Renaissance Man

First, I have to start out by saying my husband rocks. He cooks, he builds things, he laughs at my jokes. But… I have to say that husband and I have some differences of opinion the latest DIY in the Sell household. It took like 3-weeks, and the online tutorial said it would take 3 days. Fail. I saw the lower end of that spectrum and was like – rock and roll, baby!! But husband turned this into avoid crazy pregnant women who might either be 1) crying 2) hysterically laughing or 3) very mad at him for eating the last of the ice cream, which is obviously reserved for knocked up parties only. Or all of the above, also possible.

So, you know, I can’t really blame him. In the end, all’s well that ends well and considering I now have a kitchen table to eat my smorgeshborg of pregnancy cravings on – I’ll call that a win. I told y’all that I would provide a bob the builder play by play on our table – so here it is.

Spoiler alert, it turned out loverly.

DIY Farmhouse Table

Notice the green trees? Yes, you caught me, this photo was taken while back 😀 See the processed trees though, in the front left portion of the picture?

That would be the supplies for this handy little project. Basically a bunch of cheap framing lumber from Home Depot. Score.

DIY Farmhouse Table

If you all have not checked out Ana White’s website, stop what you’re doing right now and go find something and build it. I mean, this women has everything your heart could imagine.

Now we knew that we’d need to tweak the plans quite a bit to get the table dimensions and look/feel we were going for, but over all, we used this plan to build our table.

The supplies we need for our version of the table were:

  • (3) 2x6x8′
  • (1) 2x8x8′
  • (2) 2x4x8′
  • (2) 4x4x8′
  • 2″ Kreg pocket screws
  • Glue
  • Your choice of stain/poly (we used Golden Oak)

This was one of many projects that needed a new tool – this time, a kreg jig. We picked up our knock off version at Harbor Freight.

How to use a kreg jig

The jig allows you to essentially embed the screw into the wood, so it’s not visible at all once the construction is complete.

Like, so. Voila, it just disappears.

How to Use Kreg Jig

For the specifics on how to build the table, reference the link from Ana White’s webpage, here. We changed the dimensions to better suite our specific room, and we removed the bottom end pieces, in order to fit in flanking chairs for the end (so it sits 6, instead of 4).

Jay did do a few things differently on the construction of the table though, which gave us much nicer results than if we would have just cobbled it together (ahem, in 3-days, vs. 3-weeks) like the tutorial.

First, this man planed that wood like a boss.

How to Use a Hand Plane

Like shavings for weeks. Since the wood recommended for this DIY is the cheapest lumber available, it was not so hot looking in many ways. Jay bird took it upon himself to level everything out and make it look spicy nicey with his wood plane.

Second, Jay wanted to perfect the boards a bit more to make sure the crack action in between wouldn’t be out of control.

This is how the boards looked without any modification:

Building Farmhouse Table

This is how they looked after Jay took a tiny bit off, to get a tighter seam.

How to Build a table

Just thinking of all the crumbs and mess that is sure to be all over our tables down the road, this tweak was so worth it.

Notice how much smoother the boards are as well? I think Jay spent half the project time sanding these babies down so they were nice and smooth and ready for the stain.

So one cheat we made was using Elmer’s Glue, believe it or not 🙂 It takes a bit longer to dry than wood glue, but it’s sticky power is just the same and we had it in the house already. A dollar saved, man.

Using Elmers Glue

After each piece of wood was prepped and ready to go, we attached them individually and clamped each piece until it was dry.

How_To_Make_Farmhouse_Table

We love how the table turned out, and after being table-less for a few months, we’re also pretty darn spanking happy to have a hard surface to eat our meals on! 😀

Golden Oak Minwax Stain

Who else is an Ana White fan-atic. What have you guys built from her plans?

A Touch of Color

Whew! Sans our upstairs bath, we’ve now painted every. single. room. in this house. If this baby wasn’t cramping my bubbly consumption, I’d toast to that.

