Still, still with the iPhone photos. Good lord, if you knew the number of times I said to myself, "I'll just pull out the camera and leave it on the stair, then I will remember it! I'll do that right now!" And then I go back to brushing my teeth, folding laundry, packing, etc. and forget all about it. I totally am that person who has all these shitty "before" and "during" photos that look so tired and dire and then the angels sing when the "after" is shown and it's just because they were actually shot with a decent camera.
But, here are more crappy "during" shots. Taken in the evening, even, for double shittiness! But I stopped by the house last night to just measure one thing and was taken aback to find paint on the walls. The kitchen, in particular, was transformed. I did make some effort to get the same angles. And these are apples-to-apples because it's all iPhone.
Okay, so that last one was not really the same shot. Anyway, here - the fridge shows the color best:
It feels more modern already. The appliances come in a few days, too, and that will seal the deal!
Oh, and the living and dining rooms were painted too, and wow does the trim look great against the soft gray walls. It's warm yet bright. I am loving it. But I will not bore you with smartphone photos of gray walls takes at night. Really, even I have a rock bottom.
And now the update. We are live with construction. I plan to take some messy "before/during" pictures this week. I feel like I have chosen the right contractor and I am excited. We have had great conversations about nosings and underlayments and paint. Note: remove the 1/4" underlayment so the nosing is level with the floor - got that? Ha! I'm learning so much that I will drive JWH crazy for years. (The nosing is the panel that the bottom of the balusters on a stairway sit on/in. They should be level with the floor that abuts them and the nosing should be the same as the floor, not painted with 85 coats of white glossy paint and still dirty looking because as a not-level element in a floor, where else is the dirt gonna go?)
And that leads me into paint. HH1 has fabulous trim. It's like glass. I think it was sprayed on in some places. It's just lovely. Not chipped, no brush marks, smoooooth. I want that again. It's expensive to get it, too. But I feel like nice trim sets the tone for a house. I have been in nice homes and even new homes where the trim was not sanded with love and care and it made it feel cheap. I also feel like slightly off white trim is better than bright white trim. It adds a texture rather than just contrast.
So I am splurging on having a painter sand off 100 years of brush strokes and apply a nice satin in Benjamin Moore Vanilla Ice Cream. I do not think I will regret this in the slightest. I am already regretting some other splurges but the trim? The trim is going to make this house fabulous!
#1: the light I need for over the dining room table is this:
#2: the dining room needs to be repainted a lighter color, perhaps the color I used in the kitchen (which I think is Sherwin Williams Napery), to get closer to this:
#3 : the office needs to be repainted. The dark brown is just too 2007. I had been leaning toward this, but having a hard time pulling the trigger:
But now I am thinking something more like this:
The bun tells me this is her new favorite color.
Oh, if only I could have held out and not painted her room pink! Oh, where was my strength? My resolve? Woe is me!
Not really. Even thought I have spent the last year trying to de-pink the pink room, I'm cool with it. It really is just a hop, skip and a jump from being the room I envisioned all along. The hop being the rug, the skip being the duvet and jump being the play table. Anyway, you may recall, I wanted this look:
And I am here currently:
So, you know, not bad...
But when she says "light blue" my mind goes exactly here:
If I were one of those Housewives of Wherever with cash and time and such, I'd scrap it all and build her this room. The tables, the drapes, the bedding.
The bedding haunts me.
Can I make this my room? JWH? Honey? Up for a change?
No one has asked (thanks, thanks a lot), and no pictures will be forthcoming, but the kitchen ceiling is a pristine white. And the rims of the can lights are also now white. It was a total and unmitigated success.
And not a living soul will ever notice.
Unless I point it out, which I plan to do. It took so sooo long, and I actually, physically, threw out my back doing it, so, yeah, if you visit look at my effing ceiling and tell me how great it looks. Okay?
Oh, and I used, for the first time, Clark & Kensington paint from the hardware store (it's an Ace but we refer to it by it's suburban old school name). On the C&K paint? Good shit. I recommend. It was not nearly as goopy as the Behr stuff I used in the master bath. It tolerated multiple coats when semi-wet, and it really took one coat only in most places.
Call it a win. Sometime let's discuss why "Kensington" is a name people associate with money/quality/fancy stuff? Is it because it sounds British?
A topic for another day...
Don't pretend my potty mouth is a surprise to you. It's not. I know that. JWH actually complimented me the other day on how much less I swear these days. So, really, just be glad you did not meet me a few year ago when I was like a trucker with an Orla Kiely purse and red cork-heeled wedges.
So, anyway, day two of the kitchen ceiling. We started strong, with buying paint and such. I had some Behr paint from the master bath ceiling, but I really did not like it. It was goopy and thick and showed brush marks way too much.
