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!

 

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Color So Nice, I Had To Use It Twice

Welp, I painted the bathroom.

The bathroom did not need to be painted. It was a perfectly fine shade of mint green. It was light and bright. Yet I painted it anyway.

I just couldn’t help myself. I love this color so much! I recently painted the office (Muted Ebony by Valspar) and as soon as I put it on the walls, I knew it needed to go up in another room too. First I thought of the entry way, because I have the urge to change things up in there. And I thought the darker color would hide some of the marks and things on the walls that seem to inevitably happen in the entry way. But then, I decided it would look so great in the upstairs bathroom. And I was right.

I have a lot of black and white going on in the bathroom already along with some warm wood tones. The mint green on the walls was fine…but just fine. Not too exciting. Things were just starting to feel a little blah. So I thought I would shake things up and do a two-tone wall with dark gray on the bottom and a bright white on the top to keep things from getting too dark in there.

Here is a look at the before.

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This room only has one window, but it gets great light in here so I knew the dark, dark gray wouldn’t make the room too dark. I think if I had taken the gray all the way up the walls, it would’ve been a tad too dark.

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It was a spur of the moment decision to paint, but I’m really happy with the result. It feels so much more pulled together in here now and I love how my plants pop off the gray and white!

 

Toning Down The Crazy

It has been a while since I’ve talked about the kid’s playroom. I thought I would give a little update on the little changes I’ve made. Now that Bowen is six (almost 7 months) old and can sit up and move around a little bit, he is really getting into toys. He is no longer content with sitting in one spot, he is ready to move around and explore…and get into as many of sisters toys as possible.

Up until now, Hollis has had the whole playroom to herself. It’s filled to the brim with baby dolls, princesses, and dress up clothes and accessories. I have been slowly moving some of her things out and finding a home for them in her bedroom or the toy closet, which she agreed to pretty quickly after I explained that they will be safe from little brother and his slobber. I’ve been replacing those things with some more toys that Bo might be interested in.

The last time you saw it, it looked like this.

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I tried out this scalloped, two-tone wall to add a little playfulness to the room. I liked it at first, but it started to feel a little too crazy after a while as well as the colorful curtains. So I decided to tone it back a bit. I did still really like the two-tone neutral walls so I kept those, but chose to ditch the scallop. I also switched out the curtains for a more neutral option.

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I added our old futon back into the space, because let’s face it, Mama needs a place to sit and supervise in the playroom. It’s also great for napping toddlers and movie watching.

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I tried to add some little nooks in the corners of the room. One nook is Hollis’s “house”. She loves to hideaway in the nooks and read books or play with toys and it’s nice that the kids can separate and escape each other when needed while still playing in the same space.

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That nice straight line makes me so happy. It feels calmer in here even at the most chaotic of times. There is so much color in the room from the toys and furniture, the walls really needed to be calmed down bit. I’m so grateful we have this room, I don’t know what we’d do without it!

 

 

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It’s still a work in progress, but I just wanted to take a moment and note that there is PAINT ON THE WALLS!

I honestly don’t know how I’ve gone over two years without painting the paneling in the office. It is literally the first room you see when you walk into the house as it is directly across from the front door. You also get a good view of it from the playroom and the kitchen, which are the two rooms I spend the most time in. And now that it is painted, and painted such a lovely color, I find myself admiring it from every viewpoint.

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Originally there was a door on that doorway in the pic above, but we ended up taking it off because it really closed off the house. With it off we have a much better flow and even though the first floor is not ‘open concept’, each room does open up to the next and creates a circular pathway. I pulled the desk away from the wall and added some much needed seating to create a walkway.

Also, how great are these retro office chairs?! We scored three of them…for FREE. They are from our bank and were sitting in the basement unused. We asked about them and offered to buy them if they were ever for sale and they ended up giving us these three (the other one is currently in our bedroom)! I plan re-upholstering them some day, but I kind of like them as-is right now and they are super comfy.File_003(1).jpeg

 

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Moving the desk away from wall was also necessary because of the lighting in here. There is a small chandelier in the center of the room. With the desk up against the wall, we weren’t getting much light on the desk. All the light was falling behind the desk on our back  which made it really hard to read any papers or anything on the desk. Now with the light directly over the desk, it is much easier to see in here. We would like to replace the light one day too as soon as we find something we really like.

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I hung some IKEA Grundtal shelves we had in storage. The two metal storage units are actually one unit that can be stacked on top of one another. It was a Craigslist find.  I unstacked it because we needed more surface area in here for the printer and things that need to be filed away. It works great for Brian because he can store all of is catalogues and price sheets and everything is easy to see and grab.

I still have a lot of organizing to do in here and I also have the closet to organize. I think cleaning out the closet will make a huge difference, but it is such a daunting task that I keep putting off…It’s still on the to-do list, it’s just at the very, very bottom of it. I’m really weird about organizing things. I will put it off and put it off and then one day I’ll wake up and it is ALL I can think about until I just hammer it out. Is anyone else like that? Basically it just won’t get done until I’m in the mood.

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So that’s it for now. I still have lots to do, but I’m so happy there is paint on the walls finally. And I am so in love with this dark gray. I have already started painting it in another room, which if you follow me on Instagram, you already know about. If you don’t follow me on Instagram (@thegoldbrickroad)….you should!

Inspirado: Office

Some rooms I search endlessly for inspiration and design ideas. I usually go back and forth and change my mind a hundred times. Other rooms I know exactly what I want to do with zero hesitation.

The office is one of the few rooms that I knew exactly what I wanted to do from the moment we moved in. And yet, I haven’t touched it since we got here. We use our office…a lot. My husband runs his business out of there and I get so overwhelmed with the thought of organizing everything.

