Posts tagged ‘Paint’

September 2, 2013

Where’s My Fork?

‘Cause I’m done with my headboard wall.

Too bad the photo doesn’t do it justice. In real life, the drapes are so tall and the headboard is so low. It’s an elegant combination.

I had been searching for drapes for this space since April. I debated my color and pattern options, but I knew I wanted a 96″ length and back-tabs. Unfortunately, It seemed nearly impossible to find 96″ tall back-tab panels in a brick and mortar store in Oklahoma City. As always, I inevitably found myself looking through the many IKEA options.

I am a huge fan of the Aina unbleached linen drapes that are hanging in the dining room…

But I worried the linen color of the drapes might clash with the linen-ish color of the master bedroom walls (Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige). Just imagine if the drapes had a more pink undertone than the walls… I couldn’t live with myself!

I fully intended on taking down one of the dining room panels and comparing it to the wall, but I unexpectedly found myself 30 minutes away from an IKEA before managing to do so. No big deal, I could easily find another place to hang beautiful linen drapes, yes?

Obviously, I’ve ruined the suspense by putting the image front and center on this post, but imagine how thrilled I was, 500 miles later, to find the drapes to be almost an exact match to my walls. You can’t write this stuff!

So the master bedroom headboard wall is complete… save for a brass bird adjustment and ever-evolving nightstand styling.

By the way, that makes for 4 different IKEAs that I have visited – Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, and Centennial. I’m tied with Rob, but he has me beat by distance with a visit to a Russian IKEA. How many IKEAs have you been to? Let me know in the comments below!

February 2, 2013

Kitchen Improvement Baby Steps, Part 2

I promised a full post wrapping up my first baby step to improving the kitchen, so here goes. Let’s start with the Befores.

Kitchen 2011

Kitchen 2011

Kitchen 2011

These pictures were taken in 2011, but not all that much had changed before this past November, including my choice of pajamas. At this point, I was unhappy with practically every surface in the kitchen, but I knew I couldn’t afford any upgrades anytime soon… if ever. So, instead, I started thinking about ways I could improve the feel of the space without putting too much money into it. I came up with a plan, starting with addressing the items I disliked the most about the space.

1. The upper cabinets above the peninsula. I despised them. They got in the way of many conversations being had. I wanted to tear them down, but that meant patching the surfaces beyond. I had to be prepared for whatever state they may be in. I’ve had experience patching gypsum and texturing walls, so I felt confident I could fix whatever happened to the ceiling in the process. The wall, not so much. The backsplash tiles were cut around the upper cabinet, so if I took the cabinet off, the raw edges of the tile would be exposed. I do not have experience in tiling, so I did not feel good about that. Luckily, I had an idea. I designed a wood trim piece to cover the cut tiles and had a friend build it for me. I then painted it and liquid nailed it to the wall. You can see the down and dirty pictures here at my previous post on this subject.

Kitchen Progress

2. The dark and creepy window nook. I loved this window space when we first looked at the house. I thought it could be a cheerful space to grow herbs and other plants. Instead, it became a black hole that constantly felt empty, yet overcrowded. After staring at pretty kitchen windows on blogs, then at mine, I realized a curtain was the first step, and I could make it myself. But first, I painted the window frame to match my tile trim. Painting the trim white helped to brighten up the area and made it feel much cleaner than the old, worn stained frame did. I then got to constructing my curtain. I found a pretty simple tutorial here that is so easy I was able to start and finish the project in an evening. I then took the “less is more” approach to accessorizing the nook by removing everything I didn’t love. I was left with a knife block, a couple plants, three glass canisters (which each hold flour sack towels, dish detergent and fresh light bulbs) and a frosted mustard bowl to tie in my accent color.

Kitchen Curtain

3. Lack of interesting and cohesive accessories. What accessories I had were merely parts that did not add up to a cohesive look. Accessorizing is not my strong point, so I experimented with my accent color in various patterns. I mixed the geometric curtain with striped tea towels and a southwest style rug. Mustard colored bowls, a print with bits of yellow and produce helped add fresh color to the space.

Kitchen Accessories

4. The furniture in the space doesn’t accomodate the activities that take place there. Sure, a dinette table belongs in a dinette, but what if the dinette table only gets used as a mail sorter and a coat rack? The table just took up space and made it difficult to vacuum. What I noticed most was that guests preferred to stand close to the peninsula to watch whatever activities were happening in the kitchen. So how about some stools?

