Picking out Paint with Sister

Picking out Paint with Sister

Phyllis Lifestyle 34 Comments

The saga continues. Last week, I needed to select paint colors for the house. This is like going to a candy store and trying to decide which color jelly beans to buy—they’re all so tempting! So I went to the paint store, bought the “fan of paint,” and took it back to my new home with Sister. I spread it out on the kitchen table and started to plan the walk (in my mind) through the house. I usually opt for more colonial, subdued colors, or neutrals with pops of color in the textiles.

As I fanned out the color charts, here she comes. “You should add some color in your life! You are so boring,” she tells me. Immediately my heart skipped a beat. She let me know that bright green was the Pantone Color of the Year and I should incorporate this into my paint scheme. Bright green, apple green, acid green, and whatever else you want to call it … it is green. Now you know I am a blue and white girl, so I sat there in total disbelief that my sister would suggest that I step outside my signature color palette.

Harkening back to our growing up, we have always been polar opposites in most things (except the Southern rules that mom taught), especially in our choice of clothes and colors. She always opted for the ruffles and lace on a full skirted dress. I would always choose a sailor dress or coat dress. Hers would scream pink, mine didn’t. I wear solid colors and she wears everything else, including animal prints and florals. She has always insisted that I was not “in style” and certainly not trendy. Black is my wardrobe color choice with red as the secondary color. I have a pageboy, while she sports a spiky, trendy haircut. She wears blue nail polish (or whatever the style is today) and mine is always a shade of red.

So today she has offered the color choice of Granny Smith apple green for the ceiling in my family room. Really? I sat there and thought: I should hire someone to paint her den apple green and surprise her. Just go for it, color outside the lines, really do something daring, I thought. But I didn’t.

I think in my guest room I will have something with apple green in it as a tribute to my sister. Isn’t it funny how siblings from the same gene pool have opposite tastes? It has been a standing, lifelong debate about how dull I am and how trendy, stylish she is. I am good with it.

Tell me about you and your siblings!

Comments 34

  1. A Valentine Day Hello Phyllis,
    It’s like a regular hello, only sweeter!
    Happy day all day to You!
    California Carmel

  2. Whenever I have followed a trend that wasn’t really “me”, I was uncomfortable and ended up changing it to suit my actual preference, monochromatic neutrals of creams and soft pale yellows carefully assembled and detailed. It makes me happy to live in a soothing environment and I love how it bounces the brilliant green of the trees and blue sky through the many windows in our house. The way trends are now, it seems like anything goes and changes so quickly. If you aren’t currently in trend, just wait a season or two and you may find that you are!

  3. I so enjoy your blog—you have beautiful taste! Your sister has her taste which is her. Just continue with your own palette and all will be well!

  4. Oh how I wish I had a sister! I do however have a daughter who would recommend that you use neutrals on the walls and use the colors you love as accents. Personally I have always love bright green and hot pink! l One day Im going to paint my sewing room the happiest color ever!! Cant wait to see to results of both the room and my decorator when she faints!! LOL

  5. Hi! To give you some encouragement, several years ago my daughter in law and I planned an anniversary party for her grandparents 60th. The colors were apple green, white and cobalt blue. It was gorgeous and everyone raved about how it all looked. Paint it green for Sister, with your blues and whites and it will look amazing!!! Good luck!

  6. In some ways the differences make life easier. My sister and I tend to like the same things. Not bad, except when it comes to cleaning out our Mother’s house! We both really like the same china, serving pieces, cookware. We’re both generous, giving people, so it’s not really a problem. And, Mother always liked the things we like, too! We are blessed, indeed!

  7. Hello, About twenty or so years ago my husband and I had a house built. I decided to try some of the trendy colors at that time. I am also a blue and white girl. It took about three years and I was really missing my favorites. Glad you have the courage to choose for yourself.

