Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why Isn’t Nate Berkus My Friend?

I feel like I need to call in the big guns for my living room, guys!
WHAT COLOR SHOULD I BE? I’m too boring right now.
I mean, seriously, why can’t Nate Berkus and I be real life friends, and I could just call him up like every 15 mins while I work out my mental insanity of “What the heck do I do with this living room!?!?” (Because who wouldn’t love me doing that to them? I’m sure he has time for me. It’s not like he’s possibly too busy for that.) I mean this whole thing is worse than just  "I don’t know what I want the living room to look like." I need a designer friend who I can call up and just talk about what color is, and how it makes me feel. I need a friend who therapizes with me over what stuff looks like.
It’s a near sickness how much I ponder this stuff --- I need some people around me who will just talk with me for a couple hours about it --- Come over for coffee and just play with paint chips with me, like a scrabble board of color. Because it’s fun for us.

I think I am 3 mins from really getting on Blake’s nerves. (Not cause he’s acting that way -- I just think I over do this stuff.) He listens to me. BUT he doesn’t know how little I tell him of my mental steam of continuousness. I may sound like I bring it up a lot, but compared to the talks I have in my head, I’m not even showing him the tip of the iceberg.
I spend approximately 80% of my day(s) being boggled by the shape, size and color of this space. Completely fixated on it, like my life depends on it. And I’m getting no where.

I need designer friends.

Where do I find them.

I don’t think I’m looking for free designs I can scam off a friend. I actually want someone I can call up all the time and be like “Woah, lets disscuss brass. Or NAVY!! Or wait, no I think DARK FOREST GREEN! No, no lets talk about how the way sunlight coming off snow is gonna change how much I love this color now, but I might not like it when summer sun is flowing in. "
I only like this wall color when it’s snowy outside,
which happens to be when I chose the color.
I like it right now, but had been hating it for months.
How do I resolve this?

And this person will enjoy and reciprocate. Where do I find you, design obsessed friend?

I think I need to go to design school.
Only I don’t think they have that around here -- and well I’m a mom -- I’m not going somewhere far away.
What to do, what to do?
Current color leaning for living room, but then I get captured by every pretty thing I see,
and think, “Wait no, is that a better idea?"

Right now the best I have is to follow a couple blogs, and a couple interior designers on Pinterest, and I just pretend we converse via pictures.

Right now I am reading (a non birth related book, say what!?!) “All About Colour” by Janice Lindsay and it just seriously stoking my fire to know EVERYTHING about design. Can I do design school via correspondence somewhere -- like on my own mom-avaible-time-scheduale -- somehow?


Ok End Rant.

(Enter Design Friend???)

See my little four year old, peering out from behind the piano?
 She might just grow up to be my design friend…she’s got a great eye already.
But right now her advice is to paint the living room pink.
And while, I have seen some pretty fantastic pink rooms, so she might not be wrong…
I would like to have some grown up input as well.
I mean, it CAN be GOOD!
Just don’t think Blake would be into it.
But I’m not revoking it’s “yeah that’s awesome” card.
Ok blog readers, seriously, feel free to become my design friends. READ: Comments SO Welcome! Offer up any and all design thoughts. I am CRAVING it worse than pickles and icecream. :) (That sounds so nasty!)
I’m pretty sure nesting has set in, and set in hard, in the form of design and the need for the house to get it’s booty into shape. I think my energy is coming back this week, please oh please oh pretty please be true! So I think I am gonna be up to doing some of this stuff.

If you want to know, my current super stuck designer’s block issues are these:
(If you don’t care, you can be done with this post now, AFTER you call up Nate for me, and get him to hang out with me.)

