Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Fresh Start?

I love our bedroom. I really do.

It's calming, it's soft, and the wall color, Oyster Bay, is still one of my favorites in the house.

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This was the second room we made over in the house, and I really think that color choice is the one that set the tone for the rest of the house, and ended in the cohesive cool loveliness we've got going on now.

But I have a real craving for something new in there. I think I want another bedding option.

In the rest of the house, we've really been gravitating towards brighter colors, graphic prints, and more fun. We want a calmer feel in the bedroom, but I also want it to fit in with the rest of the house.

Lately, I've really been noticing some options that I think would be gorgeous for our room.

This duvet cover from West Elm is definitely graphic, but I think the color would look really beautiful with the wall color. Plus at $79 it's a steal.

This is a lighter option that would still have a definite calm feeling, but it still feels fun and modern. It's organic cotton and only $99 for a king, from West Elm.

I'd love to pair either one with a slate gray quilt and crisp white sheets. Or a white quilt and white sheets. Neither one would need very much in the way of throw pillows, just a couple of very small ones in a bold pattern.

But, I also have the strong desire for a think, multi-layered, cloud of white on my bed. I'd start with Target's Organic sheets in white. We have these already in a bronzy color and love them.

Next, I'd love to add some texture with this Frayed Edge Quilt from West Elm

With that much texture in the quilt, I'd top it with a smooth cotton white duvet cover to keep it simple, and sew one or two throw pillows with just a pop of color.

Now, neither of these will happen because we have other priorities right now. I need to spend my time touching up the living and dining rooms, and we need to spend our money elsewhere. But a girl can dream.

Maybe a West Elm giftcard will find it's way into my stocking this year?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Home Stretch!

I planned to do some work last week in the evenings, but I hit a snag. I had plans Tuesday, and then Wednesday I started having an allergic reaction to something (assuming it's gluten). For me that involves hives and swelling on my hands and feet, so I slathered on the anti-itch cream and hoped for the best. But I was worse on Thursday, and was still in no shape to be holding a paint brush with my swollen hands. Luckily, I got into my doctor early Friday morning for a steroid shot and a six day course of more steroids, plus strict instructions to alternate antihistamines morning and night. Steroids being the miracle drug that they are, I felt pretty much completely normal after a couple of hours. And after running some errands and hanging out with the hubs for a couple of hours, I was ready to roll, literally.

I actually started with a brush, in the stairway. I cut in around the stairs and the rail, and then cut in throughout the upstairs. Then, I got a little frustrated and decide to tackle the last layer of wallpaper. It was something I wasn't going to do on my own, but I just wanted to get it as done as I could. So armed with a bottle of soapy water and a scotchbrite pad, I scrubbed as much of that paper off as I could. With a lot of elbow grease and a little spackle, it's looking not too shabby.

Once that was gone, I could actually paint the entire upstairs hallway. Because it's a tiny hallway with 7 doors (closet overload up there), it was almost entirely brush painting. I was able to get on two coats pretty quickly. Or at least, it seemed quick because I was listening to a great book, The Year of the Flood. I'll be posting my review a week from Thursday at my other blog.

Then I started rolling, and after I finished upstairs, I made my way down the stairway. Once I got to the bottom, I decide that I might as well get that second coat on the walls downstairs while I had all the stuff out. It only took a couple of hours and the results were so worth it. I thought we had great coverage before, but the second coat really evened out and deepened the color.

Saturday morning, we were all ready to pull the tape! I am so happy with how this color works with the floor, the furniture, and the white moldings. I'm in LOVE with the black fireplace, but the verdict is still out for Brett. Cross your fingers for a yes!

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Good lord I'm a terrible picture taker, aren't I?

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This is like the PERFECT color to complement the kitchen. Seriously. Perfect. I'm so glad I saw it on Kara's blog one day and randomly asked her for the name. Thanks Kara!

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And finally, my vision for my china cabinet has come together. The tan was totally throwing me off before and I still had my doubts until now. I can't wait to set it all up again.

(Side note, that is my new bag in the pic, bought as a self birthday gift. I bought it from seller ikabags on etsy and can't recommend her enough. The quality is excellent and it's so adorable and deceptively roomy. Plus with the sturdy strap I can carry my full size laptop and it feels feather light. I love it so much more than the bag I paid over twice as much for from another seller late last year. Love her!)

One of my favorite things about this color is how awesome it looks with wood. Our console table and our handrail look so much more, I don't know, there?

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I love it upstairs, mostly how great it coordinates with all of our other colors up there.

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But we still have some work to do. We haven't figured out the stairwell conundrum, so we have some areas that look like this.

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See how high our arms reach?

Plus there are significant touch ups needed on the ceiling, and I need a second coat on the upper half of the stairway walls with the roller. And then there's all of the cutting in around the moldings. We tried the Frog tape for this project, and our verdict was basically, yes it leaks less than regular painter's tape. But we're not good enough tapers to justify it if we're going to have to touch up everywhere anyway. So after the two rolls we have are gone, we're going back to the cheap stuff and a steady hand.

