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House Crashing: A Cozy & Creative Townhouse

We know you guys love seeing a wide range of homes when it comes to House Crashing, so when Katrina invited us over to run around her townhouse and snap some photos to share with you guys, we jumped at the chance. She’s a super creative momma who lives right here in Richmond with a lot of awesome found/collected items mixed with things that she has DIYed herself. And here she is now, with her adorable son Luke and her husband Nate.

When you enter the townhouse, there’s a gorgeous cozy wall color (Gauntlet Gray by Sherwin Williams) that envelops you, along with the rich wood floors that her hubby installed himself on all three floors. Everything from the vintage light fixture to the quirky wooden shoe-molds-turned-coat-hooks really makes the space feel one of a kind.

When you walk upstairs there’s the living room, which is painted the same rich color, but has a lot of lighter pops (in the furniture, the mantel, etc) along with pretty frames and mirrors to bounce around a lot of light. The starburst mirrors are from Target but Katrina used Grecian Gold Rub-N-Buff from Michael’s on them to get that gilded look.

Those paper butterflies were actually something Katrina bought on Etsy (from a shop called Embellished Paper) and pinned to an old pallet to cover up the hole that the townhouse builder had left over the fireplace for a TV (she didn’t think putting a TV in there made for the best furniture arrangement since the fireplace is on an angle). I loved the mix of the rustic wood and the delicate white paper butterflies.

And here’s little Luke modeling his play area, which is a mixture of old and new (and DIY and store-bought). The bookcase is from Ikea, but when it’s mixed with the old map, the oversized clock, and the mason jars that Katrina painted white and hung on the wall, it has a casual and eclectic feeling.

Here’s the rest of the living room as you turn to the left of the little play area for Luke. Well, this is what it looked like before they moved in and made it their own…

… and this is what it looks like now.

I love how the dark walls balance the light furniture and the large frames add color with those cheerful yellow squares. Katrina just grabbed some Ikea frames and used yellow paper and some inexpensive medallions from the craft store that she spray painted silver inside of each frame to create some architectural art for a steal.

I also love the little touches, like the paper mache deer head that Katrina topped with a few extra butterflies from the mantel project – just to bring that detail to the other side of the room. The cool thing about that deer head is that he’s from Z Gallerie and Katrina modge podged him with wallpaper scraps. “He was all white and a little plasticy looking so I made him look a little more special.”

I love that Katrina isn’t afraid of making her townhouse stand out from all the others. No detail is too small for her, and I loved noticing small upgrades that she added, like the wide stripes that she painted just on the inside of the pass-through to the kitchen, and the burlap curtains that she added (she made them from old grain sacks herself).

Here’s the view of the pass-through from the kitchen. I thought the fact that the grain sacks had designs on both sides was so smart (they’re like a double sided curtain with tons of texture and a cool collected feeling). And you know I wanted to rub my face all over those gleaming over-sized glass containers. Katrina’s kitchen also brought a giant smile to our faces because the same gray penny tile that we used in our last kitchen was just sitting there, waiting for me to pet it. So I did.

The dark wood counters and the painted cabinets with cool dark Ikea hardware stole my heart too. But my favorite part of the kitchen was the awesome built-in banquette that Katrina and Nate added to the other side of the space. The giant white mirror almost felt like a window, and the shelf on top with pretty decorative baskets added extra storage. I’m a huge fan of Katrina’s lighting and furniture choices too. They just looked easy yet really elegant. The chairs and table are both outlet finds here in Richmond (from The Decorating Outlet).

Mirror detail. Me-ow. Katrina bought it at an auction in Lynchburg for a steal.

Katrina used the same cozy and rich gray tone on the walls of the first and second floor, yet on the third floor where all the bedrooms are located, she lightened up with this soft and gorgeous blue tone (Oasis by Olympic). Walking up to this floor definitely felt airier and softer, which was a nice distinction for the bedrooms I think. And of course the art on the stairs had me at hello. I especially loved the wood planks with vintage glass bottles that Katrina wired up herself.

