Name that song. Also, we painted the kitchen. SURPRIIIISE!
We’ve mentioned that we’ve been flirting with the idea in our last two Listy McListersons (here and here), and when Nonna came to hang with Clara this past week we jumped at the chance to tear the kitchen apart and get to it.
Just to keep it real, we grabbed this shot to demonstrate that when one room is getting love, some nearby room is getting dumped. It’s like saying “kitchen, will you accept this rose?” and meanwhile we’re sending the dining room packing (with a bunch of extra baggage). There’s usually one of these “displacement messes” going on at all times in our house. And of course this particular mess was directly behind the front door on the day that the neighbors stopped by just to chat. It’s always nice when it looks like you run a furniture and accessory agility course from your dining room, no?
As for more about the kitchen color change, although you guys know we love grellow with a passion, it has been notoriously impossible to photograph (remember a hundred different phases of the kitchen project with “ahh, this color looks so much more subtle in person but is reading as lime green/bright yellow/neon slime for some reason”). And although that’s
sort of definitely a dumb reason to repaint a room, I can’t tell you how annoying it is to not be able to share what you see in front of your eyes when you’re a home blogger.
But the main reason for the change wasn’t that the color was hard to photograph, it was that over time we realized that the grellow didn’t let the other things in the room shine as much as they might have with a different choice. Take the white cabinets and counters for example. They looked little yellowed thanks to the wall color reflecting on them – and even the cork looked a little orangey-yellow (especially at night) instead of rich and mocha.
So here’s how we reasoned our way to a new color pick in five bullets or less:
- we worried that other tones of yellow and green would have the same yellowing-ish issue (say that three times fast) since they’d reflect on the counters, cabinets, and cork – even if they were deeper or lighter, so we nixed those options
- we wanted something deep enough in tone to provide a little more contrast, so the counters and cabinets would pop more (but nothing too dark since the room is windowless)
- we have gray backsplash tile and a few adjoining rooms are gray, so we didn’t want to go with more gray on the walls (dark, light, or schmedium) for fear of grayverload
- we wanted an actual color on the walls (since we chose such safe things everywhere else like: brown floors, white cabinets, stainless appliances, white counters, and gray backsplash tile)
- we wanted a color that would tie the kitchen into the four spaces (yes, four!) that the kitchen opens up to – without getting too matchy-matchy (when a room adjoins so many other rooms, the wall color should work with those rooms since you’ll see them together all the time – it’s sort of like very carefully picking a hallway color that works with all of the rooms off of it)
So after taking a good hard look at each of those adjoining rooms, we decided to draw inspiration from the powdery blues in the background of the dining room curtains (top right) and some of the blue pillows on the living room sofa (bottom left) among a few other things, like the kitchen shade, the subtle blue undertones in the gray backsplash, the two paintings I made for the kitchen, the lanterns in the living room, and some of the art in the nearby hallway o’ frames.
And that’s how we landed on a bold, deep-enough-to-let-the-cabinets-pop blue tone. We went for an eggshell finish (still wipeable but not too shiny, since the backsplash covers the splashy spots) in Benjamin Moore’s Natura line, which we bought at a local paint shop for $52 with a Facebook coupon (we only needed around half a gallon, so we still have a lot leftover). As for the color name, it’s Colorado Gray, which made us laugh because it’s definitely blue and not gray – but it’s right next to Aegean Teal on the swatch, which is a lot truer to the name. So I vote that we rename it Colorado Blue. Or $herdog Blue. Yes, that.
We definitely loved having a soft blue kitchen in our first house, and we actually don’t have any blue on the walls in this house except for the deep teal in the guest room and on the back of the dining room built-ins, so it’s nice to bring in a mid-tone blue that’s sort of in the middle of the guest room and our first house’s kitchen.
The funniest thing about this whole repainting escapade, which we realized while applying the second coat (we’re always loopy by then) was that in our first house we repainted every single room except for our kitchen and our master bedroom. And in this house we’ve only repainted two rooms: the kitchen and our master bedroom. Hilarious.
And if you count the time that we painted the fireplace area a different color for book photoshoots (only to repaint it back to normal a few days later) some parts of this room have seen four different paint jobs.
