The old mauve house

A quick closet makeover (another “slap some paint on it and it’ll look so much better” sort of project) (aka: paint fixes everything)

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Some people have scary basements.  I had a scary closet.  (Well, I have a scary basement too, but that’s a whole other story for a whole other blog post.)  How scary was our bedroom closet?  It looked like this when we moved in…

Scary bedroom closet in old house

Wallpapered scary closet in old house how to clean and make pretty

Ack.  Nightmarish, eh?  Yup.  Absolutely terrifying.

And since “make closet pretty” wasn’t first and foremost (or even seventh and semi-important) on my big ol’ home reno to do list, it stayed that way for the past ten months.  Empty.  Ugly.  Mocking me.  Daring me to step inside (which I would never ever ever do due to the aforementioned scariness factor.)

So where were all of our clothes?  In the nursery closet of course.  (See where this is leading?)  But, with Baby on the way in a few short weeks (yep, you guessed it), it was time to clear out that closet.  Meaning that it was also time for us to face the scariness once and for all and make our bedroom closet a much more hospitable, much less horror movie-esque little place.

So what did I do?

I painted it.

And by that I mean that I really quickly and lazily painted it, using leftover Edgecomb Gray paint that I already had on hand.  Did I remove the wallpaper from the walls?  Nope.  Did I sand down the drywall compound patching job that Sweetie did (since originally there were plaster cracks on the back wall of the closet that made it look even more terrifying?)  Nope.  Did I prime or prep or do anything to make the ugly innards of my closet more humane-looking?  Nope.  I just slapped some paint on those closet walls and called it a day.

And it didn’t turn out so bad.  Behold the after…

Scary closet makeover with leftover paint - after shot

I even tossed a quick coat of paint on the baseboards.  Same colour as the walls.  We’re not talking anything fancy here (it is a closet, afterall.)

Painted baseboards in closet

Yep.  A quick coat of paint and suddenly the closet ain’t so scary any more.

(I mean, I wouldn’t want to hang out and read a book in there, of course, but it’s way better.)

So there.  That’s my scary-closet-turned-not-quite-as-scary-due-to-Baby’s-impending-arrival story for you.  Since I’m guessing that Baby will need its own closet.

You know, for cute little onesies and pretty dresses (if Baby is a girl) or tiny overalls (if this wiggly little belly-mover is a boy) and stuff.  :)

 

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My fantastic front door plans (prepare yourself – this could be shocking)

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

So hear me out for a second k?  No judgy-judgy…  Just trust me on this for a moment.  I have an announcement:

I might paint my front door pink.

(Let’s pause briefly while that all sinks in…  You ok?  K.  Let’s continue.)

Yes, I’ve lamented for months now that our house is mauve.

And yes, I’ve previously stated that perhaps a muted plum door would tone down the pinkness of the siding on our house while still looking sophisticated and coordinated.

And yes, I’ve even mentioned (several times) how much I’d really really like to repaint our old mauve house and be rid of the pink altogether.

But (this is where my anti-mauve plans go a bit awry), then I noticed this…

White mailbox house number decals on mauve or pink house and front porch with geraniums

See those geraniums slyly photobombing this pic of my front door (and my beloved new house numbers?)  They’re coral.  And they’re pretty.  And see how nice they look against my (much despised) mauve siding?

Dear Mother Nature: you sneaky fox.  You’ve coyly inspired me.  Big pat on the back for you, missy.  Nicely done.  :)

So I might paint my front door a corally-pink.  It’s absolutely mind boggling, I know.

And don’t get me wrong: we’re not talking fuchsia here.  (Random diatribe: FUCHSIA might, in fact, be the oddest-spelled word in the entire English language.  It always takes me at least three or four attempts to type it out correctly.  FUSHIA looks right, but it’s not.  Fuscia could even be correct, but, strangely, is not.  Nope.  Fuchsia is indeed one of those words that makes me yearn to have a stern conversation with the good folk at Miriam-Webster and ask them what the heck they were thinking when they decided to add so many miscellaneous letters to a rather simple, two syllable colour.)

