Keith’s Living Room Makeover – Paint

The walls at Keith the Fireman‘s house are officially coated in a 50% darkened version of Benjamin Moore’s “Gray Owl” paint as of this week, and although Kevin and I weren’t able to attend the paint party because of a scheduling conflict- Keith and his family & friends were able to knock it out, lickety split! His girlfriend, Lauren, took a bunch of photos that day, and looking through them really brought a smile to my face. I think they serve as a good reminder that family & friends can feel just as much like “home” or “haven” as the places they all live life in do.


(Keith the Fireman)


(Keith’s Dad (also a fireman), on lunch duty)



(Keith’s aunt, uncle (also a fireman), fellow fireman friend (Jason), mom, and Lauren)


The gang didn’t paint the walls on either side of the fireplace because we’re going to be installing bookcases there, but here’s how the new color looks everywhere else:



Next up- the fireplace redo! We’re planning to head over there this Friday to remove the existing tile and surround, and then we’ll take a stab at replacing it with this AirStone product:


Hopefully we’ll have some more new fireplace photos to blog about next week!

After that, we’ll focus on the building of the bookcases, and the installation of the rustic barn wood above the mantel beam. Here’s the inspiration photo again in case you missed it the first time around:


Last but not least, I’ve got some furniture, lighting, and decor surprises up my sleeves- but you (and Keith!) will just have to wait to see how that all turns out once we’ve got everything in place!

PS- I added another photo to my Classic Children’s Books post if you’d like to hop back over there and check it out!


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  1. Amanda says

    That color is perfect! I can’t wait to see what else you have “up your sleeves” since your ideas always rock. Oh, and I super miss the blog roll!

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Amanda! And our blog roll is located under our Blog Info tab. Happy blog hoppin’! :-)

  2. says

    I love that colour! My sister just painted her basement in Gray Owl and it looks great. We left it at its original strength since there is less light in a basement. Love how the darkened version looks too.

  3. says

    It looks great! I can’t wait to see that stone in place by the fireplace. I think it’s going to look SO good. Your posts always leave me wanting more : )

  4. says

    I’m really enjoying watching this makeover since it looks so close to a space in my home! I keeping looking at my space and wondering if its something we could pull off! My favorite is the bookcases!

  5. Farrah says

    Great progress! :) I do have a question regarding the paint lightening/darkening–what do you see as the benefit to that rather than just going a shade lighter or darker on the same paint strip?

    • Layla says

      Hi Farrah!
      Great question! As far as I know, each paint color on a paint strip is a totally different color than the next, and each one is made by mixing together a totally different formula. So I *think* lightening and darkening a particular shade, is different than moving up or down on the strip.

  6. Chelsea says

    I just LOVE this inspiration photo. And that you make me feel like your friend when I read your blog! Keep up the good work!

  7. Ter'e says

    God Bless our fireman!!!! What a wonderful change this is to Keith’s house. Ya gotta love painter’s who smile as they work!!!!!
    Cannot wait to see the finished room. Is the kitchen next???? I bet the kitchen needs a little Layla/Kev lovin too.

    • Layla says

      Hi Ter’e!
      Keith’s kitchen had actually already been fixed up by the people he bought the house from- so he’s all good to go in that room! πŸ˜€

  8. Josey says

    Hey Layla, are you going to be including a keystone in the fireplace stonework? I just LOVE keystones. I always have visions of writing something super special, a “keystone value or wish” on the wall/surface just behind it before it is placed and then being reminded of that “keystone” everytime I look at the actual stone. Corny, I’m aware, but that’s how I roll :)

  9. Gretchen says

    Wow, it looks better already! It’s going to be a stunning room, and I can’t wait to see your surprises – and your own version of Owl Gray. πŸ˜‰

  10. says

    The color is a huge improvement over the yellow, and such a cute name: gray owl. We just did polar bear on our window frames. And snowflake trim. I suspect a good name is one way to boost a particular color’s sales!

    Too bad you missed the paint party! All the firemen we know are excellent cooks. I guess they know how to use fire to their advantage!