Tuesday, October 23 2012

I can hear my husband ripping painters’ tape in the basement.

The project this time, painting and organizing the basement into something of an inviting movie-watching area.  And, since this project feels so “big”, so “all-encompassing” to me right now, we are merely focusing on our tiny (hint of sarcasm)victory of picking out of paint colors.  Yahoo!  In the past, this great feat has taken many months of time-sucking trips to paint stores for swatches and samples.  It was very common, when we were ‘going gray‘ throughout the upstairs sections of our house, that our walls resembled a patchwork quilt.  But, this time, we picked some colors and stuck with ‘em!  Heck! I may be getting better at this, after all.

So, our basement, a-very-close-to-the-color-of-poop, chocolate brown, not only is in need of a new color scheme, it needs a lighter color palette all together.  This is going to be hard for me since I tend to lean towards darker shades.  So, to compromise, we chose both; light and dark, that is.  After seeing this inspirational image of a bathroom with split wall color, I decided this concept would work well in our basement.

Not only will the lower walls get a darker, more kid friendly color, we will create a brighter space by adding the upper section a much lighter shade…perfect.  We hope.
So the colors we chose are:
Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore
 Aged Beige by Behr
Both of the colors read as softer, warm tones, not cold steely gray.
And, yes, the chair rail is up to divide the space already.
So, there you have it, a two-tone room in the making.  I can’t wait to cover up those ugly brown walls!
“Keep rippin’ that tape!”
Images: 1 & 2), 3) Google Images
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Planning a Shared Room ~ Hunk-o-Bunk Progress

Tuesday, July 17 2012

Looking at this before picture again gets me really excited for what I have been seeing lately in our shared room.  Here is the refresher picture:

And our current view, a sneak peek:

I truly feel like screaming, “The bunk beds are done!  The bunk beds are done!” Which, around here, is quite an accomplishment.  I don’t recall what inspired me to try out my spray paint gun on a typical hot and gusty Colorado afternoon, (p.s. Not a good idea to spray paint in 55 mph wind gusts!) but I did, and I’d say it turned out okay.  We love the color and how it mutes the bright green background walls.  We are working on the final tweaks of our shared space as the room comes together, nicely..and, slowly.  Celebrating this small feat of spray painting bunk beds (each board individually) triple coated, of course, is surely necessary.  After finishing this hunk-o-bunk, I swore I’d never spray paint again…  Of course, that was short-lived! (Dresser reveal is on its way).

But I am proud of my accomplishments, including hauling the air-compressor to the back yard without tipping over the wheel barrow and breaking my toes!  And, the end result is oh so much nicer than the once honey-oak.

Paint color: Benjamin Moore’s Arctic Shadows 1559

Images: All Laura for Monkeysonmyback

Teak & Gallery Wall

Jada and I had a mother-daughter kind of shopping day yesterday; the day before we went back to school.  The boys (dad included) were occupied with things like daycare and work, so we decided to play hooky from my work and check out some local thrift stores.  Yes, that is the type of shopping that I am talking about, thrifting.  It is fun, well, as Jada says, only when we actually buy something because you usually say no.  She is right.  Even worse, I place a product in question in our cart and walk around the store with it only to decide last-minute that I don’t really need it, want it, or want to spend the money on it (even from a thrift store!).  So Jada blurted the aforementioned line as I was contemplating a furniture piece,  “Can we get it, Mom?  I really like it!  You’ll say no!  You usually say no, right, Mom?  It’s okay….,” as I make my pouty face at her.

Well, look what we walked out of the store with!

A Danish modern teak piece that I still really love… still after it’s 24 hour return policy has passed.  It has potential.  I feared that when Rory returned from work to find this piece sitting outside our bedroom,  he would tell me to take it back.  But he didn’t.  He likes it too, well, as long as I do something to the honey color of it, he says.  I had some ideas the minute I saw it, however:

Still haven’t exactly decided if I am going all white, only drawers white, or only frame white with draws a darker stain… we shall see…

Even-so, it has a home.  It sits at the very top landing of our stairway, which goes up to our bedrooms.  I have been looking for something to grace this space for quite some time, but the width of the wall there is very narrow, so many pieces stuck out around the corner, which I thought would be odd.  So, there it sits; up top the stairs, below the gallery wall.

