When we last updated you on the progress of the showhouse that we’re working on for Habitat For Humanity (you can read more about it here, here, and here), its exterior was largely complete and it was awaiting some paint. Well, then it snowed for three weeks in a row, which is a complete rarity in Richmond, so while we continued to scurry around finalizing materials like light fixtures, tile, and cabinetry (more on that here), we weren’t able to update you on our color choice. UNTIL NOW! Can you tell I’m EXCITED?! Get those jazz hands up, y’all.
We knew from the get-go that we wanted it to be in the navy family with crisp light trim and some rustic touches (like chunky wood porch beams and some stone around the foundation). The builder was completely on board when we pitched him our navy concept, so we were tasked with choosing the shade so his guys could get painting. Our first step was to bring a ton of swatches that we thought could work down to the job site and hold them up against various planes of the house (the front, the side, etc) just to see how they looked in different lighting situations. Here are the nine swatches that we brought:
Some immediately eliminated themselves (Gravel Gray and Polo Blue looked almost like black when we held them up, Westcott Navy looked a smidge too gray, and Van Deusen Blue oddly read much lighter – like a medium blue). After a little more debating, we whittled our collection of swatches down to just three contenders:
We liked that Hale Navy had some charcoal-ish undertones, Genteman’s Gray was pretty pure in that “it’s just navy” scheme, and Newburg Green was a smidge lighter with a hint of a green undertone. Between the three of them, there was a nice range (unlike getting test pots of three identical navy colors) and we honestly thought all three of them could work, which was comforting. So off to the paint store we went…
We came back with three test pots to apply right to the house’s siding. Clara helped with the mixing:
We just brushed them right on, being sure to remember which one was which. After each one dried we applied a second coat and waited for that to dry so we could get a true read on each color.
Clara even got in on the action at the end. Start ‘em young.
These are just iPhone pictures on a cloudy day, so they don’t really capture all the nuances that we could see in person, but after two coats of each color had dried, it was clear to us that Hale Navy and Gentleman’s Gray were slightly darker and more intense, while Newburg Green was a bit less “midnight-ish” and a little less serious and formal, if that makes any sense at all.
It’s weird to describe colors as being more or less formal, but something about Newburg Green felt more casual and friendly in person. Gentleman’s Gray and Hale Navy certainly would have been handsome, but Newburg Green was just calling our names a little louder. We also thought it would have a bit more contrast with the roof (we worried the other two might blend in with it too much since they were darker/grayer).
And so it was decided. Newburg Green was IT. And after holding up a bunch of trim swatches, we ended up with Steam as our trim color of choice. It would still read as a nice clean white on the house, but it wasn’t too stark or blinding, which we liked.
And here she is all painted and lovely! We’re really happy with how it looks with the tone of the roof and the Steam colored trim. And aren’t those two round windows in those peaks adorable?! The paint color really seems to emphasize the pretty architecture, thick trim, and sweet details like those windows. Of course there are still a bunch of unfinished elements going on (we have awesome chunky columns that will be going in above each of those stone pillars around the porch, and then all of that wood will be sealed, which will give it a slightly deeper but still warm & rustic tone).
And we can’t forget how much of a difference a little landscaping will make. It’ll take the look from “The House That Sprung Up Out Of Nowhere” to “The House That’s Integrated With Its Surroundings.”
But let’s look at the front door for a moment. We’re currently debating a bunch of colors for it, so we thought it would be fun to have you guys weigh in too. It arrived in this tone (we didn’t paint it this color, but it isn’t able to be stained), so we messed around with a bunch of color options in Photoshop (over two dozen!) and these were the ones that seemed to work the best with the other elements that we had going on. Some of the nixed colors surprised me (I’ve always loved navy houses with yellow doors but it just looked too crazy on this house) and the ones that we ended up liking also surprised us (who knew we’d ever even consider a blue-gray-green door on a navy house?). So without further ado, here are our six finalists:
Note: Photoshop is not real life – so the door will most likely look a lot more dimensional (and generally better) than these fake renderings when it’s actually painted.
But let’s zoom out and break things down for a hot second (although the colors are generally a lot easier to see in the up-close grid above). First we have a paint color we’re affectionately calling Blue Steel, which is a greeny blue-gray. None of these are real colors from a paint deck (we picked all of them in photoshop), but we’d choose a swatch that has the same undertones if we opted for any of these choices.
Next we have something in the chocolate range. Sort of like this:
Another color we considered was red, for that nautical, all-American look.
We also played around with the idea of a rich plum door, although this one’s a lot easier to see in the zoomed-in grid above.