  8. Phyllis, this is too funny! I can just see it all now and can picture the look on your face!
    What a great sitcom this would be! “Phyllis and Sister”…???
    I’m with you on the color scheme and have only used apple green with napkins. My daughter’s mother in law is fabulous with colors and southern froux – froux while I am not! I always get some great ideas from this darling gal but find I’m in dire need of courage to wear and implement them! I know we’d all love to hear more of your “sister and me” saga so please keep these stories coming! All the best and hang in there!!!

  9. Oh my goodness you are describing my sister and I. She lives in Santa Maria, Ca and is a city girl and I live on the Canadian border of Vermont, a true blue country girl. We grew up in Connecticut and are opposites but love each other dearly. She is the frills and I, the denim.

  10. Stay the course!!! Stick with what your heart and mind go with first, not the latest color or fad. Classics are classics for a reason: they last, they are adaptable, they speak elegance, good taste and dignity. Just remember: YOU are the one that has to live with your color choices, not your sister. At the end of a busy day, don’t you want to surround yourself with what you love-colors being one of them? Absolutely! Besides, classics save you tons of money; you don’t have to worry about changing colors (or whatever) every other year or so. My sister and I are opposites in taste, also-she is the more fad-oriented, latest trend type person, I am not. But I find it interesting that she is always bemoaning the state of her decorating. I am very happy with my choices, and they make me appreciate all that went into making those classic, but loving, choices. Make your house YOUR house!!!!

  11. Knowing you and laughing…..put some limes in a big blue and white bowl and rock on!!!
    I did go out on a limb with a deep lime green bathroom and put black and French accessories in it. It looks like a magazine. I am looking for something to replace the wall color. It is just not me. I love the color , but not on my walls. Trust me, go buy some limes!!!!

  12. I’m a blue-green person..it’s calm when muted..I use the brights only as changeable accents throughout the seasons. That sea-salt is a lovely color by the way…..

  13. You could get a nice apple green bedspread to make a statement in the guest room for when your sister visits.
    BTW, those color fans can be very practical. If you are shopping for items in your home or wardrobe, you can note those shades and take those swatches with you to match before buying. I picked up a little fold-out brochure of paint samples and it’s been so helpful in choosing fabric for curtains. And it’s small for carrying in my bag.

  14. I am 5’9″ and my sister is 5’3″…….Mutt and Jeff . When we were younger, she was always the one wearing 3″ heels and more daring colors and prints. As we’ve gotten older, we seem to have more of the same taste in colors and such. When we painted our livingroom a tuscan gold/yellow, we bought too much paint. She was thinking of painting her livingroom, and of course you can’t beat a free gallon of paint. So now we both have tuscan gold/yellow rooms. We are best of friends, and our times of laughter are classics ❤️.

  15. Hi Phyllis,
    I love your blue and white and am considered VERY traditional myself (with a hint of French style occasionally thrown in!). Terrific sister there – provides inspiration. YES, apple green accessories will be lovely with your blue and white. I love pale greens and whites mixed in. And, – perhaps do something with the guest room ceiling rather than the standard white – using the inspired concept from your sister! She’ll undoubtedly be touched. Perhaps a small ceiling border in an appropriate complimentary color, or even the floor. I broke out of my traditional vein and added in some bright corals and reds to my home that work with my standard color scheme. I’m glad now I did. And, yes, I already happen to have a matched pair of vintage (now antique) apple green ceramic parrots given to me as a high school graduation gift by one of my mother’s dear women friends, so many, many years ago. So, I’m with this year’s color! Remember, it’s only paint. 🙂 And, while you and your sister have different styles, you both have great flair.

  16. Hi Phyllis, I enjoyed reading your story as I am also in the process of building a new house and having to make so many decisions! As far as picking paint colors, what helped me was to first have a vision on how I want the space to look and feel; then to bring home a bunch color samples from the store. Once I had those samples at home I looked at them in different rooms at different times of the day as the light changed. Once I narrowed my choices down to a few, I went back to the paint store and bought the paints in the colors that I chose (in sample sizes). I then painted large pieces of cardboard with those colors and I looked at them for several days throughout the day as the light changed. I was then able to make the right decision for me.