A few of our favorite things about this color pick are:
- it’s definitely an actual color (there’s nothing neutral about it)
- it still feels sophisticated (even though it’s not gray or navy or chocolate or taupe)
- it allows the white cabinets and counters to really pop (without yellowing them)
- it’s a great balance to the warm tones in the room (like the cork floors, the wood stools, the rustic cutting boards on the counter, etc).
Plus it ties into all of the rooms around it without being crazy matchy.
Gray Blue, I ain’t mad atcha. In fact, I want to put a ring on it.
As for the specifics to this paint job: it took two coats and I used a brush to freehand most of the cutting in while John rolled. I actually like a good freestyle cutting in sesh (I live life on the edge, what can I say?). And we paint without a drop cloth (sealed wood or cork floors can be wiped down if there’s a rogue drip, but we mainly try to keep from overloading our brushes and rollers with paint, which eliminates most drips anyway).
Oh and we didn’t repaint the laundry room because we actually think the grellow looks nice in there. There’s a big glass door and a window to let in natural light, which the kitchen was severely lacking (the window over the sink is an interior window that just looks into the sunroom) so I think that makes a huge difference when it comes to how paint reads. Plus the yellow accents in the kitchen (like the urn next to the sink and the patterned window treatment) create a nice balance to that glowing grellow doorway over yonder.
Not gonna lie though, the star of this room is still that wall full of penny tile. Picture me having an as-soon-as-the-show-ends bachelor breakup with the wall paint to run back to the penny tile with open arms. And it’s not that I don’t love the wall color – I just love the penny tile more than a person should love any inanimate object.
What are you guys painting lately? Anyone else tacking a room for the second time? If so, $herdog’s got your back. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to get something right and tight.
Psst- We’re still at work on the living room (you got a preview of that
mess project here) so we’ll be back with those details on Monday (barring any unforeseen catastrophes).
Woot, it’s Friday y’all. I’ll pause while you celebrate with a desk/cubicle/subway/couch dance. Speaking of rejoicing, for every time that we share heavier DIY related projects (laying a stone patio, building a deck, renovating our kitchen, or even adding board & batten) there are always a ton of little updates that we tackle – sometimes for less than $5 in under 5 minutes. Which explains why our Projects page is full of those things too (you know we love a smorgasbord). So after sharing a bigger upgrade this week (adding crown molding to Clara’s nursery) and while we’re finishing a few more for next week (our aforementioned living room dealio + more crown molding) we thought a small and inexpensive jelly bean of a project was a nice way to end the week.
What you’ve never heard of a jelly bean project? Ok, me either, but I think it should be used to describe little updates that are easy to pop into your
mouth schedule & budget. So you all remember this old wooden cradle that we scored for $11 at a local thrift shop for the fun little Macklemore Challenge that we did a little while ago, right?
Well, we mentioned that we wanted to paint it – and although a few folks cried out to keep the old wood, in person it was a lot less appealing (it had burn marks, scuffs, and smelled like it had been in storage for 30 years). I just craved something a little crisper and happier for the bean – which you caught a glimse of here in this closet post when I revealed I had painted it white.
But white isn’t as fun as it can be (but it sure is a great base color to layer things over). So I had a plan to turn the fun-dial up (what, that’s not a thing?) with some bright red pom-pom trim, scored for just 79 cents at JoAnn in the remnant/discount pile.
As for how I attached the pom-pom trim, I thought about gluing it or nailing it and then I realized I had some old nailheads leftover from an old rocking chair that I recovered, so I just tapped one of them in the backside of each swag to hold them in place. Oh but first I used crazy glue to “seal” the ends of the pom pom fringe on each side so it wouldn’t fray, let that dry, and then nail-headed it into place.
Then I tossed a lumbar pillow that I already had around the house in there to act as a little doll mattress (you might recognize it as the old chair pillow in Clara’s first nursery), which was a lot faster than sewing a cushion. Use whatcha got, right?
Then I tucked dolly under this sweet pink blanket and bam: a fresh and happy cradle with all of Clara’s favorite colors (she’s nutso for red and pink these days). No sewing, no cursing, no crying. And instead of paying $59 for something like this Pottery Barn doll cradle, I spent under $15 to take an old secondhand one up a few notches.
