It’s no secret that I love a good house project, but I am always amazed at how difficult a seemingly simple task, selecting the paint color, turns out to be. A simple gray can turn to blue (like our bedroom in our first NYC apartment that looked more like a nursery, oops.) or that classic white can read too yellow in the wrong light. So when Ace Hardware told me they were running their first ever Color of the Year contest this Saturday to create your own custom paint color, I was SO excited to jump on the opportunity and try it out for myself. And, of course, I had the perfect project waiting to test it on! And the best part is, this Saturday you get a chance to mix your own color too. Visit a participating Ace to create and name your own color and enter Ace’s Color of the Year contest for a chance to win $1,000 in Ace gift cards and have your color become Ace’s 2019 Color of the Year!

My goal was to create a gray I couldn’t find ANYWHERE, my dream color – a light gray that wasn’t too cool or too dark, but still looked clean and crisp.  I was inspired by the beautiful grays in our kitchen marble countertops, and wanted to replicate that in my home – but just couldn’t find the right color. Until now!

I visited my friends at Ace who set me up with a variety of paint colors and materials to help me mix and create my dream gray, and I brought it home to mix up and test it on our walls.  I’m a big fan of Ace’s Clark+Kensington paints, so I used a variety of colors to mix, add, mix, add – until I found that dreamy gray I’ve been looking for! Once I had the perfect color, I took the sample back to my local Ace Hardware for them to mix up a few gallons of my custom paint color for a project I’ve been waiting FOREVER to finally tackle – a garage makeover!

It is officially spring and therefore, I am officially in spring cleaning mode! But don’t be too impressed, this project is long overdue.  For anyone who has ever sent me a DM on Instagram asking how my house is always so clean with young children, here is your answer.  First of all, it isn’t.  Far from, actually.  I am constantly picking up, but thirty minutes later it is a mess again despite my efforts (and sometimes lack there of).  Secondly, when the house is clean, the garage very much isn’t.  In fact, our garage had gotten so bad that I could no longer park my car in it… which leads me to today’s post.

In full disclosure, so you can truly appreciate the after, please take a peek below at the before pictures.  You will notice the old, built in brown cabinets on the left wall that at first thought seemed like they would be useful, but turned out to be a waste of good storage space. Many of our things were too big for the shelves and if they did fit, the garage was too crowded with the rest of our mess to actually get to them.  And since everything was behind closed doors, it made it really hard to know what we had or to find something when we needed it.

Step one of this project was to tear out the old cabinets which, of course, left us with mismatched painted walls that needed to be patched.  AKA the perfect canvas to test my new custom grey paint color aptly named HOUSE of HARPER, of course! If you saw my IG stories, you saw how life changing just painting the walls with a fresh coat of beautiful paint was.  It literally made me so happy to walk out our backdoor to this new, clean slate – it really is SUCH a change. 

Once the walls were painted, I had to find a new home for everything that was currently on the garage floor.  I measured all the walls and headed back to Ace to source some storage solutions.  I knew I wanted everything to be visible and easy to find so I opted for these stainless steel storage racks, clear bins and a pin board for easy hanging and arranging.  I am amazed how much more effective the shelves are compared to our old cabinets.  Once we got everything put away, I had more than enough room to park my car in the garage!  And surprisingly, we actually did very little purging.

Now, every morning when I walk out the door, I feel light and happy seeing my personal version of perfect gray walls and everything in its place. We’re ready to take on Spring!

Don’t forget to head to your local Ace Hardware Paint Party tomorrow, Saturday March 24th from 11am-2pm to enter the Color of The Year contest by creating and naming your own color! Or visit to enter and learn more.  Good luck!

This post is brought to you in partnership with Ace Hardware.  Thank you for supporting the products and brands we love here at HOUSE of HARPER!