Compared To Choosing Paint Colors, Cooking Dinner For 100 Is A Piece Of Cake!



Yes, I know this is allegedly a food blog, but bear with me.  For the next few weeks I’m going to be completely obsessed with getting my new house ready to move into. Having a warm, cozy, beautiful home is very important to me, and I hope you’ll enjoy sharing in this process a little bit as much I am enjoying it. But picking colors is excruciating! I bought a total of ten samples and put them on the walls.  Ultimately, five made the cut: a neutral pale gold for living and dining rooms, with a deep copper on the dining room feature wall, a dark rust red/brown for the foyer and my office, mustard yellow for the kitchen with semi-gloss ivory white cabinets, and terra cotta for the bathroom. It’s yet to be determined if I’ll get around to painting the hall and the bedrooms. Let me know what you think, as this is very much a work in progress. More photos and commentary, after the jump.


Photos:  Top, not an abstract painting, but five possible colors for the living and dining rooms. Ultimately I choose the lightest color (second from the left) for most of the walls, with the paint sample just behind it for a contrasting feature wall.  Above: the dining room feature wall, after two coats of paint.


Which of these colors to choose for the fire place? The answer, I’m pretty sure, is none of the above. My friend Frank and I have decided to mix up a color using several paints and do some kind of rustic, faux painted effect for the fireplace.  We want the fireplace to stand out, in a good way, from the neutral walls. The terra cotta color on the upper right, we choose for the bathroom.

My friend and fellow cook in Palo Alto came up to help with painting and handyman chores. Here he cooks in terra cotta pink paint in the bathroom.  The color is partly inspired by the pink tiles which surround the bath tub which appear to be old, and may be original to the house.

My friend and fellow cook in Palo Alto, James Holloway, came up to help with painting and handyman chores.  Here he cuts in terra cotta paint in the bathroom.  The color is inspired by the tiles surrounding the bath tub which appear to be old and may be original to the house.

Light is color, and color is light: freshly applied paint on the walls of the little room which will be my office. These are two different colors, right?  Wrong.  It’s the same paint which appears very different depending on how light is striking it.

I love how the rust red color contrasts with the crisp, white trim (view from my office through to the foyer and front door).

I worried about the color I choose for the kitchen as I feared it might have too much of a greenish cast. On the wall, however, it is a warm, mustard yellow and may be the color I love most of all.

12 responses

  1. Your home is looking fantastic, (not fanatic) it truly is a diamond within a gem in my own words. Translation. (You will have a beautiful home that will stand out among the rest) LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR COOKING CLASS SAT! I’m very happy and excited for you. New times and new life in your new home. CONGRATULATIONS!!! (typo in the previous REPLY)

  2. I’ve been off the grid for awhile and I come back to you painting your new home! It’s beautiful with all the earthy, comfortable colors you chose. Congratulations!

  3. Gary, please keep on keeping us posted on the house. The food can wait (there are plenty of old recipes; we had your ‘perfect burger’ last night, while we watch you be creative elsewhere. The colors are fantastic, I like the chandelier (it can always be replaced later???). My suggestion is to add something green and pretty right outside the kitchen window. Craig Burns redid my back yard last year and it helps so much to look outside while at the kitchen sink and see something beautiful. Best of luck, love to read these posts.

    • Yes, creating something green to view out of each window, is in very much on my mind. Right now the view out of my office window is of the garbage and recycling bins. That has to change!

  4. I agree with you, Gary. I also really love the rust colored walls with the white trim! I can’t wait to see how the fire place turns out! I also agree that it will be central to creating that warm, charming, 30’s feeling that you and your home have! Great photo of Chef James who carries his Mt. Hood ranch skills with him along with his own ability in cooking for 100! Good job with much more to come!

  5. I’m loving your blog, Gary and am very much interested in every detail of your new home. Thanks for sharing. These are warm colors, and this promises to be a warm and inviting home.

  6. Everything is taking shape ! Looking forward to getting out to see you in the coming months. When you have all the painting done, I think you should get a large blank canvas and create an abstract painting with all the color samples….it could hang in your office. :). Jane

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