By Michele Coppin
I am working with two clients, Miguel and Anna, who have gutted their living room and are rebuilding it from scratch. It is a labor of love and a painfully slow process for these passionate DIY-ers. They want the fireplace to be the central focus of the room, so Miguel hand-picked the most interesting and colorful stones from the quarry. He then carefully cut and assembled them to fit together like a puzzle.
He explained that he used naturally weathered rocks because the face of each rock was exposed to the elements over thousands of years. I have been following his progress over the past few months and am amazed by the result. He has taken a pile of rocks and transformed it into this beautiful structure. I think Miguel might secretly be a sculptor.
Now it is time to paint the walls in a color that enhances all the wonderful nuances in the stone, particularly the more unusual purples and ochres (earthy-yellows). These are complementary colors, meaning they sit opposite each other on the color wheel. Each makes the other seem more intense. Therefore, ochre walls would emphasize the purple in the stone, whereas purple walls would bring out the ochre.
We looked at many swatches at different times of day and under different light. Anna does not care for ochre walls so we concentrated on creamy beiges. After helping them identify their favorites, I painted big swatches of the chosen color options above and next to the fireplace.
Miguel’s preference is Dusky Hyacinth, a soft greyish purple. It is quite dark and would create a dramatic effect:
Hyacinth 1003 - 10A
Anna’s choice is Lyndhurst Gallery Beige, which is soft and soothing, yet rich enough to be very effective:
Lyndhurst Gallery Beige 2006 - 10B
The jury is still out and the perfectionists are debating. What color would you suggest?