The Move

{ where I paint every day } The Living Room

There is a good chance if you stand still in my house for too long, I will paint you.

It's no secret that paint is the easiest and cheapest way to transform a room. But I also happen to LOVE painting interiors. Trimwork, especially. I don't tape; I delight in my steady hand and precision. There is surely some kind of obsessiveness that goes with this. I don't mind. I'm happy with my angled Wooster 2" and a cup of coffee in hand. 

I love that this house needs more cosmetic work than real reno work because that means Mr. Wooster and I get lots of time together while the girls are in school. 

For instance:

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This was move-in day. The living room was blue. A lovely blue, perfect for a playroom or a nursery. For a few weeks I both loved it and loathed it.  Part of the problem is that it sits directly across the foyer  from the neutral grey dining room. The two did not work together at all other than to frustrate me on a daily basis.

They took turns laughing at me. "Who will you paint first, missy?"

I want to think that in 42 years I have learned to pace myself. For instance, when we purchased our last home, I rushed in and painted the laundry room a horrid color of green that I would need to repaint in less than 5 months. Jay still gives me grief over that one. 

I told myself to wait. To see how things felt. Let the rooms grow on me. 

And a couple weeks later, after things started filling in. I swear I could hear those rooms snickering at me.

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The blue was still just too... blue. 

Last week, I decided to jump in and attack. Within minutes I was terrified that I was about to paint my living room LAVENDER.  Because grey is HARD, people. 

I had to keep reminding myself that the old blue was *so very much the opposite* of what I wanted, that this new color was not purple. It was neutral.  

I was very skeptical. Very. I kept texting my friend, Beki, pictures of my progress. Like this one:

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Beki is sweet, talented, has a great eye, and is very honest. She'd tell me if it were purple. I think I had her just as confused. We both crossed our fingers.  Then I decided that even if it *were* lavender, I would like it better than the nursery thing I had happening on my main floor. 

Have I said grey is hard? Universally accepted as difficult. Add to that: north, west AND south facing windows in this room.  Trees outside with lots of green. Goldenish floors. Fall light changing.

And BLUE bouncing all over the eggsshell plaster. 

I kept thinking, "It's a good thing I like to paint. There is a decent chance I'll get to do this again next week. Sometimes you win; sometimes it's purple."

(I swear I could hear the rooms mocking me, by the way.)

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It might be on the cool-grey side, but it sure as heck ain't baby blue. (And the dining room is a cool grey, so I'm really okay with this.)

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In the end, I think it was the original paint that was throwing off my perspective. This grey ended up looking like a much lighter shade of the dining room's grey. Whew. I am no longer conflicted when I stand in the foyer. I'm sure you're relieved. 

Paint:  Valspar Signature Interior Enamel Flat (paint and primer) in Sandstone Gray 7004-18


{ planning }

I'm feeling a little like I am able to breathe these days. 

We had someone make an offer on our house. We are in contract on a new home.  Questions are getting answered and grey areas are coming to light. This move has been in the works for 18 months and we are in the home stretch.  

Can I say that again?! THE HOME STRETCH. 

I'm so punny. 

And, since I have spent the past year and a half readying my home for sale, I am quite over making design choices that are 'neutral' and 'vanilla' and 'universally appealing'.  In fact, the pendulum might be swinging the exact opposite direction.  

I am craving color. And texture and bold choices.  

What's funny about it is that we are moving into a very tradtional, somewhat historic, classic stone tudor house.

So of course I'm thinking PINK.  (Not orchid, the Pantone Color of the Year. Personally, I think they got that one wrong.)  More like the deep fuschia of a bouganivilla vine.

And navy.  

Or Indigo,  as we are calling it in 2014.

navy blue + pink + brass

 

And antique brass (just as I spent a year covering up and replacing shiny 90's brass).   

I am obsessed with the idea of a navy -- sorry -- an Indigo velvet sofa and a bright modern overscaled piece of art over it. And a fanstastic pillow.  The mister has no idea what is coming. 
 
Just in case you were wondering... 