We thought something in the rust family could be a nice nod to the natural tones in the stone and the porch beams (which will end up a bit richer/darker than they are now, but should still feel warm as opposed to cool).
Lastly we have putty, which ties into the tones in the roof and some of the colors in the stone around the porch.
So don’t be shy, we’d love to see which way you guys lean! We can’t finalize the door color until the porch beams are all installed and sealed, but we’re hoping that’ll be pretty soon. ***UPDATE: THERE’S A POLL EMBEDDED RIGHT HERE (we just learned it’s not showing up in Readers for some reason, but if you click through you can vote and see which color is winning).
As for the inside, exciting stuff like tile and hardwoods are going in and we’re beginning our furniture/rug hunt along with trying to pin down a bunch of interior paint colors, so we can’t wait to share that progress. Hopefully in the next week or two!
Psst- In The-Saga-That-Never-Ends news, instead of getting our new washer yesterday, we got a call that bad weather delayed a truck that was coming from the midwest and now it should arrive on Saturday. So here’s hoping that no amount of hail, sleet, or snow will keep that washer from getting here tomorrow!
As a little Friday bonus, here are four fun projects, chats, or questions going on over on the Forums. We also announced this week’s giveaway winner, so you can click here (and scroll down to the Rafflecopter box) to see if it’s you.
|by Reshma_Sanjeev||by RebhanRenovation
||by BrynAlyn||by emloco|
Well, our new washer and dryer have arrived! And we promised to share how the installation went, what we did with the floors under them, and how we like them so far (that’s where things really get interesting). We realized a few days ago that we’ve had a whole bunch of different laundry situations. In our first house we had front loaders with a counter…
In our second house we had stacked front loaders with cubbies next to them…
… and in this house we’ve had top loaders with cabinetry above them. Here are the new guys sitting pretty (although not quite as pretty as the others since we haven’t tackled the rest of this nook yet).
Honestly, each of these setups have had pros and cons:
- We loved having a counter over our first house’s front loaders, but it usually ended up cluttered with stuff (it became sort of a dump-this-here-until-we-deal-with-it-later zone). And this setup required the most bending, which wasn’t that bad at the time, but now that we’ve had top loaders a while, we definitely can appreciate less of that.
- Our stacked loaders were nice because we had cubbies for storing everything we needed, which didn’t tend to get cluttered like the counter (there just wasn’t space to drop grocery bags, returns, and other random items there). There was still a fair amount of bending and lifting when it came to doing laundry, but again – at the time it was just fine, and we really only realized how nice top loaders were once we moved here.
- The obvious con to top loaders is that there’s no place for a counter, which we did really like having, but we still have the top of the dryer to work with (we can put the laundry basket there for example – or lay things out to air dry). The cabinets might be our favorite storage solution (as compared to open cubbies or pull-up blinds) just because everything is tucked out of view but still really easy-access.
*Note: We got some questions on Friday’s post about why we don’t bring our appliances with us when we move. It seems to be one of those regional things. Here people tend to leave them, but it’s not like you leave nice ones without getting anything in return for them – it’s just factored into the listing price here (a seller can command a higher asking price by saying “there are new top of the line appliances” which obviously add a lot of appeal/value).
But now onto our new washer and dryer! When it came to delivery, the guys were really nice, although I did realize about half-way through it that I needed to lay down a dropcloth to protect the runner, even though they wore those nice little shoe-booties (the runner was getting dripped on by the old appliances as they came down – but it was thankfully nothing I couldn’t just wipe down to remove). With the booties/dropcloth combo it looks like a slip-n-slide situation (I begged them to take off their booties because I was afraid they’d fall) but thankfully they went slow and steady and all was fine. Turns out I’m just a worry wart.
You might remember that we couldn’t wait to get the old appliances up and out of there so we could finally replace the old pan under the washer and remove the remaining carpet scraps that were sitting under the dryer.
We decided that laying down some thick 3/4″ plywood (which is the same depth as our hardwoods) would be a nice way to give that particle-board subflooring a more finished look – especially since we could stain it to match the floors so well (we used one coat of Dark Walnut followed by three coats of SafeCoat Acrylacq to seal them). We actually added plywood under our last washer and dryer (more on that here) since we heard it was easier on them to have reinforced flooring (something about them lasting longer) so we’re hoping it gives these a leg-up.