    If you like green, but not too much of it, Sherwin Williams makes a color called “Sea Salt”. It’s in the neutral family, it looks light gray with a just tint of green. But I have to agree with some of the other readers, don’t listen to your sister but instead go with what feels right to you!

  17. After hurricane Katrina wrecked our home and lives in New Orleans, we relocated to a new home on lovely Hammond, Louisiana. After all the drama, I knew we needed a home that was calm, serene, and spa like. So I told the decorator, that I wanted my home to feel like my favorite Aveda spa. She painted the home’s interior walls and ceilings with 5 different shades of green. Fabrics tended to soft cuddly textures like chenille upholestry. Whenever someone new comes to our home, they always comment on how much calmer they feel. I was a blue and white girl too but I’ve embraced the green.

  18. Seriously, why not try a soft sky blue on a ceiling? I did that on my bedroom ceiling, as a teen. My mother, who had forbade it, had to admit she loved it. After the fact.
    Or try a soft celadon green in the guest room? I did that in a guest room I decorated for my god daughters. They loved it, as did their decorator mother. She later used the same color in her home.

  19. Much like your experience. They think I have too much clutter, I keep trying to help them accessorize more! And as far as wardrobe goes, polar opposites! But, the would be here in a flash, and have been, if there was a need. I’m blessed with three! Love the continuing saga of the new home! Such an exciting time.

  20. I agree with just a touch of green somewhere…a toss pillow, a bowl of Granny Smiths, plants, books with green covers?? Although I don’t have a sister, my brother and I are truly opposites in so many ways… choice of vacation spots, food,music,sports…so funny how things turn out!

  21. I find sage green and celery green very relaxing. I believe it is because Mother always had some shade of pale green in the home. Best of luck with the search. Picking out paint is one of the hardest tasks on earth.

  22. Delightful, what a precious moment with your sister. A good time memory to look back on….. But happy you did not take her advice!!!!!! Just love your looks just the way they are….

  23. Oh Phyllis, what’s a sister to do, what you want !! Be true to yourself and it will all come out great . I like the idea from Cynthia, use that green in the guest room then you can thank her for her suggestion. Sisters should be different but have fun with it, keep the updates coming please.

  24. In a small cottage kitchen I painted the kitchen Apple green, the wood trims white, cabinets white, black and white checked tile floor, red buffaloe check skirts on the buffet and sink and red and white toile curtains. I adore it still and will never change it no matter the latest style. By the way blue and white accessories go really well with this.

  25. Phyllis, I don’t have a sister, but you and your sister sound like a great big bunch of fun. Just FHI (for her information) you are NOT dull, in any way. Stylish, elegant, just the way God made you. 🙂

    I’m with Linda, a pillow here and there would be fabulous, apple green does wonders for the blue and white you love. Differences, it’s what makes the world and all of us a beautiful tapestry of personalities.

  26. Oh my, so true about sisters! Though my sister and I look alike, we are so different in personality. Nice idea to have some “apple green” in your guest room just for your sister. I think that is daring enough : )

  27. She sounds just like my sister. Just after they moved into our retirement community, note, we have lived here ten years, she stars telling us how we should do our backyard, which we just listen and didn’t do anything because we like the way it is
    But, then she says ” I want to cut your hair like mine”. Didn’t and still have not. Love her dearly but we are very different.

  28. Phyllis, Stick to your colors! Apple green is lovely…on a Granny Smith apple, but an apple green ceiling? No way! I would feel like the whole thing was about to come crashing down on me. It makes me think of an employee who worked at my late husbands’ lumber yard. His theory was they should only sell two colors of paint-black and white. And always be out of black!!!

  29. Oh, Phyllis, the memories you are making with your sister! How precious this time is for both. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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