Wednesday, December 29, 2010

[Paint] Color War

The day we closed on our house was the same day I painted our kitchen.  The kitchen was originally pinky lavender... and just terrible.   I had seen a blue kitchen with white cabinets in a Pottery Barn catalog and knew I had to have the same (even though our cabinets were honey oak at the time).

I found the PB Color in the catalog  - Benjamin Moore, New York State of Mind - at got to rolling.  (You can find all sorts of kitchen reno details here).  The color was a tad brighter than I had hoped, but I still got the look I was going for.

Husband on the other hand liked to refer to it as Painters Tape Blue (which I still defend it was not).  However, I did always agree I wish it was a tad more muted.

So last Sunday, before the snow storm hit, we ran to the paint store and decided to give it another go (only 2.5 years later).


This is swatch of my original color scheme.  I think online (or at least my monitor) the blue looks similar to what I wanted, not what I got.

Upper Left - Benjamin Moore, New York State of Mind

And an online photo of NYSoM.....
Photo Found Here

And a Photo from my own kitchen.... Maybe its the light we get, but it does photograph MUCH brighter than it looks I promise (Husband agrees)...
This view is a little more realistic....

We got inspiration for the new blue when I brought home this dish towel from Crate and Barrel last fall. It was the perfect grey'd out blue we originally wanted. 

Darjeeling Dishtowel - Crate and Barrel $1.95

So I took the dishtowel to Lowe's and swatched a bunch of colors that were similar, some more blue, some more grey and then we tested them against our current wall to see if it was more contrast than we wanted.  I found some old swatches in the junk drawer and that's where we found the perfect shade.  Ralph Lauren Canyon Blue.  The color was almost the same as the current, just a little more subdued. Perfect!

We went to Sherwin Williams and had them color match with their Duration paint.  We only needed a quart and since they were having an End of Year Sale, it only cost us $17.  We've learned over the years that the higher quality paints do really provide better coverage (ie, less coats and less time... and less sore muscles) and we definitely wanted that when working with a dark base to start. 

In progress (Canyon Blue at the bottom and edges)

All done!

Hysterical, it looks almost the same! 

In real life, I don't think anyone would notice a change, but the Husband and I definitely do.  I really wanted to keep the two blue walls because the rest of our house is so neutral.  I feel like if any room can have some vibrancy, it can be the kitchen.  I also love how crisp the white cabinets look against it.  These were my arguments to Husband on why we had to keep it blue and just find a less "bright" color.  I'm glad we were able to call truce on the "color war" and I'm stoked that he's happy with the new shade.

This was such a great project that we were able to complete together in a few hours.  It was nice to have something to do and I'm already making a list of new projects to tackle next year. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Here is a close re-enactment of what happened in our house this morning.....  True Story.

Long story short.  For the 3rd time in two years, a bird flew into the dryer vent (on the 3rd floor exterior)... fell behind the dryer, yet this time... this bird freed itself through the foil coil that connects to the dryer and attempted a getaway throughout our house.

I will now die 5 years earlier than planned.

Really, Life?  Really?

Friday, December 24, 2010

...a not so very merry christmas, BAH HUM BUG

Sometimes when Life hands you lemons... it's completely impossible to make lemonade.  I mean, what if Life doesn't hand you sugar?... What are you supposed to do then, swallow down some sour drink and pretend it tastes sweet???... Fake it?

Sometimes Life is greater than shopping, decorating, and cooking.... pretty much the fluff (and fun) I fill this slice of the internet with.... Sometimes Life sucks and you can't hide from it, it finds you, and shows you there is more than shopping, decorating, and cooking... more that is better, and more that is worse.

I've been absent, readers. 

Which you clearly noticed since I may have posted, oh like what, 6 posts in the last two months when I used to hit at least 6 a week?...  At first, I was hiding.  You see I'm a terrible liar.  I couldn't come here and write freely about random life happenings because I felt like you'd all see through that... that there was more going on and that I was hiding a secret.  So like I do in real life, I went into avoidance mode.  I filled my time cataloging future posts... and lots of them.  I had lists of ideas, new 'wishlists', and lots of stories to share.

This was supposed to be a great week.  It Christmas for heaven's sake!

I was going to finally share my secret, a Strawberry Swing Christmas Surprise!... if you will.  Instead, Life - that stupid bitch without the sugar - decided to be an Indian giver (apologies for the non-PC term) and she took it back. 

