Paint Colors: A Reference List

Monday, July 29, 2013

I get emails about what colors we've used in our first house all the time, so I thought I would go ahead and write a quick post to wrangle all of our paint colors into one spot. Hope this will help both you and me out (I'm terrible at remembering my paint colors and always have to look them up in my blog posts).

The original color we used in our living room, dining room, and kitchen was Valspar Bread Basket. It's a great warm beige color that looks kind of yellow/gold in pictures. 

In our laundry room, we painted stripes (one of my fave projects) and used our ceiling color--Valspar Woodrow Wilson Blush-- and Glidden Antique White. It's very subtle and pretty much perfect in my book.

Last Labor Day Weekend, I very randomly decided that we needed a change so we pulled an all-nighter and freshened up the house with Benjamin Moore Camouflage which I LOVE. I'm so obsessed with it, in fact, that we also used this in our new house in the living, kitchen, dining, and entryway. Pictures to come. (eventually!)

As mentioned above, the ceiling color throughout our old house was Valspar Woodrow Wilson Blush which is a great warm beige--almost white. It really warmed up our house and made it look much more custom. I love the "Woodrow Wilson" colors by Valspar, they are great neutrals.

Our bedroom was painted in Valspar Bay Sands, which is a very light gray-blue that changes throughout the day. 

Our bathroom was painted in Valspar Castle Sands, which is a shade darker than our bedroom color. This one looks a lot more green though. It is great for a room with a lot of natural light!

And last but not least is the nursery color, which is Valspar Cliveden Gray morning. We painted this in Parker's new room too, just 20% lighter. Can you tell  we buy most of our paint at Lowe's? ;) The board and batten color is also from Lowe's, although I can't remember the brand. (shame!) I know that it's called Clean White though, if that helps. 

I should also note that I never really tested colors...I'm too impatient for that. AND I never compared them to each other so I was surprised when I was writing this post to see that many of them are pretty much the same color :-/. Haha, oh well....I will have to work on that in this new house!

I have also updated my Home Tour Gallery to include swatches of our paint colors and links the original room posts.

Have a wonderful day!

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Favorites From July

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Since July is ending (a little too quickly, in my opinion), I thought I would share a few of my favorite things I've seen around the web in the last month.

1//  I love this beautiful laundry room from Little Green Notebook. She made this over on a super tight budget and with pretty much nothing but paint. Ah, the power of paint. I also LOVE her new house! Can't wait to watch Jenny decorate.

2//  I just (like yesterday) discovered the website, Keep. And I am obsessed. It's like Pinterest but for things you want to buy or save for. Talk about helping my brain out when I'm trying to compare items that I want to buy online.

I found these lovely measuring bowls from West Elm on Keep. Wouldn't they be fun to display on open shelving in my new kitchen? I've been so into kitchen pretties lately.

3//  I also love this necklace. Not that I have much to wear it to anymore, but it would be great for date night or church. 

4//  I've had two of these raglan tees from Gap in my shopping cart for the last month, and then I saw this girl wearing one of them, and it basically sealed the deal for me. I must have them.

5//  I love going through blog archives of my favorite blogs, and lately I have really been enjoying the Good Design - Kids in Mind series from 6th Street Design School. I've read almost every post! Perfect for the anti-tacky-toy-but-I-still-love-my-kid OCD freak like me. 

Have a great weekend!

The New House: The Entry

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'm very excited to start sharing pictures of our new house. Our house hunt was a challenging one, mostly because I am so picky, but also because the houses that we were looking at were either too updated (which of course wouldn't work for use because we want to tear everything apart and make it our own), or needed a total gut job (which, while tempting in theory, was actually too overwhelming and expensive for us to take on). We also needed s  p  a  c  e. And a good neighborhood. Those are the things that prompted the move in the first place. All of these factors led us to the house that we live in now. It has plenty of space, is in a great neighborhood, near great schools, and was an awesome price. But there's a reason it was an awesome needs a lot of work. The house had been sitting on the market for a year, and I think it was purely because it is SO basic. Builder grade. Bare-boned. White walls, cheap fixtures, plain, plain, plain, unfinished. You get my drift, right?

