "reveal" of our house with its newly painted white walls. I know some of you have been following my little renovations for many years and I really think that this final change will not disappoint! When I started this blog I began with the premise that paint is the one thing that can really change a room and now some eight years later I'm still shouting it from the rooftops. It doesn't have to be dramatic, sometimes just the smallest change in color can make the most difference and our home as it is now is really a testament to that.
Painting the walls while was something that I have wanted to do for years (actually from the moment we stepped foot in our home), but when I came down to it I just couldn't justify the price. I think it would have been one thing if we had hated the color, or if it was something that I could do myself, and honestly I just didn't want to be one of those people who spent a ton of money for walls that are "a few shades lighter."
So, I waited.
I waited and waited, and waited and somewhere around the 8 year mark of living here our "okay" walls became marked up, scratched, faded (you name it it's been on those walls). We had two active boys growing up in this house, from infant to toddler to pre-teen, and our walls showed signs of every stage. We may have survived their early years but our walls did not. As much as I loved our home, it was starting to look old and when you added in the beige hue, it just really looked dated.
After nine years I decided to pull the trigger and that decision will go down in history alongside other greats like the recovering of the sofa and the last minute kitchen reno. Of course, I have pictures to show the end result, but I have to say this is one instance where photographs don't even begin to show how amazing the transformation truly is. In person our home looks brand new and I'm not just saying that. It really looks like a new house that we moved into only weeks ago. Everything is so clean and so bright and as I envisioned, everything just pops against the white. Blues are bluer, whites are brighter and it makes all of our beautiful wood pieces look so much warmer.
I'm not going to lie, I was slightly concerned that the white walls would make our house feel a little too sterile, and the "homey" feel that we had (which was my favorite part of our home) would be lost. As soon as out furniture was put back in place I realized that my fears were for naught. The white actually made everything else feel warmer and in the end it feels so clean and organized, our house has become the kind of home you just want to sit in for a cup of tea or a glass of wine. It feels grown up, but also casual and that really describes our family to a tee.
When we moved everything out to paint, the house felt so uncluttered and I really tried to keep it that way when we put it back. I simplified the artwork on the walls and got rid of an over-sized chair that never really fit the space. I brought in some lighting from other parts of our home and really tried to play off the black iron windows, which have become the star of our home. I didn't purchase anything new for the space other than a black linen shade for over the kitchen table which added some needed drama to the room (and also the old white one looked yellow when paired with the walls). Other than that, I really just put things back where they already were and amazingly against the white walls it all felt so new and fresh, I really can't even put into words how much better out home looks.
Okay, I could seriously gush about this all day long but instead I'll just show you the pictures of our living room. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I could live in a space that completely reflects exactly who I am, and what I want to be surrounded by so perfectly, but over the last decade that is what our home has become and I really, truly, madly, and deeply love it.
To give you a little side by side comparison, here is how our home looked in March when it was shot for our Apartment Therapy piece, and below you can see the "After." It still blows my mind how much the walls have elevated this space and sure, I wish I would have just painted years ago but part of me is so happy we waited. Now we really can feel the difference rather than just seeing it and after a decade I can't tell you how nice it is to walk in everyday and feel like you have entered your brand new home. That was certainly worth the wait.
A lot of people have asked how the white walls are faring with the boys and I have two words for you, Magic Eraser. Okay, that and Eggshell Finish. I use white walls (or at least recommend them) to a number of my clients with little kids and that's because they are just so easy to clean. If you have an eggshell finish you can just magic erase everything and really, it's magic... the black marks just disappear before your eyes. What doesn't come off? The paint. Or at least you can't see if it does. If you use a magic eraser on colored walls you often can be left with a patch where it flashes a little, but with white you just can't see it. This is the reason I am keeping all the walls white in the Costa House because I just want to be able to keep things clean and there is no better way to do that is with white walls.
So, that's it. The house is actually "done." I sort of never thought this day would come but I have to say I really don't want to change a thing. I want this version of the house to be the one we always remember from the boys' childhood and the only way to really ensure that is just to live in it. I know I've said these before, but I really mean it this time. We've had the walls painted for a few months now and other than the recent unleashing of Santa's Village into our living room, I haven't changed one single thing. Even better, I haven't wanted to change a thing and that's when you really know that you are done. Xx
P.S. The paint color I used is Chantilly Lace by Ben Moore