Our Current House
I know it sounds kinda crazy, but after painstakingly removing five different wallpapers from this house… we’re considering putting some up. I think I even passively mentioned it in this post about the nursery mobile.
Ever since we imagined the idea of these built-ins, we pictured making the space between the two of them sort sort of accent – either with a color or pattern or treatment of some sort (in our first post we even mentioned a planked wall). Those ideas fizzled a little bit after completing the built-ins and realizing they had a lot of stuff on them (so we didn’t want to clutter up that space between them above the crib too). But neither of us could quite shake the idea of still doing an accent of sorts somewhere in the room. And one night while perusing possible wallpaper ideas for the showhouse, this puppy caught John’s eye.
He went rogue and without even consulting yours truly (cue your outraged gasps) and ordered a sample of it and its darker counterpart, for $5 each. With tax and shipping it was $13 total. Thirteen bucks that would either earn him a sour look from me, or make him a hero.
Well, he got the sour look alright – not for the $13, but because I can still vividly remember the claw-hands I had from wallpaper peeling. The good news is that when he explained that Spoonflower wallpaper is removable, all was right with the world again. And I really liked the pattern too (it feels like something that could grow with the bun, and not be too fleeting or “young baby”). The hero part is still TBD though.
The samples arrived a couple of weeks later. They’re nice and big, and they revealed a detail that John hadn’t detected online: a subtle linen-like texture in the gray tones that I also thought was a nice touch.
We ran upstairs to tape them up on the walls, just to get a feel for them in the room, and John went rogue again and put them on the wall with the bike prints. He must be getting braver (I think it’s the beard, guys). Since we’re both less tempted to mess with the look of the built-in wall, he said he thought that wall might be the answer instead. Forgive the terrible phone pic.
We snapped that with my iPhone so I could mock-up a full-wall version of the space in Photoshop. For those wondering how I did it, I just dragged the photo I shared above into Photoshop and laid it over another picture I took of (almost) the full wall. Then I just adjusted the size of the overlaid detail photo of the wallpaper until the patterns matched up and were the same size (I had the opacity of the top layer down a little so I could see when that happened).
Once I knew the wallpaper pattern was the right scale, I put the opacity back up to 100% and cut out the rest of the iPhone pic so I was just left with a rectangle of wallpaper that I could manually tile until it filled the whole picture. Lastly, I cut out around the objects like the frames, doors, and the changing table (which were still in the image behind the tiled wallpaper) so as I deleted the wallpaper in front of them, it appeared to run behind them.
I also tried a version where I adjusted the color to look like the darker sample that John also ordered, but it was pretty clear to both of us that we preferred the lighter one.
I thought it was a little hard to judge without seeing a plain wall meeting the accent wall to give it context, so I used the same technique to mock things up on this photo that I already had of the room. The colors probably aren’t perfect (the curtains look neon here), but it definitely helped us to picture everything – and it confirmed that the light version wouldn’t clash with the wall color or anything.
I still wasn’t convinced that was the right wall for an accent (I feared it might look too busy with the bike art in real life) so we also mocked it up on the crib wall to see if our original idea was better. We stared at it for a second, but I think we both prefer the bike wall. It just felt too crazy over the crib with all the items on the built-ins, the mobile, the patterned crib skirt, etc.
I also tossed some bold green up there just to see if a hit of that above the crib would be fun. It’s not great photoshop (looks pretty flat) but we didn’t really love it.
I also tried something sort of charcoal-ish to balance the chair out. This one made both of us do that “eh, not bad” face while staring at the computer. It looks kinda nice with the white crib and the mobile.
To add yet another possibility to the ring, a sweet reader named Annie had emailed us this quick mock-up she did with some chunky stripes painted behind the crib, which also gave us pause. You know we love a striped wall…
We’re still sort of letting things simmer, but we’d love to hear what you guys would do. Would you go for the wallpaper on the bike art wall? We like that it’s removable, so it’s not too much of a commitment. Do you prefer a solid wall of green or charcoal or even some stripes behind the crib? Or should we just stop being crazy and leave things the heck alone? Part of us is really excited to add one more layer of interest into the room (we’ve never put up wallpaper so that would be a new adventure – and most of the elements in here are really neutral). Then again, we still want this room to be a mixture of playful and cozy (as opposed to that’s-just-straight-up-crazy). What do you think?
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.
Just when you thought we were all painted out on Monday, I’m back with another painting update. With this bun of ours arriving in five short weeks, it’s lighting a “paint all the things!” fire under my rear. I know that being laid up with a c-section will mean staring at all of the not-done things on the ol’ to-do list, so humming through a few of them before the little man is here will hopefully put my nesting slash home-making mind at ease. So we set our sights on the upstairs hallway.
It connects so many rooms (the nursery, our room, the hall bath, Clara’s room, the guest room, the laundry, etc) that we thought it would be a nice “bang for our buck” spot in the sense that we walk through it ten million times a day, so we’d notice a nice fresh paint job.