So, bought ceiling paint, and paint to spray those can light covers white. Yay for me.
I also took the can covers off and washed them. That involved about 6 million dead bugs. Desiccated corpses from 1984 onward. I had to use a toothpick to scrape the remains off some covers.
This was not considered fun. This tested my resolve. But, I soldiered on, and after taking the Bun to a birthday party - a swimming party, at which she stood next to the pool and pouted and said, repeatedly, loudly, "I am not having a very good time." Yeah, and I'm having the time of my life, here, kid, making small talk with other parents on an 80 degree and humid indoor pool deck - anyway, after that I went home nd thought that inhaling some paint fumes could not make the afternoon any worse, so I hit these suckers with the matte bright white.
Yeah. Day two and out.
I know that I stated previously that my goal this year was to update the Bun's room (started) and the dining room (not started), but then Dana at House*Tweaking got me all up in a lather about a dark paint color. You know I had wanted to paint my hall bath a dark teal, but it's really not a light enough room. And you may also know that I painted JWH's office a dark brown (embracing the dark so to speak, and it has not that much actual wall space so the contrast with the woodwork, well... works).
But then I saw this:
So, yeah, I'm now thinking the dark brown office is horribly passe and that a nice charcoal would be a great improvement. The color, btw is "Besalt" by Ace. I have to go to the paint store for kitchen ceiling paint anyway...hmmmm.
You may or may not know that I have issues with the curtain in my kitchen. I mean, its fine, but I do not love it. I want something with a bit more punch. I fantasize about going to the fabric store and re-making it with something more fun and modern. But not silly, I hate silly.
And I typically hate signs with words in kitchens. But then I saw this.
What say you?
I am going to get on top of the kitchen to-do list this weekend I think. I'm not remembering if paiting that ceiling was on my official to-do list. But is should have been. And I am going to spray paint the can lights, too. The room is dark and I think painting the ceiling will help and the rims of the can lights being beige is helping exactly no one.
Oh, and then there is the water stain. I'm going to scrape it and prime it and cover it and see what happens next. Slap-dash? Unwise? Unprofessional?
The TV, that is.
The other day we were a little lazy and were watching football or something, eating guacamole and chips and apple pie for dinner...and this Home Depot commercial came on hailing us to get it going on with our projects. And, hello if they didn't show us one to get it on with. Painted stair risers. In Chevron, no less.
(Note that this picture is from the YouTube video, not the Home Depot How-To link at the end of the video - that one is too vertical a pattern. I aim for this in terms of proportion and angle.)
Now, you all know I am not a fan of the chev in general. It's done, I think. Over-used. But for a long skinny thing like a riser? The shape makes sense. And I have been lamenting the tired state of affairs that is our main stairs. So, it is ON. The paint and tape has been bought, the how-to video watched, the idea vetted by señor Holiday.
AKA, a bright spot on a dim week. You might be aware that my tile project is delayed. Not the typical delay, like we got busy or moved on to something else, but a new kind of delay, where it just takes freaking ages to get it done.
So, while JWH chips away, quite literally, at the tile, I decided he'd like some mater bath solidarity/company and I painted while he chipped.
The Revere Pewter.
It's like a grow up person's room all of a sudden. No more pale blue, no more shiny walls (I used Eggshell, the previous paint was semi-gloss, which I totally get in a bathroom as a deterrent to moisture, but it made my eyes itch.)
And, I know you are dying for confirmation on this: I now have a white ceiling. The "where to stop the wall color" debate had many answers, especially over the sink...but we landed here and it feels right. The straight vertical walls are all gray, the slanted walls are white. Over the sink the walls on the sides of the skylight opening are white (although they are straight verticals - call me a rule breaker).
Let's note here, too, that this was all done without tape. I cut-in like a mutha. That's right.
Let's see. It's fall. And the Bun is in Kindy. And I'm not doing any traveling for a bit...well, maybe ONE more small trip, and then Columbus day we've got something cooking...but whatever. What I really mean to say is that we have started doing things again. Hooray for that.
This past weekend we did what JWH likes to call "opening a can of worms." Yeah, we started a project that was meant to be like 4 steps and ended up being like, well...were not done yet. So, many, many steps. It's the master bath. The fishy tile.
I'll share some in-progress pics later in the week. Let's just say it's a big 'ol mess. And while JWH chipped (okay, pounded) away at the marine life, I painted the walls as decided. Revere Pewter. It's lovely. I also did the ceiling, in white, and it's a good change. It needs a third coat, but, still, it's all good.
I learned a very important lesson, too. I hate painting ceilings. So the kitchen ceiling will be quoted with a professional. I just do not have that in me.
