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Trapped in the Closet (Part 1)

10 Apr

That’s right, my Trapped in the Closet dream post came way sooner than anyone could have hoped for.

*CUE THE MUSIC*

It’s 5 pm in the afternoon, and I’m arrivin’ home from work,

and I see in my office there’s some shelfin’ that wasn’t there at first,

I rub my eyes and I’m so excited I feel like I’m gonna yell,

and out of that closet pops my good friend Mister R. Kell!

Okay that R. Kelly part didn’t happen. Nevertheless, I was pretty floored that we were able to complete the shelves so quickly. My parents surprised Jason and I by installing the shelves as an early housewarming/wedding/we are the most generous parents on earth-gift. So let’s take a look at them, shall we?

I am pretty excited about these. There’s still a lot we want to do to them, but for now just having them up is exciting. Did I just use the word excited twice? I’m just so excited, if you can’t tell.

But now that they are up, what should I do with them? We’re trying to decide if we want to paint the back wall of the shelves something fun and cheery, like maybe a lime green or sunny yellow. Maybe something like this:

Source: flickr.com via Kate on Pinterest

 

Or, if we want to treat these cabinets like built-ins. I used to live in a gorgeous old apartment built in the 1920s that retained all of the original built-ins from the era. They were always so fun to display things in, I loved them so much I even took a picture (long before my blogging days).

While I don’t know how possible it is to turn these new shelves into anything like the old built-in, I want to keep my options open.

The third option would be to put closet doors on these, and turn them back into a closet. The main benefit to doing this is you could truly hide any sort of junk, and you could also trap R. Kelly in there when necessary.

I’m very excited to start organizing these shelves and really making them work for me. So far, the best thing about these is I managed to fit all of my office supplies on the shelves and there aren’t any lingering boxes in the living room (SCOUT’S HONOR!) ! While they aren’t all super pretty and organized yet, for now we can hide everything behind the screen, and keep it on the downlow.

"Skipper Approved!" - Skipper

It Ain’t Easy Being…Greige?

29 Mar

Paint color is a big deal. Okay, that’s a loaded statement.

Paint color is a big deal to me [Better]. It isn’t easy finding that perfect color that matches your furniture, soothes your senses, and makes you somehow look flattering in house party photographs (am I hoping for too much?).

When I moved into this house in the Fall last year, I immediately made a mental note that I wanted to change the paint color. While the previous home owner did a lovely job selecting the color since it matched all of their furniture perfectly, it isn’t quite me. It’s actually a pretty dark shade of tan/brown, and given that the house has an open floor plan it is EVERYWHERE. Seriously.

That’s the same color in the living room, kitchen, and dining room. Not pictured, it’s in the hall, and 3 bedrooms. That is a lot of brown.

But Kate! you say, What could you possibly want from a paint color? Well, funny you should ask. I’ve prepared some pictures!

Above is my old bedroom, as it looked before I moved. Gorgeous, right? I know. It was pretty gorgeous that one day I decided to put all my clothes away and actually make the bed. But I digress.

My favorite thing about this room color is that it is a neutral, it isn’t overwhelming, and it has a bit of color to it. My least favorite thing about it is that the color actually skews a little more baby-blue than I wanted (I didn’t like the feeling of living in a little boy’s nursery all the time). What I would say I’m ideally looking for in a paint color is a neutral “Greige”. Like beige, but grey. I’m a real wordsmith.

I stressed and fretted over the color of my old bedroom for weeks before finally taking the plunge, and even still I wasn’t completely impressed. I know, I’m impossible.

Added to my dilemma is the fact that there are probably 2 million shades of gray out there in the universe, and Jason was only going to put up with me getting paint samples of about 8 of them. Thanks for keeping me down to earth, babe.

So where to begin? First, I visited my good friend Google. He offered me a wealth of resources for finding the perfect “Greige.” In fact, Apartment Therapy had a lot of awesome articles on finding the perfect shade of grey. Check them out here and here. But just the fact that they had multiple posts on the subject indicates that they did some serious thinking on the subject as well.

I pinned greige rooms I liked on pinterest, grabbed paint swatches at Kelly Moore, Benjamin Moore, and Home Depot like some sort of paint-swatch hoarder, and creeped on just about anyone with a home blog with a beautiful greige. (Check out Young House Love’s latest home, they have a pretty gorgeous blue-greige throughout their home. It is possible!).

