Red 1. House 0. How to let your 6 year old teach you a lesson.

Well, that about says it all. I may just post pictures and let them tell the story. Remember this?bm_iceberg_1

Calm, blissful, serene. I was pretty excited about the prospects for this room. I already imagined all the fun neon accents I was going to put everywhere.

You know who didn’t see my vision? Red.

I ignored every single one of her protests. Why? Because as parents we get pretty good at ignoring our kids whines.

Until about three days ago when she came up to me and said, “I’m going to go live in another house. I want you to come with me because I love you. But I hate this room. I didn’t want white walls. You let Evie pick the colors for her room and you didn’t let me. It’s not fair.” Then silence. No whines. No cries. No tears. Just adamant declaration. She was right. How could I explain to her that I just didn’t trust a 6 year old’s color choice. I mean reeeaaally. I’ve got her artwork to prove it. Purple faces with green hair…

sigh

The funny thing is I truly believe that kids should express themselves and love who they are. If I told her I didn’t approve of her color choices I would be going against what I want for her. So, I imagined the worst: she picks a color I hate. And the worst case scenario wasn’t so bad anymore. After all, it’s her room, not mine. I don’t have to live in it. She does. I can appreciate that she loves bright ridiculous colors and be proud that she chose her own colors.

Accept defeat.

“You’re right,” I said. “It wasn’t fair. Let’s go pick out your paint.”reds_room

When all was said and done I told her to step back and take a look at her room and tell me what she thinks. She said, “I love it.”

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Finishing Touches!

This past week Mike has been hanging fans and connecting all the electrical receptacles (light switches/outlets). I put in the trim pieces for the can lights, hung a few sconces and a cute chandelier over our front door.
finishing_touches_8

Mike strongly dislikes the chandelier, he hasn’t flat out said he doesn’t like it, but I can tell. dislike
It’s the same face he made when he found out our new sofas don’t have built in recliners. He passive aggressively refers to me as “design eye” and we move on.

I don’t care what he says, I like these couches and they are super comfy. This fan used to be in the top of our ceiling vault, right smack dab in the middle between our kitchen and livingroom. My “design eye” said it needed to move into the livingroom. It looks much better in it’s new home.
finishing_touches_1

That’s not a shadow on the ceiling you’re seeing, it’s paint. Mike sprayed the walls before we rolled the second coat and he didn’t mask the ceiling. On purpose. Because we are doing this to the kitchen and livingroom ceilings:
whiteTongueGroovePlankCeilingBeams
(not my kitchen – source unknown – but the stone floors look just like the stone we picked out for the upstairs bathrooms)

Speaking of ceilings I made a a little wooden frame to go between our whole house fan and the ceiling, for some reason it wasn’t made to sit flush and had a 1/2″ reveal (nice language for big gaping whole) around the entire edge of the fan.
finishing_touches_2

I looks much better trimmed out. I almost got fired though because it’s been awhile since I’ve done any woodworking and I couldn’t find one of my tools. I looked like this:
super-angry

I pulled it together, Mike threatened to do the project himself and his finish work makes me look like this:
dislike
Building that frame got me in the mood to start the rest of my trim work and now I’m working on the window sills and casings.

Mike’s working on getting our showers ready for tile. Here is a pic of the girls shower/tub:
finishing_touches_3

Do you see that soap/shampoo niche? I got it on ebay. It’s foam covered in cement (or foam coat if you want to get technical). It’s totally waterproof and ready for tile – sloped and everything. It fits right into your framing. We could have framed one ourselves, but this was $40 of awesomeness – so I bought two. The other one is in our shower.

I got these sconces on ebay too. They were the first things I’ve ever bought from another country and I was scared. I love them!
finishing_touches_9

I really wanted these lights from Restoration Hardware but they are $299 EACH. And that would be fine if we didn’t like to eat on a regular basis. But we do, so $600 for two lights was the type of price tag that put it in the “dream on” category. Until my friend mentioned finding something similar on ebay. I must have done something right in this world because sure enough for less than half the price of one light I got two including the $20 shipping to the USA from Hong Kong. Thank you Hong Kong.

The one caveat? When we put the box in the wall for a sconce we used the oversized ones. Light fixture boxes come in roughly three sizes: pancake, normal and oversized. You’ve seen them, they look like this:
h9jIz

We put in oversized because we just happened to have two lying around and at the time it didn’t make a difference to us. Fast forward to finishing time and wouldn’t you guess it, Hong Kong sent sconces that aren’t made for standard USA electrical boxes. That’s cool because Mike still hung them and I patched the little bit of plastic that was showing. See, you can’t even tell.
finishing_touches_10

At some point between polka dots and lights I noticed this wall looked a little blank:
polkadot_tutorial_8

A little closer perhaps?
finishing_touches_5

I swear I put an electrical box here…I sure did, here’s the light switch for it. Funny that when Mike put the switch in, it never dawned on him that the actual light box was nowhere to be found. Details are just not his thing.
finishing_touches_4

Mike has a plan to find it though (I told him it is exactly 79″ high centered on the wall – cuz I’m OCD like that) he is going to turn the switch on then use his current finder or some little electrical tool he has to pin point its exact location behind the wall – hey! wait, didn’t I tell you it’s 79″ high centered on the wall? Who cares…he’s got his “tool”. It’s a digital multimeter (DMM). It’s red because Mike says, “All great tools are red.” Whatever, you buy Makita.

