The Painted Brick, Part III

I thought I had narrowed down a few paint color favorites. When I went to pick up some paint samples at the Ben Moore store, I quickly realized their choices were very limited. I browsed the selection and chose a color called Cedar key that I thought might work. After comparing the sample to the color on the shop, I decided I had found the perfect match. I patiently waited…

The weather finally improved and I got a chance to test out the paint sample that I picked up for the house. Turns out, its the exact same color thats currently painted on the siding around the front door and its way too light to paint the brick. (See attempt #1. ) Since the local Ben oore place is closed on Saturdays, I decided to see what I could find at Home Depot. I discovered that they tint their samples in store, so for $2.95 you can have a generous sample of any color you choose!

This time, I tried to match a Ben Moore color to a Behr color (attempt #2), but I decided it was too yellow. I want something that coordinates with the siding on the shop…attempt #1 matched it exactly and I wanted a few shades darker. So I made yet another trip back to Home Depot and picked up a third paint sample (attempt #3). Patrick and I both agreed that we like the color and I think it goes well with the color of the siding on the shop.

Here is attempt #3 painted on the siding that surrounds the front door. (When I painted the first sample color on here, it literally disappeared after it dried… it was a perfect match, but not the color I wanted to paint the brick.)

Hopefully, we’ll get to pressure wash and paint the house soon. The stripes aren’t very appealing. Add the fact that our dogs have strewn stuffing all over the yard and we’re definitely lacking some serious curb appeal. I’m sure the neighbors love us. At least the front steps look cute…

Work in Progress: The Kitchen (Part 1)

The loss of my beloved camera threw me way off. I’ve had to readjust to life with my mom’s camera that has she let me borrow until I can replace my own. So, sorry for the absence and here’s where I left off…

I picked up some paint samples and painted a few “test spots” around the kitchen to see how I liked the color. I’m very pleased and can’t wait to get started…

(Please ignore the basket of clean laundry waiting to be folded.)

We’re planning on painting the walls Ashley Gray and painting the cabinets along with the pine wall white. We also plan to put up 2 – 3 (almost) wall length open shelves on the pine wall. This will give me plenty of space to house all of my books and display some pretty dishes and other odds and ends.

During one of my trips to Home Depot on Saturday, I decided to pick up what we needed to move a phone line into the kitchen. When Patrick got home I (very sweetly) asked if he would help me move the desk into the kitchen. Since I already had what we needed, he decided to go ahead and moved the phone line as well! It cost us approximately $7 as compared to the $85 the phone company wanted to charge us. As of right now, the internet isn’t working properly, but it has nothing to do with my husband’s handywork. We ended up having to call the phone company when we first moved in because the DSL light kept blinking. They came out and fixed the problem but I guess he just fixed it for that one jack and not the whole house. Fortunately, we won’t have to pay them to come out again.

Here is the mini kitchen office…

The next step for the kitchen is sanding and painting. Its going to be a big job. I have a feeling it will be a while before we get started on that since Patrick wants to get the outside of the house painted first. However, I wanted to go ahead and get an idea what the space would feel like with the computer in there… in case I didn’t like it and wanted to change my mind. I have to say that I love it!

Kitchen Update (and a death in the family)

As mentioned in my last post, I ran across a picture of a beautiful kitchen that I’ve seen before and it was like love at first sight, again

So after showing the picture to my darling husband, he agreed that our kitchen would look great painted that color, and then added, “So are we going to paint the cabinets white, too?” Love him. I was a little nervous about bringing up the idea of repainting the kitchen, since he hates to paint and has mentioned several times that he likes the color it is now, so I was very pleasantly surprised by his answer, almost downright giddy.

After looking through paint swatches and samples, I’ve decided on a color very similar to the one in the picture I found…

I picked up some paint samples at my local Benjamin Moore store and painted a few test patches on several of the walls in the kitchen. I’ll share those pictures tomorrow!
On a sad note: my wonderful camera of 4 years has bitten the dust. I turned it on Saturday so I could take a few pictures of my kitchen and the screen was all white and kind of frazzled looking. It will be sorely missed. My mom has loaned me her camera (so I won’t miss any cute photo ops of Alston) until I find a replacement. More about that later…

What’s cookin’?