This house is so far from done I could snort laugh, but having the rooms painted, I must confess, makes it feel that much more livable. No more wallpaper, no more yucky gross walls that hadn’t been painted in decades. It was time, time to bring this house into the 21st century.

It took me a quick second to hunt all the room colors down, but I finally did. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present, our house colors!

Top Paint Picks

If you’re looking for bright pinks and sea green blue, you’ll have to jump over to a neighbor’s shack, since I’ve gotta say, when it comes to wall colors, I like to keep the palette nice and simple. Accessories, people. That’s where I add the spicey nicey. But that big old backdrop, I like to keep that simple. 🙂

Here’s how each of the colors look live and in color in our joint.

In our hallway, we went with Revere Pewter. I’m a fan, man.

Revere Pewter in Foyer

In our bedroom, and living room we used one of my tried and true staples. Edgecomb Gray.

Edgecomb_Gray

For our future little mister, we went with ballet white from Benjamin Moore. (see his new room in our current house, here)

Ballet_White

This reads a bit more blue in person than the swatch. I actually wanted the gray tone, so this room might get a quick paint down the line! 😉

Montpeilier Madison White

And in our Guest Room, we’re rocking it out with some green walls. So nice, so green, so clean.

Lyndhurst Celadon Green

We’ve been switching up the colors a bit in our new house – like this deep dark navy color in the babe’s room. Always fun to try something different!

              

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The Stars to Guide You

Oh man, y’all, I’m on a baby kick this week. 😀 Even though this little man is still 20-weeks away from his grand entrance, I’ve finally gotten some energy back and it’s baby room planning time!

So a few months back, I showed y’all this rendition of the room. And although I liked a lot of things about this space, in the end, I landed up tweaking the board a bit and coming up with this little space, fit for a little tike.

Baby Sell Board

Noticing a subtle theme throughout the room? My mister has got a soft spot for the solar system up above, get that man going on constellations, and good luck getting him to stop. Well I came across some vintage constellation prints online that have become the theme of the room, more or less, and let’s just say I’m pretty smitten. 🙂

Right now, I’m trying to find a chandy on craigslist that has similar lines to the one below that I can spray paint. Cross your fingers I find one, cause this girl just ain’t going to spend $1,100 on a light for the little’s room 😀 I think I might have found a potential online option to hack too, for WAY less – stay tuned 😉

High Street Market Chandelier

We’re all stocked up on frames from our trip to IKEA, so I’m hoping to get the artwork up later this week. We’ll see if this burst of energy sticks around that long 😉

Black Thumb

I still remember the moment. Seeing that beautiful little fiddle leaf, standing by it’s lonesome in Home Depot, just waiting for me to come and rescue it from the dole drum life of the hardware store. I couldn’t believe my eyeballs, and Jay couldn’t believe his ears – why, why was this woman so excited to get her paws on this tropical house plant.

I mean come. on. husband – that’s a whole lotta leafy green hubba hubba goodness. Am I right, or am I right?

Where to Buy Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

But y’all – Houston has got a problem. I think I’m (we’re) killing the plant. A week or so ago, it looked liked this:

How to Care for Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

And now, well now it looks considerably worse than that. I may be able to count the remaining leaves with one hand. :'(

Right now the plant is:

  • In indirect sunlight
  • Watered about once weekly
  • Kissed and cuddled and encouraged to get better soon

HELP! Do we have any (tropical) gardeners out there? Is this beautiful plant destined for the compost bin? Say it ain’t so – does anyone know what I can do?

Backsplashin

The votes came in and y’all pretty resoundingly said brick pattern on the subway tile. Call me a lemming, I listened. 😉

White Subway Backsplash

Now, as much as I love (love!) the herringbone pattern, we had a few reasons for choosing the traditional subway tile pattern. First, it’s way easier. Like a Sunday afternoon and up, vs. a few days of cursing under your breath and redoing things 😉 Also, we just did herringbone in our last abode – time to mix it up!

