Painting the Study… What?

Sherwin Williams Fan Deck Study Paint Color Options via Cottage Magpie

Inspiration Photo for Study via Cottage Magpie

So, as you know, we’re working on turning the front room into a study for Mr. Magpie. He’s been relegated to the garage, and winter is coming, and heating bills, etc., etc., and the poor man really should have a decent space in the house, right?

Plus, you know what’s funny? Whenever I have daydreamed about my “dream house” I have always imagined it as an old farmhouse with a study off the front entry hall. So that’s what we’re making! We don’t have an entry hall, and the French doors will have to be at the entrance of the main living space rather than enclosing the study (our architecture is ’50’s wonky FUN!

But regardless, we’re moving forward, and if you’ve been following along on Facebook, you have seen we’ve done quite a bit! I’ll share more about that here on the blog in the next few days. But meanwhile, let’s talk paint colors.

My inspiration photo is this photocopy I found buried in one of my inspiration file folders, and for the life of me I could NOT find the picture on my computer. But I finally did! It took awhile, but I found it. After that I was able to use Google Images image search and find the original photo at Country Living in the middle of a feature about fireplace design ideas. Here it is:

Nice, isn’t it? (I have this and my other ideas for the study pinned on my Study Ideas Pinterest Board)

So I was trying to figure out that wall color. It’s not exactly black — it’s a blue-black. I looked through my fan deck, but I just felt like I was shooting in the dark. I decided to try the Chip It! tool from Sherwin-Williams. Why not, since I usually use their paint?

I tried it on the real photo:

Aaaand, that one I think was saying the wall color was Inkwell. I added it to the list. But I wasn’t too sure. Just for fun, I also tried the Chip It! tool on my photo of the printout:

Which is saying… what is the wall color? Tempe Star? I don’t think so.

But that left me with Inkwell and my four possibles from just holding chips up to the photocopy in the room (hey, it’s primitive, but I had to start somewhere!)

So I’m wondering how the heck I’m going to figure out which color, and not wanting to shell out for four or five samples, and then completely by random luck, Sarah from Yellow Cape Cod did a post on a client project she did using one of my paint colors, Naval (SW 6244)!

Here’s the photo I took of the paint chip…

Sherwin Williams Naval SW 6244 Paint Chip via Cottage Magpie

…and here it is in the room:

It’s a great room, isn’t it? But the blue is definitely blue, as opposed to blue-black.

But then I was, like, OH OF COURSE, I should just hunt around and find examples of the rooms painted in real life! Sure, it will look different in other people’s homse (different light, etc.), but it will at least give me an idea!

Then, completely by random chance, I saw the great room that Beth from Home Stories A to Z did for her boys! It’s a great room, I really love it. AND….. she used one of my possible colors, Rainstorm (SW 6230). I thought this one might work because it’s a little greyer than Naval, even though it’s a little bit lighter. This is what the paint chip looked like:

Sherwin Williams Rainstorm SW 6230 Paint Chip via Cottage Magpie

And this is what the room looked like:

Man, I love that room! We are definitely going to have that on our inspiration board when we do Rocket Boy’s room next!

Anyway, ultimately, though, we decided not to use Rainstorm for the room. It’s still really blue, and doesn’t have that blue-black thing going on like the inspiration picture.

After that I ran out of unintentionally helpful bloggers, and decided to start Googling. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any really good examples of the next contenders, Outerspace (SW 6251) or Inkwell (SW 6992). Outerspace seemed a bit too light:

Sherwin Williams Outerspace SW 6251 Paint Chip via Cottage Magpie

And Inkwell is really all the way to black. There is some blue in it, but only barely. I do actually think it’s probably a good match to the room, but we were both thinking of it being slightly blue.

Sherwin Williams Inkwell SW 6992 Paint Chip via Cottage Magpie

We briefly considered Cyberspace (because…. cyberspace), and while I do like that one, I think I’m going to save it for something chalkboard-y and stick to a blue-black for this one. Cyberspace (SW 7076) is really, truly grey.

Sherwin Williams Cyberspace SW 7076 Paint Chip via Cottage Magpie

That left us to this one. Dark Night. I love it. Here’s the chip…

Sherwin Williams Dark Night SW 6237 Paint Chip via Cottage Magpie

…and here’s the example I found at Beatrice Banks‘ blog, where she revealed her dining room:

Here’s the inspiration photo again, to compare:

For the feel we’re going for, I think it just might be perfect.


Tune in tomorrow for an update on the progress, and exactly where we are on the “to do” list!

Meanwhile, tell me, found any great paint colors lately? Do tell! (It’s true, I collect them.)

~Angela :-)

NOTE: This is NOT a sponsored post, I just thought the Chip It! tool might work for me, and I genuinely love Sherwin-Williams.

If you enjoyed this post, I would LOVE a comment. I read every one! If you want to keep in touch, consider subscribing to the RSS feed to receive updates in your reader.


  1. Oooohh…you did good!! Dark Night looks perfect! I just love the dark colors that are so popular now. Can’t wait to see what you’ve done!!

  2. Thirkellgirl says:

    I like the Dark Night! How are you going to feel about in the summer? I always want to go beachy when the warm weather hits and I switch out the navy quilt that’s on our daybed to something much lighter (my white/navy quilt is falling apart so next year I’m not sure what I’ll do). So excited to see the completed room!!

    • I don’t know — that is the ONE thing we’re still thinking about — are we going to be excited about the dark dark color in the Spring/Summer? Or is it just going to seem dark. Or, heck, even in January. It’s VERY dreary here all through the late winter and early Spring. So we’ll see! We may still switch to a lighter color. You never know around here! Ha! ~Angela~

  3. Hey – love your blog. I was searching for tutorials for making pillow cushions and found your site. You have a lot of interesting things and I feel inspired already. :)

    • Thank you so much, Debbie! I really appreciate hearing from everyone. I’m going to pop over and see your blog now, too! ~Angela~

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