As soon as the guys carried our old appliances downstairs we ran up into the laundry nook for a quick floor presto-change-o, which we did in a blind panic because we knew it would only take them a few minutes to get the old ones downstairs and the new ones upstairs. First we had to remove the old carpeting, which was more secure than we expected (John actually had to scrape up the staples in a mad-dash after we yanked up the carpet and underlayment). Look at him go:
Then we had to get the boards down. Here’s the first one going in. We had pre-measured them and stained/sealed them beforehand so they were all ready to slide into place when the appliances came up.
The second one went right in after the first, but there’s still a small gap that we have to fill where the molding jutted out too far for us to get a flush result. We hope it’ll look nice and complete once we slide that missing piece in (we’re just going to cut one more slice of plywood and stain it to match). Wish we had time to prime and paint that blue trim hiding in the nook while the old washers were out, but it might have to wait for a rainy day…
When you step a little further back, you can hardly tell it’s not the same hardwood flooring running under those appliances (we didn’t photoshop the crack out of this pic, it’s just barely noticeable from this distance). And we’re really happy with how well the color matches. We also plan to add some nice white folding doors (there were some blue ones hanging there originally) so that’s another reason we thought the subtle flooring change should work really well.
As for leak protection, since these guys are on the second floor (and we REALLY REALLY don’t want them to cause damage to anything below them, we were sure to place the washer in a plastic water-catching basin and also upgraded to those nicer reinforced steel water lines instead of the plastic ones.
The crazy thing is that during installation there was actually a small leak where it was attached to our water line, but we caught it while the installer was still here, and he ducked back there and fixed it by tightening things a little. The lesson? Check those lines!
So now onto the fun stuff: how we like our new washer and dryer! Well, we LOVE the dryer so far. It has been quieter, has a much larger capacity, doesn’t shrink things nearly as much as our older one did (that one practically “burned” things and this one has a heat sensor so it doesn’t over-dry). I also love the charming little chime sound it makes when it’s done (which can still be silenced, but it’s so much better than the loud buzz that our old one made).
We also really like the digital setup of the washer and the dryer. It’s easy to see things, like how long each cycle still has left.
The washer’s capacity is also really awesome. It fits a lot more than any of our previous models (especially the old one we were replacing).
And now for the womp-womp. Remember how I worried that bad things happen in threes? Well, our new washer is broken. I’ll pause for effect, as I quietly weep into my dirty laundry pile. The installation just included starting it to make sure there were no leaks when it filled up, but they didn’t stay to watch it run a full cycle (which is completely understandable… that would be close to an hour of washer-watching time).
So imagine our surprise when we ran our first real load of laundry well after they had pulled out of our driveway and heard a crazy-loud grinding sound during the wash cycle (whenever the agitator is moving, there’s this jarring metal-against-metal sound). We even captured it on video, which does no justice to how loud it is – you can hear it all the way from downstairs with the TV or radio blaring.
I woefully called Home Depot to tell them we already had a problem and they told us to call Maytag, who told us they could get a tech out in seven days. Ack! A full week without a working washer after buying a new one and expecting it to run without issue? I sweetly asked if they could get that service call moved up a bit since we were expecting a working machine upon delivery (our laundry had built-up a bunch already, so the prospect of another seven days of waiting stunk) and they said we could call Home Depot and see if they could do anything. I explained that I called them first, but would try one more time.
Well, when HD heard it was going to be a week until Maytag could make a service call (which might not even fix things, it might just diagnose that I needed a new machine, which then had to be ordered) – I could feel them trying to work something out for me, which I really appreciated. They had mercy on my sweet laundry-missing soul and agreed to take back the first one and deliver a new one on Thursday.
I’m really happy with Home Depot’s customer service (I’m sure it’s a lot easier for them to just say “call Maytag, it’s a mechanical issue that they’re supposed to handle) and I have to be honest that I wish Maytag had been able to come out for a service call within 48 hours or so, which is what I expected when my brain reached that “oh snap, our brand new washer is broken” moment.
So that’s where we are. Still
sleepless in Seattle washerless in Richmond, but we love our dryer and the new flooring under it. And here’s hoping that by Thursday I’ll be whistling while I work that new washer. I’ve never looked forward to doing laundry this much in my life! Have you guys had any unexpected delivery or new-appliance issues? We’re happier than ever that ours have a one-year warranty given this little curve-ball, but we hope this third house snafu means we have all of our bad luck out of the way for a while…
Sidenote: We’d love to see you guys this weekend at the Richmond Home & Garden Show! We’re speaking at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday (with a book signing following Saturday’s talk). You can get half-price tickets online right here. Oh and they gave us the shock of our life when we were driving down the highway and saw our giant faces on a billboard.
Seriously, we screamed so loud it probably scared other drivers. It’s exciting, unbelievable, and terrifying to see your own mug that big.