So, with travel and work and packing a lunch for the kid every night...well, we will call this a slow restart to fall house repair and clean up. But, it's a start all the same. I may even eventually hem those living room curtains...
I have 90% decided to do it. I have 100% decided to remove the fish tile. Yes, that I know. But after I do that I think I will paint the room. And I think the color I will use is Revere Pewter. I mentioned that here.
I somehow feel that once I remove the fish I will have more grown-up color options. Like the fish were tying me to the "spa" and "light" type colors. When we bought the house, the room (ceiling and all) and the whole mater bedroom and closet were yellow. It was very...ummm...fresh.
The master is now Gray Horse. And it's lovely. The master bath is now Mineral Ice. All of this is Benjamin Moore, btw. I mean, obviously.
But, here is my question: do I paint the ceiling? It has thus far been integrated (see below). The slope and the skylight and all that - is the same as the wall color. Hmm. I feel like it might be too dark in the Revere Pewter, but the introduction of all the angles that would result from painting it white...well, it's already a very busy little room.
So, that's where I stand. The next Holiday House projects are the tile, the paint and, oh, some spackling of the holes in the Bun's ceiling. The good news is that while we tackle this little master bath refresh, the Bun will just swing in her room. Joyfully, I might add.
And I swore I was not going to do anything terribly productive. Yesterday I was all chatting with my pal in the coffee line about how I would just "lay on the steamer chair on the porch and read a magazine."
And then I hit up Facebook to see about a friend in the midst of a terrible health crisis (yes, he seems to be playing it out on Facebook, but who the hell am I to judge, never having been in his shoes and all that), and I saw a little Pinterest post from another pal:
I admit, it was the quote below the photo that grabbed me. Best ever? Reallllllyyyy? Hmmm. I have been planning, subconsciously of course, to paint my mater bath. See, once I rip out the fishy tiles, I have some idea that the blue tiles left behind will be somehow less bad and more complementary to other colors. Like grey. Like this:
Or even this:
(The Decorologist's post about "Bossy tile" oh, so appropriate!)
Next thing you know, I had a post-it on my desk with the words "Revere Pewter, Rockport Gray, Semi Gloss" on it. So, on my day off I might just be buying the supplies to rip out that damned fishy tile and perhaps buying a tin of paint.
Don't judge me, just love me.
I mentioned here that the last to-dos on the my mudroom involved cushions and paint. I seemed to have blocked out the curtains (how odd of me!), but whatevs...
I showed you yesterday what I was up to with the cushions. Haven't done it yet, but having the three of them in the room was enough to nudge me to move on the paint. And, with gray cushions, I felt like the world was my oyster. Or really, the dozen or so cans of paint under my basement stairs was my oyster, anyway.
Down I trudged to survey my choices. Hmmm. I was not terribly inspired. I had been thinking of a happy orange, but the orange/coral samples I had were matte finish. And not terribly happy. Hmmm. In the end, I settled for the glossy red I used to paint my basement steps. Yes, I painted my basement steps. They were gross, 115 year old, wood basement stairs. And they have seen a lot, I'd imagine. And I didn't want to step in that lot.
So, anyhow. The paint was fot the coat rack. This simple little jobby was once in our kitchen. I primed it while I was priming the mudroom trim.
As soon as I finished the first coat I knew it was bad. Very country and not at all rock and roll. But I soldiered on. Maybe it would sing once it was all dry and even? Nah. As JWH said, it's "too heavy" for the space. It clashes with the wood trim in the windows.
It's just bad.
And to make matters worse?
Yeah, that's fancy for "none." Hooray for another trip to the hardware store. Paint and, um, paint, please.
Hmmm, so I shared my thinking about the mudroom windows on Friday. It's Monday now, so, of course, I have more thoughts. And more pictures.
But first, let's do a little vocab review, so we all know what we are talking about:
Nice, huh? So now I can say things like, "I painted the casing front, but not the stiles, channels, rails or jambs" and you know what I mean. Right? Right?!?!
So, yeah, that's what I did. And I think that, at the minimum I need to continue the cream colored paint to the side of the casing piece. But...maybe also the jamb? Not sure. So let's look at some photos to see what we like, shall we?
Here is the original inspiration photo, where it looks like they used the contrast color on the sashes, but not the jambs.
Here we see another green window that is, suspiciously, just the same...
And here, some sliders in the same vein yet again.
These nice folks have the full monty all painted out, the trim, the sashes, the jambs.
And here we have a nice blue where they have, again, matched the jambs to the trim.
Anyone else noticing all the green and the blue? Maybe a little "bringing the outdoors in" thing going on here?
But, really, what I want to know is if anyone has both the sashes and the jambs in the contrast color? Turns out, the answer is yes, but usually in black or a dark color.
