Friday, July 31, 2009

I am happy to report

That the bedroom painting is finally done! I'm totally ignoring all the touching up I have to do around the trim, but the bulk of the painting is done.

Here's the progress since we last posted.

First my rocking mom stenciled 63 curvy tile shapes between the two moldings near the ceiling. I did 4. That's right, I am slooooooooow on the stenciling. My mom would take a break and I would get on the ladder, take 45 minutes to tape up the stencil, paint one piece, and she would get frustrated and take over.

Have I mentioned how much I love her?

We used a glossy paint, and had them custom mix a color between the wall color (Oyster Bay) and one shade lighter (Comfort Grey). In person, it's so subtle and geometric looking, and really ties the molding in to the rest of the room.

While my mom was busy stenciling, I made myself useful and tackled the French doors. See, there are some risks involved in being married to me. One of those risks might be that you'll take my two grandmothers to the casino for the day, and get a text message that says, "Would you be pissed if you came home and the French doors were painted white?"

Brett liked the wood doors, and he wasn't really sold on painting them. I thought they were pretty, as well, but with so many other white doors in the room, I thought they really needed to blend in. It was a good thing Brett said he wouldn't mind because I had already started priming them when I texted him.

We started out with these.

Not so bad, but not really blending in.

We opted not to tape off all the windows. I tried to tape one off, and gave up. I saw lots of advice to tape off all the panes, and finally found one reply on a message board saying not to tape and just scrape it with a razor. I latched onto that and ran with it.

Then, we started scraping.

And we scraped and scraped, until we had these little dudes all around the door.

And until all the panes looked like this.

Then, we put up the blinds and curtains, and now the door ties into the rest of the room much better.

Finally, after my helpful visitors had gone home, we painted the trim and doors and put the room back together. Brett bought me a new duvet cover for my birthday, and it ties in perfectly with the wall color.

I think all we have left to do is to pick out a new quilt, lamps, a ceiling fan, and get some shams and pillows. Then we can put a big DONE stamp on this room and start thinking about the next one (we're thinking rebuilding the sunroom is next, or maybe a quickie master bathroom makeover).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Birthday Wishes

In t-minus 5 and a half hours, I will enter my mid twenties. Squeeee! I know 24 is young, but I'm so excited to get there. I feel like we've come so far in the past year. We've paid off a significant chunk of credit card debt, and bought a house. We've also gone through the bulk of our first year of marriage, and we're so excited to move through the coming phases of our lives together. I love birthdays because it's a concrete reminder that you're moving through life.

And the best thing about birthdays are birthday wishes. Especially when those wishes come in person. It's no secret I'm not happy about living so far away from my family. But tomorrow, the ladies of my family are descending on Baton Rouge for an almost week long celebration of my birth. My mom and both grandmas are coming and we're going to GET. STUFF. DONE!

We're going to tackle the stenciling in the bedroom, and hopefully the trim and doors. And we're going to make a plan for the yard. I know it's not the right time for planting, so we're going to plan out and budget for the front and back. We'll have plenty of time to dig out the beds and put down edging before we need to get plants. I'm horrible with plants, but Brett has strong opinions. My only requirements are that I want to keep the two trees in the front yard, and the camellia and hibiscus in the back. And LOW MAINTENANCE is key.

Plus, we're going to have plenty of fun and girl time. Tomorrow is the big day, so we're going to dinner at P.F. Chang's. I love it, and I never, ever get to go there thanks to my Chang's hating hubs. Plus there will be some shopping to fill up the accessory lacking bedroom. I can't wait for them to get here!

I'm sure I'll barely make it through the day at work tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Master Bedroom: Almost Done

Our furniture finally came today! We've put together a room that will do for now. We have big ideas, but with the new furniture putting a big drain on our savings, those will take a while to put together. In the coming weeks, I'll finish painting the trim, and do a tone on tone geometric stencil pattern along the ceiling.

I'm so happy with the way everything looks. I finally feel like I have a bedroom fit for an adult!

The not so nice, pinkish before (with seller's furniture, just imagine a mattress with no headboard and footboard, and mismatched hand me down furniture):

The soothing after:

What we've done:
Painted ceiling Sherwin Williams Sea Salt
Painted walls Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay
Painted baseboards Sherwin Williams Antique White
Purchased new furniture: Ashley Furniture Martini Suite Collection
Replaced outlets and switches, and put new plates on, and turned the outlets rightside up

Still to do:
Paint doors, crown molding, and weird high trim
Do stenciling in between molding near ceiling
Get new bedding, lamps, and decorative accents
Replace ceiling fan with something a little more modern and a lot less gold
Replace carpet or put in laminate flooring

Monday, July 13, 2009


Ahh, Lowe's. How I love you. And yet I hate you at the same time. Whenever we're in the middle of a project and we realize, oops! We forgot to get putty to fill the nail holes. Or we need one of those door stopper things. Or we bought the wrong kind of light switches. I'm the first to volunteer.

