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Goin’ To The Chapel…

… and we’re gonna have a bay-yay-yay-by.

Ok, so that’s not how the song goes, but it is the paint color that we chose for the walls of the nursery (which is pretty sweet considering the name of the paint that we used in Clara’s nursery in our last house was Proposal). Honestly, color names don’t sway us. We’re pragmatic pick-our-favorite-swatch-not-our-favorite-name folks. But it’s always nice when they’re not something ominous. You know, like Sleepless Nights or Zombie Spawn.

Back when we shared our plans for the room with this makeshift mood board of sorts, a few commenters asked if we were going to paint the walls that bold green tone. We explained that we were planning to use that more for accents around the room (like a bold green closet door, a chair cushion, some art, and maybe a crib skirt) and were leaning towards a soft neutral color for the walls. Just so we can layer a bunch of colors and patterns on top of that as the little guy grows, according to his preferences – like we’ve done in Clara’s room.

We’ve really appreciated that Clara’s walls are a completely goes-with-anything tone, so that as she grows we can switch things up without clearing and painting the entire room, but it’s still far from colorless or devoid of personality.

But “something neutral on the walls” can still mean a whole lot of things. White? Light gray? Soft tan? Even a muted tawny-green or blue-gray can qualify. So we considered a few color pairings like…

And the winning combo was… #2. We just really liked the idea of some mushroom-toned built-ins (with a stained wood top for a little bit of added interest). Like this photoshopped rendering from last week…

… along with a bold green closet door.

So we just held up a bunch of swatches and considered things like the rug, the built-in colors we liked best, and some possible bold greens for the closet door. In the end it was between some more gray-based tones (on that bottom swatch) and some more mushroom-ish tones (on the top one). See how the darkest color of that top swatch is brown while the other swatch is closer to charcoal gray? We decided we liked the ones with brown undertones a little better than the cooler gray ones, so that’s how we chose Going To The Chapel for the walls, and then slid three tones deeper for our built-in color (Senora Gray). We opted to go with plain white for the ceiling (Simply White in a flat finish) just to tie into the white trim (since the built-ins won’t be going white) and for some nice contrast.

As for getting it done, we just removed the rug, and pushed everything else into the middle of the room.

We covered it with a dropcloth when we tackled the ceiling – and we ended up going with two coats, just to be sure we had good coverage. As usual, John rolled and I cut in around the edges – although I didn’t have to be perfect since we’re going to add chunky crown around the room, so that corner where the wall meets the ceiling will be covered.

Then it was onto the walls, which also took two coats. It’s harder to pick up in photos than in person, but the whole room had an obvious yellow tint before. You can see the difference most when you look at the areas that I cut in vs. the walls around them. This is before the paint was dry, so the difference got more obvious a little later, but I didn’t get a picture of that since we had already covered most of the walls by the time they started drying.

But speaking of comparisons, here’s the room “before” (let’s go way back into the mauve trim days, shall we?):

And here it is now (thanks to ripping up the old carpet, spraying the trim and doors white, laying some hardwood floors, and freshening up the walls and ceiling).

It’s hard to tell in photos just how different it feels in there! But just the fact that those door overspray marks are finally gone (you can see them in the first picture of everything pushed into the middle of the room) is music to our ears – er, eyes. If only they weren’t still in the guest room…

And here’s the room with some other elements that we’re hoping to work in later.

That’s our bike art (which will be hung somewhere else, since the shelves of the built-in will go there) and the slice of green on the mattress is just a long cotton dress of mine that I shoved in there. I’m a weirdo, I just wanted to see what a green sheet might look like. Of course the built-ins will be painted our mushroomy-brown-gray color and those bare walls above the crib won’t be bare when we really get things going. And that slice of old paint around the ceiling will be covered with chunky crown molding. Details, details.

We also brought up our armchair from the corner of the office when we realized that it would be great for the nursery – and once we redo the office there most likely won’t be room for a big plush armchair anyway. It’s still looking crazy stark in here, but it’s better than that pink-trimmed before – so we’ll take it!

Here’s our to-do list with around 11 weeks before this baby’s here:

Is anyone else painting walls or ceilings? Or planning to paint some cabinetry or built-ins in a non-white color? I gotta tell ya, it’s more thrilling than it should be. #yolo

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Oh Dear, Can He Breathe?