DIY Herringbone Backsplash

Truth be told, the kitchen is currently a barf zone for me. I literally cannot walk into the room without feeling like I’m on a vomit comet. I think it’s the fridge, like proximity to the fridge, I don’t even know any more. Forget food aversions, I have room aversions. It’s bad.

So my wonderful, amazing, can do husband just did this all himself. I said brick laid backsplash, and he said – ok!

And he did a swimmingly grand job.

Subway Tile

One of my new favorite areas in the kitchen is our ginormous stretch of counter top space under the window. Since we decided to relocate our sink to the peninsula, we’ve got a human sized stretch of uninterrupted counter space. I’m thinking it’s going to be the perfect built-in buffet for when we have partays down the road.

No Sink Under Window

Another thing that makes me smile, finally being able to accessorize the space a bit! I found these cute little turkish towels at HomeGoods. Adorbs.

GE Cafe Oven

Things that make me frown however, include our little spice cabinet. Best invention ever, turned into biggest headache ever. Home Depot, you guys, we’ve been having an epically hard time getting those sons of guns to react to the fact that our kitchen is still not done, 4 months after we’ve paid for it in full. Fun. Lots of fun. 😉

You can see in the photos that things like toe kick, etc are not finished, but then we have other sad realities, like the fact that our spice drawer doesn’t close. At all (and hasn’t since day one)

Martha Stewart Cabinets

Whomp, whomp. Home Depot is working with us on all this, but needless to say, when the cabinets were paid for on May 13rd, and it’s September 5th, it kinda leads to some head scratching 😀 Fear not, once everything is resolved, I’ll definitely put an entire review together of our experience but right now, we’re not bowled over – that’s fo shizzle.

Ok, back to backsplash. 😉

Right now, above our oven, we’ve got a tall wall full of subway goodness.

Subway Tile Backsplash

When we feel like spending moolah again (read, a while) we’re thinking about putting in a custom range hood above the oven to help with air circulation in the kitchen when cooking.

Word – actually buying a range hood cover to match your cabinets is like a cool $1k. What? No, notta gonna happen. We figured we could recreate the shaker look of the cabinets pretty easily and try to match things up as good as possible, for a whole heckofalot less than a thousand dollars.

In the end, we hope it looks something sorta like this.

Custom Range Hood

Although I’m totally in love with our backsplash (and the concept of having a done-ish kitchen), things are feeling a bit white in here these days. 😉 I’m looking forward to accessorizing though and adding some spice! Other than adding accessories, our general to-do list looks like this:

Customizing Kitchen Cabinets

Subway tile backsplash is one of my favorite super cheap ways to make a space shine. Our total cost, including grout and mortar, was $61 for this space. BAM.

Almost there, y’all! Almost there!

Desiderata

Perhaps it was the two glasses of rum punch in me, but when I sat down a few months ago to use the loo in my friend Emily’s home, I was mesmerized by a little poster she had, hanging on the back of her bathroom door. It was long, but I read the whole darn thing, and then just said a resounding YES in my head. That is exactly it, exactly it. As soon as I read it, I knew I wanted to find a print for my own home, which is where dear etsy comes in – does it ever fail?

I found the prettiest version of the Desiderata.

Desiderata

But when we got it to our door step, we realized that it was quite long (abnormally sized) and that we’d have to get creative in the framing department.

So with a twinkle in my eye – I said by George – let’s build a frame! I thought it would be easy, Jay thought it would be hard. Jay landed up being more right than Mary 😀

It started out pretty simple – we found some glass at Home Depot – only set us back three bucks (good to know if you ever need to replace a piece of glass in a picture frame…

Replacement Glass For Frame

After we had the glass set aside, we needed to build the frame exterior. To make sure we got the right angle, Jay used his handy dandy angle finder. We also tested out the angle on a few test scraps of wood first, too.

