Transform a Room With the Magic of Paint

New paint transformed a young family's Longmont home by converting Tuscan stuffiness into modern comfort and a more organic look.

Authored by Susan Fornoff

The Tuscan dining room was transformed into a cool, modern space simple with fresh paint and decluttering. Photo courtesy of Design Studio Interior Solutions

Nothing against Italy, but these Longmont homeowners felt it was time to say arrivederci to the Tuscan villa look that was all the rage in late ’90s, early ’00s décor. The dining room and family room were too warm, too heavy, too formal, too ornate, and generally too stuffy for a family with three young children. They turned to Design Studio Interior Solutions, where designer Ashlyn Hendrix created an all-new palette.

The starting point

“The homeowner loved blues, teals, and grays,” Hendrix says. “I think of this cool color palette as something that calms you, as nature does. Paring it down with not a lot of furniture and extra stuff, you’re not easily distracted. It’s very palatable.”

The colors

The homeowners chose Sherwin Williams’ Mindful Gray for the walls and the fireplace shelving, Sherwin Williams’ Underseas (teal) for the molding detail and the fireplace wall, and a custom mural for the ceiling painted by Lafayette artist Sarah Spencer.

About that ceiling mural…

“The couple are both engineers; she was inspired by the geode look and had seen a photo online that she liked. The muralist went out and painted some swatches so they could see it in their lighting to choose colors. From there, we just let her go wild and do it. It took about a week on the ladder. It’s pretty remarkable.”

Advice for your next paint job

“Sometimes Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore will come out with a campaign that says ‘this is the perfect color for every home.’ And it’s not. Our light here impacts the color of paint more than most people realize. Paint a large swatch on multiple walls—not a little 4×4 square—and live with it for a few days. Paint the swatch in an area where you spend most of your time, not in a space you won’t see. If you like one gray tone, choose one shade lighter and one shade darker and do that as well. Don’t be afraid, you can always paint over it. It’s one of the easiest ways to change a home, very cost effective for its impact, and not extremely time-consuming. You can totally transform a home with just paint color.”

Design Studio Interior Solutions
5400 Spine Rd., Boulder