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  • Neyir Urminsky

A Lifelong Obsession with Colour

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

Welcome back for week 2 of another iteration of the One Room Challenge. An amazing event that happens twice a year that anyone can join with the goal to finish one space in their home :-)! Please hop over and check out the featured designers and the other guests like myself.

I don't know for sure when I became obsessed with colour, I'm sure the trip I took to Istanbul when I was 5 years old with my parents would have been a start if not the start. One of my earliest memories of colour is from when I was 6 years old in Grade 1. Our teacher asked if anyone was missing a blue broach. I wasn't, but then all my brain heard was blue, so I raised my hand. Soon after I had a gentle conversation with the principal and handed back said lovely broach. At a young age I was clearly willing to throw out my scruples for colour!

So when the time came to pick out a finish for the very, very battered front door I knew I would choose a colour. While the door was a beautiful wood it was so, so damaged and aged that refinishing it would have been a herculean and lengthy task. And I would know, when I was 16 I refinished the door of my parents 150 year old Victorian. But what colour?

My instinct then and always was to choose something strong, bright. And that would have been a great choice for another house. I had learned on the hoof about ‘front door architecture’ (likely not a real term) by years spent walking through Edinburgh, New Town in particular. Wonderful and intricate details that directed your eye towards a home’s entryway. A boon for the Georgian townhouse style, where your door colour and entryway serve to direct visitors to your home and distinguish you from your neighbour, ‘we’re 60 Northumberland, turquoise door’.

In fact there is actually pretty clear guidance on how the exterior of homes are to look in Old and New Town Edinburgh due in no small part to being World Heritage sites.

However that breathtaking architecture is worlds away from our more humble but equally welcoming mid century side split. Here the front door takes a back seat to the defining features of a long stairway and a vaulted roofline. Another time we will revisit all the white trim above the doors & windows and the garage door (should not be highlighted!!!!!). That is a convo for another day.

Still I could have chosen a muted red, the historic colour of welcome in the US or going back to Scotland where the tone signified a paid off mortgage. But for red to work it needed to be an orangey-red to blend with the brick on the right side. Not really a colour I wanted to come home to on the regular. So I looked left at the lovely stone work and there it was, lovely grey-purple stones. And so began the hunt to find the right purple hue. Initially I wanted to use Pelt by Farrow and Ball, and it worked really well, it is the top colour in the first picture above. But I also really wanted a gloss finish, almost all those New Town doors are gloss and I couldn’t get the idea of a little shine out of my head! Unfortunately the exterior Farrow and Ball paint takes over 24 hours to dry which would mean leaving the front door wide open for 48 hours….didn’t seem super wise. Next up was a dupe for the F&B and I found one in Behr Extravagance, the lowest colour in the pic above. I used the Marquee exterior semi-gloss which is meant to resist fading and dirt - both seemed smart for our crew ;-)!

And I love it! From the street no-one can quite agree as to what colour it is, which is so fun. Today one my neighbours told me it was brown. From that lower level it is much more muted and as you rise the steps and the light reflection on the gloss changes it morphs from a more muted to a stronger and clearer purple. It feels as though it is welcoming you and pulling you up the stairs, a gentle focal point - perfect!

If you look at this pic, you can see that the top right of the door appears more brown and the lower left more purple. It's always about how a colour interacts with it's environment. I expect it will look more purple in the winter without the neighbouring green foliage :-).

The last step was the ‘jewellery’ for the door. We needed an entirely new mail flap system as the previous one couldn’t be fixed and due to the way it was installed severely limited our options. I settled on a simple brass flap which will arrive and be installed next week!

Which left space for one last item - a knocker! I looked at a few options and if you remember last week's mood board I was initially planning a simple rounded diamond shape. However reminiscing about Edinburgh got me into thinking about more traditional knockers so I went for this one instead and we are all very pleased with it!!! Full disclosure though the installation was very, very tricky!!!

The boys only complaint? They think it should roar when you knock!

Come back next week and we'll see how that knocker is going, it's getting a LOT of use!

Still to do????

Prep the vestibule for painting, lots of patching and filling

Prime & paint shoe containment

Prime and paint vestibule


Finalize floor and install

Finalize shelfs and install

Finalize hooks and install

Finalize boy stuff containment ;-)

Style and Photograph

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