From Beach to Farmhouse

When I first gave our downstairs bathroom a makeover, I LOVED it. I picked a cheery color and ran some stripes along one wall. It was super cute and I was happy with it. But after sitting (literally) and staring at it for two years, I started to get the itch to change it up a bit.

I have mentioned in the previous post that I am really feeling neutrals lately and that is no lie. After painting our office a dark, dark gray and painting the entry way a nice creamy white, the bathroom really started to stick out like a sore thumb. The bathroom was also starting to take on a more beach-y feel, which is not really what I was going for. Part of the problem is my shower curtain that I fell in love with when I bought it for our first house. I still have all the feels for my octopus shower curtain and want it to stay, but I need to redirect the feel of the room. I’m going for modern farmhouse, not beach.

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Months ago, we hung some reclaimed wood shelves that I made out of wood Brian found on the farm. We love them so much, but the room started to feel a little too busy. There was just too much going on with the bright color and the stripes. I also added some “farmhouse” décor and tried to take some of the “beach-y” elements out, but it still wasn’t quite right. It also made my off white shower curtain look really yellow and kind of dingy.

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I almost didn’t do another accent wall, but I really wanted a background for those shelves that would allow them to ‘pop’ a little more. I used the same dark gray that I used in the office and the upstairs bath, Muted Ebony by Valspar. I just can’t get enough of it! I debated painting the whole room that color, but it’s such a long, narrow space and just one little window of natural light, I decided to go with the creamy, white that I used in the entry way which is right outside the bathroom. I like the way it all flows together.

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I have to admit I was a little sad to see the stripes go…I worked really hard on those! They did not go without a fight, it took some sanding and elbow grease to get the wall back to a smooth surface. I can still see a few traces of my stripes in certain light (dang it!), but they are mostly just a memory.

I love how all the wood and white pop off that dark gray wall. I also think the octopus shower curtain feels like he goes in the room so much better. He felt a little out-of-place before, but now that gray wall really draws him out. I still plan on adding molding and painting both the closet door and the door to the bathroom black. I think they will add a really nice contrast to that cream wall. I actually CAN’T WAIT to get started on that project, but will probably have to wait until after the holidays…:(

 

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To Fill, or Not To Fill

I feel like I’ve been MIA for a while in blogland, but my baby Bo is getting in four teeth…at the same time. Poor little babe. He’s a tough little guy, but I’m not as tough. He’s been waking up every 2 hours at night for the last month and I’m feeling the lack of sleep. I’m in full on mombie (that’s mom + zombie for those that don’t know) mode and doing super productive things like pouring orange juice in my coffee instead of creamer…

But I digress…I’m actually here to talk about filling up those large empty, or awkward walls in the house.

Our old farmhouse is the opposite of open concept. I know Instagram is full of beautiful pictures of open concept homes where you can see from the front door all the way to the back door. But I have to say, I love that in our house when the playroom looks like a bomb went off in it, I can just pull close the big pocket doors and pretend that the little playroom fairies are behind the door cleaning away while I sit in the living room sipping my oversized glass of Cabernet. Don’t get wrong, there is a good flow, but the rooms in our house are all pretty much separate which makes for a lot of walls to fill up!

Here are a few ways I like to fill up the walls…

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When hanging things on the wall, I like to mix things up. I like hanging simple objects like a rustic, old window. I like the dimension and texture it brings to the room while still being really simple. I also like a small shelf or two where I can easily change things out by just leaning pictures on it, and using small decor that can be rotated out with the seasons or whenever the urge strikes. file_007

Plants in fun containers on the wall are also a new fave of mine. I love a good pop of green and try to incorporate a plant or two…or ten in all the rooms in our house. I feel like they bring a lot of life and energy to a space.

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And of course there is paint. If you’ve followed this blog for very long, you know I love to paint. Like really love it. I used a lovely shade of pink and some painters tape to fill a wall in the playroom with a “playhouse” for Hollis.

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Again, I used some rustic shelves for Bo’s side of the kid’s room. I just love the versatility of it. I can swap things out as he grows and his interests change. I also like to hang things around the shelves to add more interest and create a little “mini gallery wall”.

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I have to say there is just something that really speaks to me about a simple picture hung on a large, empty wall. I struggled with what to hang on Hollis’ side of the kid’s room. I really didn’t want to mimic the other side of the room and have it feel too matchy-matchy. I finally decided to make my own graphic onto two matching frames I had. I love how simple it is, yet it really stands out when it is the only thing on the wall.

I am currently trying to figure out what to do with the large wall space that runs along the staircase. It is such an awkward space to fill! I’ve been looking all over for inspiration. One of my go-to sources of inspiration is Wayfair.com. There is a whole post on decorating a large wall.   It’s a great place to get some ideas when you are stuck on a space or if you just like to look at pretty decor pictures. I especially love the idea of using statement piece, like one of these beautiful starburst mirrors!

 

Playroom Upgrade

I can’t believe the holidays are over. I feel like I just put Christmas decorations up and now I have to turn around and take them all down. Now without the holiday distractions, I’m very aware that this little babe is going to be here SOON. I’m also very aware of my mile-long list of things to do before he gets here.