How to Measure Wood Angle

Now we wanted the print to be as centered as possible within the frame, so we had to do some math to make sure our height and width for each piece matched up with a centered final photo.

Jay sat down and started engineering it out. This is about the time in a project where I start singing the Bob the Builder song 🙂 Bob the Builder can we build it, Bob the Builder, YES WE CAN. It’s my renovating anthem 😀

Measuring Custom Picture Frame

After two tries hacking away with his miter saw, we finally had this – the beginnings of a picture frame. Turns out our first piece of wood was warped, so we actually had to bring it back to the store since we couldn’t use it … bummer dude.

Making your own frame

From there, things were looking up. All we had to do was stain it and attach it and we were on our way. (mostly)

We had two stains laying around from past projects, so we sampled them both and picked a fav. The Ebony felt too dark to me in this case, so we landed up going with Provincial (the same color we used for our floors).

Ebony Minwax Stain

For the backing, we decided to use some scrap from our kitchen remodel. It’s just been sitting in the corner of the kitchen for ages (while we still wait on Home Depot to do some finishing touches, uggh), so we snuck a small corner of it.

Using Scrap Wood for Picture Frame

Our last step was matting the back panel with some linen fabric, which cost us a whopping $1.50 at JoAnn’s. When we were in the check out line with our fabric, something else caught our eye.

Pink Hot Glue Gun

Yes, we are the proud new owners of a little pink hot glue gun 🙂 For $3, we couldn’t say no. Plus, it turns out we needed it to finish our little crafty mccrafterson project we had going on.

Matting Frame with Linen

After we had our mat down and in place, it was the final moment of truth. We used some heavy duty glue to mat the frame (kinda winging it at this point, in all honesty) and in the end – we had this!

DIY Custom Frame

Gotta play it straight – next time, we’ll probably just go out and buy a frame. Our total cost was pretty reasonable though – we spent less than ten bucks – so that’s a solid win!

If you can’t read the print up above, here are the words from the Desiderata. Ahhh, you just feel at peace reading them 🙂

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Laboring Away | Blogosphere Roundup

Woot! Happy Labor Day – man it’s nice to have Jay home for a day and to be able to relax and put our feet up. Today’s post is part of a blog hop where y’all can see all sorts of fun Labor Day projects across the blogosphere!

Laboring Away

Added bonus, this little blog hop gave me a chance to take some time this weekend to tweak our side porch so that we actually have a place to sit down and relax. Ahhh, if only margaritas were still a reality for this momma to be, you better bet my behind would be parked out there this afternoon with an ice cold glass in hand. For now, I’ll have to settle for a lemonade, and a much improved view.

See our side porch, has been sorta embarrassing as of late.

Side Porch Before

Lots of junk, lots of boxes, lots of remnants of past weekend projects that never quite made it to the garage (another disaster zone).

Inspired by my little labor day blog hop, I decided that it was high time to spruce up our main house entry and make things look and feel a bit nicer out there, too.

Which is where a $5 craigslist find comes in for the win. See this guy? We scored him, along with (2) other chairs on the list for five bucks. For all 3.

Reupholstering Chair

The bamboo base and the lines of the chairs had me at hello (along with the PRICE, obvi!) 😉 but the seat, that left something to be desired, no? Some fabulous 80’s action there.

Refinishing Chair

So while we were out and about this weekend, we stopped by JoAnn’s for a quick second and we came out with quite the gem from the clearance section.

Here’s a sneaky peak as we popped it on with our staple gun.

Recovering Chair

Nice, right? Ikat is always a good bet and in my mind, it was the perfect little touch to update our porch and make it a bit more summer chic.

And 5 minutes later, here’s a close up shot of how the first chair was looking after we were done!

Ikat Bamboo Chair

And after we added another, we had a nice little seating area nestled off to the side of the porch.

