Archive for January, 2011

House Crashing: It’s A Mod Mod World

Woot, it’s Friday! And we’re hard at work painting the trim in the living room at this. very. moment. So it seems like as good a time as any to go house crashing. We thought we’d share pics of this amazingly inspiring NYC pad that we virtually house crashed while we’re off getting our paint on. One thing’s for sure – Herman and Eduardo (the proud owners) definitely have made every last inch count. Speaking of size, their pad is just 500 square feet and it consists of a modestly sized kitchen, dining area, living area, bedroom, and bathroom. But it feels luxe and lovely, like it’s all anyone would ever need. It’s such a good example of living simply and making the smartest use of your space. Plus Herman and Eduardo did a ton of stuff themselves (from demo and floor planning to sewing their own pillows and curtains). But enough chitchat. Let’s start with the living area…

See that big black piece that they added to create a nice partition (from the bedroom) and tons of storage (accessible from all three sides)? It’s genius. An of course we love the art and those pillows and that gorgeous texture-rich rug from West Elm.

Speaking of that colorful art, we like that it doesn’t take itself too seriously (and it’s just begging to be DIYed for anyone out there in need of some wall interest). And there are some of those DIYed pillows that Eduardo made.

Here’s the TV that’s placed across from the sofa in front of a charming painted brick stripe (which was built out with drywall to include a little display nook- such a fun modern departure from the average wood mantel).

And see those Knoll Bertoia chairs over yonder? They’re like a celebrity crush. I know I’ll probably never be able to get my mitts on them, but oh how they make me weak in the knees (John says I’m allowed to look all I want, I just can’t touch. I know, I’m a lucky lady).

As you can see from the last picture, the living area is just a few feet away from this über chic dining zone complete with a gorgeous marble topped tulip table (get that look on the budget with this similar version from Ikea). Oh and speaking of budget, Eduardo made that gorgeous mirror himself.

And around the corner there’s a short hallway that leads to a dreamy bedroom. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll get there in a minute (but check out those great built-in drawers for a second):

Before moving back to the bedroom we have the office, which is really just a corner of the same room that includes the kitchen, living area, and dining zone. And get this, they built the desk themselves. And then covered it with plexiglass for a slick look.

Speaking of the kitchen, here’s that corner (they raised it up a bit on a clean-lined pedestal to help define that zone in the room). It’s amazing how there’s room for everything and even a nice large span of countertop work space thanks to the peninsula packed with storage that was also added to subtly section off the area. Plus the counters and cabinets are from Ikea, so they didn’t break the bank. Even though they look like they did with that customized everything-fits-perfectly layout.

The time has come to revisit the bedroom that you saw a peek of from that second dining room shot. It’s gorgeous and dramatic yet super serene, complete with lovely metallic curtains along the back wall paired with a gleaming silver texture-rich headboard and a sunny yellow extra long bolster pillow. And in money-saving news, not only did Eduardo make that pillow, they actually got the coverlet from Bed Bath & Beyond. Sweet.

Next we have a peek at the bathroom (small rooms are hard to shoot- but we love this glimpse!):

So that’s Herman and Eduardo’s amazing home. Sometimes it’s the smallest spaces that force people to be the most creative- and we love soaking up all the eye candy and inspiration. We’re sending out a big thank you to H & E for sharing the virtual tour while we paint the day away. Oh and you can drop in on Eduardo’s blog here for more info and inspiration. Now let’s play the what’s-your-favorite-part game. I’m obsessed with the gorgeous metallic headboard and the punchy art in the living room. John’s digging the amazing three sided storage unit in the living room and the cool modern light fixture in the dining area. Your turn.

Psst- Check out more house crashing adventures here.



Workin’ Nine To…Um, Nine

Feel free to sing the title to the tune of the famous Dolly Parton song. Or our new favorite version by SNL. Anyway, painting our living room yesterday sure was quite the task of endurance, especially given various breaks for Clara-tending and blog-tending. In fact, it took us exactly 12 hours, from 9am to 9pm to fully complete the project. Good news – the living room is officially Moonshine’d. Better news – so is the hallway (what can we say, we were on a roll).

But the day got off to a slow start. Between Sherry squatting the first blog post of the day to answer a bunch of questions, Clara needing some breakfast, and me clearing / taping the room, it was nearly two hours ’til we even cracked the first paint can open at around 11. Here’s the post all about how we deemed Moonshine to be the perfect gray for our house, and it bears mentioning that we chose to get it color matched to Olympic No-VOC paint in a satin finish (which we have found to look extremely close to flat paint with a lot of added durability & kid-friendly wipeability – really it doesn’t look wet or glossy at all, much to our surprise).