My very first thought was to move my home office into the kitchen. It has the most unused space in the whole house, plus the thought of being able to upload pictures, blog or pay bills while cooking dinner is more than appetizing. I wondered if it might be a little strange to have an office desk sitting in the kitchen, but with the help of google, I found some great inspiration.
I’ve seen several built in desks in offices and this one is gorgeous. I contemplated the possibility of adding more cabinetry, but for budget’s sake, I would like to stick with using something we already own.
This kitchen is fabulous and seeing the stand alone desk made me feel better about using what I already have.
I currently have a bulletin/chalk board already hanging in there, so I think its going to be great to have a neat little corner office right in my kitchen. (And what a great way to utilize all that wasted space!) I think I would also like to display my books in the kitchen to fill up some wall space and have them at easy reach. I also might like to have a separate little table for my printer to free up some desk space and possibly another chair for an extra seat.
Here are some great book display/storage options:
$39.00 Amazon
Seen Here (Similar in Black) $81.00 Stacks & Stacks
I thought about a few short shelves just over my desk like the ones here…
I also thought about long shelves running the length of the wall (or the majority of it) but then wondered if it would look weird without something under it, like a countertop. Although, I guess my desk off to one side and maybe a bench on the other it could balance it out…
This picture just makes me drool. I’ve come across it several times. It makes me want to paint my cabinets white so I can paint the walls that lovely minky brown. Swoon.

Trial & Error

I completely abandoned any house-related projects for a while. I was exhausted and lost interest. Lately, I’ve been feeling much better. I’ve completed a few small projects and am now ready to take on a few larger ones. There are so many things that I would like to get completed before th earrival of baby #2. The guest bedroom/home office has all but been deserted. After working in Alston’s room and moving all of his books into the 3rd bedroom, I haven’t done much of anything else in there. We keep the door shut most of the time, but I would like to actually be able to use the space as is, until we get ready to start transforming into a nursery. I have hopes of making it a kid friendly area, with Alston’s books and puzzles that also has a sleeping area for guests (in case we ever have any). later, when we find out the baby’s gender, we’ll paint and remove the full sized bed to make room for a crib and dresser.

First on my to-do list is to find a new home for the computer. I hardly ever use it because I hate going into that room. Its messy and disorganized and has basically become a dumping ground since I cast off my efforts to finish it as a guest room. (It seemed pointless at the time since it will become a nursery sometime over the next 6 months.) I had three different areas in mind: The Kitchen, The Living Room, or The Man Cave.

Option 1: Kitchen

Option 2: Living Room

Option 3: Man Cave

It was Patrick’s idea to move the computer into the mancave, which I thought was very generous of him. And since it was the only spot with easy access to a phone plug, I decided it made the most sense. My mom and I discussed some ways to rearrange the furniture so that Patrick wouldn’t have to move any of his stuff out to the garage. Last night, I peeked my head in at my computer and decided now was as good a time as any to go ahead and move the computer.

After some serious rearranging, I realized the mancave wasn’t such a good spot for the computer. Patrick was not happy with the amount of space that was lost and I was not happy with the thought of having game trophies hanging over my desk. I also discovered how terribly disgusting that room was. I didn’t move the furniture back so that I would be able to give the room a good scrub first. The walls are also in dire need of a second coat of paint, so I may try to talk Patrick into painting them before moving the furniture back.



ps – I really hate mini blinds and apparently so does my dog. He ate half of them.
The clean bare spot in the corner is where my desk would go… right underneath the deer.

With the furniture arranged like this, the room feels very cramped and small. I think we’re going to go with Option 1: The Kitchen.

We’ll have to run a phone line under the house unless we drill through the wall to get to the one in the bedroom on the other side of the wall, but I think this unused space is much better suited for a desk. I’m going to call the phone company and see if they’ll come run the line for free. If so, I’m sending that ice cream parlor set back to my mom’s and moving my computer ASAP.

Goodbye, shrubbery!

Last weekend, while I was out shopping with Mammy, my wonderful husband did some much needed demo work. I came home to find all the horribly decrepid bushes had been pulled up, the lawn had been seeded and he filled the front planter with gorgeously black potting soil and cheery little pansies. Oh, happy day.

Doesn’t it look a million times better already? Here’s what it looked like before:
I can’t wait to get some paint samples! There’s still much to be done to add some much needed curb appeal to this dated brick ranch, but we’ll get there, one step at a time…

The Brick, Part II

Forever ago, or what seems like forever ago, I wrote about the changes that Patrick and I wanted to make to our soon-to-be new house. After the home-buying process discouraged me, I tried to take a break from planning renovation projects on a house that wasn’t even mine yet.
Fast forward 5 months and one successful house purchase…
Its getting close to Spring and the warmer weather has us anxious to get to work outside. While there is still much to do on the inside, I think some work on the ol’ curb appeal would be just the right thing to kick me back into renovation/decoration mode.