I'm thinking all the dark colors being like this is a way of giving an interior space more of an exterior feel? After all, this contrast technique is very common on the outside of homes...
Anyway, so much to think about, and I was nearly blind from squinting at photos, trying to see what, exactly, they had painted the accent color versus the trim color. And then, I saw this - and it's actually also a sunroom...so kind of perfect, right?
I mean, come on, it's practically my room. Give or take, oh, 800 square feet!
Sooo, what is up with my wacky paint job? You know...this one?
Or, more up close and personal...this one?
Well, here's the thing: A) It was intentional, and B) I'm not done yet. You see, the windows are gonna have something done to them. I'm not sure what. Replaced? Storms? Interior storms? Dunno. Something to keep that room warmer. So, since painting windows is a total pain...I figured I'd just wait to see what happens next. And, I was kind of trying out this kind of dealio that I shared a while back:
I think this room could really use that kind of pop. And, in any other room I would be loathe to touch the glorious paint on the sashes. Not here. These orange-y messes are, well, a mess. So, it's a perfect place to try this technique.
Stay tuned as I sort out my options!
Ha. Well, yeah, ha!
So, this takes a bit of telling.
Remember way back when I painted the guest room? I said I'd put swatches on the wall of al the paint colors I had on hand. And I ended up choosing the gray from the family room - the Stonington Gray?
And remember when I put in my Nest thermostat and then had to patch the wall? And how I had a total fail in matching the paint? I first tried the leftover Stonington Gray from the guest room, and when that did not match I assumed it was because it was the newer Aura paint, whereas the family room was basic Benjamin Moore stuff? And then I went and got a new sample pot of Stonington Gray at the store? And that was fail-0-rama, too?
Okay, you are all caught up now to this past weekend. Whew!
So, onward I marched. And I gave the orders to JWH to take a hunk of drywall from under a picture. Yes. A hunk of drywall. Desperate times, I said to myself. And then I went back to the paint store again and asked the guy to match it. The first (suspiciously very shaky) guy was all, "no way lady, never gonna match." And then for some reason he walked away and the other guy stepped up. Maybe guy number one needed some caffeine? Not.
Anyway, the second guy was a total sleuth, so he scanned my hunk of drywall and dug around the swatchbook and when I told him I had thought it wa s Stonington Gray, he was like, "no, lady, it's Wickham Gray, it's the next chip down on the same page of the fanbook." And he mixed up a pint and tested it, and bang! was he ever right. So I drove home telling myself that the silly old painters must have just got the wrong paint. And totally, totally believed that could happen. Easy to point to the wrong little square, right?
And then I went up to my room all intent on "correcting the official record" on the color in my "Homekeeper's Record Book."
So anyway, 3 trips to the paint store later...
Silly old me, a bear with very little brain am I.
Or will really try to be back. Work is a little nutty. Life is a little nutty. Really. Good. Times.
But no need to spread the guilt and blame around like Grub-ex on my sad, sad lawn. I had a boss once who advocated against guilt and blame altogether. Can you imagine? What a great boss! He really was. He was handsome, too. I remember my first interview with him...he was tall and skinny and blond and wearing jeans, no shoes, and a lime green terry-cloth t-shirt. Sounds creepy, I know. But picture a surfer type, from Maine.
Now I've totally thrown you, and lost my point. But, no, really, he was cute, and nice. And I remember going home to tell my then-boyfriend about him and he was a little not-so-thrilled- to get the download on my hot soon to be boss. But I was like, "Noooo, I'm sure he's gay."
Was best boss ever. (Two thumps of the chest to you, dude, wherever you are now. Actually, I'm FB fiends with your wife, so I kind of know, roughly at least, where you are.)
He taught me: no guilt and no blame. So, I will not feel guilty, nor will I blame my lame blogging of late on the demands of my work or child or life. I will simply tell you that I have been thinking of new things to post. And I have been saving pictures to share, and I have been dreaming of projects to knock your socks off. But...the projects I have been actually doing have kind of stymied me. And they have been dull. Don't believe me? Exhibit A: stymied and dull
This is my living room wall. The Nest thermostat still rocks, and my spackle job is done. But, umm, the paint? Yeah. Seems I have lived these many years thinking my living room was a color called "Stonington Grey." It is not. What is it?
No frggin' idea.
Really. Somehow I missed this whole Tatertots & Jello thing. Not sure how...But now that I have found her, I'm smitten. With her closets.
I thought I was the only one who groaned when they opened a closet and found a boring white wall, typically a scuffed, semi-dirty, boring white wall. I had my coat closets painted when I moved into Holiday House. But, gosh, I clearly did not have a clue that they could be anything beyond semi-clean and inoffensive. They can be just darling!
