Gentle Readers, a while back, when I confessed that I was considering painting my living room yet again, a lovely note and sketch appeared in my in-box.
The author is Bart Swindall, aka Magnaverde, Chicago historian, Apartment Therapy contributor, tiny vintage apartment inhabitor and rapier wit possessor. Eminently quotable and supremely kind, he gave me the words of support I needed to move forward with my yellow living room. Enjoy.
If you’ve never had a yellow room before, you’ll really like it. White walls are winners as long as there’s plenty of light streaming in the windows–the way there always is in magazine photos–but in rooms with a north exposure, or under a broad veranda, or heavy tree cover, they’re also-rans…
Before I re-do a room, I always paint a little watercolor first, to see if I like the effect, and here’s one I did of the dining room in my old apartment.
My inspiration was a blinding yellow-white-&-gold 18th Century neoclassical room in Germany, but the gold part seemed a bit much for a 9×11 room in a studio apartment, meaning the yellow was going to have to do the heavy lifting all by itself.
I went for the brightest, cleanest yellow that Benjamin Moore had. It might have even been called Sceaming Mimi Yellow. [bc note: tragically, no such name exists. I checked.]
At any rate, the guy at the BM store looked at the chip, looked at me over the top of his glasses & said “You do realize that this is going to look even brighter, once you get it on your walls” to which warning I nodded & said “That’s the plan!” He just rolled his eyes & went to work, probably figuring I’d be back in no time, asking him if he could tone it down a little. Not me.
After I finished painting, I traded the namby-pamby Soft White bulbs for clear Reveal bulbs, to make the yellow even colder & more manic & to create hard-edged shadows at night. From across the street, the glow coming from those windows made it look like I was working with Plutonium in there. It was great, especially coming into the room from my very sedate living room.
Unfortunately, I didn’t own a camera with a wide enough lens to get a good photo of the finished room, and by the time the place finally got published, the yellow was already history, so my little sketch is all that’s left of a really cool room. I’m looking forward to seeing yours.