Outdoor Bamboo Chairs

It must be the midwestern girl in me, but as soon as I spotted mums outside Home Depot I had to grab a pair to decorate our porch, too. Kinda worried with how they’ll do with the 90 degree heat we have forecasted for this week here in Bull City, but I just. couldn’t. help. myself. 😀 Mums = fall = happiness. So I went with it. 🙂

Purple Mums On Porch

With the mums, the new fabric and the chairs, our total cost to spruce up this side porch came in just under $20. Can’t beat that, my friends, can’t beat that.

Want some more Labor Day fun? Check out 702 Park Project, Eat Sleep Decorate, and Brittany French to see all the sweet projects on hand!

Stairway to Heaven

Ok, you caught me. Our stairway is currently not as dreamy as my post title may depict. No, it’s more like dreamy in draft form. Getting there, but not there.

Inspired by our bedroom wainscoting extravaganza and our trim party in the hall last week, we thought it was high time to take our hall from the pink monstrosity it was, to something slightly more chic.

And by pink, I mean, this.

Removing Wallpaper on Steps

What can I say, I just didn’t love it. 😀 The bad news, even after this improvement the pink is only half gone. The good, we’re working on making it ALL gone this weekend (eee!!) get excited!

Our first step in mission pink-be-gone was adding some chair rail, and painting the bottom section white. Better already, right? WRONG.

Adding Wainscoting to Stairwell

Then we moved on to the trim install. More or less, we knew we wanted to continue the same type of pattern we have in our bedroom. Buutttt, we had a slight wrinkle. See when your working on a downward angle, you’re definitely going to have a differences with how the shape looks.

After sketching it out, we came up with this general shape for our descent down the steps. And that’s when we started to scratch our heads and get confused. We knew what we wanted the shape to look like. We just had no idea on God’s green earth on how to make it. 😀

Adding Wainscoting to Stairwell

And that is when we ran to the store in search of a new tool for our tool box. We made a wise decision, and spent a few bucks on a special angle finding tool.

Money well spent, my friends, money well spent.

Here’s Jay, working on angle #1. After he found the angle, he was able to use his miter saw to trim each piece to the dimensions needed.

Finding Angle for Miter Saw

From there, we just worked away like busy beavers and cut box after box after box. Whew. Jay was busting out this bad boy for the better (worse?) part of a Saturday.

Depending on your stairs – you may also have to problem solve one more little detail. Since our stairwell has one wall that only goes half way down the steps, we knew that we’d need to do some math to figure out how to make the boxes end at the same location and to make sure that the long wall had even spacing all the way down the steps. To do that, we just measured the entire length of each wall (the left and short one on the right) and did some math to determine the spacing and size for each of the boxes.

Basically, we wanted to make sure that the start and end locations on the picture below, matched up, so that the boxes were mirrors of each other as they went down the stairwell.

Wainscoting on Stairwell

This little project has made a HUGE difference in the class factor of our stairway, guys. I pretty much was proclaiming to Jay for a week straight that we now live in a classy house. It official, y’all 😉

Here is the view as you approach the steps from the Living Room. Yes, did you notice with your eagle eye that we still have to add a little triangle to finish off the left side 🙂 We lost our motivation and took a quick breather. 😉

Installing Wainscoting on Stairs

Now that the wainscoting is more or less up, it’s reminded me of other details I want/need/must tackle in this little stairwell of ours.

Ahem. Notice anything? Yes, our stairs are a few shades oranger than our floors. What can I say, I guess we missed the whole step thang when we were slaving away on the floors before move in 😀

I see a weekend project in the future …

Refinishing Steps Darker

While we are at it, I’m thinking we’ll have to stain our banister a nice dark ebony perhaps? Something super chic. Just typing these words makes my heart palpitate with longing.

Refinishing Stair Railing

For now though, I’m relishing in what we do have done. It’s very much improved over move-in day. Here’s another close-up of our stairway all wainscoted out.