I see my next project, really I do. How fun to open a closet and see a fun surprise! This is on the list. Watch for more details!
The bun's pink room is ready for prime time! The Wild Aster color has sunk in, and I can now honestly say I love it.
Here you go:
Yeah, it's pink. But it's pale, and kind of lovely. I do miss the green...
Well, yeah. While browsing linens I went ahead and used up an old Pottery Barn Kids gift card. I used it at PBTeen, which you can totally do. And I kind of find the teen stuff cuter sometimes. A little more timeless, you know they are not babies forever.
Anywho*, I ordered this little pillow on sale. The Bun loves owls, and it's kind of the colors I'm hoping to use to draw attention away from the pink (brown and green). We'll see how it looks when it gets here...and when I choose new bedding, too.
*A pun. Get it?
I feel like I'm making progress, really I do.
Okay, I need to stop hating on the pink. I think I'll start by calling it "the Wild Aster." There, that's better.
But still, I had my list of to-dos to make this room feel like my inspiration photo, and so, I march along - with perhaps a little less discontentment each passing day.
This week? The bedding. It's amazingly hard to find sheets for girls that are not treacly. And, you know my goal here is pretty anti-treacle. So, I present my options:
(Garnet Hill signature Hemstitched percale in "Honey," third color from top)
(Land of Nod green polka dots)
(Garnet Hill mini print percale in the gold stars)
(Restoration Hardware flax stripe bedding)
(Restoration Hardware european pin dot in dove or petal)
I think this is a place where I am going to have to order a few options and see what looks right...
So, I hit up IKEA for my favorite wooden frames (the RIBBA collection) and re-framed her birth announcement in the light wood, rather than the white seen here. I also moved it to above the bookcase.
The Bun normally does not like change, but she was cool with this move. But also asked that any further pictures we add to the room be of a "mouse, owl or cow." I'm on it. I really do take direction well...
As I shared last week, the color is Wild Aster by Benjamin Moore. I swear I'll share even more pictures of the whole room soon. Just need a little more time to, ...um, adjust. You do see above, though, a peek at the felt garland I bought as part 1 of the de-pinkify effort. I'd say we are really on the way now!
(FYI, link to the original post.)
Oh, all right, that's hardly fair...here is a bit more...
These pics are from early morning with no flash, and so a bit shadowy, but at least on my screen it does a god job with the color. It almost heads toward lilac as the day turns to night. Stay tuned for more "improvements" and pictures! In the meantime, I'll entertain you with better-time-of-day pictures of other rooms painted Wild Aster.
(all three photos from Making it Lovely - a woman who has clearly embraced pink!)
Okay, so you all know I have a pink room in my house. Yeah. I'm coming to terms. And I'm beating back the pink accessories with a stick.
Phase one? I ordered some nifty felt garlands from a nice lady on etsy. I plan to hang them on the curtain rods. Nothing huge, just a little way to make those windows a little more weighted and contrast-y. And, you know, to start sneaking in some non-pink colors.
My inspiration for this was this garland from benzie:
I wanted less pink. Much less pink, but a multi-colored garland with some brown or yellow and a warm green (like the room used to be) and maybe a hint of hot pink. Yes! Unfortunately, benzie is not taking custom orders right now. So I forged ahead, and found Applesauce Crafts:
Her garlands are even nicer, I think. And she was kind enough to make me a custom listing for two 6" garlands in a custom palette. I think it will be just the thing! I'm excited to get them and hang them and share them with you all!
How can you tell? Head on over to Holiday House and see the bun's room. It's pink. PINK. In. My House.
I'm still reeling.
While it made a little girl extremely happy and she demonstrated mad roller skills in the 4 and under category, for me, I feel like Pottery Barn Kids puked in my house. It's partly my own fault, because when her room was green, I was pretty lenient with the buying of pink accessories. I mean, why not, right?
Well, here's why not: 15 shades of pink all going on. So, my mission for the next few weeks is to de-pinkify. How? Here's phase 1:
In the end, I hope to end up more in this realm.
Still pink. But, warm and cozy. Ahhhhhh. Stay tuned for pictures and my progress in making a pink room palatable to the over 5 set. I'll share pictures next week, once I'm able to execute at least some of the bullet points above.
I'm kind of thinking about this for the kitchen. It's a kind of blah space. So what if I painted something other than the walls?
Apartment Therapy had a post yesterday about painted door frames between rooms–but the picture was teeny. Still, it got me thinking...
Yep, going back to the previous house again. Just because our Lukin mural deserves a fresh round of love.
I still have a major vanity project up my sleeve. Don't you worry, it'll knock your socks off. But, all in all, the hall bath I hated has come a long way.
The total "before." Before I switched out the shade for window film, which was huuuuge.