I show up with paint all over my hands (and nose, thanks Brett for pointing that one out to me after it was too late), list in hand, ready to pick up that one item. And I just get sucked in. I push my giant cart up and down the aisles, gazing at the way too expensive stainless steel, freezer on the bottom refrigerators (sigh), the beautiful vessel sinks, and the lovely kitchen displays. Oh how I love to dream about what our house would look like with an unlimited pass to Lowe's.

Then, I go to get light switches and I'm slapped in the face by the $19 price tag on a single dimmer switch. Sorry to disappoint, but our only choices for lights are going to be on or off.

When it comes to weekends like this one was, when I've been to Lowe's three times in 36 hours, when for once I just want to get the damn switches and get home, that's when I don't love it. I'm no longer in my homeowner dream world when I've got a stiff neck and a sore back, and a headache from sleeping with paint fumes for two days.

This is the reality of home ownership. It may not be all sunshine and lollipops. But now that I'm back to work and can't wait to get home and look at my paint job, and my new white switches and outlets, it's pretty nice after all.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I may have lied

You're getting pictures tonight.

I love the color so, so much. If I could figure out how to hump the wall without damaging the paint job, I totally would. Ahhhhh, no more pinkish beige.

The tape didn't come off super clean, so there will be some touching up and some painting of trim tomorrow. My goal is to at least get the baseboards done before the furniture comes Wednesday. More updates to come after I've slept off the soreness.

Walls are Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay
Ceiling is Sherwin Williams Sea Salt

Friday, July 10, 2009

Painting Ceilings is Fun!

Oops, I forgot a word in the title. There was supposed to be a "not" there somewhere. It is especially not fun when you have a ton of shit to do in the morning, and you have a leisurely lunch and watch Band of Brothers with your husband, then mow the lawn, then start taping, then realize you're not quite tall enough to tape off the crown molding, then wait for your husband to tape it, then start painting.


It sucked. My neck hurts, my feet hurt, my back really hurts, and I look like this (after two glasses cleaning breaks).

Well, I did. I showered and now I'm no longer paint covered. I always think painting ceilings is not worth it while I'm doing it. Especially tall ceilings. But the finished product is SO worth it. It makes the room so much warmer and cozier than stark white. The crown molding pops against it, and I'm not a fan of white anyway, so I love colored ceilings. I may be crazy, but I think if you're painting a room, it's not that much extra effort to paint the ceiling a coordinated shade.

What we do is choose a color for the ceiling that's one or two shades lighter than the wall color. If the wall color is already super light, we just paint the ceiling that color. It makes the entire room look so pulled together! Every time I paint a ceiling, I start putting the paint on and freak out because it looks so dark/bright/green next to the stark white paint that was there before. But when you get the whole thing done, it looks so amazing. Seriously, I love it. It's a beautiful soft gray with a touch of blue, and I can't wait to see it with our wall color.

No pictures until we're done painting the walls tomorrow. I may even wait until we get our furniture put in on Wednesday. We shall see!

For now, I'll settle on the couch with my turkey sandwich and fall into bed before I do it all again tomorrow with the walls.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Decisions, decisions

Well, my too nice for words mother and father have offered to give me my birthday present early since they said I'll need it before my furniture comes in. It's paint and all the supplies needed to paint our master bedroom! Since our furniture is coming on the 15th, we need to paint next weekend if at all possible. My parents ROCK my socks. They are so awesome, and they (mostly my mom, let's be honest) always know the perfect thing to get me for gifts. And yes, I'm totally fine with the face that my birthday gift involves hours of manual labor, provided by me.

So I took a little trip to one of my very favorite places in the world, Sherwin Williams. I even love the way it smells. And I feel like I'm in some special club when I walk in (the Preferred Customer Club? The club of people gullible enough to pay $45 for a gallon of paint?) and I'm instantly in a good mood. Even when they're super busy and I have to wait a half hour for three sample quarts, I like it. Because I get to talk to other people about colors, and look at all the paint chips, and all that super fun stuff.

I went in to get just paint samples, like I said. But when I mentioned that I was painting next weekend, the guy behind the counter said, "You know today is that last day for 30% off, right?" Yeah, I did know that, but I hadn't decided on a color yet so I couldn't buy the paint. But guess what he told me. You can buy untinted paint at the sales price, and you can come back at any time to have it tinted FOR NO CHARGE!

I've said it many times. I love Sherwin Williams for a lot of reasons. The paint goes on great. It lasts. It's incredibly true to the color swatches. And they have the best colors. But what I love most of all is the customer service. It's something that's lost on a lot of businesses today. But I love having a clerk help me (or my mom) to save 30% on the paint we're going to buy regardless. And they'll sit there for ten minutes helping me figure out how many gallons of paint to buy. I just love them. LOVE them. Even if my husband doesn't understand it.

So I came home with three gallons of untinted, on sale paint, and three quarts of Color to Go, in three very similar colors. After some quick painting, I had six areas of color on two different walls. And it turns out I like one color on one wall, and a different color on the other wall. So we narrowed it down to two. Two colors one shade apart on the same paint strip. So there's no in between for us to go to. I painted another area, between two areas of white molding so I could see it without any of that nasty pinky brown around. And I think I know which one we'll go with. But I'm going to live with it for a few days before I decide.