1) Kitchen color. Like I said. I chose this paint color when we bought the house and it was snowy. I was looking for something that wouldn’t fight the pinky-beige tile backsplash. This color won out of many. (It was pretty and it didn’t make the tile more pink, nor did this color look blue next to the pink -- which strangely every color somehow did -- which only made the room look like a horrible baby nursery kitchen.) But then I still hated the backsplash anyway, and painted it white. Which made the color on the wall rather unrelated to anything.
I’ve been pinning kitchens that make me want to cook when I look at them. They are pretty much white. But I don’t know if that makes the walls need to be white.
     If they were white I think they would make the wall I don’t like (plan to take out in the 10 year plan) seem a bit less obtrusive. 
Ignore messy desk…it’s not staying there.
I also think it would make the soffits over the cabinets, that I don’t like, less obvious (especially once I get around to painting the cabinets white -- not sure when that will happen, but someday before the big over haul gets here, I’d like to paint them.)
     But will white walls look boring like a rental? Should I pick second white, so the trim and the walls aren’t the same color? (How hard is it to pick two different whites that play nice?) Or is it good if they are the same color -- people like to design with trim and walls all painted one color- color (not white)?
   You guys this isn’t easy for me. It actually is my love language. To myself. I really never worry what someone else is gonna think of me when they come over, or see the blog. I just need my house to feel really, stinking good to me. My personality needs that. (Why don’t I immediately know what I like?... I’m complicated.)

2) Kitchen workspace: Since we aren’t in a hurry to tear apart our kitchen for a major makeover, I want to make it function as best as it can for now. This includes making a workspace in the unused areas. I want Blake to build me a sort of rustic-island-esque countertop thing,
General Vibe
 that will be in the shape of an “L” running under the wall window hole, and down the touching wall (where the big wood cabinet is now.)

We can put the microwave on it, and use it as more prep space. With open shelves underneath for dry storage.

And on the other side of the window, we want to have kinda a breakfast bar countertop comming through the window with stools underneath it.

If you follow that at all?
My current question is should we paint it white, or stain it wood?

White would make the space feel more open. Stain would feel more rustic and butcher-block like.
Current plans in my mind for the room is  a “white kitchen” -- at least the upper cabinets to be white, lowers TBD -- maybe a cute color, maybe black, or maybe just white? So would white, white and white feel blah? Does it need that pop of woodtone? Or would the woodtone make the space feel too tight and cramped?

3) Living Room color: I change my mind on this about every other day. I’m currently thinking that “lake michigan blue” color still.

Which does look good on Downton Abby:

But then I got swayed towards this dark forest vaugely-teal green while accidentally getting sucked into watching The Bachelor. (He’s from Iowa guys! I lived there once. I mean, how could I turn away?... Seriously I didn’t mean to... It all happened so fast.)
But I mean, look at that color on the walls…so pretty.
And I had also been looking at this….
So pretty in the right spaces. 
Every color is pretty in the right space.
But what does my space need? And what do I need from my space?
(Keep in mind, I need a color that works with our floors too. Most do, but not all.)

We want the room to be pretty. I lean towards English antique, "let’s have some tea in this room” kinda cozy. My favorite place in the world is our cottage and Lake Michigan -- so I just always lean towards cooler colors, blues and greens, as opposed to reds and such, because it reminds me of being there.

We also want the room to be fun and it’s gonna be a musical space -- guitars on the wall.
It’s not a small order to fill. But I’m determined to do it, and do it well.

4) Living Room Layout: I am killed by the size of this room. It’s big. But it’s long and narrow. The Fireplace is in the center. Which sounds right, but since it’s narrow, there isn’t really a way to center the stuff around the fireplace. It would leave the ends out, and make it hard to get through the room.
Also we have a piano that should stay across from the fireplace (for tuning issues, they should be on an interior wall -- that’s the only interior wall in this room.)
So far the couches feel wrong. No matter how I try them.
So I’m wondering if a sectional is better? Like an “L” under the front window and up next to the fireplace.
The only thing I’m attached to in this room is the piano. The rest of the furniture is just hanging out for now to see what happens. And its constantly being moved around by the girls.

But I still have no clue what to do with the other 2/3 of the room. 

Rugs must happen at some point. But no point yet -- before more is understood.

It’s a hanging out room. Full of music stuff, hopefully full of music itself. It’s at the very front of our house. You see it as soon as you open the door. 
Front door is on left -- is that little bump out thing is it’s trim. I’m standing on the stairs in the entryway.

Technically it’s the formal living room. But we aren’t formal. (P.S. I’ve never in my whole life had a formal living room, the concept is totally foreign to me. And I’ve never had a living room void of a TV, so the concept of the space needing to center around entertainment you bring in yourself is also totally new. This whole room is so totally challenging to me.)