So mission accomplished. And by mission I mean “my kid likes it.” Clara loves rocking her babies (and tucking them in, and kissing them, and filling the crib with plastic animals, and trying to put Burger in there…).
Oh and as for the rear view, here’s how those nailheads turned out:
It’s definitely a nice clean look – and after a few days of playing with her suped up cradle, all that Clara does is occasionally drape the pom-pom trim over the back of the footboard and headboard, but it’s easy enough to drape it back over the front (I worried she might try to rip it off or yank on it and make it all loose, but so far she has just accepted the trim as part of the cradle and isn’t trying to tug it off or anything). Hooray for small victories and small updates. Especially if they involve pom-pom trim.
Has anyone else been making over any kid things from the thrift store? How about a real crib? Any crib skirt DIY-fests going on? You know I love a no-sew crib skirt…
Psst- We picked a winner for this week’s giveaway – click here to see if it’s you.
Yes, that was a Busta Rhymes reference. Dude, that song was my junior year jam. And speaking of jams, our new nail gun is our latest. John’s totally ready to get his crown molding install on this weekend, assuming he can wrestle it out of my hands. Just gotta let these guys acclimate a little bit longer…
So while the crown molding gets to know our house a little better (and I dreamily gaze at it while whispering sweet nothings) we’re excited to share our 2013 Benjamin Moore paint picks! We’re a little tardy for the party with this – and a big thanks to everyone who has been asking about it! – but we just didn’t want to pull them out of a hat. So we took our sweet time finding the colors we wanted to marry. All 32 of them. It’s going to be the wedding of the century, guys.
We thought it would be fun to toss out some more specific ideas for using a few of our picks right in this post, so here’s one now:
And here’s another one (you’ll find four more peppered throughout the post).
Some of the colors in the collection are tried and true tones that we’ve already used, some are colors that we’ve eyed forever, and some are colors that we used for our book (so we’ve seen those in action as well). You can check out all of our colors here (if you told us five years ago that we’d end up on the Benjamin Moore website, we’d have laughed at you for five minutes, gained our composure, and laughed at you for five more). And you can pop over to view our collection whenever you’d like by following this little sidebar button of ours…
We’ve been using Benjamin Moore colors for around half a decade, and we’ve been buying their actual paint since 2011 (we first tried it out on our office built-ins), so when they invited us to curate a collection of our favorite colors last year, it was pretty much a dream of ours. And jumping back in to choose 32 new colors for 2013 was just as much fun. This partnership is just like any other side gig that helps pay the bills – like writing a magazine column or our book – except we get to play with paint chips for this one, so… yeah buddy.
Our process was pretty simple. If by simple you mean splaying out 561 paint swatches (you think I’m kidding) in order to choose our favorite 32 colors. It was beautiful chaos, I tell ya. And I loved every undertone-investigating minute of it.
The goal is simple too. We just hope anyone out there who’s overwhelmed by a giant wall full of swatches will find comfort in a smaller collection of favorites to peruse and potentially use in their home. And we hope that some of the suggestions spattered throughout this post get your motors running. You know, in that exciting I-want-to-paint-something-right-this-second way. Or in that I-want-to-paint-something-but-first-I-need-a-marshmallow way. Either one.
And since we’re on the subject of color, have you guys used any paint colors that you’ve loved lately? Do you keep a little folder of your favorite swatches? Or a pinterest board full of ‘em? How do you keep track of them all?
When we were choosing this collection we discovered that cutting out swatches individually and laying them all out on a neutral background (dark charcoal colored Karl, haha!) was a great way to see how they all worked together. And it helped us “balance” things by being sure we had enough dark choices, bold ones, neutrals, and soft and serene colors that weren’t too bright or too neutral. In short: if you have a few spare weekends and a neutral colored sofa, I highly recommend playing around with paint swatches instead of watching TV. Seriously, it’s right up there with a marathon of The Walking Dead (albeit a lot less bloody).
Psst- We picked a winner for this week’s giveaway, so you can find out if it’s you right here.