No More Plain Jane

So our bedroom is NOT done, but I thought I’d share the progress that is happening. Other than painting, this room has been pretty neglected since we moved in. I really wanted to keep the deep, navy walls, but things were feeling pretty dark and cave-like in here. My goal was to lighten the space up and add some finishing touches to it so it doesn’t feel like everything was just an afterthought.

My first step in lightning up the room was to address the windows. I thought about buying new curtains that are a little more sheer, but I really liked the blue, heavier ones that we got when we got married. The baby likes to nap in our room and the curtains make it nice and dark when we want it to be. I decided first to take down the old roller blinds that were on the windows. They have been on the windows since we moved in and served their purpose for blocking light, but I really was ready for something that looked a little prettier (also they were broken and wouldn’t open up all the way). I hemmed and hawed as I always do when it comes to window treatments. I finally decided on 2″ wide, faux wood blinds in a bright white. I really love the contrast of them with the dark wood and dark walls. They are also super easy to clean and allow us to have a lot more control over how much light comes in.

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My next focus was the bedding, or lack their of. Our plain white bedding just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. It felt unfinished. I dreamt of white, fluffy hotel-like bedding, but instead our bed was looking more like something you would find in a college dorm room. So I began a hunt for bedding. I wanted something light, and something with some color and pattern to it. I also didn’t want to spend a ton of money. I change my mind often and I wasn’t 100% sure what I was looking for, so I just couldn’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on new bedding. Luckily I already had a down comforter that we liked and just had to find a duvet cover and some shams. I searched far and wide, but ended up on a steal at TJ Maxx….I honestly found like six choices there that all would have worked. I settled on this one because it didn’t feel too girly and had a little gray and a little aqua in it that would pull from other things already in the room. I’m super happy with it and it was only $30!

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I ended up back at TJ Maxx (I swear this isn’t an ad, I just love them!) and looked for some throw pillows to add more color and pattern to the bed. I love mixing color and patterns for more interest and I think it feels so much more intentional and sophisticated. I had to sneak a little pink in there in one pillow and also added a little to some diy abstract art on the walls.

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I still have plans for the other side of the room. I’m on the hunt for some sconces to replace the lamps by the bed. I also have a big chair makeover, that I’m nervously preparing for, and I have plans for the mirror (the one covered in toddler handprints) that I can’t wait to get started on!

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Inspirado: Perfect Blue Bedding

First off let me just say, I LOVE an all white bed. When I picture my dream bedroom, it has a bed overflowing with fluffy, pillowy, white bedding. As much as it makes my heart go pitter-patter, I also have two small children who love to hang out in our bed and leave all kinds of mystery stains…

Other than painting the walls, buying a bed, and making over the nightstands, this room has kind of been neglected while I focused on other projects.  We have been living with just a plain white duvet insert on our bed for the past three years and I had every intention on finding the perfect white duvet to go over it, but just never really found one that fit the bill. After living with the white comforter every day for a few years and constantly washing and bleaching, I’m starting to realize maybe my white bedding dreams are just not meant to be right now.

I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve shared any current pics of our bedroom, so here is a peek at what’s happening in there right now. I still have a lot to do in this room and I’m hoping the right bedding will be a good jumping off point for everything else. I want this room to have a modern farmhouse feel, as opposed to the blah feeling it currently has.  I’m for sure keeping the bed, paint, and the artwork over the bed, everything else can stay or go.

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I found a pair of plug-in wall sconces that I would love to replace our bedside lamps with. This is the only spot in the room that fits our bed and nightstands, so I wouldn’t mind some more permanent lighting here. It would also free up some much needed space and add some interest to the wall.

 

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My dresser was in the spot where the hamper is, but I recently moved it into the closet. The closet is an awkward, under the stairs closet and my dresser just barely fits but it has helped declutter our room a little bit. Before, it felt like you were walking right into it when you entered the room. The room is small and feels cluttered really easily, so I’m hoping to make it feel a little more open and airy. (I have plans for the this mirror above, and the chair below needs a makeover, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.)

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So…I am now on the hunt for the perfect bedding that compliments our modern bed, but also feels a little bit rustic.  Our bed is a dark gray tweed fabric, and it is the only gray thing in the room, so I would like to incorporate some gray into the bedding or with throw pillows or something.

Here is some of my inspiration so far…I’m leaning more towards the ones with a little beige and ivory in them, but man I like that bold water color one too.