So here’s what we’re working with…

Patrick already mowed down the heavily over-grown monkey grass and I ripped up the scraggly bushes in the brick planter out front. All we need is a couple of hours with some heavy duty machinery to rip up the rest of the shrubbery and we’ll be ready to paint!
There are 3 different types of siding on the house, which makes it look messy, so I would like to redo all of the siding to make it all the same. I’m not sure how much that will set us back, so we may end up painting over whats there just for a temporary fix. Eventually we will also get around to replacing the windows, but thats a whole lot of money that we’re not quite ready to spend.
We know that we want to keep the front door and shutters black. I would like to repaint them to freshen them up a bit and would love to have a new front door. Preferable something like this one, with a nice shiny coat of black paint.
(Found similar ones here and here too, but I think I may be able to find one at a local salvage place.)
If you’ll notice, in the far right of the top picture of the house, you can see our detached gargage peaking out. It was built much later than the house and is covered in vinyl siding. I would much prefer to leave the garage as is, so we’re going to try to paint the house a color that complements the existing color on the garage. Here it is in all its glory. Patrick loves having his own space to store all of his tools, hunting gear, and other manly equiptment.
With swatchbook in hand, I went outside on a day with fair weather to try to match to color of the garage. I compared paint samples to the siding in both sun and shade until I was happy that I had found its match. Then I chose some colors that I thought may complement the color of the garage. Below is my color pallette. The first color is the closest to basic white that I could find in the Ben Moore virtual paint deck. The trim and gutters will remain white as they are now. Then of course, is basic black for the doors and shutters. The third color, Natural Cream, is the closest I came to matching the siding color. The rest are different options for painting the brick and siding on the house. As you can tell, we’re sticking with a neutral color and I really like the grayish khaki colors. I’m hoping to pick up a few paint samples very soon so we can do few test patches on the house.

The weather is supposed to be lovely this weekend, so hopefully the hubs and I can get outside and get to work!


Cable Knit Throw from Restoration Hardware. Isn’t it dreamy? I want to curl up under one. Too bad they’re sold out.

I can not get motivated.

I have tons of little projects sitting around waiting for me to complete them.
Pillows waiting to be sewn…
Candle sticks waiting to be painted…
Artwork waiting to be hung…
Furniture waiting to be moved to a new home…
Wait. That’s Patrick’s department, not mine.

Anyway, I’ve slowly but surely been working in Alston’s room. Its just so hard to come home at night and think about crafting or decorating when the kitchen sink is overflowing with dishes and there are Mr. Potato Head parts strewn everywhere… And I still have to fix dinner… fishsticks and mac n’ cheese is not an acceptable meal good excuse more than once a week. After I finish dinner, load the dishwasher and pick up body parts, all I want to do is curl up and watch Glee.

Fortunately, I’m baking fish for dinner and did the dishes this morning so I’ll have time to get a few things done. Unfortunately, I’ll be cleaning out my closet and putting away clean clothes.

In Limbo

I was still working in the guest bedroom right up until we found out we were expecting.
I’m lying.
I actually quit working in the guest bedroom.
Matching the stain for the bookcase has been too hard. Okay, so I tried once and failed and haven’t been back to Lowe’s to get more stain yet. It was such a debilitating defeat that I’m considering painting the whole thing instead of tediuosly working to match the stain. I’ve seen so many great bookcases that are painted and even like the idea of painting the back a different color.
So, since the guest bedroom/office will soon be transformed into a nursery, I will be focusing on other parts of the house instead. (Soon as in somewhere in the next nine months.)

As you’ve already seen, I’ve been working in Alston’s room a bit (here and here). Like every other, its an ongoing project. I’ve also been storing up ideas for our kitchen makeover. There is a lot that I would like to tackle in there: paint, new hardware, new pantry, new lighting, new window, building an island… the list keeps growing. Also, I’m not completely happy with our living room, so I’m planning to bring in some different furniture pieces. Our bedroom needs a fresh coat of paint and some new accessories. I have some great fabrics that I can’t wait to turn into throw pillows in there, but can’t decide on a paint color. I love the Benjamin Moore selection from Pottery Barn. I have a hard time making a decision when the choices are endless, so I like having something to help me narrow it down.

Besides all of these things that have been on my to do list for quite some time, I now have to find new homes for all the things that are currently living in our guest bedroom.
Countdown to complete all of these things…. 245 days.
I think I need to make a more substantial to-do list. 

Kitchen Love

I saw this kitchen over at Design*Sponge this morning and it made my heart flutter. I’m not in love with my current kitchen and have been collecting ideas for when we get ready to tackle the task at hand. Here are a few things I’ve filed away under “inspiration”. (Apparently I like green for my kitchen–probably becuase of the predominantly green slate tile floors.)

We haven’t bought a fridge to match our other stainless appliances, so I was thinking of painting the one we have with chalkboard paint.

This kitchen is so bright and airy… but maybe a little too bright…
I love the colors in this Vera Bradley apron.

I have a huge window with plenty of space for fresh herbs and pretty little ferns.

This image is clean, earthy and organic… exactly how I want my kitchen to feel…

These are my Pottery Barn Emma dishes.

I originally had reservations about painting the cabinets, so I’ve been trying to think of ways to get around it. These cabinets are about the same color as mine and the appliances are stainless. This images shows that, while the colors can work together, there is defintely something to the saying “less is more”. (Plus the guy at the stove is pretty darn funny.)