Kitchen Stools

Ok, enough ‘splainin’. Let’s get to the Afters!

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Baby step one is done. My plan, now, is to live with this progress a while and decide if anymore steps should be taken. At this point, those steps are painting the upper cabinets or painting all of the cabinets. We’ll see!

December 30, 2012

Kitchen Improvement Baby Steps, Part 1

Over the holidays, my focus has been on improving our kitchen. Even at its best, it has been strangely cavernous yet very bright. It lacked any interesting characteristics to warrant it being the heart of the home and where we would often find guest congregating during parties. I attempted, many times over, to rearrange countertop accessories to improve the interest, but it was never enough. We didn’t have the money for a complete kitchen renovation, so I came up with some baby steps in hopes that I would find a comfort zone somewhere in the middle.

Kitchen Before

Many times, I would find myself prepping food inside the kitchen and ducking to be able to chat with friends on the other side of the peninsula. So step one became tearing down the cabinets above the peninsula. It was a bit of a scary step to take, like stepping off a cliff, because we weren’t sure what kind of surfaces we would find behind the cabinets. Would we have to patch large areas of the ceiling with sheetrock? Would we have to patch the tile backsplash? These lingering questions became the reason why we waited so long to take this first step, but finally, I had had enough. The day after Thanksgiving, Rob and I tore that sucker down.

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

We were left with some surprising and not-so-surprising surfaces. Not-so-surprising were the tile edges cut around the now non-existent cabinet and the once hidden wall texture that was now exposed and out of place next to the remaining texture-less walls. The tile would either have to be patched or covered in some way so that the rough edges would not be exposed. The textured wall would either have to be sanded down or the remaining walls would have to be textured to match. The surprising was the already textured ceiling that required very little additional patching to blend with the exposed ceiling.

And then the real work began. I decided to go ahead and texture all of the walls in the kitchen because the flat walls felt cold and out of place with the rest of the house. I then primed and painted both the walls and the ceiling with Sherwin Williams Shoji White in a flat finish. I had a little wood ledge made to cover the cut tile pieces. I originally tried staining it, but couldn’t get the stain color dark enough. I also realized I didn’t want a dark brown stripe that was the trim seemingly hanging in space. Another reason I decided against staining the trim was because the next kitchen improvement baby steps would involve painting the upper cabinets white. So why stain the trim only to paint it later on?

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Oh, we also replaced the outlet and switch covers and re-caulked the counter.  It’s amazing what a difference those small changes can make. The final item to complete before wrapping up baby step one is accessorizing – a big step all on its own. I created a quick mood board for the kitchen.

Kitchen Mood Board

The easiest way to unify a space is through color. I already had several yellow items in the kitchen, so it only seemed natural to continue with that theme. The rug was a Christmas gift from Rob. I’ll also make a curtain with white and yellow print fabric, frame and hang a print, and replace our kitchenette table and chairs with bar stools (the brass pull is for future baby steps).

Jin on the Kitchen Rug

Jin is already enjoying the new rug.

November 4, 2012

Laundry Room Re-do

Every house I have lived in has had one of those catch-all rooms. In the house on Penny Lane, that room is the laundry room. Not only is it the laundry room, it is also the utility room, the junk room, the litter box room, and the shoe closet. And it looked like it…

Total disorganization. Shoes piled on top of shoes and that Laundry Lift had been leaning against the wall for 2 years. This room is the first room that we enter when coming home and the last one to exit when leaving. I wanted it to be bright and welcoming but also useful as the laundry room that it is. My first order of business was corralling the shoes. I had my eye on the IKEA Stall unit for a while and finally talked Rob into buying it.

When I got it home, I immediately started assembling it. Halfway into assembling, I realized the thing was mammoth. I had done some measuring before purchasing, but seeing it in person made me rethink my laundry room plan.

I originally wanted to place the new shoe cabinet on the same wall that the shoes were stacked against. Unfortunately, the existing cabinet was taking up far too much room. So we decided to take it out…

And with it, the tile and base boards were replaced and the walls patched and painted. It was a bit more work than we expected, but well worth the return on square footage.