It is on my summer to-do list.  I will keep you posted…

Wait! Did you mention a gallery wall?  Yes! Yes, I did!

My gallery wall, also a work in progress,  makes me so happy!  Good gallery walls are never done. (Not something my husband wants to hear.) I love photos and memories and for such a long time I had nowhere to put them but in my computer or on CD’s.  Yes, some photos got printed and put into photo books, well they did at one time,  but my fear of clutter and disorganization gets the best of me and I can not imagine living with piles upon piles of old picture books collecting dust on shelves (sorry, Mom).  So, I guess letting the photos collect dust in a ‘disorderly organized‘ fashion on the wall is better.

Every time I walk up the stairs, which is about 20 plus times  a day, I smile.  Not only do I love the photos and the people in them, but my grey walls supporting the black and white frames is my eye candy.

This is what I see as I walk up the stairs.  See our our new Teak friend fits so nicely in that space.

A quick before I found from the archives.

The above is the only picture I have of the walls before.  (Ignore the bag of dirty diapers hanging on the door handle!)

A  left side wall shot.

One of my favorite parts of this wall is the pictures hanging high and low, using the whole wall.  A friend asked if the kids knock into them or smear them up with greasy fingers, and they really don’t, or haven’t yet. Most of these frames have been up since September, too.

The other side.

Here is the other side, thus the right side, of the walls.  Not quite as filled up yet and probably never will be as full as our focal wall.  Notice the empty frame in the background? Yeah.

And some close-ups.

The candid shots are my favorite.

Most of the frames were from Target, garage sales, and Wal-mart.  I really like the gallery-style frames, but do like the difference in textures and widths that I have here as well.  I debated using all white frames only.  The smattering of black frames in the mix is just enough for me.

This post was motivated by a mother-daughter moment resulting in a furniture purchase.  Recall I was put in my place by my six-year old?  And, it all kind of makes me smile.


Images: 1, 5-12)  Laura for, 2 – 4) Google images

The idea for the letters and number; U, ME, &, 3 was origionally posted by Dana over at  Thanks for the idea, Dana!

Stenciled Walls

I have been drooling over stenciled walls lately.  They add so much character and personality to a room.  It looks like a lot of work, but well worth it.  So gorgeous and not permanent!

Here are some of my inspiration photos:

~Danielle Oakey Interiors~

My Stencil Wall

~good girl gone glad blog~

~Vintage Revivals~

My heart is palpitating at the colors in the photo above.  Simply fabulous!

Notice the gray background and whitish stencil patterns?  The wall I am considering for the stencil is in my foyer and has come along with just a change in paint color.

The accent wall that was painted burgundy red at one point in the first picture is the potential stencil wall.  In the most recent picture it is little darker gray than the background wall, but it’s hard to tell from the picture.

I am still contemplating.  I think I will go for it though…after all, I can always paint over it if it’s just awful!

Will keep you posted.


ps. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Images: 1) Danielle Oakey 2) Jesse @ good girl gone glad 3) Mandi @ Vintage Revivals 4-5) Laura for

Going Gray

The architectural debut of our home is more than one would think by looking up and down our neighborhood streets.  Ours is the  neighborhood, where, if you are not careful, you might pull in the wrong driveway.  There is actually the same house as ours, exact same, on the other side of the ‘hood with the exact same address!  Now isn’t that a perfectly planned neighborhood!?

Anyway, when we first walked into the home 2 years ago as potential buyers, we were impressed by the many arched passageways and the wall niches.

However, it was hard for us as to imagine this home in a better color than it had been painted a mere six months before…TAN!  Yes. Tan with accents of burgundy red.  Tan, which in some lights looked orange, and burgundy red, which made it hard to breath because it felt like the walls were crashing in on us.  These colors were professionally picked, we were told.  So, I thought we must be crazy and we agreed to live with it for a while, but it just could not be done.