Then, the middle before. With the window film...but, oh so cold and stark and just somehow incohesive and blah.
The "after"? Oh, lala!
What did I do?
The window film ($14), taking out the trim on the top window ($0), the roman shade ($171), the frame for the mirror ($20), the paint ($20, it's Manchester Tan, btw), the light ($150), the shower curtain ($58). The day of repair ($0).
No, it's not the hall bath reno I dreamed of, but it's way more in line with the rest of the house now and I don't cringe when I'm in there.
Just wait till I show you the coup de grace on this whole shebang. It's in process, and it's why I did this whole thing anyway. A hint? The IKEA stool is going, going, gone!
*And yes, I know I have varied above from lights off to lights on and then back. But, really, the thing getting me all grill cheesed about this bathroom is how much brighter and warmer it is with the lights off - which is how I usually see it anyway. I'll do another post soon on the lighting switch to show y'all the difference that made.
This project was also a part of Thrifty Decor Chick's November Before and After Party. Hooray!
When I was digging through my old condo photos looking for evidence that I really had not dreamt up a Moroccan room, I found a very small number of images from the very first condo we bought, oh, lo, back in the day*.
We have sort of reconnected with a neighbor from that house, and overall I have fond memories. We left because we thought we could make a buck selling at the height of the market (we could) and because we found a larger, under-priced unit to trade up to (the Moroccan decor seemed to scare of a good number of buyers and the sellers were under contract already elsewhere, and 9.5 months pregnant, so we had them over the proverbial barrel, so to speak). Anyway, the pictures of our little pad on "Ell-um."
I still love that decorative fireplace. And the people watching from the porch was great. Oh, and sweet little Indie standing guard in the kitchen. Sigh. Good times.
I still remember the paint colors: Benjamin Moore "Carrington Beige" in the living room and guest room and "Carbonite" in the dining room. The long hall was Behr "Reflecting Pool" and our room was Behr Chadbury. I was a total newbie to picking paint, but I think I put together a pretty nice palette all the same.
The "Grellow" is in honor of the folks at Young House Love, thy painted their kitchen this same color, and I can't recall the actual name. It's a great color for a not-so-much-natural light kind of place. As is the Reflecting Pool. That color just bounces the light, I tell you.
*I already shared a few snaps from our diy kitchen renovation at this condo, here.
Once again, I show you the state of Holiday House under previous management,* and under my benevolent reign.
The Family Room:
The Dining Room:
Before: Benjamin Moore White Dove with Benjamin Moore Vanilla Ice Cream trim
After: Family Room is Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray, Dining Room is either Benjamin Moore Vellum or Barley, I am forever confused about which one I chose... trim remains the same.
*No insult intended or implied to the previous owner. She did some damned nice stuff. The understair storage gets her 50 bonus points, alone. Subtract the horrid paint choice demerits and she's still up by about 30 points.
My Moroccan Room post and kitchen post got me thinking about sharing some more before and afters. Before, in this case, being how things were when we bought the place, and after being once we tweaked it to what I'll call "stage 1." Meaning no major do-wops, just making it mine.
First, the master bedroom and hall at current Holiday House. This is the old owners stuff, not terrible, but for a childless, grown woman, she had a lot of stuffed animals about the place and a very "playful" style of decorating. And I found the yellow, in real life, to be a bit overpowering with the blond wood everywhere.
My stage 1 tweaks:
The color I used, as you may well know is Gray Horse. Love, love, love it. Warm, greenish gray. And I think it makes the wood warmer, too, with the yellow it had a kind of "pickled" feel.
Holiday House came into our hands as a finely renovated masterpiece, really. We know that. We thank our lucky stars all the time for the glory that is good windows, nice floors, and fine craftsmanship. But, and there always is a but, unlike most people fixing up a home to sell, the previous owner lady skipped the usual kitchen and bath fixeroos.
So, I have been hacking away at the hall bath for eons. But the kitchen? We went at that with a more concentrated fervor. Not a reno, mind you, but a refresh.
What did we actually do?
Total cost. Sigh, I dunno. Maybe $15-17k? Certainly a lot less than a full kitchen renovation, that's for darned sure. Do I wise I had bright white cabinets and marble countertops? Yes. But, really, it's a nice kitchen and fully functional. So, it stays.
(Also linking this post up to the lovely Thrifty Decor Chick party, see more here.)
Well, last weekend, JWH took the kid to the Decordova and I went all jiggy with the mitre saw. Yep, I made my very own frame. All. By. Myself. Cost me about $14 bucks in trim for the Home Depot. Oh, and the double sided tape...so call it $20. Much better than the hundreds they wanted at MirrorMate.
Oh, and I was a total pro. One cut each side. Here it is in place for the very first "dry fit."