She took it back.  And worse, she took it back without even telling me.

Maybe she didn't see my Joy, as I was trying so hard to keep it contained and under wraps until the beginning of 2011, as I had poised 2011 to be the "BEST.YEAR.EVER."  But Joy was here. Like Katy Perry's Firework... it was burning inside me.  Colorful, bright... just waiting to explode.

And Life came over with a bucket of water and extinguished my light.

... and now it's dark.

And this time an extension cord won't fix the fact the outlet on the porch is blown and stretch to another to power my Christmas lights.

Regardless of my Bitter Betty attitude just hours before the big guy in the red suit arrives, undoubtedly without what I asked for, I still believe 2011 could be the BEST.YEAR.EVER.  Instead of the planned window shopping, home decorating, and wishlist making I thought I'd be making, we've already come up with some new ones to fill in their place.  

...retail therapy (natch), different home reno's, maybe even a different house... you never know.

But first up for 2011, a much needed getaway to Bahamas with the Husband.  

.... I'm sorry Readers for such a depressing post at Christmas, but from what I've learned over the past few years is that Life doesn't give a crap about holidays or happiness and also that you are a wonderfully supportive group of friends.

In the spirit of Christmas, if you are able to, please do something extra nice for someone - a family member, friend, or even a stranger - in the next few days.  You never know what is happening in someone else's life and sometimes just a little extra generosity and love can put a smile on someone's face when they didn't even think it was possible. 

Wishing you all Christmas' that are Merry and Bright...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Off Beat Holiday Decor

Sure, you could easily decorate your whole house by getting sucked in at Target... how do I manage to leave the store $50 to $100 poorer every time... even when just buying toothpaste and deodorant??... but I love the charm of crafty decorations that aren't massed produced, nor able to be found in my neighbor's home.

Here are some of my favorite 'off-beat' Christmas decorations this season....

Holiday Pom-Pom Garland - Buy on Etsy HERE for $15

....or make your own with a tutorial HERE

Paper Wreath (from a dictionary) - Buy on Etsy HERE for $20

... or make your own, like Amy K's.... her tutorial HERE

Hand Painted Holiday Blocks - Buy on Etsy HERE and HERE for $21.95

Glitter Trees - Buy on Etsy HERE for $26

...or make your own, tutorial HERE!

Do you have any favorite DIY or custom made decorations?  Share links and ideas in the comments - I love inspiration!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

::tap tap tap:::

Is this thing on??

Hey there long lost friends!  I've returned from the crevice in the couch that has sucked me.... sucked me into numerous naps, a Dexter Season 1 (and now Season 2) marathon, and just general cold weather-all-I-want-to-do-is-wear-sweats-and-snuggle mood.

But I finally uploaded a bunch of pics, so it's time to finally get back and share some post turkey day recaps....

First up, the ever on going curtain debacle.  I finally took down the old valence the weekend before Turkey Day and hung the new rod, but that permanent butt mark in the couch grabbed me for a few Dexter dvds.... The Husband patched the old holes and painted them over while I ironed the new curtains (after washing).  We finally had them up Tuesday night, just in time for our company on Wednesday. 

Nothing like some home makeover procrastination....

The Before

The After

...and yes, the pups may be permanently stuck on that ottoman the way I am in our smooshy couch...

In all honesty, I like the curtains... but don't love them.  I think if the walls weren't the most boring color on the planet it'd change a lot of things, but it working for now.  If I find a set of great (yet, non-obnoxious) patterned drapes, I'll definitely replace the white Ikea set, but we didn't want to spend a ton and they are getting the job done for now....

We also got the new microfiber Parson dining chairs that I posted about here. Except we got a different set from Overstock (love $2.95 flat rate shipping) instead of BBB, since they were a bit smaller in dimensions and we hoped it'd be easier to fit all 6 chairs around the table.

The only issue is that the Parson chairs' height is less than the others.   Since they are at the head of the table, I feel like they should be higher, but small potatoes.  I'm digging the mixed and matched chair look (thanks for the inspiration Amy K!)

And lastly for the all-in-one recap post, the table setting pre-turkey scarf down.  We actually added a second table since we had 10 guests, but since I got busy with prepping all the grub I didn't snap a picture.
("Hi Sarah!... I'm the perfect centerpiece, Thank You IBFF!")

Hope Everyone is having a Happy Holiday Season!!