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Inspirado: Master Bedroom

I’m so excited to finally get around to painting our master bedroom. We bought a brand new king size bed (which is heaven by the way) when we moved into this house, but other than that, we haven’t touched anything in our bedroom. So now that little miss’ room is complete, I feel less guilty moving on to our room even though I have lots of rooms on the main floor that still need attention. I’m afraid if I don’t get the master done now, it will be years before I get around to it.

I feel like our bedroom has been kind of a hodgepodge of a room. So I really want this makeover to feel more cohesive and grown up. I got the idea of a moody, dark bedroom in my head and now I can’t picture anything else. I’ve been looking at navy bedrooms and….I’m OBSESSED. I’ve already bought paint and had to get some on the walls immediately. I’m so in love with the color, I love it so much I would marry it…if I wasn’t already married that is. I don’t usually go for such dark colors, but navy really is the best color ever. It goes with practically everything. It’s like your favorite pair of blue jeans, but on the wall.

Here is a peek at some of my inspiration:

I really love the monochromatic look of these rooms. I like the whites, blues, browns, and grays together. They all feel really grown up and modern. You could easily add more color in if you wanted, I have yet to find a color I didn’t like with navy.  I made a mood board with some pieces I have and some that I’m pining over.

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

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exciting orange

Exciting Orange Sherwin-Williams

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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.

Do These Stripes Make Me Look Fat…

Just kidding, don’t answer that!

I’m not usually one for accent walls, but lately I’ve been obsessed with them. Like Pinteresting (yep, I just made that a verb) into the wee hours sifting through some good, some bad and then some really fabulous accent walls. I think when done in the right space, they can be a really great design feature. It can be a really cheap, easy way to add interest to a room. And if you end up hating it, it’s just one wall…paint over that bad boy.

I tried to refrain from going too crazy on my first accent wall. I considered the laundry room for my first try, but let’s be honest, I’m the only one who goes in there so I’d be the only one appreciating it. (boring)  I decided the bathroom would be a good candidate. It’s long and narrow, very hallway-like, so I thought an accent wall might break it up a little and make the bathroom a little more interesting. People can enjoy it while they spend some time in there….(I’m trying really hard not to make a #2 reference here)

Moving on.

To get started,  I covered up the last of the green with white, the same white as our trim to be exact. (Sherwin-Williams Snowbound) I’m just using the wall color and trim color for my stripes so things don’t get too crazy in here. I really like the subtle contrast of the white and pale aqua.

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After I got three full coats on the wall, that green was tricky to cover and I didn’t use a primer (rookie mistake). I then started to measure from the ceiling to the base board. I divided that number until I got an even number for the width of my stripes. I didn’t want to start with a 4″ stripe at the baseboard and end up with a 1″ stripe at the ceiling. My magic number was 4 1/2″ and my white stripe started at the base board and ended at the ceiling. This might not matter to most people, but I wanted it that way so that I wouldn’t have to be super careful or tape off the baseboard or ceiling while painting. I try to make things easy on myself whenever possible. I used a sharpie to make little tic marks every 4 1/2″.

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Then I grabbed my trusty straight-edge and level and connected all my tic marks to get a nice straight line. Stripes are easy, but they are not very forgiving. I knew if I had a crooked stripe it would be very noticeable and drive me insane.

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After all of my lines were drawn (lightly), I could get a clear visual of  the thickness and straightness of my lines. I wanted to make sure I liked them before I took the time to tape everything off. Luckily I really liked the medium size and was ready to fully commit.

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I dreaded taping everything off, but honestly, it was really simple and straight forward. Once I got into a rhythm, it didn’t take long at all. I mean it’s just one wall…doing the whole room would’ve been a different story. Having the lines drawn on to follow made it very easy and helped me feel confidant that they would be nice and  straight.
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Once everything was taped, I started the fun part of painting! I used two coats, then let it dry for a full day before taking the tape off. I’m not sure that was 100% necessary, but I wanted to make sure it was fully dry before I continued to the next step. After that I peeled the tape off and taped it off again the opposite way so that I could go back over the base color (white) to get an extra crisp line. At first I didn’t really think this step was necessary, but it made a huge difference in getting a nice clean, straight line.

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Not going to lie, peeling  all the tape off was my favorite part. While I peeled all the tape off, I made note of any spots that needed touch-ups. There were a few, but nothing I couldn’t fix with a small paintbrush.

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I added a little decor, mostly stuff from the guest bath in our last house. It’s funny how the same decor you’ve been staring at for years can look new and different in a new space. I tried to keep it simple, I don’t like clutter in my bathroom….or anywhere else for that matter.

