Archive for March, 2012
Aw yeah, you know we love a good Britney reference. And you know we love painting (walls, paneling, brick, large ceramic roosters…). A big part of that is picking a paint color. Paint chips are kind of like potato chips to us (we can’t pop just one), and Benjamin Moore has been our snack of choice for a while now. Their color catalog is massive so it’s no wonder we’ve used their tones in nearly every room (Sesame in the kitchen, Moonshine in the living room and dining room, Proposal in Clara’s room, and Dragonfly on the back of our dining room built-ins). Then we used their Advance paint when it came to painting our office built-ins and kitchen cabinets since we’d heard so many good things about it (contractors and readers alike were always such enthusiastic Benjamin Moore fans). We even used their paint for a bunch of secret book projects (both on the walls and on a number of furniture pieces).
So, long story short, when Benjamin Moore invited us to curate a collection of our favorite colors… ummm, it was pretty much a dream of ours. I can’t even tell you how crazy it is for us to see our header on their site.
So after months of development, we’re crazy-excited to share our Benjamin Moore collection with you guys. Our job was essentially to sift through gobs of swatches (literally thousands of them) to pluck out 32 of our favorites in the hopes of helping anyone who is suffering from the dreaded paint paralysis. So yeah, picture us covering the entire sectional (poor Karl!) with paint swatches and creating different combos and switching things in and out until we landed on a collection to call our own. This partnership is just like any other side gig that helps pay the bills – like writing our magazine column or our book – except we got to play with paint chips for this one, so… score!
Some of the colors in our collection are tried and true choices of ours that we’ve already got on our own walls and some are colors that we’ve eyed forever (and haven’t used in our own house yet… but it’s probably only a matter of time). And some of them are colors that we used for our book – so we’ve seen them on the walls and on furniture, but the walls have since been painted over and the furniture has been hidden because that stuff has to stay secret until our book’s out this fall. So while many of them would be great on walls, we also split or collection into some suggested uses to help you out (like for trim/doors or as accents), so you can check that out here. We love the idea of using the bolder accent colors to wake up a room by:
- painting a media cabinet, dresser, bed, desk, or chair
- making some homemade art on a large canvas to fill an entire wall
- painting a collection of frames to unify them and add drama
- adding color to a lamp base, basket, or tabletop accessory
- painting the back wall of a bookcase or built in for added interest
You can read a little intro to the collection here, check out all of our colors here, see them split by suggested application here, and read more thought behind the collection here (if you told us five years ago that we’d end up on the BM website, we’d have laughed at you for at least ten minutes). And you can pop over to view our collection whenever you’d like by following this little sidebar button.
Now can we just take a moment to talk about how INSANE it is to see our mugs right under Candice Olson’s? There might have been a series of ten to fifteen shrieks that scared a certain dog and delighted a certain toddler (who joined in on the last five to ten of them).
So that’s our latest secret project, which we couldn’t wait to share with you guys! I hope anyone out there who is overwhelmed by a giant wall full of swatches might find comfort in a smaller little collection of favorites to peruse and potentially use in their home. And since we’re on the subject of color, do you have an absolute favorite paint color? Is it the perfect neutral? A bold bright hue? Or a color that reminds you of a special place or time?
I’m not sure any of you have noticed, but we have a tiny TV. Well, some of you have definitely noticed because you keep laughing at us and commenting about how overdue we are for a bigger one. And as the resident man of the house, I have to say I agree. Our little 26-incher made sense in the old house, where our den was so narrow that I could practically change the channel with my toe…
But now that we have a bit more space in our current living room (we actually miss the cozy-ness of our first living room, but love having extra room for Clara to play/run around), the phrase “we really need a bigger TV” gets uttered anytime a subtitle pops up, a news ticker rolls across the screen, or we have anyone over to watch a movie with us. Yeah, we can’t read those things without standing up and walking halfway across the room. But a new TV is something we’ve just been putting off and putting off, which is surprising considering how much TV we watch.
But ever since we got the tip that February and March were the best times to buy a TV (supposedly these post-Christmas, post-Super-Bowl months are the television industry’s slow season, and when demand is low, prices can drop) we’ve been waiting for the right moment to seize the day and just upgrade already. And after a bit of research, a bit of chatting with my brother-in-law Martin (who went through a vigorous research process of his own a few months ago), and a bit of price checking – we narrowed it down to these two TVs – a Vizio and a Samsung, both sold at Target:
They’re both LCDs, both 1080p, and both in the neighborhood of 40″. They were also both eco models that only cost $17 a year to run, so they’re very low on the energy scale (the lowest we saw was $15 a year for a costs-double LED). The around 40″ size wasn’t any magic number that we calculated, it’s just what we arrived at after discussing that we wanted something big, but not crazy-big (and when we held up a tape measure at home, it felt right). Both had 4+ star reviews on Target, Amazon, Walmart and a few other sites that came up on our Google search. Any idea what we ended up choosing?