BUT. This house was perfect for us. It gives us the ability to customize and change without the guilt and at the right price. Our house needs some love. And were are excited to give it just that.

One of my favorite things about our new house is the fairly long and wide entryway that greets you as you walk in the door. We didn't have one in our last house, and I am SO excited for our guests to have a space to walk into before they get to our living room. It's also great for running and racing cars on, too ;).

We also have a coat closet. One of  THREE additional closets around the house. Exciting.

These pictures (iPhone-sorry) distort the hallway a bit. It's a little longer than this is real life. It's the same length as our kitchen and half of our dining room, if that helps give you a better mental picture.

That little doorway there goes into the kitchen. 

Obviously, this space is pretty plain, but could use a lot of sprucing up. 

This is the view from the living room. You can see a bit of our laundry room, too. 

We have already painted the walls Camouflage by Benjamin Moore and have put down wood floors (like legit ones that we spent a pretty penny one, thankfully we got them on sale and I have a handy husband). But there is still much more to do...

First up, I want to change the lighting. I was thinking some sort of pretty chandeliers or pendants. There are two lights in the entry and they are about 8 or 9 feet apart, so I know I want something matching and something that isn't too big since there will be two of them.

I love the above picture for how clean it is and how much of a statement that pendant makes. I also love the natural texture of it, although I think that two of these so close together might be a little much for the size of our entryway. I think that this is the "feel" that I'm going for, though.

Another major change that I want to do SOON is on the front door. I can't wait to get rid of that storm door, but since that is the only light source and I'm a sucker for natural light, I really want to cut out a place for a glass insert in our existing door. I do have some privacy and security concerns with this, so I'm still looking at options, but I love the wide cut of glass on this door. Beautiful!

And this one...I'm also super tempted to paint the inside door black. I've been loving black lately, but I've never decorated with it in my home. I feel like it really anchors a room and adds a lot of bold depth. 

Going along with the bold note...I'm attempting to add more color to our new home. Nothing too crazy, just something different from the shades of blue, gray, and green that I normally use. (Although I do LOVE those colors, so who knows if I can really get away from them.)

I love the stripes in this hallway and the gallery wall. I don't think I'll do stripes for real, but I love how fun this picture looks and the pop of color with the chandelier.

I am doing a gallery wall, though, and I've already started quite the collection of large frames. Goodwill has been an awesome source for them (although they all need a paint job). I'm planning to put it on the left side of the hallway (in the picture view). My mom thinks that this level of asymmetry and clutter will drive me nuts, so we will see if this turns out to be a keeper or not.

I love the floor to ceiling look of this one...I don't know if I could swing it in real life, but it makes such a statement!

The last major thing I want to do is add some sort of console or table. I actually already put the buffet that Bryan and I painted a few month ago on the right side of the entry next to the kitchen doorway, but I really, really, really want to move that to the living room (I think it would be the perfect piece to hold our TV), and I absolutely love the idea of getting something with an open bottom to put some baskets or something else pretty underneath. 

I love how natural both of these pictures feel. I think I'm hooked on baskets underneath whatever table we end up getting because they would be wonderful toy storage. I'm all about pretty baskets for covering up ugly plastic toys. (Let's be real here--you cannot deny that most toys are gross looking.)

(Not that bike, though--cute!)

So there you have it. Some of my many plans for this small, but important, space.

What do you think? Any tips for decorating my entry? 

Lessons We Learned from Buying and DIY'ing Our First Home

Monday, July 22, 2013

Anyone who has owned a house knows how much of a complete PAIN in the hiney they can be. They can be money drains. Renovations will give you headaches and mental breakdowns. But if you work at it, you also know that a well-loved and thoughtfully decorated home is such a blessing to the whole family.

