Living Room Update – Gray Owl Paint

A reader named Sarah left me a comment the other day asking about how things were lookin’ in our living room. She reminded me that the only photo I had ever shown of it was this one that we took right before we moved in:


She asked if we could “pretty please show a now photo”.

Well, it’s far from finished but, Sarah, this one’s for you!


I just snapped it about 30 minutes ago, so it is truly a “now” photo.

The ceiling went from Sherwood Tan to (flat) Simply White (Benjamin Moore), and the walls are going from Algonquin Trail to (eggshell) Gray Owl (lightened by 50%). The trim and doors went from Manchester Tan to (semi-gloss) Simply White, as well.

Today, the fireplace mantel will go from Manchester Tan to Simply White, and the last two coats of (50%) Gray Owl will go up on the walls.

We look forward to personalizing our living room, little by little, over the next several years. Light fixtures and (too small/worn out) furniture & rugs are expensive to replace, and we want to really explore our options when it comes to building out a more functional/cottage-y fireplace wall. (I’m imagining floor-to-ceiling stone and white-painted built-ins!) But again, that stuff isn’t cheap to create.

It’ll be a fun space to pull together over time though, and I look forward to sharing more photos of how it’ll look in the meantime as soon as everything is dry and pushed back into place!

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  1. Kelly says

    Layla, After following you for a while, I have come to the conclusion that the way I paint must be all wrong. If ever you get a chance, I would like to request that you and/or Kevin give a detailed painting 101 for anyone else out there like me that needs to start at the basics, then again, I might be the only one. My walls and trim never look as good as yours in the process stages and after completed. Not sure if it is the paint choice, the way I paint or what, but something is amiss.

    Always look forward to each post, decorating or other!

  2. Sarah says

    Hi Layla!

    Do you guys prefer to have any texture on your walls or are they completely smooth? Looking good!

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Sarah! They’re completely smooth right now, but one day we’d love to add some Gray Owl-painted pine paneling on top of few of them. :-)

  3. Carrie~The Corson Cottage says

    Funny~ I was just thinking about how we haven’t seen much of your living room. Looks like its coming along. Can’t wait to see what cottage goodness you all add. It has great potential & you have great taste:)

  4. Sarah Swartzentruber says

    Hey, Layla! Love how this room is looking so far. You have such amazing style. Just wondering if you could tell me where you found those bar stools? They’re great!

  5. Amy says

    Hey Layla!
    I know this is a weird thing to ask, but do you happen to know the color of your kitchen cabinets (the paint color?) I know y’all are gonna change a lot of things about your current kitchen, but I happen to love it exactly how it is and want to find out the info on it before it’s gone!! I love the granite, the cabinet color (which I can tell isn’t white or even cream exactly) and the oil rubbed bronze hardware. We are moving into a new-ish house soon and we intend to paint the kitchen cabinets. My safe, go-to color is Crisp Linen white, because it “blends” well with the white trim around the house (which is brighter)- yet is a nice, softer, off-white color. I guess my conflict is thinking that I can’t paint the kitchen cabinets anything but white because of the existing trim (crown and baseboards). It appears in yalls kitchen, that the cabinets were treated separately from the trim in the house- which inspires me that I can do the same. Could you share some info on the cabinet color and if it is what it appears, a different color than the rest of the trim? Is the trim white?
    thanks so much for your help!!!

    • Layla says

      Hi Amy!

      I’m not sure what color is on the cabinets, but it looks like they used a yellow paint color, and then made them the mustard color by wiping a glaze on top of it. Hope that helps!

  6. L.S. says

    I love the after photo. I’m not fond of dark rooms even though the bright white helps. I much prefer your gray owl shades. Make it however you want it. I’ve been in this house for 22 years and I’m still not done painting, repainting, putting up new shelves, taking down old molding etc. Endless FUN.

  7. says

    We used Gray Owl throughout our house and it is one of my favourite colours. We used it both at 100% and at 50%, It took me such a long time to settle on this colour, every time I see it in another home it makes me smile!

    Great job :)

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