Next up, the wall paint. I'm leaning a little away from the teal and sort of toward here:
Thoughts? Two, vastly un coordinating, green rooms on the second floor might be a problem, but I know I could get the kid to let me paint her room pink (or yellow?) if I tried just a little.
Hooray for a finished project!
I shared my frame fix-up with you a few weeks ago. And, at that point I was using a $1.67 tester of Glidden Terra Cotta Rose. I thought it was a little coral. Yeah, weeellll, once I held the dry frame up to the greenish/gray walls? Totally pink.
So, off to Shattucks I went for another round of "buy whatever orange tester they happen to have." I'm so detail-oriented like that. I ended up with Benjamin Moore Salsa Dancing. Much better, right? Looks lovely, I think.
JWH somewhat grunted in agreement.
Have I never mentioned this?
This is the previous Holiday House, call it Holiday Condo #2 or Holiday half-a-house. Whatever. It was a wonderful abode in a great location. We'd still be there if it weren't for a certain Boston Globe article highlighting a few nearby homes - one of which happened to catch JWH's eye. Anyway, the peeps who sold us the house had this little landing alcove set up as a "Moroccan Room." No, they were not from Morocco. I think they were from Lexington. Maybe even Bedford.
We know they called it this, though, because at the walk through (the day of closing, when they should have technically been moved out? Yeah, not so much.) they were on hand to offer to sell us the contents of "The Moroccan Room." You will be glad to know that JWH and I remained calm and politely declined.
Those stripes you see? Metallic. Yep. Whole hog is what they went in there. You will be glad to know, we painted the room a nice, soothing gray. Yeah, we are more Pottery Barn than Morocco. And we are totally okay with that, too.
Some other fancy paint jobs they left us to, um, immediately de-saturate? Yes, yes, that bottom paint is actually florescent. You are not incorrect.
Was every wall in the kitchen a different color? Yes. Was the wainscoting on the walls a different color than the wainscotting on the cabinets? Yes. Was the green trim the same on the cabinets as on the windows? No. It practically made me itch.
Props to JWH for seeing the potential, or, actually, turning to me and saying, "If you tell me it can be made okay, then I will believe you."
Oh, another thing to note? The "before" pics were how they represented the house for sale in their listing. The "afters" were how I marketed it. Amazing what a little cleaning will do to a sale price, people!
Remember my birdies? The 20 x 200 prints that I framed up? And then they fell off the wall? Well, nothing like a little repair work to kick start the back to school season. And while I was at it, I painted them. Orange. Well, okay, coral. (I went to Home Depot and they were oddly out of all orange testers. A run on orange, it seems.)
So, the repair... I started with this.
I believe it's Glidden Terra Cotta Rose. It's reading a little more coral than orange (okay, I'll stop saying that) but I think it might be just fine in the end. If not? $1.67 in the name of science...)
But, it's done. And in the world of projects, that's all that really matters.
Behold my "new" hatchway cover.
And, the stair.
For those who need to know, the handyman part of this little before and after cost me a whopping $135. And then I spent a solid 2 hours on the paint and finish work (mostly because it had to be done in stages, not because it was particularly hard).
Not too shabby. I'm not at all sure we could have done it all ourselves. Well, we could have. We are smart and such. But, we may well have ended up divorced. $135 is a lot cheaper than marriage counseling!
I'm kind of shocked to be asking this, but I'm also at a loss. What color should I paint the hall bath?
Right now it's Hint of Mint by Benjamin Moore. And it's just kind of blah with the new roman shade (still not "adjusted" or level, since I did not expect to have to un-install it to make it level...sigh). And the shower curtain, you might notice, is not the good-luck TJMaxx find. That one didn't work out. Texture was cheap. But, for $7.99 what did I expect? No worries, I went back to this post and ordered the Gaiam linen one. It picks up the tan in the shade nicely.
So, it's becoming an obsession. I'm fantasizing so much about a dark teal room that I may just have to do something about it. My mudroom measuring has been disappointing - there may be no room for that half bath, but I still may get the mudroom - and maybe it will be teal!
(House Beautiful via Young House Love)
Someone on a blog I read was talking about making-do with the wood paneling in their daughter's room. My first reaction was "paint it!" But then I started looking around. Hmmm...are there any colors that work with the orange-y badness that is wood paneling?
Green and white seem to do nice things. Kind of an air-y cabin thing going on.
I think pink can work, if required. So long as it's used with ample white and green...
Or, it's even better if the pink leans a little more toward coral.
Or, the use of red (or hot pink) and ample white, is kind of cozy. You'd have to be careful here not to go too deep into the land of country kitschy.
