Back Room Blues (Good Blues)

A little while back (and for a while, really), I was debating room color choices for our second to last major space in need of paint.  Whew.  There has been a lot of painting in our house in the last year and a half.

Where did we start?

peachWe started with stained peach walls.  Very glamorous.  To be fair, I actually liked this peach color with our light yellow-ish curtains.  It was kind of a sweet combination.  Just the same, the stains and tons and tons of nail holes meant that paint was needed at some juncture.

peach and redThese are the curtains that used to be in the room.  Whew!  There’s nothing quite like peach walls with bright red curtains.  But we quickly changed the scenery with some new paint–Benjamin Moore’s Dark Pewter, to be exact (although I bought the paint at Lowe’s, who had the formula in their computer):

image from

image from

And I have to say, I love it.  Sometimes it looks like a clean navy blue, sometimes it looks very grey, and every once in a while it looks kind of teal.  It’s a keeper.

blueSure, there’s still a pile of stuff in the middle of the room that I need to deal with.  Since this room is currently in need of a purpose, I’m okay with the pile.  It holds blinds we’ve taken down from other rooms and journals that spare no embarrassing detail about my emotional life from ages 6 to 26 (when I got too lazy to share my deepest feelings with a piece of paper).  Should you keep a 1/4-full journal?  Or a dozen 1/4-full journals?  I’m not sure.

Anyway, the walls are lovely, and there isn’t a single stray nail hole in sight.

fabric and wallsEven though the paint doesn’t really look this bright in real life, it still looks nice next to the curtains that will someday be up on the windows.

Why no curtains now?  I tried to hang them, I really did.

I decided to use some extra curtain rods from our last house to avoid buying new curtain rods.  So far so good.  I even decided to hang them up despite the fact that the hardware for those curtain rods doesn’t quite match (one set of each, not different ends on the same curtain rod).

finialsI thought that since the walls are such a dark color, the black hardware would just melt right into the background of the room, and nobody would notice anyway.

Then I realized that we only had one set of finials.  Oops.  Looks like sometime in the last few moves, a set of finials landed on the roadside.  Or something.


And there the project halted.  I’ll get some spare finials someday, and the empty room will be 1% less empty.  In the meantime, I just open the door and enjoy the color while completely ignoring the pile of stuff in the center of the room.

P.S.  For anyone who was hoping grey walls would appear in this room, I’m defnitely planning a grey downstairs living area.  In about six months, when I can wrap my brain around painting a room that large that we don’t use terribly often.

Red Tile Love

I tend to gravitate towards calm colors when decorating (or dressing)–blues, greens, browns, neutrals.  But lately, I’ve been trying to add some red and yellow and orange back into the mix.  Those colors can be so warm and inviting!

I am still hopelessly devoted to blues and greens and browns, but I think that adding little bits of different colors can really liven up a space.

Yes, I did repaint our red dining room to an off-white color.  I’m still happy with that choice, and it doesn’t mean I’m anti-red.  I am anti-stained, gross paint that doesn’t go with the other things that will be living out in the open in the same room.

Anyway, pictures like this make it really easy to imagine more red in our house:

photo from

photo from

Good tile choice, people!  Long-distance high five.

Wall Color: Random Room Edition

We’ve painted almost every room in our house.  Almost.  At this exact moment, the number of rooms we have painted is 7, and the remaining number is 4.  One of the unpainted rooms shouldn’t really count, however, because the total paintable space is minimal–maybe ten square feet.

Anyway, we’re ignoring the largest of the remaining unpainted rooms.  It has a bit of a box problem right now, and that should take priority over wall color any day.

In the meantime, there are 2 remaining bedrooms to paint.  Woohoo!

Thank goodness, one is going to be the same color as the living/dining/kitchen areas, because there’s leftover paint in that bucket, and it’s free.  Off-white for all!  Leaving that one poor empty bedroom with old, dirty paint on the walls.

Oh, and these curtains are staying in the room:

buffalo check picture from

buffalo check picture from

Here are the ideas I’m considering:

1.  Navy blue-ish

teal or really dark navy picture from

teal or really dark navy picture from

2.  Really pale green

photo from

photo from

3.  Warm grey (top left paint lid)

grey photo from

grey photo from

What say you?