Wainscoting on Stairs

And although in my dream of dreams, we have grasscloth wallpaper adorning the top section of our stairwell, For $30 for a gallon of paint, I think we’re leaning toward painting the upper section for now. We can always wallpaper later, but there are so many other projects where we could allocate our hard earned dollars right now, that I just don’t feel like spending the few hundred that the grasscloth would set us back.

The new plan is Revere Pewter, which I’m still pretty darn excited about. I mean, it’s certainly better than the pink – right?!

Wainscoting Styles

And since I know you love em’ as much as I do – here are a few before and after shots for ya.

Move-in day, our steps looked like this:

Foyer Before

And now, they look like this!

Installing Wainscoting on Stairs

Ohhhhhh we’re halfway there. Rockin’ out to Bon Jovi over here 😀

Door Detailing

When we moved into our house, there were a few things I noticed right off the bat that I knew I’d want to change. Ok, I pretty much wanted to change everything – true, true. This change in particular I thought we’d be making a bit further down the line, but as we started removing the wallpaper in our hallway, my noggin started to think that perhaps it would be easier if we tackled this guy in the here and now. At least that’s the justification I gave Jay 😉

Whenever you buy a house that’s almost 100 years old, there are bound to be a few items that got pieced together over time. Our trim, was no exception.

See how the trim in this room…

Tufted Living Room Chair

Is different than the trim in this room?

Window Trim in Old House

Driving me batty people, seriously batty. Blame it all on the laundry room renovation, but I started to get some high hopes for the trim in our little hallway upstairs. I figured since we already had to remove the doorway surround to widen the opening and fit in the new washer and dryer, why not spruce things up in this corridor and add some nice, new trim?

With the look below as my general inspiration, we set out to fanca-fy this joint.

Craftsman Style Trim

Did I mention we intended to do it on the cheap, too 🙂 Like less than $12 a door cheap? Yep, that’s how I roll people.

Before we could get to reconstructing things though, we had some more demo to do. Namely, the base board trim had to get cut into a bit to make room for the new, bulkier door trim we’d be adding. After trying to remove the trim with a chisel and well, failing, Jay scooted his booty over to Harbor Freight to grab this $20 ninja tool that was perfect for the job.

Removing Floor Trim

Remember how I mentioned this trim job would be on the cheap? Enter in MDF. Our paintable, wood-like friend.

After trying a few different sizes around the door frame, we opted to make the main pieces of trim going up the sides of the door 3.5″ wide. It felt just chunky enough.

How to Add Custom Trim to Door Speaking of chunky, we also decided to go with 3/4 inch MDF, which simulated the look of wood trim much better than a thinner piece would have.

Here it is, post install and before paint.

Adding Custom Trim to Door

Looks rather unfinished, ey? Not going to lie. I kinda started to freak out a bit in my head at this point. I mean, did I really just remove wood trim and put up that? (Questions sanity). But at this point, we were pretty committed to seeing the project out – and spoiler alert – it looks awesome, you guys.

After we installed the mdf, we had to add some trim to the top of the door, to give it a more polished look. After the first coat of paint, door numero uno was looking better, but not quite there yet. We realized we’d need one final trim piece along the bottom edge of our header piece.

Adding Custom trim on Doors

In all honesty, we we’re kinda winging it on this project. We knew the general look we wanted, but picked our dimensions for each piece after popping it up on the wall, and seeing how it looked next to our other sections of trim.

In the end we came up with the combination below.

  • 3.5″ Trim for the Side
  • 6″ Header (for top)
  • 1 3/4 inch Crown for the top (very top piece)
  • 3/4 inch flat piece, for the base trim

With said above configuration, things were looking like this.

DIY Craftsman Style Door

Yep, still got those pink walls. Yep, they’re still making me want to pull my hair out.

After two coats of Benjamin Moore Simply White trim paint (which is what we have throughout the house) the hallway looked like this.

Adding Trim Detail Around Door

(Note: all the doors are the same height, there are some eye tricks going on with the vantage point in the photo above that make it look like they’re not)

Before our new trim, the hallway looked like this, so even with the pink walls, I consider the new look an improvement. 😉

Trim on Door

I plan on retrofitting a few more spots in our house, slowly but surely, over to this updated trim look. My man and I do have one final point of contention though.

