Who: Al and Mercia Hobson
Where: Herndon, Virginia
Mercia drove all over northern Virginia looking for someone who could match her gray before she heard about this Fine Paints of Europe guy who'd been tinting paints for decades. Still, it took him 90 minutes to get a match. Later, when she returned to complain about brushstrokes, he sent her home to get the paint so that he could load it into aerosol cans for the third coat; he thinned it, and it went on like angel wings. We chose a satin finish so as not to compete with the shiny hardware—or for Mercia's attention. The neutral color is a nice break for her. "I've raised five kids," she says. "I want serenity!"
Shown: Deft touches included a new niche for the coffeemaker.