But it just feels really good to have banished the flesh color from our house. I love this color so much, and it makes for such a great feeling in here!

Now, anyone interested in buying 4 gallons of it from me (that's right, I have half a gallon left for touching up)?

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm kind of obsessed with white

I remember saying those exact words to my mom a few months ago over lunch. I think it was at Ikea, so it must have been in May.

But as of this weekend, my obsession is cured.

I still love me a good white. But black can be oh so nice.

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I'm in love with our fireplace.

I really love the way metallic accessories pop against it, and the way it highlights the white mantel.

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And after dark, I'm obsessed with the way our television disappears. Pop some popcorn and it's almost like a movie theater!

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But I'm not the only one in the house. And last night while we were at Sonic waiting for our junior sundaes, Brett turned and asked me how much primer I had left. I asked him why and he said he wanted to make sure we could paint it gray if we needed to.


But he called me at work today, and I think it's winning him over. He said IF we get some art on both sides (we already have the painting for one side). And IF we keep symmetrical furniture on both sides (which has been a sticking point. I want no furniture on the right), then he'll like it.

I predict by week's end he'll be totally won over.

What do you guys think? Wonderful? Awful?

A New Project

I'm not giving up on my living room just yet. This project is not decorating or home related.

If you like to read, head on over to to check out our new book blog! We'll go to bed with ANY book.

We've already posted a giveaway and our first review. Keep checking back each day for more reviews, author profiles, and general book related content. We've got ladies from all over the country and very different backgrounds who all have one thing in common. We love to read! From fluff to serious stuff, we'll read anything, and we take suggestions too!

I'll generally be reviewing audiobooks, and my posts will usually be on Thursdays. Be sure to check it out this Thursday for my first review: Stephen King's Under The Dome!

I'm really excited to be a part of this new project! Please head over and check it out.

Friday, August 13, 2010

One gallon

One gallon of paint got me cutting in the entire downstairs plus all of this.

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Yeah, it's one coat. But dude, one coat gives such amazing coverage.

I should have tried this paint a looooong time ago.

I cracked open gallon number two and continued working and made it to bed around ten o'clock last night. When I saw the room in the sunshine today, it was totally worth all of the yawns!

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The new color and the kitchen color are really good friends. They told me.

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Good morning living room!

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I used Duration Home Interior (the one in the plastic can with the green sure label). Get it. There's a reason it's so expensive. And you can buy it on sale so it's not so expensive. But don't trust their calculations or you'll end up with three extra gallons like me.

One coat gives amazing coverage, but we'll be doing a light second coat for longevity's sake. Even with the second coat, I really can't see us using more than 4 gallons. I've used about 1 and 1/4 and I'm halfway up the stairs.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Paint Progress

I know I didn't do so great on the Post Along part of my weekend project! But Sunday, I did a lot of wall repair and ended up cutting in along all of the baseboards and the chair rail throughout the living and dining room, as well as painting around the windows and doorways.

And as I finished, I couldn't resist painting the wall with the smallest amount of surface area, since I thought I could get away with just my brush. Luckily, I was right!

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And the verdict is in. In case my smiling face doesn't tell you, I'm butt crazy in love with this color. It's completely perfect and I'm so glad we chose it. It's a little lighter than we expected, but it turned out to be exactly right.

Then tonight, while dinner was in the oven, I cut in around the crown molding downstairs. I'm taking the day off tomorrow to have dinner with my husband at work, and then I might start with the rolling on Thursday night!

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Josh Lyman was my painting buddy tonight, as you can see. The lighter areas in the dining room aren't dry yet.

I just can't wait to see this room completely done!

As for this coming weekend, I'm not sure if we'll spend it relaxing or working. But I don't know what we're dreading more. Corralling all the cords and painting the fireplace black, or tackling the final layer of wallpaper in the upstairs hallway. Probably the latter. We've tried all the tricks we know and no dice. We've scored it with the Pirahna thing, tried vinegar, tried detergent, tried Dawn, tried a spray bottle, tried a sponge, tried a ScotchBrite, tried our fingernails. Any suggestions?

We're down to just the paper backing, and it's on top of flat paint, which is making things very difficult.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Post Along Project: Pictures

Here are the pictures I said I would post last night. Since I took these, I've put the vent covers back up, and it looks pretty swell. I love the subtle, gorgeous gray.

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I love our new schoolhouse globes in the stairway!

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See those touch-ups? The stairway is completely full of spots like that. I will pretty much need a second coat up there, but I'm waiting until we rent a scaffold or figure out whatever solution we can to the very high ceilings and stairs.

Today, Brett is spending his last Sunday morning at work. I'm about to make my first attempt at drywall patching.

Since we moved in, we've been curious about the presence of a couple of vents, high on the wall, with no discernible purpose. One, to the left of the fireplace.

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And another above our bedroom door. It turned out that the one above the bedroom door is hiding a hole in the drywall about the size of a golf ball. Okay?

