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A Few More (Shoddy) Pictures of the House, Plus a HUGE Thank You to Sanders

I really, truly appreciated all your thoughtful comments and feedback on my last post. Leopard rug is scheduled to arrive Monday, so more updates on that soon. In the meantime, so many of you asked for the paint color I used in the front room that I thought I should repost it with the name of the color.

It’s Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor, mixed 25% darker.

Let me just take a minute to say that I am a picky mofo. I can tear perfection into a million imperfect pieces. That’s why Sanders is such a gem. In case you just started reading or don’t remember, Sanders is the paint genius who manages my local Benjamin Moore — he’s also the brains behind the Ask Sanders column. Without him I would I have hideous turquoise walls that make me cry angry tears of anger.

If you live in Austin or thereabouts (one reader drove up from San Antonio just to meet with Sanders!), go see him before he starts his own paint consulting empire and starts charging for his advice. He’s that good.

Plus look at his sweet little face! I love me some Sanders.

benjamin moore dark harbor Moving on: more Dark Harbor pictures. Wish I’d thought to shoot this with a color card so it would be truly accurate, but I think this is close. It goes from navy to almost billiard green, and everything in between.

benjamin moore dark harbor

Can’t believe I am posting this horrible picture, but it’s been raining forever so I haven’t had a chance to reshoot without all the toys. I think I took one picture of this side of the room and gave up because it is a pita to shoot without off camera lighting. Anyway, you can see that DH does go a lot lighter when faced with direct sun.

While we’re all staring at this dumb picture, let’s talk about built in shelving. The front room is teeny tiny, so to save space I really wanted to build a nook around the sofa, kind of like this:

But with far less beige… Anyway, there are two problems. First, the chair rail. Yes, we can remove it, but blending in the texture is going to be a job x infinity. Second, I don’t know if we have enough depth on that side of the doorway — it’s about 12.” Any advice on how to handle this? Ideas?

Once again I am depending on you to solve all of my problems.

Why not get busy with world peace while you’re at it?

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My Date With Sanders

I went to visit Sanders yesterday so he could pick the perfect paint color for me, and when I told him I had a north facing, shady room with high ceilings, this is what he chose to go with my flooring sample:

benjamin moore pashmina

It’s called Pashmina, and it’s a medium gray/brown. Pretty, but not exactly the white I was hoping for.

benjamin moore pashmina

Here it is in another room I ran on the color analyzer thingamajig doohickeywopper.

It’s nice, right? But maybe too dark? Maybe not?

When I told Sanders I wanted white, he shook his head in the wrong direction… he did give me a few lighter samples, but they all looked like dingy shitballs when I held them up to the walls at New House. Here is the best of the light samples he gave me:

It’s called Deep in Thought, and I am deeply thinking it looks better in these rooms than it will in mine.

What do you think? Whiteish or medium greige?

I’m going back to visit Sanders again today, but I’ll tell you now that he’s pretty much always right.

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Sanders Gibbs, Superhero at Large

Up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane — it’s Sanders! Austinites from all over the city regularly travel down south to meet with Sanders, the super skilled, superhero of paint. Readers of this very blog have even benefited from his knowledge by taking advantage of Sanders’ expertise in our Ask Sanders column. And today this interview I conducted with him near the start of our working relationship is being featured over here by Benjamin Moore.

That’s because Sanders is the man.

Karly and I have worked with Sanders for years, and without his super help, I’m not sure either of us would have ever painted a single wall. But just look how awesome our houses turned out:

Karly’s nursery — a symphony in Harbor Gray (and lots of other colors).

My house — painted with Abalone gray and BM’s gold metallic paint.

You can check out the rest of our houses here and here to see some of Sanders’ other perfect paint choices. That’s right. I said the P word.

Did I mention that Sanders is also a nice guy and fun to hang out with?

Here he is with Ike when Ike was just a little shrimp. Sanders has two kids of his own, including a six month old, so he never gets mad when Ike won’t stop messing with the water dispenser at the store.

If you don’t live in Austin — well you’re missing out on Sanders’ charm, that’s for sure. But you can still write in with your questions, which we will review for inclusion in our ongoing Ask Sanders column. Just drop us a line at hollaback@design-crisis.com and we’ll see what we can do.

See? Sanders transcends space and time. He really is a superhero.

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Ask Sanders: Rossana’s Pear Green Nursery

It’s time for another installment in our Ask Sanders series, wherein some lucky reader has their decorating dilemma solved by our resident paint guru, Sanders Gibbs. It’s a dream come true, because in case you don’t already know, Sanders is a badass. But don’t take our word for it — if you live in Austin, go visit Benjamin Moore Hill Country Paints, where Sanders puts his talents to the test as store manager. Not in Austin? Catch up by reading this interview with Sanders here.

Without further ado, here’s reader Rossana’s question:

“My husband and I are in the process of painting the nursery. We have differing ideas about what this should look like, but we have at least found a nice compromise with the Ben Moore pear green. The gender is a surprise! The room is about a 10 x 12 room with lots and lots of windows and the one wall that is solid will be the one that we put the crib on, and this is the wall that we will paint Pear Green. Question is: what other color would be nice with PG?”

First of all, great choice! Pear Green is a bright and versatile shade that pairs (ahem) well with many colors. Sanders gave us a broad selection of gender neutral choices to pick from, and many can be mixed and matched to different effect.

pear green

Amp up the drama by mixing pear green with bold brights.

Or tone it down with neutrals. It works well either way.

