Sunday, October 17, 2010

My world, colored.

For nearly 4 years, we have been living in a house with almost exclusively 'builder white' walls. When we bought this house, the front room (den/office/playroom/weightroom, depending on when you asked) was a sage green, our master bath was aqua and dark brown, the nursery was yellow on 2 walls, with 1 wall of yellow and sage green stripes, and Luca's current room was...horrible. The only room we had changed thus far was Luca's.

To be honest, decorating is something I fantasize about. I watch DIY Network and HGTV any chance I get. I surf home decor and renovation blogs. I steal my mom's Sunset Magazine and drool over the amazing homes and gardens showcased there. But when it comes to actually making a move, I get paralyzed. I have so many ideas and inspirations, and then I worry: Will it look good? Will my husband like it? Will I like it? Is it too trendy? Too out there? Too safe? Too boring? Will I love it? Will I regret it?

So, you can probably imagine that deciding to go from this:

 To this:

Was nervewracking to say the least!!

The color? Eucalyptus Leaf by Behr.

The inspirations? This ceiling light we have in the dining area and this little bowl my kids eat their snacks in every day:

At home, when I looked at the bowl in particular, I saw a robin's egg blue. So I took it to Home Depot, color matched it with the machine, and bought the paint color it suggested.

And then, I came home and went to bed. And the next morning in the bright sunlight streaming in the kitchen windows, it looked green and oddly familiar. Suddenly it hit me, and I turned to my husband and said, "Hey, does this remind you of something?" He answered immediately, "Yep. It's the color in our bathroom." And sure enough, I took the chip up to the master bathroom and held it against the wall, and it was so close to the same it may as well have been identical.

This put me in a quandry of sorts because, to be honest, I like the bathroom color just fine. But from the day we moved in, I had always regarded it with a 'It's a nice color and all, but I never would have picked it myself.'

Hm. Wrong there, I suppose.

Anyhow, I sat on it for over 24 hours, cleaning and prepping but not cracking open the can. And when we woke this morning I asked Darrick to take the kids away for a few hours so I could set to work. Before he left, I planted a seed in his mind: "I've been stalling on painting because I'm not sure I like that color for our kitchen." And he planted a seed back: "That can cost $25 and can't be returned. Just use it." And with that, they were gone and I was left to tape and prep. I ran out of painter's tape when I still had a lot left to do, so I went to grab my keys and go to Home Depot, and while I was there, I couldn't help myself: I picked a new paint color.

And then I sucked it up and put the new paint color back, promising myself that if I hated the one at home, I could come get another color to paint over it. It was a mental back-and-forth for about 15 minutes to get to that point, though, and I left Home Depot more confused than before.

When I got home, I decided to just get to it and stop thinking. But first, I had the most difficult of the prep work to do. I had to climb onto the counters and then onto the fridge so I could tape off this:

I mean, getting above the cabinets was tough enough, but that area above the pantry was (a) super dusty, (b) super deep (probably about 3 feet back), and (c) super claustrophobic. And, also...I mentioned I was standing on the fridge, right? First I had to wipe it down, then after it was dry I had to tape it, and finally I had to paint it by hand (no way I was going to try to manage a roller and tray up there).

And then, there was this:

The lighting is crappy, but basically the transitions on our walls are rounded, which meant I had to tape off the wall on a rounded edge and decide sort of randomly where this color should stop. The great room will have a different wall color, so that will either have to start right where this color stops, or the rounded edge will show some of that old 'builder white' color. I'm not sure what to do about that yet, so if anyone reading this wants to have an opinion on it, please share!

The 'where to tape' dilemma happened in a few places, including the 'pony wall' area you can see here:

You can see the inside/top of that wall I decided to leave the original off-white color, and the outside edge was left that color as well. It was a LOT of taping, and a long reach atop a ladder to paint the tippy top of that support beam.

Once the taping was done, a lot of the kitchen near/above the cabinets was done by hand with a brush. The rest I rolled on. The whole thing, from start of taping to finished painting, took about 4.5 hours. I'm happy I took my time prepping and setting up though, because even though I was unsure of the color, I am so thrilled with how it came out.

Once it was dry, we cleaned and re-hung the horizontal blinds, hung some art, and positioned the kitchen table in a new way. We put the cedar chest we've stored our photo albums in against the main wall to serve as seating, then put the other 3 chairs around the outside. You can see pictures of the chest in this post, but right now it's not much to look at. My mom's offered to help me make the seating pad a bit thicker and make a new cover for it.

I had already purchased almost everything we needed for this project, except the gallon of paint (it actually used less than a gallon), 2 plastic drop cloths, a new roller, a new tray liner, and a new paintbrush. All that added up to roughly $50 after tax, bringing our kitchen makeover/flooring redo total so far to $365. Not too shabby!

We still have baseboards to finish and I am hoping to carry all this momentum a few more weeks and get the cabinets refinished. I also have grand plans to make more storage space while getting rid of a dining room feature we never use, so I will be sure to update as we get more done!

1 comment:

Sharon said...

LOVE the color! It looks amazing in there! If you end up doing the cabinets white like you talked about, I think that is the perfect color to compliment it! Especially with pewter door handles!

Anyway, the color looks great! I'm not sure how to do the rounded corners. I would probably try to go the very middle of the rounded part as much as possible so that the color doesn't actually wrap around to the other side, but that's tough. I had a similar decision regarding the archways in our house. On one side of the arch was one color (like a grey slate blue), and the other side was a different color (one of the tan colors you hate) ;-) I ended up painting the inside of the arch the tan color since that was a color that was more common throughout our house. But I debated it.


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