He says don’t wrap the bottom piece, I say wrap away – just like the top crown piece. Here’s a picture to show what I’m talking about.

Custom Door Molding

What do you guys think? Wrap, or no wrap?

The Spark of the Dark

Oh man guys, for the record, I’m kinda missing the apartment. I know it sounds weird, it feels weird even saying it, but I guess that our little hole in the wall with the mattress chilling on the floor and the orange tabby always at arms reach, our house just doesn’t feel like home yet. I know it will, soon, but right now, at this moment, it still feels pretty construction zone and not so home sweet home.

That being said, painting progress we made last week has definitely moved us further along on the continuum of making this space feel a bit more homey. As my walls can testify, we’ve tested lots of paint. LOTS. Seriously, gray tones can be tricky! The first few I slapped up there just looked way to purple to me – and that’s definitely not the look I’m going for.

Gray_Paint_Reading_Purple

After lots of testing, and comparing the view between the Dining Room and the Living Room, I finally decided on Sandy Hook Gray, by Benjamin Moore. It’s a nice darkish grayish greenish color that I think will look oh so fine once we add in our nice bright cabinets and some trim work in the dining room.

Before we started painting, we had to wave farewell to some lovely lookers up on the windows. au revoir!

Outdated_Drapes

Since the Dining Room and Kitchen are more or less, one large room, we thought it made the most sense to paint both of these rooms the same color, to have some cohesion between the spaces. Truth be told, the kitchen barely has any paint that needed to go up, largely because the cabinets and back splash will take up a solid chunk of that space, so that helped to move things along!

It felt good to paint in the kitchen, since we had been living with some unsightly marks from the wood floor installation where the mallet hit the wall.

Marks_On_Wall_From_Floor_Install

Now seriously, if y’all know me, you know that I’m kinda color phobic. Something bad and brightly colored must have happened to me as a child. So going dark is kinda liberating for me! It’s not like I’m painting the room neon orange or anything, but I considered this color to be a bit of a deviation from the normal paint programming around here and I’m pretty darn excited about it. 😀

Going up, I had a few panicked moments …

Sandy_Hook_Gray_Paint

But by the time we had (2) coats up on the walls, I was liking it an awful lot. Here’s a shot of the room, looking out from the Dining Room onto the Living space.

Benjamin_Moore_Sandy_Hook_Gray

The Dining Room also only has a little bit of paint going up, since the bottom half will be getting some board and batten action, just like our Master Bedroom upstairs. In the name of making sure everything jives just right, I think we will wait until the cabinets get delivered to install that though, just to make sure we have the right height, since we want it to match right up with the bottom edge of the counter.

Here are a few more shots so you can get a feel for how it looks in different lighting.

Sandy Hook Gray Benjamin Moore

This is what that same window looked like before we painted. Hello, yellow!

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And here is a shot looking out from the kitchen, into our Dining Room and Living Room, so you can see how the rooms interact with each other.

Best_Dark_Gray_Colors

It was lots of fun to have the orange tabby back in our renovation extravaganza. Even though he’s a little bugger that’s often getting in the way, the house felt pretty empty over here without him.

Priming_New_Drywall

The next step, now that we have paint on the walls, is to upgrade our trim throughout the house. See this rinky dink crown? It’s really more like a small piece of trim, and y’all – it’s just got to go. We installed the final pieces of crown this weekend and it looks SO much better! I’ll have some official after shots of all the rooms later this week.

Sandy_Hook_Gray_Paint_Color

The best part about seeing paint up on this wall, is how much it helps to unite the space and make it feel like one, large room, instead of the segmented separate rooms we had going on before.

Has anyone else used Sandy Hook Gray before? I think I’m slowly before converted away from white! Baby steps people, baby steps.