What do you think? From left to right in the first two, they're Oyster Bay, Comfort Gray, and Contented. In the third picture, it's Oyster Bay on the bottom and Comfort Gray on top. I just can't decide!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Real Live Adults

Did it hit us that we were grown ups when we were no longer financially dependent on mom and dad? When we got our first jobs, post college? When we took the plunge and got married? Or maybe when we bought our first house?

Nope. None of them. That moment came today. When we walked into a real live furniture and told them what they wanted. They were (of course) having a big Fourth of July sale, complete with pre-marked up prices and complimentary hot dogs. So our sweet saleslady Georgeann told us, "Our sale today is 15% off, but that's only if you pay cash. You guys can take the 4 years interest free financing instead." And we said...

"No, we're paying cash." Like we drop $3k in one purchase all the time. That's right bitches. We can afford to buy a (nice!) bedroom set with cash. And I'm so freaking excited that I won't have to look at mismatched furniture anymore. And we have an actual, real, bed. And it has storage drawers underneath for linens or misbehaving cats or whatever. And it has a media chest. If we have to have a TV in the bedroom (thanks, Brett), then I'm glad we'll have a sleek, matching media chest with drawers underneath for clothes storage. I'm sure it will look just as nice as the picture with our 19" CRT tv on there that I've had since I was 13, right?

It's being delivered on the 15th. One week exactly before my birthday! But Brett swears and declares that it's not my birthday present. If it's not, my birthday present needs to be to paint that room before we get our glossy new furniture in there! Thanks to this giant purchase, we're putting off the master bath reno for a little while. And we won't be buying new linens and things until our savings account it back up to snuff, but it just makes sense to paint before you put in new furniture, right? Right?

So here it is. Our beautiful, almost black, shiny, glossy, grown up bedroom set. I can't find a picture of the bed online, but it's a platform bed with a paneled headboard and low footboard and storage drawers on the sides. We got the pictured dresser and mirror, two of the nightstands, and a media chest as well. Just wait until the 15th and there will be pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The agony of Paint Colors

I love paint. I love the paint store. I carry my trusty Sherwin Williams fan deck with me almost everywhere I go. I have about 50 paint strips crammed into my purse. I have a collage (on pink paper, much to my husband's horror) of the colors I want to use in the house.

Yes, it's possible I'm overthinking it. No, I don't have a super open floor plan. But dammit, I want the house to flow. Or maybe I just want to feel productive and actually pick something out, since my stupid tires and power steering and family visits and my upcoming birthday (okay, those last two things? awesome, but still) seem to be aligning to ensure that we get NOTHING done on the house. You know what we've done since we changed out the bathroom showerhead (Yes, I said WE Brett, whatcha gonna do about it? I stood there and handed you stuff!) Mowed the lawn. Once. We cleaned a little. But that's it. We've been here three months and one room (and one of the smallest rooms in the house) is painted. At this rate we'll be done painting in 2057. So this is for you Brett: Let's get our asses into gear! Hell, I'll forgo a fancy birthday present for a couple gallons of paint for the bedroom.

Anyway, back to paint. I had a color scheme all picked out. Burlap, Mossy Gold, Halcyon Green, Window Pane. Don't they all sound so beautiful? So I had a little doubt there in the back of my mind. Do you really want the same colors in your house as your mom's (and your aunt's)? Not to mention Brett totally dismissed the Halcyon Green as "too trendy" and told me I'd hate it in six months.

There was a lot of whining and gnashing of teeth. There was the suggestion (the suggester will remain anonymous for his/her own protection) to choose a color kind of close to Halcyon to appease the hubby and just paint it Halcyon and never tell Brett. There was a lot of trying to find other colors that I loved just as much, that were the perfect gray/green/blue and all of them falling short of the gloriousness that is Halcyon.

Then, I went home for Father's Day. And I walked into my brother's room (halcyon, natch). And it was blue. Like, really, really blue. And green. And barely gray at all. And suddenly I didn't like it anymore. Won't like it anymore after six months? Try six minutes. Yeah, it's pretty but it's waaaaay too bright. It's not the calm, serene, chill color we're looking for for the master bedroom. And of course changing that color meant changing every single freaking color in the house. Except the bathroom. We're not repainting the damn bathroom.

So if I've got one bit of paint advice, look at a room actually painted that color first. I should have learned this when my parents were building their house. I picked a nice, bright yellow green called frolic off of the paint swatch. And it turned out to be highlighter yellow. Seriously, the room glowed in the dark. If you don't have the opportunity to see your colors in person, take advantages of those little sample pots all the major brands are offering these days. And paint a big honkin' swatch on your wall. Actually, do this regardless, because colors change with light. You'll never regret the weeks (months? you spend with varying shades of gray on your bedroom walls, trust me.

But now, I think I've decided on the color scheme. This is the one I love so much I made a collage out of. And a little paint graphic. And I gaze at it lovingly almost every day. It's similar to the old one. But the blues are a little bit grayer. The neutrals are a little less green. And the powder room is now my lovely plum. That powder room is mine, baby, and it will be dark purple if I want it to be. Here it is, our new house. Coming in summer 2057.