Color correcting

When we first moved into our house, as you may know, it needed a lot of work. From tearing down walls, to completely renovating the both kitchen and bathroom, to adding a new floor, we’ve made a lot of big changes around this place. On a much mare basic level, one thing every room in the house needed before moving in was new paint. Well, first every room needed to have the walls washed, which was a slightly horrifying task when we saw how much dirt and smoke residue was coming off of them.

The color we chose for the bedroom was yellow, which if you’ve never painted with yellow before, you might know how fickle and frustrating it can be. We went to the store, spent a lot of time trying to choose the right shade of yellowish gold and finally decided on something – which I cannot remember anymore. The reason being, once it started to go on the walls, it was obvious that it was completely wrong. In the end, the color was switched to Pyramid Gold by Behr, and we were satisfied for the time being.

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Overall, we liked the color, but it just wasn’t working with the room. It wasn’t awful, but it just wasn’t right. The brown tables and shades probably didn’t help too much either. So, the first step we took was to switch out the blinds. We switched the blinds to white, to try to add some softness to the room. It worked, but it still didn’t fix the room completely. So, after a while we decided to just repaint the room.

We were a little annoyed to repaint only about a year after originally painting the room, but we also knew there was no sense keeping the room the same color when we didn’t really enjoy it, or when it didn’t really suit our taste for the space. We commissioned Matt’s awesome cousin Sam to dog sit and paint while we were on vacation. Coming back from vacation to the room all painted and finished was fantastic.

I’ve always liked gray as a paint color, especially for bedrooms. I like painting a room a subtle color and then using the accessories in a room to bring in some bold shades. Matt wasn’t sure about gray. It took a while to convince him that gray could look nice in a room, but eventually he came around.

We also got a new bed from IKEA – a storage bed with shelves on the sides of the headboard and large drawers underneath. The bed is somewhat large for the room now, but the storage was desperately needed and the bed will be used in the larger master bedroom upstairs one day. We still have more we would like to do with this room, but for now we’re liking it much more than what it started out as.

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Another room that we decided to repaint was the office. The original paint color in the office was a brownish tan color. I think it had originally been leftover paint from Matt’s parents, which was just easier to do in the beginning when almost every square inch of the house had to be painted. But after a while we wanted something a little more fun in there.

The office also served as a sort of man cave for a while. Before I was officially living in the house, Matt had the office all to himself and the only furniture in there was his desk, a small foldout couch from his college days that served as a dog bed, and some other random things.

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It served its purpose, but after moving in and living without any office space of my own for a while, we decided it should just be turned into an office that would work for both of us. The first thing we decided on was to have a custom two-person desk built, which we just painted white. Then we decided with a large white desk taking up one whole wall and plenty of natural light in the room, it was time to trade in the softer colors we had been using in the rest of the house and go with something bold.

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We chose the color “Plumage,” which I believe is Martha Stewart. It’s not entirely accurately represented in these photos – it’s a deep, rich teal color. And we love it. The white desk and white window and door trim looks fantastic against the dark color.

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Both the rooms still need more work, but changing the color for each is a decision we are still loving. In fact, it was so nice to see how much the right paint color can take a room to a whole new level, that I also immediately considered repainting the bathroom. But then I thought about how difficult that will be, considering I can’t take the furniture out to paint… Jury’s still out on that one.

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Kitchen Ketchup

I would say forgive me for that pun in the title, but let’s be honest, I love puns. Even bad ones.

It’s safe to say the biggest project we’ve tackled in the house so far – and the most we’ve blogged about – is the kitchen. I realized that there were a few things in the kitchen that changed during the time I dropped the ball on blogging, so I figured I would play a little ketchup (alright, last one) and share the progress.

If you remember, the kitchen looked like this when we moved in:

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We lived with the kitchen this way until we were able to rip everything out and start from scratch. You can read more about that here, here, here, here, here, and here. (I told you we basically only blogged about the kitchen…)

And so we were left with this beautiful – albeit empty – kitchen:

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And are you ready to see where we’re at today?

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There are a few areas where we’ve added some new stuff – quite a few new counter-top appliances – and there are still a few more things we need to take care of, but it has definitely come a long way!

First, Matt and his brother added some white subway tile. We toyed around with the idea of adding some color in the tile, but ultimately I was afraid anything like that would become dated sooner, and really I just love the look of a clean, white kitchen (when it manages to stay clean that is…). We choose gray grout for a little contrast.

