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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Puff paint is BACK!

I fell in love with a duvet set from Ikea and we decided to use it as our starting point in the guest room. Falling in love? At Ikea? I know, shocking. It was even a solid color – how hard could that be to work with? This bedding was a deep, dark eggplant purple and it needed to be mine.

I immediately started thinking about paint colors to go with purple bedding and black furniture. I thought grey would look fantastic, but I had just painted 50% of the house grey and I’m a girl who needs variety. My husband suggested lavender. Apparently he has not actually met me, or else he would have known that the one color I detest more than any other is lavender. No thank you. I was pulling for a soft yellow, but he went straight to the extreme and chose a deep mustardy gold. I wasn’t sold on the color, but in my shock at his choosing a ballsy color I WENT for it.

Have you ever decorated a room based entirely around one piece of decor you love? Is it just me or does it always become SO MUCH HARDER to find things that “go” when you do it that way? Especially when you box yourself in with a really bold choice of wall color. Of course, I had a empty wall that really needed some art and Lord knows I wasn’t going to find anything that fit the bill. What was left to do but make my own? Inspired by this lovely project I found on Pinterest, I set to work.

I decided to free-hand the puff paint directly onto a 16″ x 20″ blank canvas I bought at Michael’s. I used black so I could see what I was doing since I was going to paint over it anyway. And it’s a good thing since I had a little blurp-turned-smudge down in the corner. Sue me, I haven’t used puff paint since 1992.

Once the puff paint was dry, I brushed on a couple coats of Behr paint, color-matched to the bedding. I just bought a sample-sized jar, no need for a full quart here. And yes, I used interior wall paint on a canvas. It turned out great, so there. I only did two coats because I liked the slightly mottled appearance it gave the purple. It looked like more “legit” art to me.

Once the purple was dry I went back and brushed on metallic gold in a few places just to add some interest and to pull the wall color in and tie everything together. This is the final result.

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Bring on the color

The first time we looked at our house we were sold. I’m talking the off whispering in a corner, rose-colored-glasses-wearing, terrible poker faces kind of sold. Hardwood floors! 3 bedrooms! A garage! A finished basement! A fenced-in yard! Appliances included! Everything was perfect. I even said several times, “We don’t even need to paint! I love this color!”

Then reality set in. We really did get a fantastic house, but of course it wasn’t perfect, and the first thing that had to go was that paint. That color I loved so much when we looked at the house was beige. The same exact shade of beige in almost every single room in the house, like the previous owners had gotten one heck of a deal on 27 cans of paint that no one ever picked up from the mixing counter at Home Depot. I already warned you about the rose-colored glasses, didn’t I?

The minute we moved in we got right down to painting the living and dining rooms. We only had a few days before our furniture would be delivered and we needed to take advantage of the space while we could. We put the Bug in her baby jail with a bunch of toys and set to work, all the while dancing and singing to her in an attempt to keep her entertained. Yeah. About that… Have you ever spent several hours completing a task while simultaneously trying to keep a fenced-in one-year-old alive and happy? And how did that go for you? Yeah, same here. Bug channeled her Hulk strength and dragged her jail all around the living and dining rooms trying to get to Mommy and Daddy, crying all the way. To get a little perspective, this is the type of “jail” I’m referring to. It’s not light weight, at least not for a toddler.

Eventually we had newly whitened ceilings, a bright white window frame (formerly “wood”), and two grand wall colors: ‘Seal Grey’ and ‘Spanish Olive’ (colors are from Glidden chips, but we used Behr paint) to complement our soon to be delivered living room set. As is typical, hubby was skeptical of my vision, but he loved it as much as I did when it all came together. I am not afraid of color!

Like my $30 Craigslist coffee table? I’ve got a whole other post cooked up about that, just you wait!

So the grey continued into the dining room since we have one long wall that is shared by the two rooms. The original plan was to paint the other two walls in the dining room a shade of yellow called ‘Butter’ because I desperately wanted a grey and yellow scheme in the dining room and had already bought yellow plates to display on the wall. Hubby was highly skeptical. The first coat went up and I thought to myself “it’s just the first coat, it will look great with one more coat.” Then the second coat went up. Ok, maybe I am afraid of color. Hubby and I spent several days afraid to tell the other that we hated it. We then blamed the necessity of ‘Butter’s’ death on my desire to paint the kitchen bright blue. Too many colors in one space and all that. Yep, that’s it. Luckily we had more grey paint!

I still wanted my punch of yellow though, so we looked to vinyl to solve that problem. Turned out pretty well if I say so myself. What do you think?

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Making it ours

It certainly doesn’t seem like only 4 months since our family moved into our very first oh-my-god-is-this-really-ours house when I think about all we’ve accomplished in that time. We somehow managed to paint the walls and ceilings in the living room, dining room, kitchen, hall, and guest room. We refinished no less than 6 pieces of furniture. We re-insulated the attic, installed a plywood floor for storage space, and added a pull-down ladder for easy access. We framed out one previously unframed open doorway and updated the rest of the trim in the kitchen. We also installed a new tile backsplash in the kitchen and while we were at it decided to update the old ugly outlets and switches. All that on top of your standard moving in and hanging up pictures. And with a 1-year-old thwarting us every step of the way. Good times.

Bug striking the ever-appropriate "raar" pose with our SOLD sign

Thankfully, we did have help from my Dad to knock out some of the more grueling tasks, but our families live far away and it’s all on us now. I’m getting tired just thinking about it.

Psychotically, I still have quite the list of projects ahead, and of course I have a few banked that I’ll be blogging very soon. In the meantime, check out all the awesome things that inspire me on Pinterest.