With that additional square footage, I was able to push back the clothes drying rack to an area that didn’t require ducking and didn’t block the light. This also cleared up my walls for decor. We found a new use for an area rug that had been rolled up in our garage for a year – it did wonders for the warm, inviting feel I was after. And didn’t realize until later how much it would help to cut down on the amount of litter tracked by the cats.

Light and bright and 100% efficient!

March 25, 2012

A New, Fabulous Front Door

With the hard work from our friend Gavin (whom I now owe several hours of my painting services), the new front door has been installed and is swinging beautifully.

It’s been almost 2 years since we had a fully functioning lockset on our front door. The previous door’s deadbolt knob was loose and got lost during our tile installation of 2010. Every time we had guests they’d inevitably find themselves clawing at the door to leave due to my habitual door locking. We also never had a peep hole, which made for awkward peeps around windows to spy on unexpected visitors. So not only is this door squeaky new, it’s also way more functional than our previous door.

Here’s our before door.

Before Interior

Before Exterior

And our after.

After Interior

New Hardware

After Exterior

After Exterior

I don’t think I could be anymore pleased than I am.

The interior paint color is Sherwin Williams Coffee Bean; the exterior is SW Marquis Orange. You can follow our progress here and here.

March 18, 2012

To Do List

It’s been a long while since I’ve last updated my to do list, so here goes…

Those items highlighted green are those that have been completed since I last updated the list (June 2010)

To Do List

1)  Replace carpet with wood

2) Replace existing tile

3)  Replace all light fixtures

  • Entry – pendant
  • Dining – pendant
  • Living Room – recessed
  • Kitchen – pendant
  • Master Bedroom – pendant/close to ceiling
  • Master Bathroom – pendant or sconces
  • Bedrooms – close to ceiling
  • Guest Bathroom – sconce
  • Exterior Front – sconce

4)  Demolish partial wall/cover existing opening

5)  Replace Living Room doors with windows  (I haven’t decided if I still want to do this.  Originally, I thought the door was inoperable, but the wood had just swelled the door closed.)

6)  Replace window treatments (I’m about halfway through with this one, not enough to cross it off, unfortunately.)

7)  Remove upper cabinets above peninsula in kitchen

8 ) Paint Fireplace

9)  Add Fireplace doors (crossing both 8 and 9 off my list because I’m fairly certain I’ve changed my mind about both items)

10)  Add pocket/barn door to Master Bathroom

11)  Replace Master Bathroom sink

12)  Replace toilets with dual flush toilets

13)  Paint Interior (I decided to paint the kitchen the same color as the living room and to paint the cabinets. I may treat the laundry room completely different from the rest of the house since that room is so dark and depressing.)

  • Living Room/Dining Room/ Hallway/ Kitchen – SW Pearly White
  • Kitchen Cabinets – White (which white, I don’t know.)
  • Laundry Room – ???
  • Office – SW Pearly White
  • Guest Bathroom – SW Worldly Gray
  • Master Bedroom/Master Bathroom – SW Balanced Beige

14)  Paint Exterior (In progress, yes, still.)

  • Trim – SW Black Fox
  • Field – SW Universal Khaki

15)  Replace Kitchen counter with quartz or butcher block

16)  Replace all windows (4 out of 10 of these will be replaced this year!)

I’m hoping this will be inspiring to those who feel they need to tackle everything at once. We have actually made great progress here in under 3 years, but I try not to rush myself. I’ve learned that my ideas change with time (see items 8 and 9) and almost always for the better. If I had tried to tackle my whole To Do List at one time, I would not be as happy with the (in progress) outcome as I am!

Enjoy it!

March 18, 2012

Front Door Sneak Peek

Considering there were several weeks between the delivery of our new, un-painted front door and its installation, I was able to take my time painting it.

Here’s a little sneak peek before we install next weekend.

For clarification, this image shows the painted door leaning up-side-down against the garage wall with the jamb laying horizontally in front across saw horses. I selected Sherwin Williams Marquis Orange for the exterior side of the front door. The interior side of the door is SW Coffee Bean, which can be seen on the bottom half (interior side) of the door jamb. The top half (exterior side) of the jamb is SW Black Fox, my current in-progress exterior trim color (finish looks streaky because I had just painted it).

Here’s hoping next weekend’s installation goes well! The forecast is 76 and sunny!