So finally, Jason helped me whittle it down to SIX (I know, incredible) possible contenders. They are as follows:

Benjamin Moore: [A] Balboa Mist, [B] Silver Satin, [C] Moonshine (this is the same color as YHL), [D] Paper White, [E] Horizon. Not pictured, I’m also considering Silver Sage by Restoration Hardware (shown here).

You can see that they’re actually all pretty light when compared to the current tone of beige that is on there. I think I have my two favorites picked, but I don’t want to spoil it. What are your picks? Do you have some other awesome color that will send me all the way back to the drawing board?

Kitchen Chalkboard: Part 1(Or, 2001: A Chalkboard Odyssey)

27 Mar

Last week I realized I needed to make my dream of having a chalkboard in my kitchen become a reality. Never one to sit around and let the world pass me by, that weekend visited the Home Depot and purchased some Rustoleum Chalkboard paint.

Rustoleum apparently makes a variety of tints you can mix into the chalkboard base, but deciding that my fiance probably wouldn’t be too stoked about a hot pink chalkboard in the kitchen, I played it safe and opted for their basic black.

When I got home, I cleaned off the surface with TSP and water (and made sure to wear plastic gloves, since TSP can really burn your skin). I was so glad I did. The previous owner of our home was a smoker, and even though we had cleaned the walls with TSP when we moved in, there still was some residual nicotine on the walls.

Gross.

Seriously friends, don’t smoke. I didn’t need a deterrent already (after making these bad boys with my best friend for Halloween two years ago...yes those are real cigarettes, and yes we had to burn them all down individually. Pro tip: Don’t buy menthols if you are hoping they smell like mint. They just smell like casino), this just solidified everything D.A.R.E. taught me in the 1990s.

After learning some 21 Jump Street style life lessons, I continued to prep the wall by carefully taping off the trim, floor, and ceiling.

Uhh, no I didn’t just stand on a chair and do this. That would be unsafe. So unsafe. Didn’t D.A.R.E. teach you to make better decisions than that? I’m sure they did.

So after the space was all prepped, I started painting. And whoa.

Queue the music from 2001: A Space Odyssey. This thing looks like a freaking monolith.

So the black was pretty harsh. Who’d have thought? Oh that’s right, most people.

Well, I started looking around on other Blogs for what other people’s opinions were, and a lot of people were very happy with their black chalkboards. Especially once you “Prime” them with chalk (grind some up and distribute it all over the surface, it turns the board more of a soft gray).

After taking in the monolith and contemplating its virtues in interior design, I decided it was still a bit too much for me. I looked back at my original inspiration, the chalkboard my mom got me as a gift.

I realized that one of the things I really love about this particular chalkboard is it’s soft slate gray coloring. So I fired up the internet and found a “slate gray” chalkboard paint on amazon. Booyah. I painted a swatch on, and am now waiting for it to cure so I can get an idea as to it’s true color.

For now, the Monolith awaits it’s next coat of paint. Or the next phase of man, not sure which will come first.

(Note: If you’re scratching your head about all the monolith references, sorry. I just assume that the majority of the population has [because you should] seen 2001: A Space Odyssey. If you haven’t, you need to do that the next time you have a spare 3 hours. Then come back here and re-read this post, you’ll laugh.)

Chalkboard Inspiration

20 Mar

This post all starts with a simple gift. This:

No, not the super cool chicken. The awesome chalkboard! A few months back, my mom bought it for me as a housewarming present. I loved my little kitchen chalkboard so much my mind turned to how we could take it to the next level. So I started looking for inspiration online.

 

This might be a little too much chalkboard…but it’s very cool. Seriously, how else would strangers know where you keep your comprehensive collection of ashtrays?? 

Source: houzz.com via Kate on Pinterest

Still a lot of chalkboard, but I love the stark contrast with the white in this kitchen..

Source: refinery29.com via Kate on Pinterest

DING DING DING!! We have a winner!

Originally I considered painting a large, blank wall in my kitchen, as a chalkboard, but the wall is textured and would be way too much visual space. We considered building a faux frame on the wall and maybe painting it a fun, bright color (Teal is one of my all time faves), but it still seemed like it might be too much. Here’s the wall as it looks currently, with charming paint swatches (we’re painting in April).

Then it hit me:

Well lookee-loo what we have here!

Seriously, how do you describe this? I know part of the cabinetry for the kitchen (it charmingly hides the refrigerator, which otherwise would totally be visible from the living room), but it just feels so random.

It is as if this cabinetry has been sitting here, waiting its whole life for a purpose. And that purpose, is to become a chalkboard for me to write sassy messages on.

Any other great ideas for chalkboard paint? Have you ever tried using chalkboard paint anywhere in your house?