When Oyster Bay and Retreat Meet

When Oyster Bay and Retreat Meet
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The first time we opened the front door to our new home we were in awe of the foyer. It was so open and bright, and tall,

like crazy tall… like how-in-the-world-will-we-ever-paint-that-tall.

Our past home didn’t even have a foyer at all, not even a small hallway. It just opened up into the family room.

I saw grandeur.

Hubs saw wasted space, large heating and cooling bills.

Men… pfft. 
blue gray front door

Well, to be fair, we were both correct in our assessments. Having a foyer that large with that much glass is has it’s positives and negatives. I never thought I’d wish for a little less natural light.

The foyer was just boring builder beige. Thankfully, we can tone down the brightness a bit by adding color to the walls, but those wall are so tall! I’ll take on that challenge someday, maybe. For right now though we needed some immediate color.

Foyer beforeThis is one of my go-to paint strips for my home. It is a nice palette of muted blue gray with a touch of green. Most of the lower level is painted in Sherwin Williams Sea Salt or Comfort Gray.

Sea Salt-Comfort Gray-Oyster Bay- RetreatTo darken the foyer a bit, the front door needed a deeper color. Oyster Bay was too light and Retreat was way to dark and has quite a bit more green in it.  So I combined the two colors equally to create what I call “Bay Retreat”. I think it has a nice ring to it!

Oyster Bay and RetreatWhen I was preparing this post I wanted to have all the paint colors lined up in a cool collage, which means pulling the color swatches from the internet. Well, the picture below is why I don’t like doing that. Understand that you should never trust colors on a computer screen. Computer monitors all have different color saturation and color temperature variances. The only way to know if you like a color is to get a sample and paint at least a 2×2 foot section on a wall or on a board and live with it for a while. See what it looks like in different lighting situations.

Why you shouldn't trust colors on a computer screenI started out painting only the door but it didn’t have enough visual weight, so to balance it out, I painted the side windows also. I’m considering painting the two side closets that flank the door. What do you think?

blue gray front door

Blue gray front door colorsPainting the doors is such a quick project that can make a big impact on the look of your home. Not to mention it’s very inexpensive. And if I don’t like it then we can easily paint over it again with a new color. Happy painting!


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  1. SUPER pretty, really, really like the door!

  2. I’m so in love with that foyer – probably because we’re in the process of moving into our teeny tiny little townhouse in Oahu. But small spaces present a whole host of different decorating challenges, and I think reworking it is going to be fun – and in the process, I’m stalking through and pinning so many of your DIY tutorials! Thank you so much for sharing so much of your wonderful design ideas and projects! They’re all so very inspiring! 😀

    • KC, you just made my day! What a sweet comment! We moved from an 1890 sq.ft. home into this 3650 sq.ft. house. It was a foreclosure purchase and a total blessing! I totally understand the small home design challenges. That is how I started doing DIY projects. I never thought I’d have a home this large to live in but I’m very thankful for it (especially with 4 kids). Thanks for all your support! I appreciate it!

    • Susan Halley says:

      KC, I understand your dilemma, when we moved to Southern Spain we thought our 21 year old son would be staying and going to college here, he had a better oporutnity back in the states , we were left with a huge 4 3 house , so after our lease was up found this new house 15 meters to the base but 1/3 of the size cosy and perfect for just us tow , but the redecorating is going to be such a challenge, please share with em any ideas you come up with for working in less space and I will you as well.

      Kim I am loving your greys it is always so Spanish yellow walls here the grey makes a nice simple color that goes with anything ( not bright yellow more like heavy butter cream)… maybe I can do a accent wall if I can find close to american paint here !

  3. Luv the door Kim. Perfect colour too!!
    Happy weekend, Gee

  4. The door looks amazing. THNX for the paint tips!!

    PS – Random question: The artwork that you can partially see in the room to the right (dining room?) – is that from Ballards Design ?? THNX tonz.

    • Yes!!!! It was also the inspiration for the color choice of the doors. It is from Ballard Designs and is called “Storm Over the Marsh”. I immediately fell in love with the painting a few years ago because the artist’s inspiration is where I live! Everytime I look at it I see the skyline of where my family spends its weekends boating. It is home. 😉

  5. Paint the closet doors too!

  6. I love the color you picked for the front door. I think you should paint the closet doors too! I also love the art above the door. Perfect match!

    • Thanks Jane! That art work has been laying on my bedroom floor for 2 years. I just couldn’t commit it to that space. But I think it found its home. I will be painting the closet doors now also. Thank you so much for the encouragement!

  7. Yes! Paint the closet doors too. Question – did you use an oil based paint? Or latex?

  8. Jaime Berg says:

    I use those colors a lot too! I second, (or third) you painting the closet doors to give the space a more unified look. 🙂

  9. Absolutely love this idea. I can’t wait to tackle my foyer! Unfortunately we don’t only have to paint – we have over 100 years of wallpaper to strip as well… I just finished a post on our living room renovation! It took three months! I hope there’s a few hidden newly gyprocked walls underneath of some of that wallpaper, haha! <3


    • 100 years of wallpaper? Oh my goodness! Now that is a job I certainly don’t envy! I’ll have to pop over to see your living room reno! Thanks Brandi!

  10. Heidi Trombetti says:

    Thank you for taking the time to post a photo of the combined colors! I had the Sherwin- Williams color deck in hand and thought about mixing the Oyster Bay and Retreat for my downstairs powder room when I came across your post! Perfect! I love your foyer and door and the color is exactly what I want. Going to pick up a gallon tomorrow! Thanks again!

  11. I am choosing my main color for my exterior new home and I am right where you were at–between Oyster Bay (+25%) and Retreat. I already have 5 gallons of the Oyster Bay (+25%) and the Retreat did seem like a big jump so I am going to go somewhere in between as you did.

  12. TheNextMartha says:

    So clever doing half color. The outside of our house is Retreat. Love it.


  1. […] of the doors with a custom color I mixed up. It’s the same color as on my front door. (Click here to see it.) Painting is fast and easywhen you use some ScotchBlue© […]