5) Living Room Lighting: I’ve been pinning away ideas for the overhead lights we will one day add to the space. But the ceilings are only 8 ft tall. So they need to be less awesome than chandeliers. (Sad.) I’ve saved a ton of stuff. Many of them are too expensive. But I like to do that for inspiration towards a goal. My favorite right now is this one. Because it’s classy, classic and visually unobtrusive -- which leaves the room more open and bright feeling.
But it’s still kinda pricey.
I kinda like this one. Maybe more-so if I painted it silver, or maybe silver leaf them. (Because silver is less visually interruptive.) But it’s entirely more affordable.
I have lots of time to figure this one out. And it might be easier once the rest makes more sense. These lights are something I am willing to splurge a bit on, since they can make or break the room. So we will see.

I do know it would be a lot easier if I could go through with chandeliers instead of flush/semi-flush mounts.

Ok so that’s the main things I’m stuck on these days. (There’s more, but I’ll spare you till later on.) 
If you have ANY input at ALL (you don’t need to have thoughts on all of it, just a teeny tiny thought will make me happy), comment and help me out! 
Seriously. I’m going crazy.


  1. I love the second light option! I think it might be a little dark to go with either of the darker paint colors though. On the other hand, if you go with the lake Michigan blue color, I think that second light would look so pretty and slightly vintage-y with it! You could pull in some of the Bachelor-dark-tealish with accents maybe?

    I don't know- I really like all your color options for the living room. I also can't wait to be out of a rental and into a place I can make our own. Dreaming up designs is so much better when you're envisioning a real space! :-)

    Best of luck!

    1. Thanks, Yvonne! Yeah I was afraid those darker greens would be too dark for the space too. I had started my whole mental process on repainting that room with the thought of Navy Blue, but given time I felt like I wouldn’t like that because it would be too dark. I like dark rooms, but this one doesn’t seem like it will handle it well. I think I just get excited about colors when I see them, but not all of them will work in this room. I don’t want it too feel longer and narrower from whatever I choose -- I worry dark would do that.
      I like your thoughts on the light. I hadn’t thought of it quite like that.
      I know what you mean about renting. We rented before we bought this house, and I missed color on the walls so bad. If I hadn’t been so busy with toddler and baby I would have tried to liven the walls up more temporarily. Here’s a few fun ideas:

    2. Thanks for the link! I love those ideas!

  2. What about this for your living room...light colors on either end with a dark color in the middle to break up the space. Or use the dark color in the middle and use it as a stencil for the middle section to again break the space up. Think 1-2 feet framing the fire place and mirroring that on the opposite wall with the piano. The section by the front could be a little "formal" seating area with 2 high back chairs, a small end table or coffee table. The middle with the fire place, put the 2 couches flanking the fireplace creating an alley of sorts between the fire place and piano (which is must have! I also play piano :) ). Then at the end of the living room have a more "informal" play space with shelving that will easily store toys and books away. Not only you get your dark color you've been fantasizing about, but it also breaks up the long space that's been plaguing your design attempts. It's one idea at least.

    Just for comfort sake, I mull over design ideas almost as much as you and only let my hubby in on a fraction of what I think about. Both of us are really good at starting projects, but horrible at finishing them due to me trying to figure out how things should look while keeping cost down!

    1. Good thoughts Amy! Thank you!
      What you said makes tons of sense. The room is just tricky because it’s deceptively narrow (deceptively so in pictures.) I’ve pondered the two couch facing by the fireplace thing a lot -- but the only thing at would actually fit would be two small settees -- and even that would be tight to walk around with the piano there too. It’s just seriously just a head scratcher of a space.
      But I think my husband and I finally found a look we both are super into. Which is basically a 180 from the dark tones -- but we both liked it 100% right away -- which may be a first for us -- so I think we kinda have to go for it. lol. And I THINK I have some furniture picked out that will work… I think! lol.
      I’ll have to do a “mood board” post on it soon to fill you in.
      I super glad to hear I’m not alone in the way my brain works! Its always so nice to feel normal. :)

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