PS. I love Mike. With all my big, red heart.

Painting, electrical, and stucco, oh my!

Since the drywall finished we have been moving really fast at finishing everything up. The last two weeks we got the house scratched and browned and all that is left is to put the last coat: color. Then Mike and I will put the siding and trim on the front, paint and be *eeek* done! haaahaa. At least with the house. We still need to put our front yard back together. And it’s a mess. Anyone like digging ditches? I didn’t think so…

I’m a sucker for Benjamin Moore paints. The paint levels out and looks amazing. It’s worth the extra cost and it never has disappointed me. They’ve been around since the 1800s and have thousands of colors. All those choices can be good and bad – I can be pretty indecisive. Especially with color. In school I spent an entire year studying the color spectrum. It took me days just to pick the white of our ceilings and trim…I let E pick the color of her room just because I was sick of picking out colors. It took her five minutes to pick it out. Her room is very colorful.

The pics don’t do the paint justice, but I didn’t feel like taking photos with my nice camera since I’m going to be taking more when all the finish work is done. Hope you enjoy the transformation as much as I do!

The entry, living and kitchen and main body of the house (also known as the default) is painted in BM Stonington Gray in eggshell. It’s a light gray that reads blue/gray in early morning light and then true gray to greige in afternoon light. It’s crisp/clean and a great backdrop to art and family photos. I’m really loving it paired with the crisp white we chose for trim and ceilings: BM Decorator’s White. I’m a rebel and I like to break rules – especially when you know you are breaking them. The ceilings are not flat, they are eggshell and they glow. It makes them seem higher and really makes the whole space feel alive.
bm_stonington_gray_5 bm_stonington_gray_4
bm_stonington_gray_6bm_stonington_gray_1 bm_stonington_gray_3

The stairwell is painted in BM Decorator’s White eggshell on the walls and the ceiling is BM Iceberg in eggshell.
bm_iceberg_decorators_white

BM Iceberg is beautiful. It has a hint of gray but is a sophisticated, neutral, barely there blue. It’s like sky on a bright summer day. I used this same color on my closet walls paired with BM Decorators White on the ceiling and in the playroom.
bm_iceberg_2

Red’s room: BM Decorators White eggshell walls and BM Iceberg eggshell ceiling. Red loves neon colors and wants all of her accessories to be neons. She will have a chandelier over her bed painted bright yellow and I am toying with the idea of adding neon pink polka dots on the Iceberg part of her wall. There will be a chair rail/ledge between the Iceberg and the Decorators White.
bm_iceberg_1

E’s room: BM Sea Mist Green eggshell walls and Decorators White eggshell ceilings. E’s going to have built in bookshelves/daybed/storage on her main wall and it will be Decorators White. I think the Sea Mist is going to really make the bright white pop. I’m also planning to add some matte gold accents to her room.
bm_sea_mist_green

The Jack and Jill bath: I wanted a warm off-white for the walls. I ended up mixing a few of my sample pots in with my leftover BM White Dove so this color is a “custom” color. Good luck making it. It’s BM Mayonaise, BM Snowfall White and BM White Dove its a mix of eggshell and satin sheens – so it’s closer to their pearl. And because it didn’t cost me anything extra and is just about what I was going for, I love it. I also made vinyl polka dot decals (tutorial) with matte nickel spray paint for the walls. The ceilings are BM Decorators White eggshell.
bm_polkadots_1

The Master Bedroom: I painted it BM Nimbus Gray eggshell. I’m not totally sold on this color – but it’s pretty popular – so I figured that would be good enough and at this point I was tired of being indecisive. It’s blue with gray, surprise – as if the name wasn’t telling enough. I think it will look great with our white built-in coffee station and chrome accents. The ceiling is again BM Decorators White in eggshell. The funny thing about Nimbus Gray, BM has a Nimbus – which is actually very gray and Nimbus Gray which is blue. Go figure. It’s like they’re messing with us.
bm_nimbus_gray_1bm_nimbus_gray_2

The Master Bath: BM Decorators White ceilings in eggshell, BM Stonington Gray main body.
bm_stonington_gray_2

Toilet room: BM Stormy Sky in eggshell.
bm_stormy_sky_1

Back downstairs in the old master bedroom/new guest room we painted it the same color is was before, not because it was the most amazing color ever. But, because I had a gallon of it left over from the last time we painted it. It’s BM Rockport Gray in eggshell, the ceilings are BM White Dove in eggshell, the bathroom is BM Stormy Sky (yes I had a gallon of this laying around). Rockport Gray is a very true greige. It’s a gray that reads green/brown/gray depending on the lighting, time of day and colors around it. I like it. I’m hoping this will one day be a nursery and I’m planning to pair it with bright orange. In the meantime it’s a great guestroom color. Stormy Sky is just as it’s name suggests: it’s how I would paint the clouds 30 minutes after sunset just before a hailstorm. It’s dark gray. In fact, if pressed, I’d call it a midnight gray that reads blue in bright light. It seems fitting for toilet rooms.
bm_rockport_gray_dove_white_2bm_rockport_gray_dove_whitebm_stormy_sky_2

