Everyone should have a neighbor like Debra—that impossibly chic former investment banker turned decorator with a PhD in mysticism and perfect skin. I’ve been going back and forth on what stain to use on the back wall—ash, walnut, natural, oak? So I called Debra, who came up with the genius idea of using a 60/40 water/paint wash using the same paint that is going on the walls and ceiling. In a small space, she said, we needed continuity of color. The paint is Farrow & Ball Light Gray, which is also featured in our bedroom and living room. I emphatically believe it is the prettiest color of paint in the whole wide world, and sometimes I just gaze at our bedroom walls mesmerized by it. Out in the garage, the washed boards are going up on the back wall as we speak, and the effect is so beautiful—it looks like the weathered redwood homes throughout Sea Ranch near where I grew up.