Now, it should be mentioned,  there are many people who entered our arched home and commented on the pleasant color of our tan walls, but for me, it was never comfortable or interesting enough.  Basically, I didn’t like looking at it.  “Blah”  pretty much summed it up.  And, everything in our house, make that everything we are not going to change the color of, is also a version of tan;  floors and cupboards and window blinds.  There was no visual interest.   Colors accomplish so much more when they contrast with one another  and are allowed to POP!

So, I embarked on the journey, into the virtual world, of searching for a paint color.   Deciding to start small, I focused on the kitchen.  The kitchen with it’s Providence Olive (AKA Green) walls and Picture Gallery Red (AKA Burgundy) eat in kitchen area (AKA Christmas.All.Year.Long).

(Messy house pictures ~ Yes, people live here.)

I wanted a neutral, but was hesitant with beiges and creams because I felt they were too basic and overdone.  After countless hours painting virtual walls, and many trips to Mr. William’s paint shop, I stumbled upon the next most overdone neutral; gray.  It was perfect.  Consider this: Gray sweats, Heather Gray cable sweaters, and  Grandma’s hair…(stretch),  all lead me to the idea of calm and comfort.  Gray was stuck on my OCD mind…yep, I was going gray!

Did you know there are blogs written on picking the perfect gray?  It is not an easy task.  I think I collected every swatch and about 70 paint samples for the kitchen alone.  I had so many on the wall that my patchwork quilt technique was confusing to all living here, but I did not want to ever paint this room again.  I settled on Worldly Gray by Sherwin Williams.  This gray does not turn stealy blue in direct light like many grays do, nor does it get washed out by the sun.  It is a lighter gray and really looks sweet with our white trim and black granite.  Oh, and did I mention the red is gone?  As soon as the primer went up and covered that heart-palpitating color I knew we made a good choice.  Ahhh! We now breath during breakfast!

I felt so refreshed after painting the kitchen that I was motivated to paint the rest of the house.  Moving forward with the family room, the front sitting room, the foyer and stairway upstairs, was not easy.  Originally our house was Benjamin Moore’s Springfield Tan (not a popular color in my book), as you know, and had three Ralph Lauren Picture Gallery Red accent walls throughout.  After painting over the kitchen red, I had two more to cover up, however, our walls are 17 feet high or so.

We put up a ladder, got scared and realized that I had better pick the most perfect colors because it was not getting painted ever again!  Back to the virtual wall painting, blog reading, swatch taping, sample buying, money wasting, time sucking process of picking the perfect color.

I learned that grays are typically created with three base colors; blue, red and green. Made with a blue base, gray can turn ‘cold’, like steal blue.  Choosing a red base is choosing a Taupe color, by which one should be careful because in certain lights the color may have a peach or pink accent, and in other lights it may be your perfect color!  This can especially happen with high light in a room.  I had to revert my path, about 40 sample colors in, to a green base.  This gray tends to ‘warm-up’ in the direct light and are sometimes referred to as brown-grays.  

I settled on my two colors with a little help from some Facebook Friends.  Benjamin Moore has this nifty and FREE color consulting service which I would recommend to anyone on the same frustrating path of color choosing.  Did I mention it was free?  The winning colors are: Benjamin Moore’s Kingsport Gray and Indian River.  Both warm grays and both beautiful to look at in any light.  I love it!  It calms me.

(Click Image to Enlarge)

I love my gray walls.  Gray, I feel, goes with everything.  It looks spectacular with teals, oranges, and yellows.  It compliments espresso furniture and even looks good with a monochromatic theme going a bit darker or lighter.  I can even see my wood floors and cabinets these days, with my gray walls stimulating their beauty.  And, if I someday decide to come back around to burgundy red, (I am shaking slightly), my gray walls will support me.

I am in no way affiliated with Benjamin Moore, but I do think their Facebook service is really neat!

Linking up to ‘A Perfect Gray’

grab some gray for your blog....

Images:  all Laura for