But, the again, the easiest decorator solution is to paint it. I'd go creamy white. You get the benefit of light, and you can then use whatever color palette you want. See this amazing before and after. This is the after:
Okay, that's all I've got for now. But good luck to those of you with paneled walls!
Old homes sometimes have very worn out stairs. The wood-purists out there would have you believe your only option is to strip and refinish them, or to painstakingly replace the treads. That cost bucks! And who are these purists to insist on the spending of big bucks, when a can of the 'ol floor pant can be so great!
Last week I was all into blue front doors, and this week? Interior french doors of all colors! Doors really can set the tone. Each of these rooms would look so entirely different with more plain doors. Swap them around in your head and see what I mean.
(Remodelista via My Second Storey)
(Elle Decor via CocoCozy)
You can tell that, to me, a good hallway includes a place to sit!
(*note to self, the Common Essence settee is covered in Dunham’s Samarkand. Keep this in mid when revisiting the foyer chairs!)
I've been told my house flows nicely in terms of color. Not to brag, but I think it does. I think the key is not matching, but, rather, considering how a person moves from room to room and how the environment would strike them as they moved around. Think about a typical visitor and what they would see. How would you create a mood for that person? Or, how do you want to feel as you move through the rooms? It's fine to decide that you want each room to be unique and an environment in and of itself, but that, too, should be done thoughtfully.
My first floor is kind of laid out like a pinwheel, with what the realtor, so generously, called the "living room" in the center. (It's a glorified hallway).
Why am I showing this to you? Well, let's just say that I've been around enough to know that not everyone thinks about the "room next door" when picking a paint color. Sometimes that means you literally have a corner where peach and green apple meet (blech!) or other times, you just have a more subtle sense of one color changing the way you experience the other. Like this next picture. It kind of demonstrates that it's all not really workin' together for these folks...
Whereas, these folks? Ahhh. Gorgeous!
Now, go forth and coordinate!
Since your monitor may vary, and in case you care, colors shown (all paints are Benjamin Moore except where noted) are:
top left = Vellum with dark brown, light red, light apple green and cream accents
top right = Stonington Gray with dark brown, red, slate-y blue, Vellum, apple green, and cream accents
center = Manchester Tan
bottom left = Sherwin Williams Napery with dark brown, orange, green and cream accents (there is also some slate gray in there)
bottom right = Sweet Daphne (this a very small vestibule) and the accents are dark brown, red, slate-y blue and cream
(This is Monday's post - a little bit early, since I'm hoping to get a little advice on where to go next from the lovely folks at It's Great to Be Home...)
My dear, sweet hubby already thinks I'm a little loony, so he hardly raised an eyebrow when my reaction to an unexpected day off last month was, "oh, I guess I'll paint the guest room, then." Yeah, I kind of don't know what to do with free time...and there was this one, lonely, remaining room that I had yet to repaint. God forbid we have any evidence of the previous resident and her paint choices. (Well, that's not entirely fair, although she hired a local "consultant" who did terrible things elsewhere, this room was actually quite a nice color: Van Cortland Blue by Benjamin Moore. Unfortunately, it was the darkest corner of the house, and that dark blue was just the making of a cave. If you only know how often I'd lain awake at night wishing she'd painted the office or the front bedroom this lovely blue...)
But I digress, on to how I got it done! First step for me was to head into the basement and grab a smattering of leftover sample jars. Putting real color on the walls helps me decide what direction to go in. I had long considered gray as a nice way to tie the floor together. By the floor I mean the other rooms that you can see, along with this one, when you stand on the landing. Those rooms are:
So, gray would kind of help. The Scotland Road is already a bit off in terms of tone in the palette, but she's a kid. And I'm not perfect. We had a million little jars of gray in the basement from when I was picking paint for the family room (Wickham Gray) and the Master Bath (Mineral Ice). So, I grabbed all those, along with the laundry room's Moonshine, which is a green-toned gray, and slopped them on the wall. I was this close to doing the Moonshine when hubs noted that "all the room on this floor are green." Whoops, I'd veered a little past "coordinating" to downright matchy-matchy.
So, Stonington Gray won the day. It's light, it's neutral, it picks up the tone in the curtains in the office next door, is on the same swatch as the Wickham Gray downstairs, and is kind of sister to the Moonshine down the hall. What do you think? First the new palette:
I'll go a little further and tell you that half the fun of this new color was the opportunity to get some new accessories. I had received the shadow box for Christmas, to display a very sentimental outfit. To tie that in I tried numerous quilts and duvet cover combinations, hitting Target and West Elm no less than 3 times each in one weekend. I landed, quite by accident, with this West Elm quilt. Best part? The sale. Note, also, the discount I got on the charcoal plisse blanket that now graces the master bed. Love a good sale. "Suckers!" to anyone who bought it full price!
(crossing this off my 2011 list!)