Renovation Update: Moving In, Paint and Updates!

Well, last night was our first night in our new house… and even though we are still under construction it was nice.  The pups were so excited to play in the yard all evening while we toasted with some wine we got in Napa a few years ago.  For the first time I can kind of see how this is going to work, up until this point I was still having fits of “biggest. mistake. ever.” on and off every day.  But now that the bathroom is being finished and some walls are painted I can FEEL the space and really envision living here. We have SO much work to do over the next few years, but the end result is a picture I can see now (I just have to win the lottery- no sweat!)

Speaking of paint I was thrilled to partner with Benjamin Moore on the color scheme for our house.  Since the ceilings aren’t very high in here I wanted it to feel light and bright and knew I wanted to go GREY! I plan on getting all new pieces for the living room, very much inspired by this room from House Beautiful- whites, greys, black and some beige:

I tested a bunch of my favorite colorsEdgecomb Grey, Classic Grey, Grey Owl and Harbor Grey.  I thought that I would totally go with Edgecomb before testing because I use it so much and it is such a warm light grey/greige.  But when I put it on MY walls it looked way, way beige. Strike #1.  Classic Grey looked too blue. Owl Grey as well. And Harbor Grey too dark. After buying all the testers I was flabbergasted to find not one I liked. So I went out on a limb and tried one more I had never used before, Balboa Mist. And it came out pretty perfect! This color will be on our whole main level and hallways to keep the rooms flowing together.

(clockwise from top left :Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Grey, Grey Owl, Harbor Grey, Balboa Mist, Classic Grey.)

(In the hallway everything looked SO SO different- example, Edgecomb Grey is the top left swatch and Balboa is the bottom. Edgecomb looks straight up tan. This is why you MUST test colors on multiple walls and look at different times of day!)

Now, no judging because we JUST moved in but here is Balboa on the walls with half the trim painted Benjamin Moore White Dove. Picture with this rug from West Elm (which is in our bedroom right now) and grey sectional and some great black framed vintage chairs….

(clearly, have not primed or painted the new door casing)

(glass door and window are NOT white yet, mantle and moulding are)

I loved our old bedroom color, so I knew I wanted a darker grey in here, but not TOO dark. So I tested three dark greys- Stormy Monday which I loved, but was a shade too dark, Winter Gates which looked purple-ish and San Antonio Grey which was perfect.

(Top: Stormy Monday, Winter Gates Bottom: San Antonio Gray. P.S. How ghetto do our walls look post wallpaper?)

And here is how it came out- love it! Again, not the bedding, rug or lighting we are using, but you get the point.

For the guest room I really wanted light pink. Which is a really tough color because I don’t like it when it’s too sweet or too fleshy. I tested Hushed Hue and And both felt TOO pink.  So I went with Opal, without testing it, which is an off white pink I saw in Joanna Goddard’s bedroom.  I think it’s a smidge too light, but our molding needs to be painted brighter white and then maybe it’ll be nice.

(Top: Melted Ice Cream Bottom:Hushed Hue. They looked so much more pink in person, but maybe I was just being crazy. Not the first time. Or the last.)

Here’s the room done in Benjamin Moore Opal. I think it needs to be one shade darker. I think I will try a patch again of one of the above testers- I wanted to play off the pink in the vintage fabric pillow on the bed and it’s just a bit too light…

(was too tired form moving to even get our early 90’s vacuum cleaner out of the shot)

For the office, which is our smallest bedroom I wanted a moody navy. And I found it right away with Blue Note. Dark with a smidge of green to it it’ll be super dramatic and look great with brass accents.

(Top: Blue Note  Bottom: Mysterious- both look way darker in person)

The only other space I have to do is the bathroom, which I’ve decided shall be Benjamin Moore Space Black (super pigmented and dark) above the beadboard. Look how far it’s come! My vanity, floor and sink all look RIDICULOUS. Love.

Door swing was reversed and I cannot WAIT to paint and see the sconces in. Still deciding on a mirror, art and towel bars etc….

How about my GORGEOUS new marble top from Sygma Stone that was templated and installed so quickly! It’s so perfect, and I really love the American Standard Town Square faucet- it looks modern but classic too, which is exactly the look I’m going for.

Still to come- re-glazing the tub and tile in the shower because it’s nasty, but the tub itself is a nice cast iron job. I’ll be sure to show you the before and afters of that process in case any of you are in the same boat of needing a refresher instead of spending to re-do the whole thing, which is not always necessary!

The best part of all this so far though has been seeing how happy the dogs are playing in their very own yard complete with new fence! :)

Renovation Sponsors:


  1. Why is finding the right paint color so tricky? We just painted our living room this weekend, and I am not loving the color (and we sampled 5 different shades!) I love how your bathroom is turning out! And it must feel so great to finally be in your house!

  2. Hi, would love to have more details and shots of the fence as I’m looking for inspiration for a fence for our front yard.