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At the last-minute, I decided to hang our old shower curtain (please excuse the wrinkles, it’s been buried in a tote for 5 months) in front of the shower. It’s purely for decoration since we have shower doors, BUT the shower is so unfortunate looking  that I felt like I should hide it until we get around to gutting it. It didn’t bother me so much before, but now that the rest of the room is done, it stuck out like a sore thumb.

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And just for fun, here’s couple side by side shots…
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Farm House

So there you have it. I’m calling this one done…for now. That shower is still big on the to-do list. It’s definitely feeling a lot more like our style in here though.

Oh, Lighten Up

Normally I love to paint. It’s such a cheap, fast way to makeover a room or piece of furniture. I love cracking open a can of paint, especially a new color I haven’t used before. I can usually knock out a room in a day or two with no problem. There’s not a room that my paintbrush and I couldn’t tackle.

Until I started painting the living room…in all of its wood-paneled glory.

photo 3-006photo 2-005I feel like this room has taken forever to paint. Because it has. I actually started painting this room as soon as we moved in. (a few months ago) I couldn’t wait to paint over the paneling and I knew exactly what paint color I was going to use.  I’ve painted paneling before so I wasn’t too worried. I got one wall done and then, I don’t know what happened, I lost my mojo…my painting mojo (it’s a thing).

Fortunately, Hollis’ baptism is next weekend and I will have a house full of people. Nothing lights a fire under my bum like the pressure of having people see my house and judge me. I’m fairly certain my house would never get dusted without the fear of someone randomly stopping by or having to take photos for this here blog. Don’t get me wrong, the room is nowhere near finished, but at least we no longer have one half painted wall and three wood-paneled walls. (Although I do still  have a half painted brick wall. Sigh.)

Here’s how it went down. Slowly. Here’s how it slowly went down. I think I maybe averaged 1/2  a wall per week.

I had to cut in around the ceiling, trim, and then I had to use a small brush to get into all those grooves in the paneling. I hate those grooves. I may have used some choice words while filling in those grooves.

IMG_0335We painted the trim in the newer part of the house, but we are leaving the original woodwork in the older part. I’ve never had dark wood trim, I’ve always had white, so choosing paint colors is a whole new adventure now. I taped off around the floor boards, but I just cut-in with a small brush around windows and doors.

IMG_0332One bad thing about paneling is, that it hides all the nail holes and imperfections in it with the busy wood grain pattern. I had a heckuva time seeing all the holes  that nails left behind until after I got a coat of paint on it. So I had to do all my wood filling after my paint dried, which didn’t speed things up any.

IMG_0331It’s also really obvious if you forget to paint a groove, or don’t fill one in all the way….this was also a time-sucker.

IMG_0334I eventually got in a rhythm and got all my cutting in done, then filled my grooves, then rolled on two coats to finish it off. The whole process shouldn’t have taken so long. I blame myself mostly. I get easily distracted, especially in the living room where the baby’s playing and the t.v. is on. That darn Pioneer Woman makes me want to stop whatever I’m doing and get in the kitchen and make something. So really this all her fault if you think about it.

Anyway, things are looking much lighter and happier in here. I like the way the pale blue looks with all of our dark brown furniture. Even that futon, which is not a permanent inhabitant of this room. He’s just visiting until we find something else.

IMG_0527IMG_0529IMG_0533Here is a close-up of the curtains. I love them. I love them so much I’d marry them if I wasn’t already married.

IMG_0545Now that the little one is officially crawling, we are in full baby proofing mode. That’s why our coffee table is against the wall like it’s being punished. And we have the wall mount for the t.v. ready to go, I just need the hubby’s help getting it hung up there. You can also see I’ve started to prime the brick wall, I’m sure it will take another month or so for me to get that done too.

IMG_0530I still have a couple of seams where the panels but up against each other that need to be filled with more than just paint. You can see what I mean in this photo below. That pesky seam on the left corner is practically screaming at me. Overall, I feel like the light blue really contrasts with the dark brown and shows off the great detail on the wood trim. Details that seemed lost next to the busy wood grain on the paneling.

IMG_0532Here’s my checklist for this room:

  • paint walls
  • wipe down/clean trim
  • hang curtains
  • hang artwork/decor
  • hang t.v.
  • add floating shelves to the t.v. wall
  • prime/paint brick
  • find window covering for door
  • replace futon
  • organize toys
  • replace carpet (some day)
  • fill panel seams
  • new furniture (this one’s a long way down the road and I mostly just put it on here to see if the hubby’s reading)