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When we came and looked at renting this house, I did a rush job of looking around. The current tenants were at home, and I felt awkward looking in closets and bathrooms with them there. So when we left, I had a general impression of the house, but really couldn’t remember any specifics–except that the front room was salmon pink. Including the ceiling. And the mantle was painted orange.

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Before signing the lease, we made sure we got permission to paint the room. And when we got here, I remembered how much it needed to be painted.

If you follow me on Instagram (mabeylisa) or we’re Facebook friends, you’ve probably already seen some of these photos. But they warrant another showing.

So here we have the salmon pink. It’s a bit much. Add in the late afternoon light, and I felt like I was drowning in pink. And the orange really wasn’t the same undertone as the pink, so it looked worse than the photo captures.

salmon pink, paint, home improvement, living room, mantel

For a self-proclaimed color snob, it was painful. We really didn’t even put anything in the room and I refused to unpack decor until we did something with it. After putting the girls to bed, to took us three evenings to get two coats on the walls and ceilings, but man, what a difference it made!salmon pink, paint, home improvement, living room, mantel salmon pink, paint, home improvement, living room, mantel

I started with a color palette that I thought would represent this area well as well as remaining something that the owner wouldn’t object to. I landed on this aqua color (Sherwin-Williams Watery) as a nod to the ocean. What I didn’t realize was how complex the color is. It’s sometimes more blue and sometimes more aqua which I was worried about at first, but that I love now. It reminds me of the ocean in that facet.

I wanted to accent it in citrus colors since California has so much citrus. Lemons, limes, and pink grapefruit were just about perfect shades to go with the aqua. It’s fresh, light, and airy. I love it.salmon pink, paint, home improvement, living room, mantel, aqua paint, aqua

And while so far I’ve only decorated the mantel (ha!), I’m moving on to other areas. It’s slow progress, but I find that I’m still defining and refining my style. And I like the creative exercise of trial and error.