Here’s Katrina and Nate’s bedroom, which had a sweet lofted ceiling, fluffy white bedding, and an elegant tufted headboard. I also loved that vintage gate next to the bed (Katrina uses it to hold her jewelry)…

… and the oversized coral-pink lamp (it picked up some of the tones in Katrina’s homemade art that was hanging above it). She used pastel crayons on a canvas to make the art and then poured thick clear resin over it for a polished look (you can grab resin to DIY your own version at Michaels or JoAnn’s).

The nursery was really charming too, with light colored furnishings and a sweet tree decal kit on the wall, which Katrina made her own by adding little chalk creatures poking out of the trees.

I wish the wider shots of the room had turned out, but we did manage to snag this curtain detail that captured another one of Katrina’s tweaks that was really charming. She took inexpensive Ikea curtains and colored them just using a regular old sharpie for a watercolor-ish look that was painterly and whimsical.

So thanks so much to Katrina for opening her house up to us and letting us share all of the inspiration with you guys! Let’s play the favorite-part game. I’m calling the eat-in area of the kitchen, and John’s all over the color palette shift that occurs when you transition upstairs (it really felt like you were up in the clouds on that top floor).

Update: We just learned that Katrina used to have a blog, so although she no longer updates it we thought we’d share it in case you wanted to check it out.



Foyer Freshness

The deed is done. Behold, our freshly painted foyer:

It feels about a foot taller and at least two feet wider than it did before. Ah, the power of paint.

This shot’s probably the most accurate when it comes to color. It’s definitely one of those soft neutrals that shifts throughout the day, but I’d say it’s one part sand and one part greige. Not too cool and not too warm. And pretty darn beautiful with white trim.

As for choosing the color, we mentioned a bunch of swatches we were loving in this post, and shared this little makeshift palette:

Can you guess who ended up in the foyer?

Good ol’ Edgecomb Gray. The funny part about that swatch is it’s not really gray (it’s warmer, like a soft milky tan). Another pretty hilarious thing about it is that it looked terrible in our last house, but here it’s gorgeous (it’s crazy how differently a swatch can read depending on the lighting situation, what direction your room faces, etc). So in a sea of paint chips it was an easy choice. Which is nice because it’s a pretty big commitment.

The foyer leads to four downstairs rooms as well as flowing up the stairs and into the hallway up there which leads to six additional rooms – so we knew that whatever we chose would have to work well with any other wall colors we’d be choosing for all ten of those spaces that will connect to it.

As for getting it up on the walls, first we filled in a few nail holes with spackle and then primed those spots as well as any areas that had raw drywall (from our wallpaper peeling adventures).

Then it was painting time. It thankfully only took two coats (as opposed to the trim, which took four). We went with an eggshell finish in BM’s no-VOC Natura stuff, so John got his roll on and I cut in – yes, around chair rail, crown molding, baseboards, and seven (!!) doorways.

As you can imagine it took John about one tenth of the time to roll that it took me to cut in around all of those edges, but it was totally worth it. I love the new wall color so much that I could do a musical number about it. (Seriously, don’t tempt me – I’m a terrible dancer).

It’s one of those colors that changes throughout the day and feels so airy and breezy, like the sky at the beach. Some moments it’s like the lightest part of a platinum cloud, and other moments it’s warmer and richer – like coffee with lots of milk swirling around in there.

Oh and after our paint job, we switched out the old yellowed outlets and switches for crisp new white ones. Such a cheap fix, but just like fresh paint, they go a long way in making the room feel updated.

Can’t wait to get some art going on. Oh yeah and paint the other fifteen rooms in our house (note to self: don’t think about that, just focus on your musical number).

It’s nice to have a pop of color in the door since all of the white trim and doors around it seem to temper it while the neutral walls and the dark floors and door hardware ground things. And you know the light fixture is on my ORB list.

I like this shot because the blue spindles leading up the stairs almost look black instead of periwinkle blue. Although I think we’re leaning towards white for those spindles (when we can work up the energy to do four coats on them) and eventually we’d love to ebonize the top part of the railing to go with the dark door hardware everywhere. Sort of like this or this.

In the meantime we’re just soaking up the victory of completing a whole lotta trim, doors, chair rail, crown, and getting some fresh paint on the walls in there.

Change is good.

Psst: Chop Suey Books is a great local bookstore here in Richmond, and they’re selling signed copies of our book for 10% off until the end of the week (they take phone & email orders and can ship overseas).