Not only am I making some headway, but we are in love with the new color. It isn't showing up 100% accurately in the photos of course. It is Sherwin Williams "Cobble Brown" and if you can imagine the color of a Hershey bar you would be pretty spot on.
The pictures I am including only show one coat of brown on the walls. We obviously will need two coats. We were planning on adding wainscoting to the bottom half and painting that all white. I tried out the color without the wood on the wall behind the piano and we are not sold. My husband really likes the existing "dollar store liquid foundation color" but the two together make me think "UPS Man." So....no. We are loving the brown so much that I think we are going to stick with the white trim and just do the same chocolate brown both above and below the chair rail.
Here is our "inspiration photo" for the wainscoting:
I think both could be nice, but for now we are going to try the brown. If you want to leave your two cents in the comments please feel free. Repainting the walls isn't a big deal. It's the trim that is a bear.
The drywall is all patched. The ceiling is painted (one coat...woo hoo!). I am busy painting woodwork at this point. Going from dark, 1970's oak (or grey as the case may be) to bright white is taking a coat of primer and THREE coats of paint (yes, I'm using good quality paint). I am NOT having fun. All of visitors keep saying "oh! you must like painting." NO. I just like getting things DONE. Painting walls is fun. Ceilings and woodwork are for the birds. The cabinet doors are going to be miserable.
In addition to the work in the office I am painting some of the woodwork in the foyer. In particular I am focusing on the large triangle of brown under the steps. I have left the railing and treads brown. I hope to stain them a little darker (black? espresso?) in the future.