White to Gray to White to White
I was pretty averse to white walls when we moved into this house, which is likely because everything had been painted white, except for the parts that were painted brown.
That's hard to look at.
Round 1: Cement
Right after we moved in, I painted the living room gray and tried to cover up that brown banister with white paint. I had a vision based on a Pinterest photo and to no one's surprise, it didn't pan out. What fun is homeownership if you don't do everything twice, or in my case, three times?
The gray paint made my walls look like slabs of cement and the couch blended right into the cement-y walls. This was also before the fireplace got a white wash. Brown, gray, more gray. Not a good round.
Round 2: Meh
I read somewhere, probably on Pinterest, that if you want a white room, you have to go for a very pure white. After painting half of the room a very pure white, I am here to tell you that I believe this sentiment to be false. Like the gray, the stark white did nothing for the room. It added no dimension, didn't embrace the nice light this room gets in the afternoon, and bored me so much that I went a full year before deciding what to do next, stuck with half gray and half white walls all the while.
Round 3: Disco
Success. Once again using the internet as my guide, even though I should be saying "fool me once, shame on you..." etc., but I really spent sites I admire on the whole, not just one picture posted to one lifestyle blog. I'm a long admirer of Door Sixteen and Manhattan Nest, who have both successfully painted rooms white without washing them out.
After lots of research, I settled on Benjamin Moore's Moonlight White, which has just the slightest tint to it. I have to admit, even with endorsements on my side, I was nervous that it would turn out too yellow or too creamy, but it is just perfect. It really does look like the moonlight is always bouncing off of the walls, which is lovely.
A little furniture rearrangement helped things along, too. The room feels a lot bigger without the couch tucked into that corner. More on that later. For now, I can put my paint brush to rest.
There will be no Round 4.