Would navy walls work in this room?

bostonpamJune 18, 2012

This is our future billiard room (you can see part of the table - mahogany I think with burgundy felt). The fireplace was completely behind a wall so we had the contractor open it up. We're keeping the brick exposed but adding a mantle. I want to paint the room navy but I'm not sure it will go with the brick and/or pool table. Maybe FPE Guggenheim # G028 or BM Hale Navy, Old Navy or something similar for wall color. The picture shows the west window and we have 2 north windows above the full wall built in bookcase. All the trim will be BM dove white so the room shouldn't be too dark. My concerns:

1. Will navy go with this room or should I pick another color. I love deep saturated colors.

2. I'm thinking that leaving the brick exposed is not a good idea - too casual. My other 3 fireplaces on this floor are much more "formal" with marble surrounds. Should I cover up the brick? It was never meant to be exposed as you can see by the workmanship. Part of me though likes seeing this part of the house (built in 1825)

Please excuse the mess - it's a dumping ground right now.

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Fori is not pleased

Ooo. I like that brick. I think navy would be lovely with it. I think of a billiard room as full of cigar smoke and bad lighting--and old brick. The fireplace covers all that and lets the rest of the room be spanking clean.

It's just paint! (That will take about 5 coats to cover if you don't like it. :P )

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:16AM
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I, too, like the brick, and think navy will help dress it up nicely. Fori paints a great word picture! :) It's a billiard room; you need a little rugged history there.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:31AM
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It will look beautiful.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 2:21AM
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Thanks fori, jessica and yayagal - I always 2nd guess myself just before pulling the trigger! I need to buy a rug now (15% off at Overstock) so I can pick the paint. I'm shipping out the kids for a weekend in August and getting a few friends to help prep and paint. The prep work is such a pain!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 8:50AM
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If you are uncomfortable with the rustic quality of the brick, you can tone them down without losing their texture and age by treating them with watered-down latex paint. The brick still shows through, but it's very civilizing and calming.

I think they'd look great with navy walls and a creamy whitewash. Choose a cream with the same undertones as the mortar (usually some balance of gray and brown), dump a pint into a bucket with one or two pints of water, use a 3 or 4 inch brush to put it on the bricks (no need to paint the mortar), and blot it off with a fistful of old T-shirt rags until you like the coverage. It's fast, it's easy, and it looks great.

Then you can either do the hearth the same way, or paint it deep charcoal or black. I did a chimney breast of ours this way, and I painted the hearth black - first the whole thing with a coat of flat black, and then just the surface of the bricks with a light coat of satin. The flat black looked best in the mortar joints, and the little touch of sheen on the bricks looked just right.

And if you do it first, before you paint, you don't even have to tape or mask, except for the floor.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 9:31AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Friends of ours have a navy sun room but what really makes it work is the white trim molding.

I think navy would look great, but what will really make it pop is a larger crown mold...what's up there now looks a little weak and should get wrapped around the brick to finish that upper edge.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 9:32AM
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I have one word for you: lighting. Dark colors absorb light, so you need way more lighting than you normally would. I'd spring for a few potlights and wash the brick with light from above.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:21PM
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bronwynsmom - thanks for the detailed instructions on how to whitewash the brick. I think I'll live with it first but it's good to know if I change my mind. I'm bookmarking this for future use.

Annie - I never thought of the crown. This room was in the "private" part of the house so it always had small mouldings. The front 2 parlors have large mouldings continuing with plaster moulding on the ceiling. At least this is something we can do at a later date. With an old house there are endless projects calling out our name ;)

Marcolo, thanks for reminding me about the light. We have the corner light (where a high bistro table and chairs will be located) plus the billiard light and then 2 sconces on one wall. During the fall we have a lego robotics team that uses the room and the robots may need more light too when using the color and light sensors.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 8:11AM
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Annie, great idea about the crown, particularly with the scale of the window trim.

It sounds like a terrific room - can we come play at your house?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 9:26AM
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Annie and others, how much should I beef up the crown? The window trim is 6" like the other main rooms but much plainer. Here's a picture of the crown in the front parlor. I don't want to add more plaster crown on the ceiling - too much more work for DH (even though he would do it in wood).

The trim around the floor is much smaller in the billiard room - only 9". In the front parlors the wainscoting is 32" with 13" bottom trim. Maybe I should used that to scale the crown moulding? other ideas? Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 12:59PM
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I like to match the whole floor's trim - meaning all the crown and baseboard everywhere on the first floor the same, unless there is a functional reason not to.
(For instance, I used a one piece in a kitchen instead of matching the other rooms' two piece crown because the existing upper cabinet doors were too close to the ceiling to fit it in, and it needed to be the same all the way around the room.)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 2:54PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I agree with bronwynsmom...it should match the other trim.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:26PM
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