(Thank you for letting me rant.  Carrying on…)

Nope.  We’re talking a corally pink.  Like this (via ByStephanieLynn)…

Coral pink front door with green board and batten

Or like this cheery door (courtesy of Marty’s Musings)…

Coral front door on gray painted brick house with fall wreath

Or even this (the top paint chip is Benjamin Moore’s Glamour Pink, and I THINK it could work, although it’s a bit more pink-ish than coral-ly.)

Benjamin Moore Glamour Pink from door on pink house

A closer look at BM Glamour pink for my door with old white screen door

Please ignore the partially painted screen door – that’s a whole other project for a whole other post.  (But I need it to stop raining first.  Once the rain stops, the door will be painted.  Until the rain stops, it’ll stay splotchy.)  (Sorry neighbours!)

So yes.  This is my new plan.  A coral door for my mauve house.  Who would have thunk it, eh?

Mind you, Sweetie and I haven’t discussed this yet.  He might have issues with the words “pink” and “coral”, so I may call it a “muted light reddish-slightly-orange colour.”  Or perhaps even just “geranium,” since I’m doubting he’d know which flower I’m describing.  Sweetie isn’t much of a flower guy.  But give him some rare weird variety of tomato plant and he’s all over that like ants on an apple.  :)

 

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Nursery natterings (part three: a crib is in the howwwse!) (yup – I just went there)

Posted by on Jun 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As my due date creeps closer, I’m feeling more and more motivated to hurry the heck up and get ‘er done (nursery-wise, that is.)  Over the past couple of weeks we’ve brought my grandparents’ rocker in to be reupholstered (should be finished any day now!), we’ve created our baby registry (which, if you’re a tad OCD like me, means hours spent researching various products and thinking about how crib sheets and change pad protectors in very specific colours and patterns would look against not-yet-but-soon-to-be freshly painted nursery walls), and we’ve made our baby-centric Ikea run (which, if you ask me, is the best reason for an Ikea trip ever.)

Yep.  If I have this baby tomorrow (which, mind you, I hope I don’t!) (just a sec – knocking on wood…) he or she now, officially, has somewhere to sleep.

And all of this makes me a very very happy momma-in-the-making.  :)

Nothing is set up yet, of course.  My parents are coming down to paint the nursery later this week (thanks mom and dad!), and then, once the walls are all prettied up, the furniture will be assembled.  I’m ridiculously excited to see this little room transform into the nursery that’ll belong to this wiggly little one who is currently doing pirouettes in my ever expanding belly.

But, until that all happens, he’s what we’ve settled on so far…

The nursery will be painted Benjamin Moore’s Woodlawn Blue…

BM Woodlawn blue paint drop dot

Then there’s the Hemnes dresser that’ll double as a change table (currently sitting in a box in my living room, but it’s going to be awesome!)…

Pretty (and practical!) white Hemnes for my nursery

And our Gulliver crib (I’m so excited about our crib!), while really simple and small, shouldn’t overpower the tiny little room that’ll become Baby’s nursery…

Gulliver crib for nursery in white

We still need blinds and curtains for the windows, an area rug for the floor, some sort of dirty diaper collection method (be that a wetbag or an ubbi or a simple diaper pail liner plus ikea garbage pail (like this one here) or whichever system we decide upon), and a bookshelf of some sort (since we plan on doing a lot of reading to Baby.)  A footstool or ottoman (for mamma to put her feet up while nursing) would be pretty super swell too.

But, we have the basics now, at least.

Only eight more short weeks (until my official due date) to go!

 

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Creating curb appeal (one pretty little decal at a time)

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

Curb appeal is coming slowly (very slowly) to the old mauve house.  I have to keep looking back at the before pictures, particularly from the rather disasterous day we moved in (while the previous owners, who apparently didn’t fully understand how the whole Closing Day concept – ie: moving out so that new owners can move in – really works, rather obliviously took their time packing things up and were still picking up their belongings FOUR DAYS after we gained possession of the house) (true story) to fully appreciate that our house HAS come a long way in seven months.  Especially considering that we were buried under several feet of snow and darkness and cold for five of those seven months.