We spend 90% of our time at home, so that is the place that we feel deserves the most money, energy, and creativity. Sure, we could save that money and go on vacation or go out to eat more or buy nicer cars, but quite frankly, we are happy homebodies who would much rather be having a movie night on the couch, playing in the backyard, baking cookies in the kitchen, or sleeping in our own beds.

We also know that you learn A LOT from purchasing your first home. Mostly what not to do ;). And since making a house into a home is so important to me and my family, I thought I would share a few hard-learned lessons we learned from purchasing, renovating, decorating, and loving our first home.

1. Location, Location, Location.

If we had to do it all over again, I would have focused a lot more on the neighborhood and school district we were in before buying our first home. We both just  focused on the house, which is important (obviously), but definitely not the complete picture. Look at the area you are in, what there is to do, what the schools nearby are rated, and how well-cared for your neighbors homes and yards are. Being picky with these things (while exhausting at times) will truly payoff in the amount of neighbor friends you have, how safe you feel in your home, and your homes' resale value. This sounds like an obvious one, but I know of many people who overlook it.

2. Study Your Potential Neighbors.

I touched on this one a bit in #1 but want to elaborate. While we liked our old neighborhood on the whole, we did have issues with one of our next door neighbors. First, they had a dog that barked ALL the time--even in the middle of night. They also did not take care of their yard very well...which for an OCD nut like me is no good. Plus it's hard to sell your house and take care of your own yard when the un-mowed lawn and weeds next door distract from all of your hard work. I know this may sound super picky (or snobby), but these things do make a difference in how much you will love your own home. Do your potential neighbors have a ton of cars parked in and around their driveway? Do they have a dog who barks all night long? Do they neglect their house's appearance? If so, these may be red flags. If you're going to invest potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars into a home, I say that it's best to check out those who are going to be around you as well.

3. De-junkify Before The Move.

This is something I probably should have done more of with this move. Give yourself several weeks to pack, and as you are packing only keep the things that you use often, love a lot (family heirlooms, keepsakes, etc.), or find very beautiful. If it doesn't fit one of those descriptions, throw it out, donate it, or sell it. If I could have done this move over again, I would have scheduled a garage sale the Saturday before we moved. We could have made some extra cash and saved myself and B some very stressful trips to the dump and Goodwill!

4. Pick Your Battles. And Who Will Fight Them.

In our old house, I had the mentality that "We will do it all and we will do it right away!" when it came to renovations. WRONG. That thinking right there is your ticket straight to exhaustion, frustration, money-wasting, and lots of fighting with your spouse. Instead, pick a small handful of projects that you can realistically handle when you move in.  Also, pick what will be done professionally, and what you can do yourself. You CANNOT do it all. Give some of it to a pro, it will save your sanity.

We scoured Pinterest and carried around samples for weeks before deciding on quality floors for our 2nd home.

5. Research and Live In Your Current Home.

This can piggy-back with #4 because if you try to do all of your renovations at once your are bound to regret some of them. In our first home, we painted every. single. room. right away, and put in a new sink, countertops and backsplash. We also bought a wholelotta furniture and decorations to fill the rooms. Bad. Very bad. We ended up re-painting every. single. room. AGAIN and always regretted our choice of countertops. And all that furniture and d├ęcor I bought? Sold it. Donated it. Threw it in a closet and cried. It took me about a year and a half, maybe a little longer to really figure out what my style was and how I wanted our home to function. Give yourself some time to live in your new house as it is....let your tastes evolve, and really think about how you use each and every room and how you can make those uses efficient, cost-effective, and beautiful all at the same time.

I planned Parker's room piece by piece and used both high and low end items to make up the space.