One of my pre-baby projects was the playroom. I feel like it’s constantly in makeover mode. I’m always moving things around in there. Like daily. A couple of weeks before Christmas I had a slight panic attack when I learned some of the (big) things Hollis would be getting for gifts this year and wondered where the heck I was going to put them (first world problems, right?!). It also dawned on me that we are about to have another little person and all of the toys that come with said little person. Hollis has the playroom filled to the brim all on her own, so I don’t know how we are going to make space for even more toys.

Here is (basically) what the playroom has looked like for the last few months. Like I said I move things around a lot in there, but this is the last pics I took of it.

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The layout worked great for quite a while, but I really just needed more wall space. I decided the only way to get it was to get the treadmill out of there. So it has a new home in the office…for now. And while we really enjoyed having the sofa in the playroom, we just didn’t use it as often as I thought we would. I’m sure we will when the kids are older. We moved it into the living room for now, which has been really nice because we are short on seating in there. Moving these two big items out really freed up a lot of space. I also added some much needed storage shelves from Ikea to get some of the clutter off of the floor.

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I painted over Hollis’ little orange playhouse and upgraded her to a larger, pinker version.

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She was excited to pick out the color herself. She’s quite opinionated these days. Luckily I had just enough pink paint on hand to finish it. Now she has more room for her new kitchen/house.

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She really loves baby dolls and playing “house” so this is pretty much heaven to her. She’s going to be such an awesome big sister.

IMG_2886Hollis also got this sweet tee-pee as a gift. She loves to hide, so this saves me from digging out all my blankets for forts and tearing them down daily.

It’s crazy how quickly kids needs/wants change. I’m learning to be ‘breezy’ as Monica Gellar would say, and just go with the flow!

 

 

Goodbye Pink, Hello Beige

I admit it was a little sad for me to paint over the pink walls in Hollis’ room. But that sadness only lasted about 4.5 seconds. After I got that first coat of beige on the walls, I was actually really excited and motivated to finish it out. Beige is NOT usually my favorite, but in this case it really freshened up the room and made for an awesome blank canvas. I could think more clearly in there and it instantly felt calmer. Perfect for a little toddler and brand new baby to rest and get a FULL nights sleep. Right? Crossing my fingers on that one.

The room is not anywhere near finished, but I thought I would give a quick update on the paint I picked so you can see what direction things are heading in. We started out with a bubblegum pink, and now things are getting a nice, neutral face lift. The cheapest face lift ever. In fact, it was totally free so far. I ended up using leftover paint from the playroom and kitchen.

Here’s where we started:

IMG_20150114_142726 IMG_1765I decided to go with a light beige on three walls and a dark gray accent wall as a backdrop for the beds.

IMG_2355 IMG_2352 IMG_2344I kept the gold polka dot wall decals that were over Hollis’ bed because I want to keep the things she really likes. I’m so glad I ended up getting those decals instead of painting them on. They were really easy to remove and add to the other wall. I even used the left over large dots I had and framed them to hang over the crib to tie them in on the baby’s side.

IMG_2368I also ended up painting the dresser from white/mint to the same gray as the wall. It was sort of a spontaneous makeover, but I’m glad I did it, I think it ties in with the gray wall so much better. And I LOVE it with the gold handles.

So that’s it. It felt really good to just pull everything out of the room and start over. I’m slowly adding things back into the room, but I’m trying not to overdo it. I really want to keep the calm, peaceful feeling I’m getting from the room now, but I definitely plan on adding in some color and fun!

 

Fun With Neutrals

I’ve been busy playing in painting in the playroom lately. I complain about the lack of wall space in this room, but when it comes to painting, it’s actually pretty awesome and makes for a quick paint job. And quick is good, because all the toys that are normally in the playroom have been cluttering up the living room all week and I’m suddenly reminded of how awesome it is to have a playroom to keep my sanity!

The room started out a deep, wine red color. I decided I wanted something a little lighter and more neutral since I knew there would be lots of color going on with all the toys and things in the room.

What I didn’t want is the room to be too neutral (i.e. boring). So I’m trying a sort of “whimsical” paint job. I was really inspired by some two-tone paint jobs I have seen on Pinterest. I thought it would be a good way to keep things neutral but still shake things up a little. I’ve never done anything like this, so I was a little nervous, but I’m liking it so far….and it’s just paint if I change my mind.

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I started with a taupey-gray color. I painted about 6′ up the wall and left the rest for color #2. My original plan was to tape the wall off and do a straight edge all the way across, but I got a wild hair and ended up doing a free-handed cloud shape instead. Above you can see I painted my shape before the second color just to get an idea of where I wanted it to start and stop.

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To pick color #2, I just went up two shades on my color sample sheet. That’s a really safe way to pick a color in the same tone. It would have been really fun to do a bright pop of color here instead, but again, I knew I would be bringing in a lot more color into the room. I filled in my top color and then went back with a small brush and cleaned up my free-hand cloud shape to make it more crisp.

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rec room // thegoldbrickroad.comI’m still working on few projects in here, and furniture rearranging, but I thought I’d at least share the paint transformation. I just love how the wood trim really pops now. (Please pretend like the office is super clean and organized mmkay?!) I can’t wait to share the rest next week!

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.