The newest addition to our create curb appeal campaign?  Pretty new house numbers.

I present to you Exhibit A: the old house numbers…

Some rather ugly brass house numbers

The old brassy numbers

Brassy and rusted and old.  Gross eh?

And, now, the snazzy new mailbox decal numerals (courtesy of etsy seller WelcomingWalls)…

White mailbox house number decals on mauve or pink house and front porch with geraniums

Mailbox house number decals from etsy

I never imagined that a set of sticky little house number decals affixed to a plain black mailbox could make me so unbelievably happy.

And, just for comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at a couple of rather disturbing before pics, shall we?  Here’s the picture from the original house listing…

Mauve or pink sided older house with gray roof

…and here’s what the house looked like the day we took possession, with all the previous owners’ stuff strewn all over our newly acquired lawn…

The moving day mess

Yep.  We bought THAT house.  We’re rather brave (or foolish?) peeps, Sweetie and me.

And now the after…

Mauve pink old farm house with front porch and burgundy shutters

See?  Progress.  Slow progress, mind you (we still need to dig out that ugly stump in the front garden and plant some more appropriately sized cedars or boxwoods and – oh! – some flowers in those flowerbeds would look pretty and the shutters and front door could definitely use a lick of paint and that deck would really look far lovelier if it was stained and gee wouldn’t it be awesome if our entire house was re-sided in any colour except for mauve?)

But, still, progress nonetheless.  :)

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My blue kitchen (aka why test pots exist) (and, consequently, why you should use them)

Posted by on Jun 2, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

So I decided the other day that I couldn’t handle these dark/dreary/oh-my-god-who-seriously-paints-their-walls-these-colours? walls any more.  With Baby on the way (only nine weeks to go till my due date) (ack!), I had sworn off painting for the next little bit (even though some say you can absolutely paint while preggers) (however I’m super sensitive to smells right now, so painting just didn’t seem to be in the cards for me.)  Based on a recommendation from a co-worker (hi Laura!) I brought someone in to paint my living room, dining room, and (yay!) kitchen.  It took her less than five hours to paint all three rooms.  FIVE HOURS!  I was (and still am) in painting-land awe.  I’m not sure how she did it (seriously, what she accomplished in five hours would have taken me several weekends!) (maybe I’m just a rather pokey painter?), but suffice it to say that the house feels like a totally new house now.  The rooms feel bigger and lighter and cheerier.  The ceilings seem so much higher.  And I am one mighty happy momma-to-be.

However, let me break in on this little newly painted room love-fest with a bit of a confession: my kitchen was supposed to be gray.  A nice, light, slightly bluish airy fairly neutral gray colour.

The Coles Notes version of the story?  I got blue.

Like, really blue.

Grumble.

What I was hoping for?  A slightly brighter lighter version of the same colour that adorned my happy little 1940s kitchen at our last house.  That kitchen was painted in Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Gray, and I loved it.  Loooooved it.

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray kitchen with yellow and white accents

Stonington Gray kitchen with island and Ikea white Ingolf bar chairs stools

Our current kitchen, in our old mauve house, gets far less natural light than our previous sunny little kitchen did.  And it’s less open and needed brightening up a bit.  So my seemingly obvious solution was to confidently (ie “ruthlessly skipping the whole test-pot phase of painting”) go one paint chip lighter on the same paint-swatch card thingy from my previously adored Stonington Gray colour.  Seemed foolproof enough, I thought.  And, even when I held the paint chip up in various places around my kitchen, my newly decided upon colour (Wickham Gray) appeared to be a light gray with a teeny tiny smidgen of blue-y green-y muddy undertones mixed in for a bit of wall colour pizazz.

The real-life post-painting result?  Apparently Wickham Gray turns blue in my kitchen.