6. Think of your home as a "High-Low Project", and fill it with things that are meaningful and loved.

Have y'all ever seen that show on HGTV? It's a great show, and it teaches a very important lesson: Not everything in your house has to be something re-made from Goodwill. Not everything has to be from One Kings Lane or Restoration Hardware. Choose pieces for your home that you LOVE, no matter the price. If the $1 basket from a thrift shop is just going to be "good enough" after you've worked your spray paint magic on it....don't get it. If you feel like you need to buy that mirror that you just "like" from West Elm because of the brand....step away. I've learned (and am still learning) that a mix of high-low pieces that tell a story and are truly l.o.v.e.d. is what makes a beautiful, comfy, and well-lived-in home. Please be picky. I have donated a whole closet of "good enoughs" and "likes". Don't make my mistake-- If it takes you a year to find that one thing that you absolutely love, that is completely okay! Oh, and please invest in good couches...I swear they make or break a living room right off the bat for me!


So, now that's you've made it through my novel (HIGH FIVE), what are your thoughts? I've learned a lot and have fixed many of my past mistakes with this new house, but there is always more knowledge to gain. I would love to hear the things you have learned from renovating a home or moving into a new one. Do share!

The Little House: Final Before and After Part Two

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hello! Today, I'm continuing my final before and after of our previous home. As I mentioned before, I hit the jackpot on Google and found the old listing pictures of the house as it was when we bought it. Again, I will say that while it was clean and nicely decorated, it was definitely not my style. ;)
Let's begin with what ended up being my favorite room in the whole house: Parker's nursery. This is the room I get emailed about the most and gets pinned the most. It's also the one that I spent the most time thinking about and working on...which is why I probably felt that all of the other rooms in our house were never "done". Lesson learned. I am trying to plan more with our new house so I can love each room just as much as this one!

Up next is the Master Bedroom, which was entirely too small for a king bed in my opinion, but these people still tried it out (with some sponged walls--awesome!)...

And the "Master" Bathroom. It's amazing what paint, new hardware, and a little light can do. (You're also missing out on the glorious blue linoleum floors in the before picture.

And lastly, the room that was always changing and I sadly never got to finish. It went from a junk room, to a guest bedroom, to a playroom. It would have been really cool if I had finished decorating, but oh well...
After: (Obviously we didn't get to the ceiling fan)
 (Imagine an art gallery wall for coloring pages and finger paint masterpieces, fun huge framed alphabet prints, a book wall, a reading corner with fun patterned get the point.)

I think the major lesson we've learned here is that opening the blinds helps tremendously.  ;)
Well, that's that. It was very bittersweet to close that chapter of our life and move on to a new (and daunting) one. But we are excited and I hope to eventually make our new house the home that we will love for a long time! I will start the "Before" tour of that house ASAP.
Has your current house come a long way from where it was when you moved in? What things do you think help improve a home's overall look and value?

The Little House: The Final Before and After Part One

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Y'all. I found a gem on Google a few months ago. We had just put our little house on the market, and I happened to come across the old listing (from when we bought it) and was just SO excited because the old pictures would mean the ultimate before and after post.

I started my old blog after we had already moved in, painted (and painted), redone the counters, most of the appliances, and the ceilings. I never got a chance to show off the "true" before....the faux-textured ORANGE walls, the fluorescent lights, and the all of the fake greenery (Now, I will say that this house was very clean and decorated....just not my style).  SO. Here it is for the world to see!
Up first is our front door, which I don't have far away shots of the "After", but I DO love my fall decorations :).



(Excuse my "after" pictures in the rest of these, the lighting is not the best, I was trying to snap quick shots for our listing. :))

Here is the Living Room, which I loved and had pretty much called "done" the day before we decided to sell. Of course.



Bryan and I made over that buffet (Craigslist, baby) right before Christmas. I LOVE how it turned out.

And here is the Dining "Area" that was just behind our couches.



And the kitchen is last. As you can see, the kitchen, living, and dining room were pretty much just one big space.



Can I just say thank goodness for husbands that know how to install can lighting and countertops? And backsplashes, too. And sinks...and wood floors. :) Too bad we never got to that stove!

So that's Part One! Hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for the bedrooms and bathrooms. Thanks for reading and talk to you later!

What things have you learned to live with in your house that you originally wanted to change?