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The tile helps add a finished look to the kitchen – where before we just had white walls – and it’s much easier to keep clean than the plain walls were.

The other most noticeable step we’ve taken in the kitchen is to add the pegboard. We tossed a few ideas around for the blank wall, including open shelving, artwork, or painting it some color, but we settled on hanging up some pegboard to serve as both functional storage and an interesting visual.

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I chose a soft, buttery yellow color for the pegboard because I thought it went nicely with the blue on the other wall, was subtle enough to not completely overshadow the room, light enough to help keep the room bright and airy feeling, and sort of goes along with the vintage look I’d like to incorporate more of into the room. For now, we’ve added our most colorful or interesting looking items to the pegboard (Except for the pots and pans up top, that was pure function) and we’ve even added our spice rack. We were really excited about that since we wouldn’t have to drill more holes in the wall to mount it again. (We took it down when the tile went up and really didn’t want to drill through the tile to hang it up in the same place where it used to be.)

Finally, one smaller project I added to the kitchen was a DIY paint chip calendar. I’m pretty certain saw this on Pinterest (where else?). I got the paint chips from Home Depot and picked up a cheap frame from Michaels. This was actually a mistake – the frame came with a flimsy plastic insert instead of real glass, so dry-erase marker was really difficult to erase at the end of the month. Eventually I got a replacement piece of glass, also from Michaels, to swap out and it has since been much easier to write on and erase.

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I choose yellows, greens and greenish-blues for the colors I would use. I cut the paint chips into small squares, about 2″ x 2″, I believe, and then simply mounted them on the back of the paper that came in the frame using scotch tape. You could probably use some poster board or something else to mount the chips on, but it didn’t seem necessary. I left myself a little more room at the top than on the side and bottom so I would have room to write the month.

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Overall it was a pretty simple project that has proven to be really functional and beneficial.

So, that’s about where we are with the kitchen. We still have a blank spot above the calendar we’d like to fill, we need to choose a pendant light to hang above the sink and the door to the screen room will have to be repainted eventually, but we’re pretty happy with the way things are looking these days!

I also promise that we have made some other changes and upgrades outside of the kitchen – stay tuned.

Awreatha Franklin

Yes, I named my Christmas wreath. Why? Because it’s an awesome name. Moving on.

Pinterest struck once again. And various blogs I follow. And basically everywhere else I looked online. I kept seeing adorable little homemade wreaths and decided it seemed like a simple enough project to tackle. Plus, it’s Christmas and our front door did need something added to it to make it a little more festive.

On a recent trip to Michaels I picked up a wreath… form? frame? I’m not even sure what it’s called, but I got one. I also grabbed a roll of red yarn and a sheet of green felt. Overall, with some coupons, I think all of this was less than $10.

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I started off by simply tying the yarn around the wreath form and gluing it into place a little bit so it wouldn’t slide around while I was working.

Then, I just started looping the yarn around the form. And around and around and around. I would suggest watching some TV or a movie while doing this part. I put on Love Actually to help get into the Christmas spirit.

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I stopped every once in a while to adjust the yarn and make sure it was coming out even. It was bunching a little in spots on the inside since there was less surface area to cover, but I like the way it looked so I didn’t fuss too much.

When I got to the end, I secured the yarn by tying it to the end I started with and gluing a little bit again for good measure.

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I really liked the plain red look, but I thought it was a little too plain, so I added some white yarn I found around the house. For this, I just very loosely looped it around the wreath diagonally, and then came back around the other way. I secured these the same way – a little bit of knotting, a little bit of glue.
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After that, I simply cut some holly leaves from the green felt, made some berries from some of the leftover red yarn (I did this by first knotting a piece, then just wrapping the yarn around itself and gluing the back the secure it). I didn’t have a wreath hook and didn’t feel like going out to buy one, so the Awreatha is support by a simple plastic 3M hook and some gift wrap ribbon. It’s not the prettiest solution, but it works.
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Overall, it’s a very simple wreath. And maybe a little amateur, but I like it. I like her, and that’s why I named her Awreatha Franklin. (Just wanted to say it again.)

And that little stencil is another cute, recent addition to the front door. That wasn’t a DIY in any way, Matt just found the stencil on Etsy and slapped it up in under 5 minutes. Probably the easiest and one of our favorites additions to the house.

Are you guys getting into the holiday spirit yet?! Any other holiday crafts out there?