As a bunch of you saw on Facebook and Instagram, we went on a giant lumber run, which means there’s a whole lotta building that’s about to commence in the nursery. But first we have to paint the walls and ceiling, so we hope to knock that out today and tomorrow (and have an update for you guys on Monday). Three cheers for finally saying goodbye to those door-overspray marks on the wall!

And while we get our paint on, I thought I’d share a nice and easy “anyone-can-do-it” project (involving living things, ahh!). Most importantly: there’s a tiny deer living in a tiny glass house in our house.

And the good news is that he can’t die… but the plants nearby most definitely can.

So this is going to be one of those experiments to see if low maintenance plants really exist. Because we all know I don’t exactly have a green thumb. Remember when I begged you to help me keep my cacti alive? Well the good news is that they’re all still alive and kicking, over two months later.

Wanna know how I’m keeping them alive? By completely ignoring them. 100%. I’ve only watered them once. In TWO MONTHS! Everyone told me just to give them a drop when the soil feels really dry, so I have truly taken that to heart. And they love me for it. Well, at least they don’t hate me (and aren’t dying in protest). Some of you even noticed them still alive and kicking in last week’s chair post. Werk, little cacti. Werk.

So now that I’ve had a decent amount of success with that completely no-maintenance planting experience, as you can imagine I practically think I’m a top level botanist. Just kidding, I still have pretty much zero plant confidence (see those succulents on the shelf in the background of this pic? They’re fake from HomeGoods). But it did inspire me to try one more “it theoretically should take care of itself” situation on for size. Namely, a terrarium.

It all started when I found this awesome glass container at a lighting shop a few weeks back (The Decorating Outlet here in Richmond). The cool thing is that they usually sell this as a hanging pendant light like this, but this one wasn’t drilled to accommodate a light for some reason, so it was marked down to $16. It just sort of whispered “Fill me with a few green things and a tiny plastic deer. You know you want to.” So I thought, OK, let’s see if this black thumb of mine can create (and hopefully maintain) a terrarium. Like without any actual maintenance.

Here’s how I made it.

Step 1. Cut a hole in a box. Just kidding. The first step was actually finding a glass container that I liked (you could also try a big glass container like this or an apothecary jar like this).

Step 2. I googled around and read about 20 terrarium tutorials. There were a lot of different methods, but the ones with charcoal – like this one – seemed the most self-stable (meaning you didn’t have to open them and water them, because the charcoal theoretically should make them into their own little self-sustainable ecosystem).

Step 3. I wrote out a list of supplies I would need: gravel, charcoal, potting soil, and some small plants. I ducked out into the garage to get some bagged potting soil, and just stole some gravel from our driveway to fulfill that requirement. Then I went to Home Depot and grabbed two small succulent containers for around $5 and looked for charcoal (some plant stores sell it) but no dice. So I hit up a local greenhouse (Great Big Greenhouse here in Richmond) and got a tiny bag of charcoal for $1.

Step 4. I added about an inch of gravel to the bottom of the container.

Step 5. I added about an inch of charcoal on top of my gravel layer.

Step 6. I added 2-3 inches of potting soil on top of the charcoal layer.

Step 7. In went my plants into the potting soil…

Step 8. And then just for fun, I grabbed Bambi’s nephew Bob and stuck him in there.

Step 9. I gently misted the plants with water (ok, I dunked my hand in a bowl of it and splashed the inside of the terrarium a few times) and then I sealed everything up and called it good.

So far it has been over a week and my little guys have been troopers. No drooping (they actually look a little happier than they were in their plastic Home Depot containers) but not a whole lot of action either (there hasn’t been a ton of Titanic-esque glass-fogging or anything like that). The jury is still out on whether this will end up being a cold and lonely tomb for them to leave this world, or a happy little place for them to hang out. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime I’d love any and all terrarium tips since you guys did me right with those cacti.

Update: Hilariously enough, thanks to my Instagram feed I learned that Michael over at Inspired by Charm made a similar terrarium from a RedEnvelope kit for $79 yesterday! So you can check his out as a ready-to-assemble alternative. Also, his photos are amazing, and his dome is blinged out in gold. Me-ow.

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