24 March 2010

will it never, EVER, end?

"what a looooooong strange trip it's been" for me and this here dining room. it was probably the room i was most excited about when i moved in - not because it is the most beautiful (in fact, it was the most neglected - i can't even conceive of what those college kids were DOING in there.*), but because i love to entertain.

*okay, i really can because, you know, it wasn't SOOOOO long ago that i was a college student myself. i just don't want to imagine those things happening in MY dining room!

from the start, i wanted it to be a cozy room that people could relax in for hours. it started as this mess below - well this is actually after the carpets full of funk were removed. i can't find a better photo, i think, because i had avoided the room for so long.

again with the baby-poopy yellow. EVERYWHERE with the baby-poopy yellow. to make it a bit more serene i decided to go for a mid-tone gray. i tested about 10 and chose the one you see below. (again, apologies for the mess - until the basement is cleared for use, the dining room is doubling as a storage unit.)

i tend to like cool colors, but this just looked horrible. i had exchanged the poopy baby diaper color for an actual baby's nursery (which is just sad and scary if you don't have a baby friend of your own)!

when it went on, it was a pale blue and i hated it. but i was so frustrated that i just finished off the room because i had no idea when i would get to painting it AGAIN....

in the meantime i found this amazing photo. noe this - THIS - is what i was looking for. so, against my usual color instincts, i went about testing some dove grays - colors that had a bit of brown in them to warm things up and create that cozy vibe i want. i finally settled on "stormy monday" by benjamin moore.

and, last night, i got my lazy bones off of the sofa and painted one wall to see if it worked...

i also dedided to do something a bit radical - i'm painting everything from the crown molding down in this color, including trim and baseboards. I'll be using alot of white, black and gold decor - and texture - for POP.

i like that it's neutral enough to show off any color that i might incorporate into holiday or party decorations. because you know me, with the color. and the sparkle.

what do you think? great or BIG mistake?

OH - quick side note... i decided to try a new paint formulation last night as well: benjamin moore's aura. it's alot more expensive than the color-matched paints i generally buy at home depot (which are great), but i did love this stuff. goes on very smooth, great coverage, and very low on fumes. thumbs up!

15 March 2010

color me beautiful.

okay, friends, i'm not even the teeniest bit ashamed to admit it: i heart bridget jones.

bridget reading one of my favorites, house & garden magazine

the first time i read the first book i laughed so hard i cried. there are so many reasons to love her, not the least of which is her relationship with her mother.

when i started on my latest mini project, picking pillows for the sofa, i couldn't help but think of this gem:

"I'm taking you to have your colors done! And don't keep saying, 'what,' please, darling. Color Me Beautiful. I'm sick to death of you wandering round in all these dingy slurries and fogs. You look like something out of Chairman Mao." (click here to determine your "season".)

sometimes (a lot of the time, actually) mother really does know best. rather than a house full of dull colors and boring pieces, i want a house full of COLOR and HAPPY.

so, when i was packing up ye ole christmas decorations (in february - that's right, people, i said february), i realized that i had stumbled upon the perfect palate for my living room accessories. i mean JUST LOOK at this picture. don't the colors make you smile from the inside out? (if you said no, you might be dead inside. get help!)

here's a closer look at the decorations (please ignore the rest of the mess - the dining room is currently my project room).

so cute and cheerful!

i've started to collect and make pillows that approximate this color scheme. there are a couple left to make or acquire, but i like where this is headed!

from left to right:

* fuschia velvet pillow from pier one
* chartreuse beaded pillow from pier one
* homemade (yes - i MADE it) bolster pillow. it's a pretty cream wool herringbone with sparkly gold threads. gussied up with black velvet ribbon and antique lace.
* tube top, yup - TUBE TOP, from forever 21 in an amazing iridescent purple-y blue sequin. popped it over a down insert from west elm et VOILA!
* chinese silk pillowcase procured in chinatown many, many moons ago (2004, i think)

MY adorable mom bought me this amazing purple silk embroidered with butterflies - that'll be the next one.
and i'm still on the lookout for a great peacock blue fabric to balance it all out. any suggestions?

project doorway update: ready for its close-up!

is it sort of pathetic that i'm waxing nostalgic about a project that's not even done yet? (it's okay to say yes. i said yes.)

i have only one room left to paint and that means project doorway is rapidly coming to a close.

so let's raise a glass - scotch if you've got it - to the progress we've made on the paint front over the last six months. here's a retrospective of our work...

the front door, interior:

inside of the downstairs bathroom door:

the inside of the built in nook on the side of the fireplace:

inside of the upstairs bathroom door:

inside of both master bedroom closets:

inside of the guest room bedroom closet:

the back door, interior:

i'm loving this door in nicky hilton's INSANE closet (and i'm SWOONING over those shoes she's wearing). pretty sure that this is what will end up the inspiration for the doors in the dining room...

hope you've enjoyed the close-ups!

"dooooo youuuuuuuuu know what to-day is?‏"

6 months ago, today, we bought this crazy old house. still as fun today as it was then!

i have alot of catching up to do on this blog - i'll promise to write a couple of entries this week. maybe i can even catch you up on project g. a ton of progress has been made!
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