Pieces of Flair

“We really need to talk about your flair.” I said to the entry way. And then the entry way was like “Really?…but I have 15 pieces on”. To which I replied “Well, fifteen is the minimum, okay? Now, you know it’s up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum.”

If you don’t like the movie Office Space, we can’t be friends.

I don’t really talk to inanimate objects…at least not when anyone else is around, but I have come to the conclusion that our entry way is a little lacking in the ‘flair’ department. I’m all about keeping it casual and functional, but I think every room deserves a little something special. I had an idea of how I could add some flair.

That being said, not every idea is a good idea.

Sometimes I get these ideas and they look fan-TAS-tic…in my head. And then I go to apply them in real life and they look….well, not so fantastic. Here is an example.

I found this tutorial on Pinterest, where they drew a geometric shape on the walls with a gold Sharpie paint pen. Easy enough. I loved the concept and how simple it was. BUT I didn’t want to be a big ‘ol copycat and copy exactly what they did, so I decided to find another pattern to put my own spin on it. I measured everything out and started marking up the walls with pencil. Once I had it marked, I already had the impression that it wasn’t going to work, but I decided to forge ahead because it looked so good in my head. I just marked off one wall and decided to go ahead and add the gold Sharpie to see how I liked it before I went on to the other walls.

Herringbone Accent // thegoldbrickroad.comThe truth is, I really liked it, but I knew deep down that it was just too busy for such a narrow space. I also thought maybe I could just do the one wall, but I decided it would just make the room feel unbalanced.  So this is as far as I got before I admitted defeat and went back to the drawing board.

Herringbone Accent // thegoldbrickroad.comAfter I really thought about what went wrong, I decided a little would go a long way in this space.  I thought about drawing the same design with gold Sharpie but in smaller strips. Then I was watching HGTV’s new show Flipping the Block, and one of the teams had a little flare on their walls of a master bedroom they were designing. It was perfect for my space!

flippingtheblockI got to work taping off the section of wall I wanted to paint. It was super easy. The only measuring I had to do was the width of the columns. The rest was just random taping at an angle. I made my angles slightly less severe than theirs.

Herringbone Accent // thegoldbrickroad.com Herringbone Accent // thegoldbrickroad.comThen the paint went on. I decided to use all white paint. It’s actually left over trim paint so it is a semi-gloss and has a little shine to it in the right light.

Herringbone Accent // thegoldbrickroad.comHerringbone Accent // thegoldbrickroad.comAfter two coats of paint, I just peeled away the tape and was left with this.

Herringbone Accent // thegoldbrickroad.comHerringbone Accent // thegoldbrickroad.comHerringbone Accent // thegoldbrickroad.comHerringbone Accent // thegoldbrickroad.comHerringbone Accent // thegoldbrickroad.comHerringbone Accent // thegoldbrickroad.comI really like how it turned out. I think the gold would have been overkill in here. Instead of yelling “hey, look at me!”, it’s more of a whisper. I still have to hang our coat rack on the wall, paint the trim on the attic access, and change out the flourescent light fixture. You know…more pieces of flair.


Any Excuse To Play With Chalk

My days are filled with projects. There are projects that are necessary, projects that are expensive, projects that are time consuming, projects that suck the life right out of you and projects that are just plain fun. Of course the fun ones are my favorite (it would be super weird if they weren’t). Luckily this project falls under fun.

I’ve been working on the entry way the last couple of weeks. Now that all the walls are painted and the trim…oh the trim…that’s one of the life-sucking projects I was talking about. Now that that’s out of the way I can focus on dressing up the space. Or in this case dressing down. I’m going casual on this one. I love the idea of a fancy, grand entry way. But let’s be real. We live on a farm. We aren’t fancy people, and function trumps beauty these days.

I know for sure there will be a bench and hooks along one wall of the entry, but the opposite wall is open for whatever. I’ve been wanting to do a chalkboard wall for a long time, but hadn’t found the right spot. Of course the playroom would be the obvious choice, but Hollis isn’t quite old enough for a chalkboard wall and I’d really like for the whole family to be able to use it (and by whole family, I mean me). I originally thought of the kitchen, but I just don’t have the wall space for it and I’m not crazy about the idea of chalk dust where we eat. So I think the entry way will be the best spot.

I started out drawing a free-form shape on the wall. Sorry for the blurry pic, I just used a pencil to sketch out my shape.
DIY Chalkboard Wall // thegoldbrickroad.com

DIY Chalkboard Wall // thegoldbrickroad.comWe thought it would be fun to make it magnetic so we could hang artwork or notes too. I read online reviews of this Magnamagic and everyone said to use at least 4 coats to get magnets to really work on it. I got magnets to stick to it after one coat, but went ahead and did 4 anyway. I didn’t know if covering it up with chalkboard paint would make it less effective.

DIY Chalkboard Wall // thegoldbrickroad.comHere it is after a few coats. The paint is really thick and will leave a texture if you don’t smooth it out with a brush or a roller. I have a few ridges on mine that I didn’t catch in time before they dried. (oops!)

DIY Chalkboard Wall // thegoldbrickroad.comAfter I got my four coats on and let them dry, I started adding the chalkboard paint. I used Valspar’s and only need two coats of it. It went on easily and covered really well.

