Here’s The Story, Of A Lovely Napkin

Please tell me you sung that title to the tune of the Brady Bunch? If not I’ll give you a minute to get to it. Feel free to play the video below if you prefer some back-up vocals like I do.

Now that we have that out of the way, I thought I’d share our inspiration command center when it comes to the new house. It’s this napkin that we scored on clearance from Crate & Barrel (which you might recognize from this post of yore).

I kid you not. That napkin is like the Sue Sylvester of Casa Petersik when it comes to picking colors and pinning down that ever elusive whole-house-color-scheme. She’s loud. She’s totally in charge. And she’s fun to watch. Thankfully no bullhorn though. That wouldn’t go over well with Burger.

When it came time to choose a color for the back of the built-in bookcases, Ms. Napkin was the inspiration. Same with the master bedroom walls and the artichokey green color that we’re thinking about in the kitchen. We literally pull swatches, hang them on the wall in each room to see what we like, decide on a favorite, and then make sure that they look nice next to El Napkin before running to the store to get paint. We definitely haven’t been holding swatches up to the napkin to find a perfect match to every color or anything (we’re picking based on what looks best on the wall in each room, and then just making sure it “goes” with Sue). Look, here we have some of our favorite swatches with her:

Not all of the swatches are reading exactly as they look on the wall (which of course is par for the course, so always hold something up to the wall in your space to see how it looks depending on the lighting sitch), but the top swatch is our blue-green-gray bedroom swatch (looking quite tame next to all that color and pattern): Catalina Crescent Roll Carolina Inn Club Aqua by Valspar (get that joke here). The second swatch (which is reading less dark and moody in this pic) is the color that we used on the back of the bookcases (Dragonfly from Benjamin Moore’s Affinity line). The third one is the color we’re contemplating for the kitchen walls… when we finally work up the momentum to tackle that room (Agave from Benjamin Moore’s Affinity line). The fourth one is a deep aubergine plummy tone with chocolate undertones (Caponata from Benjamin Moore’s Affinity line) that we’d love to work in somewhere when I put on my big girl pants and grow some cojones). And the bottom swatch is a super layered and moody deep teal (the photo does its depth of color no justice) that I’m working up the guts to use in the hall bathroom (Benjamin Moore’s Teal Ocean). Yeah, it should be interesting to say the least…

What is it about that napkin that speaks to us? We have no idea. Other than the fact that we like the colors and we like how they look together. So if they can work on a square of fabric why shouldn’t they work in a house? It might be a foolish plan of attack, but we intend to see it through either way. And it’s so easy to pop Sue in my purse and keep her with us when we’re out shopping. Because even though our colors don’t match her to a T, they definitely “go.” So if we see something that goes with El Napkin, it probably will go with our house. Look, it even looks good with my Christmas teapot from the hubs. Nicely done Mr. Petersik.

Who really knows where we’ll end up. We’re just taking things one day at a time and are definitely dedicated to taking more risks with bold color and pattern than we did in our first house. Especially with the bambino around. We’re just feeling the more-playful-splashes-of-color approach over the whole beachy-airy-neutral thing that we did last time. Should be fun.



Carolina Inn Club Aqua

That’s the name of the new bedroom color. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it does look pretty good rolled on the walls. We finally made a decision to go with the middle band on the Valspar swatch at the top of this photo (though we got it color matched to Olympic’s No-VOC paint in a satin finish). We liked that it was green and a bit more saturated than a color we’d choose for our last house.

Here’s one last look at the room paint-less (and mostly furniture-less). Oh yeah and look at poor semi-disassembled Ed the Bed. We had to remove one slat on the top so that he could slide forward into the middle of the room without hitting the fan while we painted around him.

And thanks to the magic of the internet, here’s what the room looked like around five hours later after two coats of Sweet Caroline Club Carolina Inn Club Aqua (we never got the name right a single time that we tried to remember it) on the walls. Amazingly we only needed one gallon (we’re not used to rooms this big so we totally expected to run out and have to do that annoying go-back-to-get-more thing in the middle of the project).

It’s definitely somewhat reminiscent of our last bedroom color (Glidden’s Gentle Tide) but it reads a good deal darker and greener in person, so it’s definitely a step towards our vision of a bolder color scheme when it comes to this house. We debated going a lot darker or brighter when it came to the walls, but ultimately decided that we didn’t want the wall color to be the star of this room. So keeping it somewhat subdued leaves room for colorful curtains, art, and even some painted secondhand furniture if we decide to go that route.

We actually hesitated before painting Carolina Country Club Inn Carolina Inn Club Aqua in the bathroom nook because we thought we might want to go darker, lighter, or bring some other accent idea in there (decorative wallpaper? a tone on tone stencil?).

But since our goal has been to de-emphasize the bathroom-ness of this space and help to better connect it to the main room (so that it visually makes sense instead of sticking out like a sore thumb) we went for the cohesive look and used the same color on the walls in there. Good old Caroline County Aqua Carolina Inn Club Aqua. Oh but we used a semi-gloss finish for extra wipeability since it’s near a sink. Don’t mind the fact that it looks lighter in the pics (it doesn’t in real life- must just be the lighting).

And yes, we’re still talking about painting the mirror everything from gray to white. We go back and forth between leaving it and letting the room evolve a little more before doing a thing and whipping out the paint brush and getting ‘er done later today. Whatever we do, we’ll share pics when we do it.

The color on the wall is also reading a bit light in these pics. We’d definitely describe it as something in the “mid-range” (not light but definitely not dark). You can see from the swatch in that top pic that it’s definitely not super subtle, but it’s also not ultra saturated. We actually really love that we landed in that middle-ground area. Everything from the crown molding to the trim and even Ed the Bed really pops, but it’s not too much that it would compete with bold curtains, art, and other stuff that we can’t wait to mix in. Oh and Ed’s poppage is a bit more evident in the first pic of the painted walls above though. Scroll scroll scroll.

None of the furniture placement is permanent (heck some of the furniture itself may soon be replaced, like that old ikea dresser from our guest room above). But at least it’s starting to feel like a our bedroom. Sherry has this big idea to get two secondhand dressers that “go but don’t match” and refinish them (or paint them a bold color) and then place them on the walls on either side of the bathroom doorway for some nice balance – and some his & hers sock and pj storage. Then the chair will probably go live in the corner to the left of the bed as you face it.

Oh and speaking of going but not matching, we like how Cape Carolina Canaveral Carolina Inn Club Aqua picks up the color of the duvet nicely too, without being perfectly plucked directly from the fabric itself (which we think could have been waaaaaay too much).

Actually, you can better see how saturated the walls are in this shot with the lights off (so it doesn’t read as yellow on camera). Oh and the walls/duvet look a bit more true to life here (see how they kind of work with each other without competing or looking too flat?).

And yes, that’s still our Christmas tree in the background. It’s on the list.

Anyway, it feels GREAT to have this room painted because it was a big leap towards making “the new house” feel like “our new house.” And consider us as having officially caught the painting bug. We’re thinking one of the big living spaces might be next. If only we could settle on a color…

Psst- We’re spilling one of our favorite money and space saving baby secrets over on BabyCenter. Oh yeah and there’s a video of Clara screaming over there too. Good times.