Last, but not least, is our “Fancy Bath”. When I first moved in, I’m not going to lie, I hated this bathroom. I think the tile in the shower is HIDEOUS. The wonderful thing about paint is you can take an element that is *ahem* not your favorite, but semi-permanent, and highlight it so that it seems more of a choice/statement rather than an “oopsie”. So, paired with BM White Dove on the walls and ceiling made the tile look fabulous. I’m actually happy with the bathroom now. I’m probably going to paint the vanity (eventually). I can live with this bathroom for a long time and Mike and I now refer to it as the fancy bath. I bought the mirror from someone on Facebook for $20.
bm_white_dove

While I painted Mike followed behind me and installed the switches, wallplates, register trims, vent trims and light trims. With painting done it’s time to move on to flooring/tiling the showers and I’m so excited!

DIY: Make your own vinyl polka dot decals

IMG_2977

This was probably one of the easiest DIY crafts I have ever done. Mike can attest to that – since he’s had to deal with me sewing ruffles for two months straight when I was making the girls duvets. This craft took me MAYBE an hour cumulatively if you don’t count drying time/shopping time. I can’t wait to re-purpose it and make lots of other vinyl decals! I’m thinking vase decor, milk jug numbers, framed silhouette…the possibilities are endless. The contact paper is vinyl so you don’t have to worry about water damage to the sticker. The sticker side won’t damage your walls yet it sticks really well since its made to be a shelf liner.

Here’s the tutorial!

Supplies:
White contact paper – this is the stuff you line shelves with or cover books with. It’s matte vinyl on one side and sticky on the other. It’s $1.97 at Lowes for a 10′ x 12″ roll. That’s 10 feet people for less than $2!
Spray paint – I used brushed nickel in a matte finish.
Hole punch – the size I used is 1.5″ diameter. I got it at Michaels. I used a 40% off coupon and it was about $5.
polkadot_tutorial_7

Step 1: Estimate how many dots you need. I’m not a big estimator so I just cut off about 3′ of my roll.

Step 2: Lay the roll out on something you don’t mind getting paint spray on. We are doing a huge addition so I happened to have a plastic tarp.
polkadot_tutorial_6

Step 3: Spray your paint on the vinyl side of the contact paper. Obviously if you don’t have spray paint you can roll or brush paint on. Spray is just the easiest. I also had some primer laying around so I put a coat of that on first. I don’t really think the primer was necessary. So if you don’t have any don’t stress it – especially if you buy the spray paint that has primer in it. I did three coats of my chosen color and let it dry an hour between coats.
polkadot_tutorial_5

Step 4: Cut the newly painted but now dry contact paper into 2″ wide strips. If you are using a larger or smaller hole punch make your strips about .5″ wider than you need so you can line the punch up properly.
polkadot_tutorial_4

Step 5: Using your hole punch, punch out your dot or other shape from your color strips.
polkadot_tutorial_3

Look at all these lovely dots!
polkadot_tutorial_2

Step 6: Prep your walls. Wipe your walls down with a damp cloth so any dust or residue is removed.

Step 7: Stick the dots to the wall. You can obviously do any pattern. I did just a standard polka dot diamond pattern. My wall is 6′ wide and 8′ high. My polka dots are placed 12″ apart. I didn’t want my dots to land on a crease/corner/edge so I started my pattern 1.5″ away from the corner of the room and 1/8″ from the top of the ceiling. I used a level and a tape measure to make sure everything stayed relatively in line. If you butt your tape measure up to the top of the ceiling and let the body of it drop straight to the ground with it laying flush against the wall you’ll get a pretty solid straight path to line your dots up on. I then took a pen and marked a period at 1/8″ moved my tape measure down to 1/8″ then from there marked at 12″, 24″, 36″, 48″, 60″, 72″, and 84″. That made the first row of dots. The second row of dots have to be offset by 6″ to make the diamond pattern. To do this measure along the ceiling edge 6″ from your ceiling dot then 6″ down – this should give you a dot roughly 6 1/8″ from the top of the ceiling and 6″ across from your first row of dots. Then just drop your tape measure down the wall to the floor and mark from the first dot 12″, 24″ 36″, 48″, 60″, 72″, and 84″. The next row of dots will start 12″ from the very first row and line up with the first row down the wall. Then repeat this across your wall or door or mirror or … 🙂
polkadot_tutorial_wall1 polkadot_tutorial_8

Yes I did just throw the trash on the ground. I’ll clean it up later. With all the drywall dust it could use another sweep.

Hint: To remove the backing off the contact paper hold the contact paper with the vinyl side facing away from you then fold back a small edge of the paper. It should separate easily from the backing and the crease goes away when you smooth the decal onto the wall. It’s also a great idea to smooth the decals onto the wall with a credit card to make the edges adhere really well.