Like, very very blue.

Here’s where we started (all gold-y and dark and such):

Gold coloured kitchen with white cabinets and tile countertop

Red and gold kitchen with white cabinets

And here’s where we are now.  Blue blue blue.

Wickham blue kitchen with oil rubbed bronze light and white or cream cupboards

BM Wickham Gray or blue kitchen with white cabinets and red

Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray kitchen with two toned cabinets white and navy

Yep.  Definitely blue.  Super ginormous sigh.

Don’t get me wrong!  There are lots of lovely blue kitchens out in the world.  In fact, my Pinterest Kitchens board features several blue-hued kitchens that I’ve admired for a while.  There’s this one, from House Beautiful (although I searched the House Beautiful site and couldn’t find a link directly to this particular image – sorry!):

Blue and gold galley kitchen

And this super lovely kitchen featured on the Better Homes and Gardens website…

Blue beadboard kitchen with white cupboards and gray countertops

And, my favourite (pretty!), this cheery blue kitchen courtesy of…  um, Pinterest source unknown.  (I hate those source unknown sorta Pins, don’t you?)  (If this is your kitchen, a: I want to move into your house please! and b: let me know!)

Blue and white kitchen with pretty bunting

So see?  I’m not at all against blue kitchens.  In fact, I think blue is so fresh and pretty in a kitchen!

But… it’s not what I had planned for my kitchen.  And against my currently cream coloured upper cabinets and brown-tiled backsplash and countertops the blue looks a bit… off.

I’m going to live with it for a bit.  And maybe (with a little tweaking and accessorizing and such) it’ll grow on me!  With Baby on the (ever nearing) (ack!) horizon, and my painting budget tapped for the time being, blue is definitely, if nothing else, better than the muddy gold colour that was there before.  And, when I someday get around to painting the kitchen cabinets a whiter crisper shade of white (Benjamin Moore’s Snowfall White, my all-time favourite trim and cupboard colour, to be be exact), I think the blue might actually look quite spectacular.

But, for now…  meh.  At least it’s not gold.

 

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Pink polka dotted placemat perfection (alternative title: a little table linen love)

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hello!  Please humour me while I get irrationally excited about something really rather insignificant for a minute, k?

I bought new placemats for our dining room table yesterday.  Yay!  They were a HomeSense buy (and not at all what I went into the store looking for) and I looooove them.  Love them!  They’re adorable and dotty and pretty and perfect.

See?

Natural coloured placemats with fuchsia polka dots

Pine table with white painted antique chairs

Pink polka-dotted perfection, if you ask me.  :)

If we didn’t constantly leave our placemats sitting out, this would, of course, be a non-issue.  But, truthfully, I’m lazy.  The placemats stay out because we use them all the time.  So why bother putting them away?  That’d just be an extra (albeit, two second) step added to my day.  And, with baby stuff looming and last minute renovations on the horizon, that extra two seconds is precious, precious time, if you ask me.

Plus, when you have placemats this pretty, why stash them away?  :)

Pink placemats in green dining room with Ikea Borghild curtains

(Is it normal to get this excited about placemats?  Likely not.  But I’m excited nonetheless!)

They’ll look even better once the walls are de-greened.  Until this de-greening takes place, however, I’ve decided to completely ignore the green.  Kinda like when there’s a bee following you around, and someone (inevitably) says “Ignore it and it’ll just fly away.”  (Which, by the way, never seems like particularly good advice.  I’ve ignored many bees in my lifetime.  Few have flown away just because I’m not giving them enough attention.  In fact, I think they thrive on indifference.  I personally prefer – and often employ – the run-screaming-with-wildly-flailing-arms method for ridding myself of random flying insects.)  Similarly, I’m hoping that if I show enough disinterest in my walls’ blatant attempts to irritate me with their overt green-ness, I’ll blink one day and – poof! – they’ll have fluttered away to wherever bad paint colours go.  With or without screaming and arm-flailing.

But I digress…

Yay!  Pink polka dots!

 

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