Naturally, we went for the $100 cheaper / 2″ larger Vizio. But that $449.99 wasn’t our final price. You know us and our coupons…
The reason we wanted to buy our TV at Target was:
- They were having a temporary price cut – taking it from $479 to $449
- We have a Target credit card, which gives us 5% off every purchase – knocking it down to $427
- Target randomly sent us an “additional 5% off all HDTVs on top of the 5% for using your card” coupon (I think coupons like these go out to Target cardholders) – shaving it down to $406
- We had a couple of leftover Christmas gift cards, which left our final out-of-pocket cost at $356
Which isn’t bad considering our much tinier TV was purchased for about that much five years ago (we think that old TV will either go into another room or get craigslisted). So after 15 months of staring at our too-small TV and saving up/stalking sales, we brought that baby home. And Burger couldn’t have been more excited to watch… the news? Seriously Vizio? You thought this lady was the most exciting graphic to show on your box? Can’t a guy get an exotic underwater scene with fish and coral in all colors of the rainbow? Or at least a charging bull or a running horse or something with a little speed/excitement?
Before we set it up, we wanted to try to capture exactly what sort of an upgrade we were making. So here’s a pic of our old TV:
Ridiculous, isn’t it? It’s a bit exaggerated because this is a small picture of a small TV, but you get the idea. So we broke out the new guy just for comparison’s sake. It’s starting to look a bit better, right? It’s also starting to look like we’re gonna need a bigger media console too (we’ve been planning to build something from scratch or retrofit something from the thrift store, so we’ll keep you posted).
Here’s that view from the couch with the new TV on. Hey look, now you can actually tell that we were watching Cougar Town now! As in, all of the letters are readable now (again, this isn’t a life sized photo, it’s a small picture of a TV across the room, so in person it’s a lot bigger and reading small things like the subtitle are now no sweat). Whew.
Oh and we tethered it to the wall with a wire that came with the TV along with a screw and heavy duty anchor (we may eventually mount it on the wall, once we figure out what’s going on under it so we can determine the height, etc). But for now this will at least keep it from tipping.
Hopefully this is just the beginning of updating that whole area of the living room. We definitely think it needs a bigger piece of furniture – preferably with more storage and a bit more height – to ground our big new TV friend. But until then, we’re just happy to give our squinting muscles a break… and of course we’re happy to have the Cul De Sac Crew back in our lives.
Is anyone else making any television upgrades lately? Or just watching some good TV? Now that the book shoots are done, maybe we’ll actually have time to watch the boob tube again! So much catching up to do. But you know we’re up to date on The Walking Dead so nobody spoils that for us. Haha.
***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!***
First off, thanks for all of the birthday wishes everyone. Second, random.org has selected our winner as… Lee (who just turned 31 and is so far happy with it). That’s good news for us too, since we’re both staring down at 31 now. Congrats Lee!
Guess what today is? Sherry’s 30th birthday! And to celebrate, Crate & Barrel is gonna give one of you a Benjamin to spend for every decade that Sherry’s been alive (that’s $300 in case your math skills are in a post-lunch slump). And that’s not the only thing Crate & Barrel is giving away these days. They’re also in the midst of their Pick Your Page sweepstakes where one winner will score all of the items featured in any spread from their new Spring catalog. That could earn you up to $15,000 worth of crate-y, barrel-y goodness! So feel free to pop over there to get in on that giveaway too.
- PRIZE: A $300 gift card to Crate & Barrel
- TO ENTER: Comment on this post with the words “AGE ME” and tell us…
- BONUS QUESTION: … if you could pick your age, what would you magically like to return to (or travel to the future for)? Would you love to be 11 again? Or would you give anything to relive your early 20s? Maybe you just can’t wait to settle into a relaxing retired life in your 60s or 70s?
- GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Wednesday, March 21st at 8pm EST or at 10,000 entries (whichever comes first)
- NUMBER OF WINNERS: One
- PRIZE SHIPS: The United States (although we do try to wrangle as many international giveaways as possible)
- USUAL STUFF: One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winner will be selected using random.org and announced on Thursday as an update to this post. That’s right, come right back here on Thursday for the announcement of our winner. Good luck…