Now that the rest of the house is somewhat in order, I really have no excuse to put it off anymore. Since Brian does use the office the most, I want to cater to him a little more than the rest of us. He could care less what it looks like, he just wants it to be functional. Which I totally get….BUT I need it to look nice too. It is literally the first room of our house you see when you walk in thanks to it’s location across from the entry way.

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Here is a pic of the office right after we moved in. Sadly it still looks a lot like this. It has acted as a catch-all for a long time. The first act of business is to remove anything that doesn’t really NEED to be in the room. We have had the treadmill in here for a little over a year and it never got used….like ever. So it has since been moved to the living room to try to motivate us to use it more. It also housed the dog kennel for a long time so it needs to move elsewhere too. The other issue is a lack of surface space. Everything gets piled onto the desk because it is the only place to set things down and then it turns into a big ‘ol pile of stress. We also need seating for other people for meetings or when I’m in there helping Brian.  Here are some visuals so you can see what direction I’m heading in.

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Right now are we are working with only one desk, but we both agree that this t-shape configuration is the ultimate set-up. I would love to each have our own workspace and a place for the kids to work on homework or crafts. This will happen someday….someday.

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Love this dark gray. It is masculine, but something I can totally live with too. There is so much clutter and paperwork floating around the office so I definitely like a nice neutral backdrop.

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I like the idea of filing cabinets doing double duty as both necessary storage AND holding up the desk. I also really like the way they are finished to fit in with the décor.

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Lastly, I would love a small command center. We need a place to sort the mail and keep it from ending up on the office desk in a big pile. Our calendar gets a lot of use. Brian goes out of town for work fairly often so I need it to keep track of when he’s going to be gone. I use it to plan dinners for the week. And I absolutely need it to write down doctor appointments and things like that because my brain just cannot be trusted.

Office To-Do List:

  • paint the paneling (obviously)
  • hang shelves
  • organize the office closet (it’s full and I don’t even know what’s in it!)
  • better utilize the storage we have
  • build/buy a multi-person desk (need to get rid of the current desk first to make room)
  • make a command center (calendar, mail box, cork board, etc.)
  • new light fixture

I probably won’t get to all of this stuff right away, but I will getting started on some of it. (Which will be a huge improvement from blatantly ignoring it all!) Paint is first on my list. I can’t believe I’ve gone this whole time without painting it yet!

 

Mini Makovever: Living Room

Okay so…some may argue that painting an entire room isn’t a “mini” makeover, BUT I’m counting this as one because 1.) our living room is not very large 2.) there isn’t a lot of paintable wall space with all of the doorways, trim, faux brick wall and windows 3.) it was totally free. The whole makeover only took two days and honestly I could’ve gotten it done in a lot less time, but I have a newborn who requires a lot of my attention…and I’m happy to take a break that involves some baby cuddles. 🙂

I had zero intention of making over the living room last weekend. It’s a funny thing, having a new baby makes me notice little things I normally wouldn’t pay much attention to.  I find myself sitting (nursing) A LOT. Like all day and night. While sitting and nursing Bo for like the millionth time, I was staring at our faux brick wall in the living room next to the t.v. and decided that I wasn’t crazy about the shelves hanging on it. Which led to me thinking that I was kind of tired of looking at all the things on the shelf. Which led to me noticing all the paint touch-ups I needed to do in the room. Which led me to thinking I need to repaint the whole room. This is how my brain works. It’s exhausting.

I liked the blue that was in here, but when we first moved here, I wanted some color on the walls so badly that I just grabbed what we had without thinking it through too much. The paint I used was not originally meant for painting paneling. I also only had enough to paint the room and not a drop more. So every time the walls got scratched (which happened because I didn’t use the right paint) or I moved something hanging on the wall, I didn’t have anything to do touch-ups with. My only options were to get more paint for touch-ups or to start over with new paint. I decided to just suck it up and re-paint with paint meant for paneling. I went with a light beige with gray undertones that I had on hand to freshen things up and keep things neutral so that I could change other things in the room or leave them as is.

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This is the wall that started this makeover. See how dinky that little shelf looks? I got a second shelf to add to the wall to help balance things out, but it still wasn’t really doing it for me. The shelves just sort of faded into the white, brick wall. So I decided to paint the metal brackets black instead of brushed nickel to help them stand out a little more.

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I also added some black frames to bring some more contrast to the wall and I think it helps a lot. Please ignore the hideous wires under the t.v., I am still trying to figure out what to do with those guys.

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You can see the rest of the room hasn’t changed a whole lot. Same curtains (though I’m looking for new ones) and furniture. I switched out some of the accessories and moved some things around. I’m planning on adding some bamboo roman shades to these windows to match what we have in the kitchen and hallway. We are also looking to add some more seating in here. I would like to add a loveseat or small sofa, but the hubs wants a recliner so……yeah. We’ve yet to agree on anything.

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I still have a few things to hang on the walls, but I like this new direction the room has taken. Things were starting to feel cluttered and kind of crazy in here. It feels good to change things up every so often without re-doing everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Color Crush: Dark Blue-Green

 

If you’ve followed this blog for a little while, then you probably know of my love of color. Lately I’m really into a bold, dramatic wall color. I just wish I had more rooms to use it in.  I’ve done navy in the master, and Kelly green in the guest room. Right now I’m crushing on a deep, dark teal. A perfect combo of blue and green. To me, teal can feel a little bit cutesy, or childish sometimes (like something my 12 year old self would be allll over), but this dark, moody version is super sophisticated.

I just love how it can stand out on it’s own, or take the backseat and act as a neutral. It looks good with so many colors, but I’m especially loving it with golds, greens, and creams. If you can’t commit to a room, I really like the idea of trying it out on a piece of furniture like that bathroom vanity! What do you think? Are you loving this color or hating it?