For a baby’s room, you could play it sophisticated by painting the crib wall pear green, the other walls off white (Sanders gave us Mountain Peak White), and then adding in other colors through accessories and bedding. Or you could funk it up by painting the other three walls a jazzier color, and then using accessories in more neutral shades. Let’s take a look at some rooms with pear green and see how Sanders’ choices work in them.

This playroom in the home of Avocado and Papaya’s Jackie Kersh features a cute, classic palette of green, red and blue.

benjamin moore color palette

Here’s Sanders’ palette, which would work well in a gender neutral nursery: Pear Green with Chili Pepper Red and Peacock Blue.

Another playroom, via Cupcake Wishes and Unicorn Dreams.

And Sanders’ corresponding choices are Pear Green with Stardust and Violet Stone.

I know it’s not a kid’s room, but the color palette in this kitchen would be fab in a nursery.

Pear Green with Banana Yellow and Florida Keys Blue.

And then there’s this hotness — who cares if the Pear Green is on a couch and not a wall? Use your imagination goggles to see that this color combo is off the chain… Loves it.

Pear Green, Mountain Peak White and Silver Dollar. DRAMA. Add a dash of black here and there and you’ve got a winner for all ages.

And here are a couple more pretty palettes, just because I made them up all nice in photoshop:

The bold and the beautiful: Tequila Lime, Juneau Spring, Banana Yellow, Tangy Orange, and Pear Green.

Oh so quiet and sophisticated: Mountain Peak White (loving this white!), Silver Dollar, Taos Taupe and Light Khaki. Brilliant.

That’s it for this edition of Ask Sanders. Rossana, I hope there’s some helpful information here, and hey — maybe we inspired some of y’all out there to repaint. Or perhaps even have a baby… After all, what better excuse could there be to redecorate?

I’m leaving you with this picture of Ike and Sanders. Ike LOVES loves him some Uncle Sanders, mostly because Ike is obsessed with Sanders’ nametag, but also because Ike has good taste in people.

If any of you out there would like some professional advice regarding your painting dilemmas, send in a request and we’ll forward it to Sanders.

Thanks for sharing your expertise with us, Sanders!

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Ask Sanders: Jason’s Brick Ranch

In remodeling my home I’ve come to realize that you make good friends with the people who help you then, once your project is over, you don’t get to see your redecorating buddies too much anymore.  This is why we invented the ask Sander’s column:  even though most of my house is painted, I still have an excuse to stop on by Benjamin Moore (Hill Country Paint to you South Austinites) any time I want (insert maniacal laugh here).  So, when Jason wrote us with an email lovingly titled “dumb dude needs help” I was more than happy to pay a visit to the King of Paint.

Jason recently purchased this ranch and is experiencing something my husband would never dare to dream of:  his wife has handed him decorating carte blanche.  From what I’ve heard about his plans for the inside, hello Cole & Son wallpaper, he’s doing a bang-up job.  The outside, as you can see, needed serious consultation.  Jason asked Sanders to present him with 2 options:  1. Trim, accent, and door paint leaving the brick as-is, and 2. A palette for painting the whole kitten-kaboodle, brick and all.  We’ll start with the former.

Sander’s first suggestion is to use Benjamin Moore Brandy Cream on for the trim, Dellwood Sand for the accent (the piece of wood that runs below the roof) and a pop of Tarrytown Green for the front door.  I like that this selection updates the home while simultaneously blending with the preexisting brick.  One of the major problems with the house right now is that the trim is just way too dark brown.  Lightening it up and letting the front door provide the contrast will clean up the look lickety-split.  


Another option for Jason that doesn’t involve the laborious task of painting the brick: a nice light trim in Cloud White, an accent in Sag Harbor Gray and a Cromwell Gray Door.  I like that sanders kept the door fairly neutral with this combo, letting the cloud white do the talking.  The white would really pop against the brick, but in a really fantastic way, unlike what the brown is doing now.

If Jason decides to paint the brick, which I 10000% support, here is an option for him:  Body paint in Louisburg Green, trim & accent in Hazy Skies and a door in Duxbury Gray.  Who can go wrong with Gray and Green with a nice, light accent?  I think this palette will modernize the home without conflicting with the ranch style.

I have to admit that I’m a pretty big fan of this option:  Body in Tucson Winds, trim and accent in Ashen Tan and Door in good ole Gray.  I love a light house, I think it would really pop in that gigantic yard.  Like the last option, it’s a nice update without trying too hard.

Finally, we have my favorite option.  Ok, I’m a sucker for gray, with the Granite painted brick you could probably make the trim neon green and hot pink and I’d still love it, but I like what Sanders has chosen even more:  Steam trim and accent with Mysterious for the door.  I think this palette is the most sophisticated and I am BEGGING Jason to please please paint his house this color and send us some pictures.

I tried to find homes online painted similarly but wasn’t able to find the right combination, so instead I did a crappy photoshop mock-up of Jason’s house.  Hopefully my elementary rendering won’t scare him out of the project:

Jason, bear in mind that there will be much more depth in reality, it won’t look like a gray play-doh fortress if given the treatment in real life.  Squint your eyes and look at it (god, I’ve never had to say that about a design project) see, isn’t it grand?

Best of luck, dumb dude!  Be sure to send us pictures when you’re done.

For anyone in Austin who is looking for a walking-talking color encyclopedia be sure to visit Sanders at Hill Country Paint: 5501 South Congress / 78745


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