Thankfully things got rolling (literally) once Clara napped like a champion (from 11 to almost 1- which she never does!) and we gave ourselves permission to focus on applying color to the walls instead of approving & answering blog comments (no offense to you guys of course). Sherry wasn’t even slowed down by the splinter our floor kindly drove into her left cheek. And I’m not talking about the one on her face. Ouch. She’s a total trooper. And she learned a valuable painting lesson in the new house: not to scoot around on her rear while cutting in baseboard. I realize this sounds like she was painting nude, but she was fully clothed. It just went right through her yoga pants. No lie.

Sherry has always been the cutter-inner (edger) of our relationship and I’m the roller. But she also does extra credit stuff too. In this case she took the time to fill a bunch of gnarly holes in our extra-craggy brick wall – like these right near the trim – with paintable DAP caulk for a much more finished looking result. Love that girl. Even if she is a little obsessive.

Once Clara awoke from The Nap Of Her Life (capitalized as it was truly an event to be remembered), we had to switch off when it came to baby-duty (and drop in on the blog every once in a while too for comments). So our productivity dropped a bit, but it was nice to take staggered bean breaks. As the day wore on, the diminishing sunlight made differentiating the white walls from the wet paint a bit challenging, but we charged on (taking breaks for things like a second blog post, diaper changes, lunch, dinner, and putting Clara down for a less-than-champion worthy afternoon nap). By around 5:30pm we had applied two coats to the living room (all it needed) and started on the two hallway vestibules. And by the time Clara was in bed for the night at 8pm we’d cracked open our second gallon of paint to finish off a second coat in those two hallways. By 9pm we were cleaning up and ready to collapse on the couch that was still clustered next to the TV in the middle of the room and zone out. Btw, it was funny to watch some tube at the distance that we were used to from our last house again.

Being too dark for a photoshoot last night, we waited to take these “after” shots this morning for ya:

We’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to see much of a difference in the pics. But in person we were both shocked at how much warmer the room looks. We assumed gray would look cooler, but the previous white walls were so stark that the soft silvery gray is nice and cozy by comparison. Kind of like you’re inside a cloud that’s glowing thanks to some sun shining through. In short, we’re both in LOVE with Moonshine. And for those wondering why we didn’t go crazy bright or dramatic with the wall color, we want to bring in some bold textiles (like big dramatic curtains on those sliders) along with some colorful art and maybe even some painted furniture – so we don’t want the walls to compete with that. We even have plans for a large charcoal sectional, so we’re definitely getting away from the white-slipcovered-sofas-and-breezy-white-curtained look of our first house. A lot of the rooms that have inspired us lately (see a few of them here) don’t have super dark or bright walls, but still definitely read as “colorful” and “bold.” But we do have a few spaces (like the hall bathroom & guest bedroom) that we plan to paint an extremely rich and saturated color, just like we did on the backs of our built-ins. So there will be some o’ that too.

We also thought when one of the walls was brick, a bold color (like deep teal or emerald or plum) might look a bit odd, since it’s more common to see brick painted in lighter tones like white, cream, gray, etc. And we wanted that wall to feel the most unified and un-odd so the whole room felt connected as opposed to disjointed. Oh and we did consider leaving just the fireplace bump-out white while painting the rest of the walls gray, but in the end it looked too unbalanced so we painted it and like the cohesive effect a lot more. We figure we can always add color back into it down the line (like a rich charcoal paint) if we’re feeling crazy. We’ll just have to see how the room shapes up.

Oh yeah but we can’t forget the hallway. The results in there boosted our confidence even more that Moonshine was the way to go and the change will be much more dramatic in the living room once it gets the white-trim treatment. See how soft yet defined it looks with crisp white accents?

This close up is probably the best demonstration of the silvery gray color we ended up with (and how it plays off that glossy trim):

So the next thing on our to-do list is to paint the trim & baseboard in the living room (which is why the furniture is staying in a nice little island formation in the middle of the room until that’s done). Oh and we’ve decided to leave the ceiling beams unpainted for now. We’re definitely gonna see what the rest of the room looks like before making any decisions about what to do with those. Sherry has this crazy new idea about staining or painting them a rich charcoal color. Could be cool. And we’ll probably photoshop it before taking the plunge and share the madness with you. But before we get to that we’ll hopefully have the finished trim pictures to share next week. Fingers crossed for record-breakingly-fast painting luck and another one of those Naps To End All Naps from Clara.

Psst- The repair guys came out to fix our new washer amid the painting chaos and eradicated the annoying whistle issue. Happy happy joy joy.

Psssst- We announced this week’s giveaway winners, so click here to see if you’re one of them.