DIY Chalkboard Wall // thegoldbrickroad.comDIY Chalkboard Wall // thegoldbrickroad.com

DIY Chalkboard Wall // thegoldbrickroad.comI was also able to use one of my flea market finds. I think it was an old wall planter, and now it holds the chalk and eraser.

DIY Chalkboard Wall // thegoldbrickroad.comAfter all my paint dried, I had to season the chalkboard by dragging a piece of chalk across the entire surface and then erasing it. It was messy, but necessary.

DIY Chalkboard Wall // thegoldbrickroad.comDIY Chalkboard Wall // thegoldbrickroad.comI’ve been having fun with my our new chalkboard. Some day Hollis can draw on it, but for now I like using to leave funny messages to the hubs and filling it with quotes from the Mindy Project and Brooklyn 99….you know, like most adults do.

Color Conundrum: Picking Paint Colors

Everyone has a hobby. Some people love to scuba dive, polka dance, or….iron….? (extreme ironing is seriously a thing you guys) What’s my hobby?  My hobby is picking out paint colors.  People, do you realize how excited about paint swatches as I get? Sometimes I even make up rooms that need to be painted JUST so I can pick out paint for them. (Extreme ironing doesn’t sound so weird now, does it?) So moving into a house where every room needs to be painted, is basically awesome for me.

In our last house, I was very safe with my paint color selections. We lived in a split-level with a fairly open floor plan. From the living room, you could see the dining room, kitchen, entry, and the upper and lower hallways. To keep things cohesive, I used a really neutral gray color palette. We also repeated a lot of the same wall colors.  For instance, the dining room was the same color as our master and the living room was the same color as the hallway and guest room. Not only did we save a little money by getting the most out of our paint, but it also created a nice flow throughout the house.

When we first moved to the farm-house, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of having so many closed-off rooms. Our house was built-in the 1890’s so open floor plans weren’t really a thing then.  I missed the open feeling of our last house. Now after living here for a few months, I’m starting to really like having clearly separate rooms that can be closed off when we want. It’s also kind a of game-changer when it comes to picking out paint colors. Since you can’t see the whole house from one room, I feel like I can be a little more adventurous with my paint selection. I still love a good neutral, but I feel like I should embrace this opportunity to experiment with a little more color.

Here’s what colors we have going on so far…

sparkling lake valspar


exciting orange

Exciting Orange Sherwin-Williams


grayish sherwin williams

Grayish Sherwin-Williams

IMG_0517These three rooms are all connected by the entry way so I need the entry way paint color to compliment each room. I wanted something just neutral enough that it would look good next to other colors, but not necessarily beige or white. My first thought was a darker gray, similar or even the same as the color of the cabinets in the kitchen. But I was afraid it would look too cold or  be overkill with all the gray going on in the kitchen.  I want it too feel like its own space and not an extension of the kitchen. I ended up with a very pale mint green. It reads kind of gray on the computer screen, but in person it is the perfect shade of pale, pale mint.

ante meridian valsparHere it is before I started painting. I have to admit the brown bothered me a lot less with our new floor and painted trim. As you can see I filled in a lot of nail holes. (just wait ’til you see all the nail holes in the bedrooms!)

IMG_0664IMG_0663Here it is after one coat, sorry for the terrible lighting in this photo, but I wanted to show you how green it really can be.  And yes, I still need to paint that trim around the attic access. I keep forgetting about it until I see it in pics!

thegoldbrickroad.comAnd here it is after two coats. I was a little worried it was too green after the first coat, but after two coats, it’s calmed down a bit.  I think the white trim helps show its true color. I love how subtle the green is, it changes throughout the day in different light.

IMG_0758I still have a lot to do in here, (and a lot to do with that sad little bench) but I am glad all the brown is gone and all the holes are patched up. I want to do something fun on the walls. Nothing too fancy, but I definitely want to add some charm to the entry way since it’s the first room everyone sees.

Inspirado: Entry Way

What’s the one room in our house that everyone sees and is always a mess??…

The entry way.

I’m about to start on our entry way and I’ve been thinking of our wants and needs before I get started. Of course I have dreams of our entry way being grand and beautiful. So beautiful that people can’t help but ooooh and ahhhh as they enter our home. But let’s be honest, it’s just a hallway that serves as a catch-all for shoes, coats, keys, etc. How fabulous.

Living on a farm has turned me into one of those shoe nazis. You know the ones that make you take your shoes off at the door? Annoying I know, but dirty boots have a whole new meaning now that they not only include mud and dirt, but cow feces….yeah. Think about that for a minute. Do you want people walking through your house with boots that they used to walk through cow pastures with?! AND add an adorable 10 month old that crawls from point A to point B all day long who has her hands and knees all over that floor…(shudder).

Okay…I don’t really make everyone take their shoes off (I’d like to). But I do ask that my hubby and anyone else with cow poo on their boots take them off before walking in the living room or play room. I figured if I ask this of people, then I need to provide a place to sit in the entry way to take off said boots like a chair or bench. We also need some storage for shoes and coats, because I know if I don’t they will just end up cluttering the floor or kitchen table. Here’s  a few spaces that are inspiring me right now…





I just love how pretty these entry ways all look, but at the same time, they still look practical and lived-in.  I also really like all of the clever, non-fussy storage solutions! Any other shoe police out there? Any tips on entry way storage?