{ looking forward }

The girls are having fun dreaming about their new bedrooms.  The currently share a room with bunkbeds.  It's pretty and pink and yellow.  There are remnants of Fidget's nursery as well as my littlest's. I combined the two as well as I could when we were planning the nursery three years ago... and then everything kind of sputtered to a stop. 

Since then, they have enjoyed their combined space and the bonus of having a playroom.  Lately, however, they have decided they want separate rooms once we move (although I am convinced they will be sneaking into each other's rooms at night anyway).

Fidget isn't 100% sure about what direction she wants to go.  That, of course, means that her younger sister, Piglet, has had not only one vision, but several.  

When we began talking about things, she was convinced that a Frozen-themed bedroom was exactly what she needed.  I struggle with plastering rooms with decals and novelty bedding.  It's just not going to happen.  I persuaded her to embrace the idea of having a room like one that Elsa would want.  The Ice Queen wouldn't want sheets with characters all over the place -- she would want classy, sparkly, wintery decorations. 

After much discussion and time together online, we agreed on a vision:

Frozen inspired bedroom

 We already have a vintage 4-poster French Provincial bedroom set to paint, which will eliminate the bulk of the expense.  So we're talking paint and a sparkly chandy.  I like the idea of silver foil on the dresser somehow. Or just painting it with a faux metallic finish. The Flokati rug and long flowy bedskirt feel like they are straight from the cold.  I was smitten with this vision.  We'd keep the walls white and paint the ceiling an ice blue.  

And then she decided this was not what she wanted AT ALL.

Humph. 

She wanted a room Rapunzel would feel at home in, too.  Of course. 

So there was more discussion. 

inspired by Tangled: A room for Rapunzel

And I was ever so excited to get started on that one.  I could simply repaint the original furniture in cream and gold -- or just gold! -- add a little lavender.  And shutters on the INSIDE of the room.  And a frying pan.  Thrilled, I was. 

Wouldn't you know it? Today my spunky little sidekick amazed herself, calling this her most BRILLIANT idea.

"Mommy, if I do a SHELL-themed, beach bedroom, I won't complain about not being able to go to the beach all the time!"  

Um, okaaaay.

I still didn't want to put up beach signs or starfish hooks. I have a really hard time using things other people designed for themes for my own design.  

So, shells, sea, beach... PINK.  Of course.

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Inspired by the inside of a seashell, the texture of the sand and grasses, and blowy wonderfulness that is white linen.  I think we have a winner!  I love the color of the bedframe... it's a perfect peachy pink. 

But it's best not to get too excited.  She will surely have a new idea tomorrow.  

I'll keep you posted. 


{ changes. }

In December 2012, my husband accepted a new position with his company. With it came the agreement to move to Columbus, Ohio.  With our oldest still in high school, the company graciously allowed us to remain in Kansas City until graduation.  

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(Lottie wants a valentine.)

What this means is that for over a year now, we have been in a holding pattern. For a person like me, who likes to upgrade and change things around in her home, it has been tricky. It hasn't stopped me, of course, but my focus has been on Resale. Neutral. General Appeal. Cleaning out. Paring down. Organizing. 

See why I haven't blogged about it? Want to get excited about my cleaned out linen closet? Yup. It's been riveting, I tell you. The photos are compelling, award-winning stuff. 

I still have a long way to go.

My pemberlie project was a lot of fun, but it also meant that for a year I could greenlight any project. My garage is still full of potential items. Random things. It was a workshop of misfit old lamps, extra chairs, homemade chalk paints, wooden frames, I accumulated some extra used furniture that I just kind of liked. I had put boring house maintenance projects on hold.

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(there has been work in the mud/laundry room -- amazing!)

Shoot, I put fun personal upholstery projects on hold.  I've had a glorious floral wingback in my kitchen for years now. She needs some attention.  Especially because she is positioned right next to my floral curtains. And now the dog has claimed it as her chair and I have no idea what to do with either of them.

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(snow day fairy fort)

We have an agent coming by for the first time tomorrow to look at our house and give us her straight shooter opinions. Staging, updates, timing, the whole she-bang. 

Are you ready for a bunch of before and afters? Because I think I am. 

People, when this house goes on the market, I want it to sell Quickly. With three kids and a puppy, keeping this place showable will be by best trick of all.

Stay warm, friends!