You know, instead of seeing the same over-sprayed edges from painting the trim back in May of last year (has it really been that long?!).
It also connects to the stairwell that we painted back in November, and the foyer that we painted last July. So when we picked that color for the foyer (Edgecomb Gray, which reads more like a soft tan color in our house then an actual gray), we selected it knowing that it would travel up the stairs and eventually grace the hallway up there as well. We like that it’s a simple and light neutral, so it won’t make the stairs or that interior hallway feel dark, and it allows us to use a bunch of other colors in adjoining rooms without worrying that they’ll clash. For example, we have coral, blue, red, and soft pink on the walls (and ceiling) of Clara’s room…
… as well as a deep moody blue in our master bedroom.
Meanwhile, the walls of the guest room, laundry nook, and hall bathroom up there have yet to be painted… so we also like that the hall color leaves those wide open.
You can actually see where our stairway paint job ended in this pic. Elegant, eh? Look at that line we just randomly painted on the ceiling. That thing cracked me up and irked me all at the same time.
The hallway is sort of like two or three rooms of its own. It’s 33 feet from the laundry nook to our master bedroom, and there are a whole lotta doorways (eight) and lights (three) to cut in around. I don’t usually mind cutting in too much though. It’s tedious, but it makes me feel accomplished if that makes sense. As I go I’m all “three doorways down, five to go – turtle power!” I also ponder things like why mashed potatoes and milkshakes have so many calories while things like celery and water have virtually none. Or why there’s not one cheat day each year when everyone can magically consume anything they want and not gain any weight. My pregnant mind clearly puts a lot of thought into food.
Clara also got in the action. Not by painting, but by lending positive vibes, singing various Frozen songs, and dancing around with a giant piece of ribbon like a tiny color guard.
All told, it was around five hours of cutting in across two days (it took two coats) and John swooped in to do the rolling, which also took two coats but went quite a bit faster (maybe three hours total across two days?). I thought of a few painting tips to share with you guys as I went, so here they are:
- Even if you can reach up and roll the high parts without an extension pole, it’s a lot easier on the ol’ back if you break one out.
- We painted the ceiling the same color as the walls since it’s a light color and we wanted that seamless look instead of accenting the ceiling as a separate plane in this case (we also tend to do that in bathrooms).
- Try painting with some tunes on to make it go faster (or news radio, or a book on tape, or a tiny dancing preschooler, or some other auditory form of entertainment).
- A short handled 2″ angled brush is my favorite cutting in weapon. Seriously, read the comments on this old post of yesteryear to see how many people commented that it changed their life. I promise I’m not exaggerating – it’s a huge time saver.
- We don’t use a dropcloth over hardwoods because seven years of painting have made us pretty neat, and we’ve found that the occasional floor drip is easy enough to wipe up if it’s wet or even pop off with your fingernail if it’s dry.
- Stop thinking about food. It’s weird.
And here’s our wahoo-it’s-done result:
It’s a pretty dramatic update from what it looked like back when we bought the house.
Here’s the freshly painted result from the other side (with my back to the bedroom). Ugh, I can’t wait to rehang some doors to block our dark little laundry area in the back.
But the view of pretty much everything else is looking a whole lot fresher…
… so we’re really glad we knocked it out pre-Barnacle.
For anyone looking for a tutorial on changing out your outlets, John did a giant infographic about it here. And for here’s a how-I-cut-in-without-taping-most-things-off video, from back when we were painting our guest room:
Before I go I thought I’d share all the paint colors we’ve used in our house to date (along with four that we’re thinking about adding). It’s fun to compare it to our first whole-house-palette post for this house to see how many are the same, how many are close but not exact, and how many have changed since that was just a bunch of guesses about where we thought we were headed last July.
Here’s the key to what’s what:
- Our Bedroom (Black Pepper)
- Our Kitchen (Nelson Blue)
- Foyer/Hall (Edgecomb Gray)
- Possible Nursery Accent Color? (Grassy Fields)
- Nursery Built-Ins (Senora Gray)
- Nursery Walls (Going To The Chapel)
- Clara’s Door (Cinco De Mayo)
- Clara’s Ceiling (Pink Cadillac)
- Clara’s Walls & Half Bathroom (Simply White)
- Clara’s Raindrop Color #1 (Tranquil Blue)
- Clara’s Raindrop Color #2 (Milano Red)
- Clara’s Raindrop Color #3 (Pink Cadillac)
- Front Door (Blue Lake)
- Master Closet & Sink Nook (Revere Pewter)
- Sunroom Ceiling (In Your Eyes)
- Possible Dining Room Color? (Knoxville Gray)
- Possible Guest Room Color? (Sparrow)
- Possible Office Color? (Polar Lights)
* not pictured: possible colors for the hall bathroom, the laundry nook, and the unfinished storage space since we don’t have a clue about those yet
Are any of you guys also on a painting bender? Or just rushing to check other things off before an impending deadline? I gotta say, I slept like a baby after all that edging, and I’m usually an insomniac these days, so it was pretty sweet.