Archives for November 2013

A Good Coat of Paint & Other New House Goodies

(You can catch me and reno updates on Instagram during my blogging dry spells.)

You better believe we were happy when this started happening:

ext2We are so very, very pleased with the results of a thick coat of Benjamin Moore China White.  I tried about 7 different whites, including China White that Sherry recently painted her house in, and China White was the clear winner.  It’s warm without being yellow and sophisticated without being too gray.  We love it.


beforeI just thought I’d throw a little beforesies in here in case you forgot where we started.  We still have a lot to do in the front:  big black lanterns for the entry, paint the porch and install bluestone, landscaping, and a new stone walkway.  And, there will be a Juliet balcony above the new brick entry.  Ovals, here is a sample the welder brought over for me to approve:

sketchThe ovals will sit atop a simple black iron crown piece that will flare the entry just a bit…since the brickwork didn’t finish out like I had drawn.  But I think the iron crown will finish it off just right.  I hope!

I have a kitchen, y’all!  The cabinets turned out perfectly–just how I wanted them.  And I love the mint green.  The vintage pendant will hang over the island–I will give it a fresh coat of white paint and paint the cylinder interiors gold.  The cylinders have uplight sockets, too, to shine on the ceiling.  Stop being so cool, Vintage Cylinder Lighting.  I actually bought this light fixture a year ago at Highland Antiques, and it has been waiting patiently for the right space.kitchThe island is custom made, but the rest of the cabinetry, including the pantry, is IKEA just faced with custom doors and panels.

kitch2The countertops go in this coming week, and then I can’t wait to see the hexagon marble doing it’s thing on the backsplash.  Oh, and do you see where the subtle groove is on the door panels?  That is where the custom hardware is going–inspired by this kitchen by Workstead.


kitch3The bathroom cabinets have been set, too, but I’ll wait until all the protective paper is off the floor and a few details are filled in before I share.  However, you have to see the amazing box shelves that Chris built for the guest bath:

guestThe shelves occupy a narrow alcove that was just too awkward.  The plywood surrounding the shelves will be painted white, just like the floors and walls.  The guest room is in the basement (terrace level, if you want to sound fancy) with concrete floors, on which I painted a first coat of Sherwin-Williams Shoji White a week ago.  There’s that tile, I want to marry, again!

And there has been a whole lot of interior painting going on.  Most rooms are white, but I have taken a few risks with dark colors in our boys’ rooms (see Instagram) and the dining room below:

chandy2The color is Sherwin-Williams Night Owl, it has green undertones that pairs well with the green undertones in the Arabescato marble mantel.  I’m trying out a chandelier I found at the Antique Factory.  It has some “faux modern” tendencies–do you know what I’m talking about?  But I think painting it out in white will keep it this side of tasteful modern…I hope!  Regardless, I love it…and it makes a huge statement considering its relatively small price, $300.  Finding (and affording) unique and beautiful lighting is the hardest!

The trim in the dining room delights me to no end.  I kept the trim simple throughout the house by using only two different profiles, a simple beaded crown moulding and a small pencil moulding, combined with 1x4s and 1x6s in different applications to keep the house cohesive.  I also did this same ceiling trim in the powder room–which is POW-WOW! in such a small space.  I’m hoping I love the color in the powder room, however, when the painting is complete.  Deep teal won in the paint battle against peachy-pink.  Now I wish I had done peachy-pink…but that is what January is for.  Repainting.

drtrimPeople, a move-in date has been established in December.  I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.  For many reasons.  Mainly, I want my time back to be with my family.  But, also, the process is draining me and needs to end soon.  This has not been the joy-filled experience I had hoped it would be in creating our dream house (realistic joy…I’ve remodeled enough to know it’s hard work).  I won’t get into all the nitty-gritty now, but there have been a lot of times I’ve wondered if we made a colossal mistake in selling our rancher and embarking on this project.  You know what, though, I don’t dwell there because there have been so many miracle moments on this journey that inform me this is meant to be.  On my most confident days I believe this.  Even though we don’t feel we remotely deserve such a place where I can liberally use my creativity, we are humbly accepting the gift.

And it is a moment-of-truth to prove once and for all if we have the gift of hospitality.  There are two couples in our lives that have really influenced how we think about home and other people.  My grandparents and our friends Greg and Rachael have both generously and lovingly opened their homes through the years to hundreds if not thousands of different people.  Loving them, feeding them, entertaining them, ministering to them–sometimes simply, sometimes extravagantly.  I don’t think I’m on that level–my octogenarian grandmother still feeds a multitude with apparent ease–but I do know as a painfully shy creature, I am most comfortable in my home and can connect with others there best.  So, it is that I’ve been feverishly creating and designing a haven that speaks specifically to our family but also, hopefully, speaks to those who pass over our threshold for a visit.  I want our home to feel warm, comfortable, different, creative, and accepting.  I also hope it inspires.  It is my prayer that we have plenty of opportunities to share.

I’m feeling very thankful.


Super Secret Hidden Door

The new house has a super secret hidden door.  A super secret hidden door to where?  Now that I won’t reveal.

(It leads to a closet.)

A labyrinth of creperies and gelato shops, you may wonder?  Or, a den filled with carpeted cat towers and a thousand kittens?  Maybe it’s a faux-wood-paneled rec room with Brady Bunch reruns playing 24/7?

Or, maybe, just maybe, it is a place to store my extra kitchen stuff.

Do you ever just see stuff on Pinterest that you not only love but you’re cuckoo over?  That is how I felt over this Luis Bustamante image:

luis bustamante

Maybe it is the body…parts.  Definitely the chalky part, and, of course, the gold part.  And just like that I knew what to do with a boring closet wall in the kitchen.


See the hidden door there?  And the simple picture moulding that will be painted gold?  That whole wall will be a framed chalkboard…with a hidden door to the labyrinth of kittens eating Nutella crepes while musing over the mysterious George Glass.

I like this idea because 1) I’m not over a chalkboard in the kitchen, 2) we used the one in the last kitchen all the time, 3) it is continually changing art, 4) I can layer a body part or piece of furniture in front of it for all the good reasons we like to layer.

And, I’m so happy it is finally done!  I have spent, seriously, hours over the renovation thus far discussing this hidden door situation.  I’ve discovered that there are those who do not appreciate or see the merits of a hidden chalkboard door and will therefore avoid building it until the mean homeowner lady insists that it happen.  Or something like that.

Here’s hoping I get to scrawl on that wall before Christmas.

(Oh, and there are more peeks at the house and other nonsense on Instagram.)