Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pretty....maybe pretty neurotic

I don't feel like I have very much to show you right now...but I did get some stuff done.

I've had a couple pouty moments where I think "I am NEVER gonna get this house in order."
But then I've had a couple days where I feel unstoppable.
And of course some sick days off in the mix. It's winter (a freakishly snowy winter) with kids. What do I expect?

So here's some pictures. (If you follow me in instagram -- sorry you've seen much of this. But now you can hear a little more about it.)

I found some fantastic handles at Restore (Habitat for Humanity's thrift store -- of home goods.) A quarter a piece!
They are brass with some sort of silver that looks like a mirror insert. With just enough patina for me to love them even more. I can't get over my love for them.
I grabbed them all. Knowing for SURE the are going in the main bathroom upstairs -- I'm wanting to accomplish an edited glamor feel in there -- because it's my bathtub space -- and LOVE a good hot nightly bath to sooth the day away. So a chic glamor space sounds just right in there. So I knew these handles were perfect.
I put them on the vanity in there right away because I couldn't wait one minute to adore them. But they don't really work too much magic in there yet because they don't stand out on the wood...I want to paint the cabinets when we get there...not sure what color -- the walls will tell me once they are not yellow.

I also have them in the downstairs bathroom right now...but I'm not really sold on them in there. (But once again, hard to tell pre-makeover. They could work...but I may look looking for something else.)

I made serious headway on my dresser.
I got a free one off craigslist and I'm giving it a good makeover.
Its the perfect size for the space, I'm thrilled about that. Its in our room now and I'm SO happy with the portion and how it makes the room so much more visually calm.

I don't wanna show you a picture of it right now, because it's not done, and I don't really know for sure how I'm gonna finish it. I need some more time with it.

But for now here is a peak of how I got rid of the 80's craved vines in the drawers by filling it in with wood filler and sanding a bunch of times. Then I primed it because the top and side were laminate so I can't sand that, it needed primer to make paint stick.
(It's not white anymore.)

I also gave some serious thought to how to improve our lighting situation. I looked at restore like 50 times, and craigslist nonstop, hoping to find more lights, but really didn't see anything. So I started to figure out how to make what I have work. 
I have my two free light fixtures from Iowa with me. So after much debate decided to turn them oil rubbed bronze and put them in the eating space and cooking space of the kitchen.

Having a mess of a house can be kinda awesome at times -- like when you can spray paint indoors in the winter! (If I get more time I'll blog a post about the painting process. I learned a few cool things.)

Here is our eating area light before. Nothing painful or anything, but nothing lovely. (And it had the curly CFL bulbs inside, so it wasn't doing my paint color any favors.)

And after with our new light. (Sorry I just don't care to get out the real camera and upload these days. iPad non-fanatsic pics are what you get.)

The room feels like a real room now. I doesn't feel so awkward anymore. It feels like a place to eat.
And the color comes off right in there finally. 

In other news, this started happening at potty time. And I found it entertaining since it all is gonna come down eventually, so I didn't stop it. But I didn't have plans to really take down the paper yet because I wasn't ready to conquer the whole bathroom.

However Blake got excited with Jasmine and yanked most of the top layer off most the walls in there. So now it looks haunted. I guess it should help me get motivated? (Motivation is NOT my issue. Motherhood vs House is.)
We also found some mold behind the toilet underneath. One more reason to dislike wallpaper. We'll have to fix that. Might be a new patch of drywall time.

And our stairs.
Remember how I said I was gonna paint them before we moved in?
I did not.
I was worried it wouldn't dry well enough before the movers came, and I was not too worried about the stairs. I was worried paint could get on our hardwood (that I spend eons on.)

So we lived with UGLY stairs for this long.
They are so weird because they don't come out past the drywall next to them. So I don't think we can keep these. But I also couldn't look at them anymore. They had over spray and tons of dirt on them
So I commenced to paint.

