Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One Month Later...The Completed Living Room and a few nice touches

It took me a month to sand, prime, and paint the living room, dining room and kitchen. A month filled with going up and down ladders, getting coated in 5 different colors of paint, and discovering that when I obsess over something I have no room left for ordinary life.

I haven't baked in a month. Or made yogurt. Or dinner. I've been a little preoccupied.

It started here, with one wall.

Considering that I had paid for samples, I just kind of dove right into painting and assumed the colors I had picked were just right. Fortunately for me, the research I'd put into picking them out turned out to be dead on.

I don't have any straight "before" shots of the living room. You can just flip through random party photos and you're bound to see what the room used to look like*. I do, however, have a before shot of the new shelves we installed under the video screen, so that's a little something.
 Original wall color: Ivory Tower.

The speaker used to sit on a birch wood shelf, but I had Eric remove it when I had the idea for new shelving. The idea sprang directly from the Montessori school: everything should have its own separate place. This way the twins won't get so overwhelmed when you ask them to put their toys away and they'll be willing to do it, just like they do at school! Apparently tossing them all into a giant bin was short circuiting their brains.

Here's that same wall after painting and installing the shelves and baskets.
New wall color: Vanilla Brandy

Much nicer! Watching the twins pick up after themselves at school and put their "work" away was a major motivator for me. I'm willing to spend a little money to buy baskets (I haven't gotten around to putting little photo tags on them yet.) to sort their toys into, if it will make my house appear slightly less chaotic.

Here's the bay window wall.
New ceiling color: Honey Beige

Removing the A/V tower has made a huge difference in how this room feels. It seems a lot more open now and I like not having to look at that mess of wires anymore. The only sticking point is the fact that the projector is exactly at twin level. We have to keep them from touching the lens or they might a) burn their fingers or b) wreck the lens or c) both.

Here's the before on my fireplace and 3/4 wall.
Three quarter wall color: Pacific Pines. Note the brass accents on the fireplace. So '90s!

New 3/4 wall color: Burled Redwood. Inset accent color: Knight's Armor. Trim: Ultra White. Brass Accents: painted flat black with high heat paint. Ahhh!

I still hate the tile, but I'm not prepared to rip the walls up to install spiffy new tile or paint the old tile. Yet.


I decided that all of that Burled Redwood needed a little relief and went with the white trim color for the door instead of using the Knight's Armor grey that I'd used on the front and garage door. I thought the grey would make this wall too dark.

Up the stairs we needed to transition from the dark cinnamon color (Don't you just love how all of my paint seems food related? Num!) to the new wall color. I really didn't want my interior hallway to be miserably dark.
Note how dingy the almond colored thermostat cover looks? The doorbell cover above it used to look the same until I attacked it with fine sand paper and white satin spray paint. I'll get to the thermostat pretty soon. Details like that make you crazy the longer you have to stare at them. Or is that just me?
I read about a neat trick for perfect painted lines after I'd finished, but what I did worked well, too. I used a plumb line, snapped it to the wall to get the straight line I'd need for my tape. Placed the painter's tape right down the edge of the line and used a damp cloth to burnish the edge of the tape and "seal" it to the wall. Then I wiped away the chalk line, painted like normal, removed the tape after the 2nd coat had dried and repeated the procedure on the other side of the lovely sharp line of paint with the second color. After pulling the tape away, my edge was lovely and straight.

The funny thing about spending all of your time up ladders, painting, is you have a lot of time to think. While I was in my zen painting mode, I came up with a whole slew of ways I wanted to decorate. You know, now that the twins are apparently theoretically possibly mostly out of their smashing phase. Those three photos were the first thing that leapt to mind as a great use of that space.

Another idea was this:
Curly stems in a black and natural bamboo vase. Here's hoping the twins leave it alone!

This is just to the right of the stairs pictured above. It's been empty and bugging me for a long time. This was just the ticket to fill the space and contrast my newly painted wall.

I even painted inside the coat closet and made some perfectly sized storage boxes to hold our hats and gloves and keep them off the closet floor. You know, in an organized fashion!

Yes, I did just say that I made those boxes. I followed the tutorial listed here and using boxes I already had, material left over from a dress made for my wedding, paper, a glue gun and spray adhesive, I didn't spend any money on these boxes at all. Unless you include the cost of storing all of those materials for all this time. : ) They definitely took awhile to make, but it was a good learning experience and next time I do it, I'll be faster. Heck if I'd known how to do it sooner, I wouldn't have bought baskets for the twins' toys!

Anyway...even though I've also finished painting the dining room, since this has gotten pretty long, I think I'll end here. I know my mother is dying to see what all I've been doing (Hints on Facebook aren't enough for her anymore.), but I'll show you the dining room another day. I promise it won't be a month from now!

Heck! I still have to tell you about the twins turning FOUR! and, you know, my father's funeral and stuff. There's so much going on, I keep on doing stuff, randomly photographing it and never actually write it up.

Tunnel vision. Crafting tunnel vision.

On the bright side, I now have some breathing room now that my painting fever has abated! I think I'll finish gilding the lily in the dining room (Ooh! I need to recover the dining room chairs!) before I most upstairs and address the horror that is my bedroom. I'll be sure to take you along for the ride!

* Apparently I was a little too good at cropping the vile tower of wires out! I can't find much. Wait - here's a pretty good example. See all of that stuff behind Eric? Tower of A/V equipment, wires, DVDs, CD tower even farther back and crap all over. Bleah!


Anonymous said...

Great job!
What's the beige living room color on the walls?

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Hey Cinderella! It's called Vanilla Brandy. It's a lovely warm shade. Clearly its own color and not just a random shade of off white. I like it! I haven't decided yet whether the bedroom will be this color or a nice shade of green.

Jenna said...

WOW! Looks fantastic! It's so cool to be able to get such a dramatic change with some paint and your talent!

Anonyvox said...

I really love the redwood color. The whole place looks nice and warm.

HolisticJai said...

What color is the wall on the staircase and what brand? please email it to me at

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