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February 25, 2012

Nate & Aurelio

Way back in September, I blogged about doing some pro bono (ish) design work for my friends Nate and Aurelio (you can go back to read about the inspiration for the design here). I’m happy to announce that a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today in celebration of the completion of the project. Of course, it wouldn’t be entirely complete without my blogging about the process. Grab yourself a snack and find a comfortable chair because I’ve got tons of before and afters to share.


Please excuse the poor phone picture quality befores as well as any not-so-kind criticisms. They asked for my help for a reason, right?


Note the dark wallcovering that creates a cavernous entry.

Living Room:

Note the white walls, saggy futon, feminine drapes, pillows and artwork, and more tables than anyone could possibly need.

Dining Room Before:

Note again the dark wallcovering and just large amounts of stuff.

Of course there was also a lot of good stuff to be found. I had the foresight to take some pictures of items that stood out to me.

I knew this console table would make a good grounding piece for the entry way.


The carved detail on these nesting tables definitely made my socks go up and down.


A pair of leather-look side chairs intrigued me as well as an oddly placed stack of gentleman’s hats.

I proposed to Nate and Aurelio a more masculine feeling interior using the majority of their existing furniture with an emphasis on neutral colors. I put together this mood board to help visualize my idea.

The hard part was going to be implementing my idea on Nate and Aurelio’s budget. Over the course of the next several months, we removed wallcovering, painted (Sherwin Williams Relaxed Khaki), cleared out and purchased furniture, and hung drapes and art.

Enough already. Here are your Afters.

Items purchased:

Paint & Supplies – $136

Mid Century Modern Sofa – $235

IKEA Minut Wall Lamps – $20 ea.

Plaid Pillows – $11 ea.

IKEA Vilmie Figur Cushions – $13 ea.

Faux Fur Pillows – $50

Rugs – $55

IKEA Ritva Drapes & Hardware – $40 ea. window

Wall Art – $25

Lamp Shades – $15 ea.

Total: just about $700.


If you ask me, the best money was spent on paint and drapes.

It’s amazing what you can do with your own stuff and a few extra bucks, huh?


November 19, 2011

Bedroom Shaken

The bedroom has officially been shaken.


Last weekend, the walls, which I had previously painted SW Worldly Gray, were repainted SW Balanced Beige; our circa 2005 white IKEA Malm bed was donated and my parent’s vintage Westnofa teak platform bed was brought in.

Previous, bluer paint color – SW Worldly Gray:


New, sandier paint color – SW Balanced Beige:


We hung IKEA Basisk wall lamps and finished them with paintable plastic cord covers which I cut to incorporate the light switch.


Due to floor vents, we had to scoot the bed frame a good distance from the wall.


I absolutely despised this gap at first, but within a half hour I had an idea to fill the space. Euphorbias and Snake Plants.


Basically, I was greatly inspired by this interior, the home of Maurizio Zucchi:


So, more plans for the bedroom… as soon as there is money to follow through with them.



November 6, 2011

Bedroom Shakeup

We’re about to trade up our 2005 IKEA Malm bed for a 1970s Danish. And I’m excited.

Many of you may know that Rob and I currently sleep on a 1970s foam mattress complete with brown plaid lining. Next week, our mattress is going to enjoy a long awaited reunion with its 1970s teak platform bed. The bed has been passed around the family quite a bit during its life and now it’s my turn.

The Bed

Our current IKEA Malm bed has been good to us; surviving 4 moves, 6 disassembles and 2 cats, but it was time to move on. Among other wear and tear, screw holes have been stripped for some time causing creaking with the slightest of movement, the most annoying of its weaknesses. So when my mom notified my brother and me that they were switching to a King sized bed and the teak platform bed was free for the taking, I knew I couldn’t say no.

And such a large shakeup calls for contemplation on other changes.

Many of you may also know the story of our bedroom paint mishap. I selected a wonderful sandy gray paint color for our guest bathroom, Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray. Since the bathroom was on the same side of the house as the master bedroom, thus lighting conditions would be very similar, I thought it was a brilliant idea to paint the bedroom the same color. I was wrong. In our bedroom, that sandy gray color turned steel blue and I have regretted it ever since.

So what better time to repaint than when the largest piece of furniture in the room will be removed?

This weekend, I swatched a few Sherwin Williams paint samples: Balanced Beige, Relaxed Khaki and Universal Khaki. I found a winner in Balanced Beige and am thrilled to start working on this new project.

Balanced Beige:

Check back for my progress!