I was brought up by an incredibly frugal mother. I swear this woman could decorate an entire four bedroom house, including furniture, for $800, and everything would be cohesive and beautiful. While I didn't manage to get that part of her DNA, I did pick up a few of her habits. One of which was always visiting the 'whoops' section in the paint department of home improvement stores. These stores are doing a much better job of not creating excess whoops paints lately, but there was a day that the selection was awesome. You could find great neutrals that may just need a little tweaking, or find the perfect color that you were actually looking for, and there was always an abundance of those oddball colors that did the perfect tweaking for the neutrals that were just a little off. I was always picking up these whoops paints, and at one point had an entire massive shelving rack in my work room dedicated to just that. While keeping me stocked so I could mix the perfect shades on site (which I absolutely love to do), this also helped in keeping something that didn't need to be waste out of the landfill. And keeping waste down is pretty important to me.
One day I found two 5-gallon buckets of a horrible tan color, but that had great undertones. I asked the paint guy to add some black to both, and took them off his hands. Ten gallons of paint for $40? How could you turn that away?!
I ended up painting quite a few rooms with this color, including my bedroom and a friend's bedroom (above). The color changed with its surroundings. When it needed to be more yellow, it would be. When it needed to be more pink, it would change to that. It was awesome.
The living room above and below were the tan + black, with more black, white, and a deep dark purple added, to lighten the color and make it more grey. This altered color also went perfectly with everything, including my cat.
But as is typical with pretty much every niche-contractor out there, I never finished painting the kitchen part of the open kitchen/living room... Too busy doing work for other people! So when it was time to move out of my apartment, I was suddenly on the mission to find a color that matched this perfect greige, but that was readily available. I had a ton of color swatches, and the one that seemed to match perfectly on every single wall and in every single possible light was a Martha Stewart color (that I can't remember the name) that I had matched in Behr Ultra, because Martha Stewart paint is horrible. I can't tell you how happy I was that I found it!! So I bought a few gallons of it and completely repainted my entire main room.
The issue is seen above, in dim light. As you can see, the alcove is still the old color from the main room, and it's much darker, more brown, and much warmer than the new color. In natural daylight, the new color turned a really bright silver, nothing like the color that I was trying to match. So disappointed. But it was good enough for me to turn the apartment back over to the landlord.
But unfortunately, this means that I am still on the quest for the perfect true greige. Luckily I currently have two houses under renovation that I can play with. And since there is a whole lot of house to be dealt with, I will definitely be sticking with colors that are readily available and that don't have to be matched again. :-)