You can see the original on most, the paint on three here.
 Original vs. painted on two.
I painted every other stair on two different nights, so we could still use the stairs while the paint dried.

And here they are painted.
Much improved.
It makes it feel more like a home. 
It's still wonky looking with the bare drywall next to it. 
And now with my paint on the wallpaper.
But whatever.
At least you don't feel like you are walking on a death trap of a stair case anymore.
It looks like something you should walk on.

Other than that, I trying to keep up with motherhood while doing this stuff.
Much of it is in my head. Trying not to compare myself to other people.
Every mom has her strengths, and I'm trying not to tell myself to take all of everyone's strengths and weigh myself against that.
So while I do that I try to keep up with the mundane stuff that has to be done.

The last couple days I've started stressing over picking "the white" for my trim.
It shouldn't be that big of a deal. But I am color lady --- so I know, I just know, there really is a difference in whites, and since I know it's gonna bug me if I don't try to get it right.

It started because I painted that trim at the top there white (because it used to be yellow!) and it looks florescently white. I used the ultra white I had around from our closets.
Part of it is that the ceiling is very dirty. (I don't know if I'm gonna paint it because eventually it's gonna get changed out when we open the wall between the rooms.)
But it also just really fluoresces next to the wall color too. I think it's overpowering.

For a week there I was ready to say "oh well, I'm just gonna use ultra white because ultra white can't really be wrong or bad."
But then yesterday, with all the snow, and my Jasmine being sick, I ended up spending much of the day stuck on the couch, so I started searching the internet about white paint and getting all stirred up about it again.
So I ran to the store last night for paint chips.
Unfortunately the one with Benjamin Moore (which is the favorite white seller the internet wide) was closed by the time I got out of the house. So I just grabbed every white from Lowes since I am really liking their paint. (Good quality for a nice price....side note: I used to be totally fine with using Walmart's paint  -- awesome price, worked good, but between the years of homeowning for me, they really lamed up their paint and I can't stand it anymore. HORRIBLE stuff now. I won't ever buy it again. I had them refund my money for the gallon I tried.... So now it's Valspar for me.)

So from Lowe's white choices I'm heavily leaning towards "Swiss Coffee." (Sounds like it should be brown. But I guess it's kinda a normal white color name?)
Next to Ultra white it looks cream. But next to nothing it looks very white.
It seems to play nice with all the colors I've picked out so far, as well as a lot I am considering.
The ultra white kinda fights a bit with my entry/hall color as well as our bedroom color.
Nothing horrible. But's it has a bit of dissonance which doesn't leave you feeling soothed. And that's not what I want going on when you first come in the house.

I really like it more than the "ultra white" everywhere but the family room. In the family room I really like the ultra white.
I think it's because it has a HUGE window in it, so it is very bright (especially with all that snow light coming in). So the bright white makes more sense. But I want to have all matching trim in the house. So now it's up to me to decide if one room not quite looking perfect matters enough. Because if you never saw the other white in the spaces you'd never think twice about it.
Also I have to decide if I am neurotic enough to go get Benjamin Moore chips to add into the mix. The thing about that is, I'm not paying for Benjamin Moore paint, so I'd be mixing it into Valspar, and with the subtleties I'm playing with here, I'm wondering if it'd even be worth it, if it might not even translate at all. Who knows.

I kinda think I should just pick and go, because I'm at a painting stand still till I do.

The trim at the top is "ultra white". (iPad photo again, so might not be the best at really sharing) But you can see how the top line just glows.
The paint chip above the door is "Swiss Coffee." It seems to say "I'm white and clean." Without screaming about it. And it definitely looks way fresher than what we have now.

And here is "Swiss Coffee" next to the "Ultra White" I used on the stairs. When the sun comes in the windows the stairs almost seem ultraviolet. The Swiss Coffee seems calm next to it.
(The pic just could not really translate that -- its almost silly to include.)

So that's what I've been doing.
Fun and crazy.
Crazy and Fun.

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