Painting Some More: Stairs

I had an ambitious post-work plan for yesterday.  First I would hit up the grocery store, followed by some time painting a second coat on our stair treads.  And last but not least, I would iron in front of the tv and watch a new movie I’m pretty excited about.

Nope.  The groceries happened, then I got home and got sucked into online Christmas shopping.  The good news is that three family members now have presents headed their way.  The bad news is that I painted after that and then staggered to bed in a sleepy stupor around 11:30.  Not exactly according to plan.

chair barrierThe good news is that Peanut didn’t try to get past my super sturdy barrier (complete with a dog-sized gap on the left).  The bad news is that even though I have finished the treads, I now have to paint the risers and the side trim.  Sigh.

And I’m painting them white, no less.  I love painting things that make a huge impact.  But painting things to just “tidy the look up a bit”?  Not as fun.

But there are good things in the future.  There’s good friend time coming up tonight and on Sunday, not to mention the good food that will probably be a part of both events.  And there’s no more thinking about the status of our stairs for months and months (maybe years?).  All good.

Note: A friend asked if we stained our bathroom cabinets, and I said no.  I haven’t stained anything before, so the thought seems kind of daunting.  I was planning to stain our stairs until I discovered that we had a few sizable holes to fill in with wood filler, which I’ve heard doesn’t stain as well as it claims to stain.  So with a huge sense of relief and avoided danger, I decided to paint the stairs.  And that brings us to this moment.  Everything you wanted to know and a few paragraphs more, right?

Painting on a Whim

So our main guest bathroom has been sitting untouched for a while.  Meaning that there were tons of extra nail holes in the wall, not to mention various stains and smudges and general yuck.

I decided I needed to change that this weekend, and I wanted to change it immediately (and for free).  Enter the extra paint from our downstairs bathroom.  It wasn’t exactly the color I wanted for the upstairs bathroom, but it was in the right color family–the family called “tone down the avocado bathtub and toilet.”

So, with leftover paint and a few hours, we went from dirty, tired walls to a fresh blue bathroom.

new bathroom 1

Ta da!  I even kind of like it now, avocado and all.

new bathroom 2

The artwork ties in the fabulously 70’s countertop.  Which makes for a very happy painter.

new bathroom painter

The gold frame even looks nice next to all of that fresh blue paint.  Yay!  Three cheers for leftover paint and a free afternoon!  Three cheers for a bathroom that is no longer yucky!!

P.S.  Found a before picture somewhere on the vast interwebs, so for the sake of comparison:

photo by some realtor about a year and a half ago

photo by some realtor about a year and a half ago

Happy Couch + Window (+Peanut) Reunion

Well, we’re slowly but surely getting a grasp on “normal life” after vacation life.  I think I like jet lag a lot less at 30 than I did at 21.  But you know who’s really really happy?


He was treated like a king while we were gone, so he wasn’t exactly sad for the past few weeks.  But he was sad for the past month or so while we worked on the floors.  Mostly because we moved his favorite couch spot away from his favorite window spot.  What’s a moderately short dog to do when you take away his primary window/sunny spot?  Mope.  And mope he did.

Last night, we moved our large furniture back upstairs onto the new floors (pretty!), amid much pain and smashing of fingers and toes.  Jet lag + moving furniture at night = many small disasters.

Anyway, I woke up this morning to find no Peanut in our bedroom.  That’s strange behavior if ever I heard of strange behavior.  He likes to be close to his people when possible.

Then I heard a dog jump off the couch and scramble towards the bedroom.  He was definitely sleeping in his reunited favorite spot(s).  It was pretty cute.  All this morning he sat there, just soaking up the happiness.

sunny spot 1So much happiness:

sunny spot 2I wish I had such a great reaction to every furniture move we make.  But hey, one out of every thousand times we move a piece of furniture, the crowd rejoices.  I’ll accept that.

(You know what else is nice?  I put up curtains last night just so enjoy the newly installed curtain rods, planning to iron said curtains later.  Only when I looked at them this morning, the combo of open windows and humid Virginia air had taken out almost all of the offending wrinkles.  Victory for the impatient decorator!)