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Because who needs to fix something when you can just out a vent over it?

The other one is hiding a non-functioning infrared motion detector. We can only assume it's non-functioning, because, you know, we've been walking around our living room for a year and a half and we've never set it off.

So I'm going to attempt to patch them. I'm using the mesh, spackle, sand approach. And I have a can of the orange peel spray to match our drywall texture. And, cross my fingers, start painting!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Post Along Project: Break Time

After four solid hours up and down the ladder, plus 4 or 5 more painting the ceiling, plus three more karaokeing, my body was screaming at me to take a break. A real break.

So today, we made the list and got the stiff for dry wall patching. We'll put the lights and vents back up (once they dry, we washed them and we're waiting for the little sponge parts to dry), and then tomorrow I'll do some more work. I don't know if I'll even get to painting the walls this weekend.

Last night, I finished the ceiling. My husband texted me at ten to meet him at 11 and I still had the dining room, plus I had paint all in my hair. I was painting like a mad woman. Literally, RUNNING around the house. Y'all, I was huffing like Tom on Design Star. I wish you could have seen me.

But I finished painting that dining room ceiling in a half an hour. And I showered and was at the bar by 11:05! But I'm paying for it today. I slept until 8 and woke up so sore! We cleaned up (no time for that last night) and then watched a movie. And we're just relaxing.

I got the cutest schoolhouse globes for the stairway light fixtures! We're about to nap for a bit, then we'll put them up and maybe I'll post some picture of them and the ceiling tonight. It's so pretty!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Post Along Project:: Day 1 Dinner Break

So it's just before 7 and my back and neck are killing me. But I THINK I'm done with the ladder for the night. I think.

I'm all done cutting in for the ceiling! It took for ever. Over four hours of climbing up and down the ladder, and I'm shot. But I think after some rest and food, I'll be able to tackle rolling tonight!

After Brett gets off, we're thinking about going out for karaoke, so we might get a late start tomorrow! :)

The plan for tomorrow, assuming the ceiling is all rolled today, that is: wake up and make a plan for wall repair, drywall patch, etc. Then I'll take a trip to the hardware store, and work on the walls so we can start painting!

Here's a couple pictures of the ceiling color! I am really loving it against the wood tone of the ceiling fan.



These are phone pictures. Excuse the quality.

Post Along Project: The Prep

I've heard that the preparation should take you twice as long (or is it just as long?) as the painting. Now, that's never been true for me, although sometimes I wish it was! But there has definitely been a lot of prep work involved in this project!

We started bright and early with the taping. Our room has crown molding, a chair rail all around (which I don't get in the living room, but okay) and thick baseboards. And it's a big room. Add in the baseboards up the stair way and 13 doors, and that's a lot of tape. We started at 7 this morning, took a lunch/goodwill run break, and I just finished (at 2 pm).

But in that time we took quite a few breaks to take off the vent covers, get all the lights taken down for painting, take down the curtains (and took them to Goodwill), and started stripping the wallpaper upstairs.

Is there anything more satisfying than tearing off an old, ugly wallpaper border? We tore off a burgundy and navy paisley one, and found pastel hummingbirds underneath. It was actually sort of pretty. Although, I wouldn't choose a wallpaper border of any kind, probably, I'm sure I would have picked something like this when our house was built in 1991! Since I love birds so much, I kept a small piece, and I'm thinking I might frame it to have a piece of history from our home!

Now, I'm taking a water break and about to start painting the ceiling. Hopefully I can finish that tonight! Dream big!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Post Along Project: Paint

I'll be totally honest here. This is completely about motivating myself to actually start painting the living room/dining room/hall/stairway.

Ugh. It even hurts to type. I actually still have no idea how I'm going to do the stairway ceiling/wall transition. Brett has an idea that includes a paintbrush on a very long stick, but he hasn't adequately explained that one to me yet.

I figure that posting here will help give me the motivation to actually do something! That really worked with the chevron curtains I mentioned last weekend, right?


But I have an excuse. I decided to tackle kitchen lighting instead, which turned into a huge disaster which I have no pictures of because it bled over into the week (and we still haven't put up the new ceiling fan. Yes, we have ceiling fans in the kitchens here in South Lousiana) and we got some great news.

My husband got a big promotion! Yay!

But he'll be working evenings, and since I work 7-4:30, that means we'll only see each other on the weekends. Boo.

So rather than work on the house or take pictures of our beautiful new kitchen light and the new plate that's covering the gaping hole in the ceiling, we concentrated on spending time together.

But this weekend, he'll be training for his new position, so I'm taking advantage of the alone time and starting the great paint of 2010.

The goal for this weekend is to paint the ceiling.

Sounds easy, no? Quit looking at me like that! It's a very big space!

The stretch goal is to finish painting the ceiling and paint the dining room.

We'll see how it goes!

I can't wait until the tan is BANISHED from the house (except for the ghastly tile. Ugh).