  3. Wow…looking great! Definitely interested in your experience re-glazing the tub/tile – it’s on my list of things to do in our master bath.

  4. I am currently going through a renovation as well, not to your scale, but I can totally feel you on all the frustration and elation! Love the paint colors. Most importantly, I love the pics of the pups! I moved into my new house 3 years ago and the first thing I spent money on was fencing in the yard so my babies could run and play. It is such a great thing to watch. Congrats on all of your new adventures.

  5. I love your renovation posts! You may not realize how fun it is for your readers to see the process. So happy for you!

  6. The colors you have chosen are amazing. Love them all. I have loved reading all about the new house. So excited to follow along. Also, the pup slays me. How cute is he lounging in the back yard?

  7. Balboa mist is my go-to grey. I used it in my kitchen, and have received tons of compliments. My friend loved it so much, she used it in her home too.

  8. Love everything you are doing. I get so excited when I see your post is going to be about the renovation. I have to say what absolutely cracked me up about this post is the final picture… of all the places in the yard your little guy could be laying down he chose the dirt. Gotta love dogs!

  9. Great post! I am looking forward to following along to see the whole house come together. Where did you purchase your fiddle head plant? Tough to find in the boston area!?

  10. Wow! it is looking good, I am amazed how much you have already gotten put together. Your bedroom and guest bedroom look great, I used Opal in my bedroom awhile ago and loved how in the morning light the pink would glow so warm and bright.

    Good luck with getting settled in,

  11. I’m hanging on your every word because I am moving too in 3 1/2 weeks, I keep thinking I can’t picture myself there, have I made a mistake? Maybe because I am moving alone, I lost my husband last year, so all the decisions are mine, it’s scary! I am moving closer to my kids and grandkids so that part will be nice. It’s good to see you are making it home room by room, good for you, and wish me luck, please!

  12. Wow! It probably seems painfully slow, but from this end, things are moving pretty quickly!!! I love everything you have done so far. The bathroom vanity IS gorgeous! And why are grays so tricky!?!

  13. Looking good. I chose Benjamin Moore Thundercloud Gray about 5 years ago for my LV and BR. In the BR I also did an accent wall over the fireplace in Gray Shower.
    I was way ahead of the gray trend :). Not sure they even have those colors anymore.

  14. I love these posts. Your home looks great. I am also wondering where you got your Fiddle Leaf Fig — I’ve been looking in the Boston area…

  15. Love your blog SO much. I’m you, four years older. Just a word of caution about Balboa Mist… It can look very purply pinky. I chose it over the Edgecomb in my own house too and then switched to Gray Mist (a very safe if very light choice!)

  16. Erin,

    Love these colors! Exactly what I was planning on doing in my new apartment!

    Can I ask what finish do you recommend? Matte? Satin?


  17. Looking great, especially the bathroom. The sink and floor really are to die for. Can’t wait to see how it’ll all turn out.

  18. Hi Erin-random stalker question. Will you be selling your lands end duvet and/or the Persian looking rug in the living room? If so, please let me know! Looove the new house! Thanks for sharing your journey!

  19. Love it, particularly the bathroom floors, just magnificant… So the Master Bedroom isn’t the one with the Rug? Mirrors in Bedrooms like the on positioned are bad feng shui… not a good idea to watch yourself sleep as apparently it zaps all your energy… Hope you don’t mind me saying. Love the reno though!

  20. Lilia- you gotta give me some time girl! I am wallpapering the powder room I just need to live here a bit before making those kids of decisions. And Kate, that mirror is not staying there, the pics were take the day we moved in and nothing is set up the way it will be yet!

  21. Melissa- I will be selling that rug, but it’s hella old and has a hold in the middle that I cover with the coffee table (and before my bed) But it’s cheap for a Persian and can absolutely be fixed.
    As for the bedding, I’m not selling that- it’s old and I would never sell it to someone because I’d feel bad (dogs sleeping on white duvet= less than pristine)

  22. Erin, your renovation posts are fabulous! I have a question that always puzzles me … what color are you using on the ceilings of the main level?

  23. For the guest BR, F&B French grey looks amazing with light pink walls along with a very light grey for the ceiling color. I used that color palette for my daughter’s BR a few years back and loved it.

  24. Sometimes I wish there was a button to pin an entire blog post because this and Mark Sykes about Aerin Lauder would be the on my pinterest board. I love every paint sample you put up and tomorrow I will go to the paint store just to get the samples. Thanks for the info.

  25. really love the Harbor Grey, you said it was too dark but i think it would look cozy–just sayin:) whatever you pick it will look fab. ps love your blog!

  26. Nice and pretty post.I love this! I’ve been trying to tell my mom to design like this.It looks like luxurious.I want more regular updation.Thank you for your useful and informative idea.
    Healthy Meal

Comments are closed.