Monday, February 17, 2014

Our First Little Spot

I have a done spot!
A teeny tiny done spot!


How bout a “Phase 1” kind done?

It is quite possibly the smallest, least “anything” spot in our house. BUT it feels awesome!

Its our “your home” space -- you know, the one you come in, when you come into your own house.
It’s our attached garage entryway.

It was the only place where no one had painted over brown paneling prior to our moving in. So it was a dark hallway-hole of a spot.

Here is our before:

It was flanked by our yellow eating area of the kitchen.
Straight ahead is the garage.
To the left is our family room.
To the right is our laundry room.

Here is the view of it from our family room, looking into the brown wallpapered laundry room.

And a view of of the brown pocket door.

Stunning right?

Well my mom came for a visit the past week, and she hung out with the girls while I got this space taken care of.

So here’s where we are now.

The eating area of the kitchen has been painted a sort of green-blue-gray called Rural Fairfax Gray (it’s a mood ring color, always looking a bit different) for a while now. (That was huge for me! Getting rid of that yellow!)
The entry spot and laundry room are now wearing a light gray called "whetstone gray" by Martha Stewart.

And the garage door is sporting some fresh chalkboard paint, and some group effort family art.

I first started by priming all the paneling last time my mom was in town. It sat there looking much better, but unfinished for a while, while I debated “which white” I would used for all the trim in the house for the longest time.

I finally made the call to go with Swiss Coffee by Valspar 
and I am IN LOVE with it.
I am so glad I took the time to pick the one I liked. It’s gonna just give me that much more joy every day when I look at the freshness.
It’s not shockingly different than the ultra white, but it’s just different enough to seem “right.”
I did a lot of reading online about whites, and often times people felt like older homes didn’t really work with ultra white. (It’s not a hard and fast rule or anything.) And that seemed like the case for this house. Since it’s a 60’s colonial, I felt like a blaringly white-white looked off. 
Valspar’s ultra white has blue undertones, making it sort of fluoresce in sunlight.
Valspar’s Swiss Coffee has a cream undertone -- but not like cream-cream the color-- more like half and half cream for your coffee -- hence the name I think. But it’s still very very white.
It’s a snuggly white if you ask me. I just wanna hug it.

I decided that I would also match our ceilings to our trim. 
That took MORE online reading.
And I was less convinced of what I was doing in this arena.
(When you google about ceiling paint you get a whole lot of fighting about keeping ceilings white vs. putting color on them. Personally, I’m a white ceiling gal. I’ve seen a handful of photos where I like a color ceiling, but those often have really fantastic ceilings involved -- not a 8ft flat one.)

But I figured I couldn’t go wrong matching them. Where as I might go wrong trying to do some sort of cool on-purpose-white-on-white-contrast --which is super tricky. Plus I thought if I picked something called swiss coffee, I might get a small bone from those who think ceilings shouldn’t be white…since I didn't just grab a can of ceiling white. (Not that it matters since its my house.)

I had to buy flat paint, not ceiling paint, since ceiling paint was more grey initially than swiss coffee. But Valspar’s paint is super thick because its paint plus primer, so it’s really easy to use on a ceiling.

I think it looks great. I’m happy.
So the ceiling is flat swiss coffee. The trim is semi-gloss swiss coffee.

 Here’s looking from the family room towards the laundry room.

The Laundry Room Pocket Door - White now.
I picked up this washable rug last night because this spot gets really slick with snowy shoes coming in.
And it hides the ugly tile nicely -- bonus.  (A different floor is part of phase 2. As well as wiring in a ceiling light.)

So the side by sides:



And the step up into the kitchen eating area.


Ok so lets look into that laundry room shall we?

……..Its not done, but it’s on it’s way!

We started with FANTASTIC brown wall paper!
I don’t know what possessed them to pick such a drab dank paper.
There was an older layer underneath it which was so much happier -- white with yellow flowers. I don’t know why this brown was an upgrade at some point?

So yeah, that meant I had to peel two layers of wallpaper -- including behind the water heater and the furnace! FUN times.

A pinch more paneling in here.

Then we had the functional and matchingly lovely cabinets.
They were cream metal cabinets covered in contact paper. 
"We need more brown in here.”
I could have made them work, but,
they were rusty inside and I just didn’t like how much space they took up in there.
Once we pulled them down the room seemed way bigger!

It was FILTHY in here!
I had to scrap the lint off the floor  with a trowel before I could wash it.

So I peeled and peeled wallpaper.
Then cleaned and cleaned.
Primed and spackled.
And painted and painted.

You can see our new-to-us craigslist washer/dryer --they are much improved. The one that was here might have held 3 towels, the tub was so small. I don’t mind at all having bought used ones -- they are doing everything I need, and saved us a ton of cash right now -- for other stuff. Totally pleased.

With all the snow we’ve been getting, I got to taste sweaty summer 90 degree days as I painted the ceiling around the furnace pipes!

I have plans for this wall. 

I don’t know why there is that small indent there, but there is. 
So I’m gonna put a cabinet in that spot, and open shelves over the rest.

I found this small cabinet to fit into that indent (and is also big enough to hold a large container of Tide, I made sure) at Restore for $10.
 And I’m gonna paint it Martha Steward’s “sea glass”  for a fun clean pop in there.
I got a sample size of for just under $3.
I think I’ll keep the future shelving white.
We’ll see.

I’m having Blake build me a platform for our dryer. I need more space in this space, so having the dryer up higher will give me somewhere to put our laundry baskets. And it won’t mess with my shortness either. (Putting a top loading wash machine up would.) 

So I can’t hang our cabinet till that’s done -- to see how high it should go.
Just showing the tiny but of white trim behind there -- better than dirt! 

I also have plans to try and hide the hideousness of the furnace in a safe way. 
My dad said a fabric curtain is a no-no. So I’m thinking right now of maybe something like this for breathablity (it will need to be tweeked for removablity -- so its just a general vibe I’m thinking of).

So that’s the progress of the laundry room.
SO MUCH BETTER. But not done.

And just for fun --  one more little change.
Here is my other chalkboard door in the family room.
(This metal door goes to our backyard.)
The girls are loving them, and so am I!


(This room isn’t gonna stay white -- its goin greige.
Basically nothing in here is an end result, but the door.) 

 So yeah!
That’s some of our progress!
Thank you again mom!

I’m making headway in our bedroom too.
Ceiling and trim -- next stop walls! I’ll be showing you pictures when I get there!
(When you do it all -- ceiling and trim too -- it takes a while. It’s like one day per thing. Plus I had to prime our bedroom ceiling. Everyone smoked in the 60s -- our ceiling said so anyway. Thankfully it didn’t smell -- and doesn’t seem to show anywhere else. But yeah that primer added a good day at least.)

Hope you liked my little reveal!


  1. everything is looking great!!

    how in the world were they able to put wallpaper behind the furnace?? that seems difficult!

    an idea to cover up the furnace: my parents used those slatted folding closet doors to cover up theirs. it works and it looks nice. they just kind of have them folded around the furnace area. I wish I had a photo so you could get a better idea. for your set up, you could maybe attach two together so it goes all the way across. attach it to the wall that the washer/dryer are up against and then it can be folded open from the other side?? hope that makes sense!! Just another idea for you!

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