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Archive for September, 2009

Living room from Real Simple

Living room from Real Simple

The world already knows that I love animal prints. I do love zebra print. It’s graphic and adds and nice contrast to any room. I feel that this living room found in Real Simple magazine really shows that. It’s a pretty simple room, butter cream walls and white trim with a rich wood floor (boy is that flooring nice). The colors are very neutral. There are many nice accents in the room creating some contrast: that dark kettle, wrought iron, black and putty furniture, and even the twinkling of glass is nice. It’s a nice room, not super exciting but nice. That one zebra pillow really adds some fun to the room. I feel it makes it less stuffy and a bit more fun.

This other room is more a study or a library/living room combo. (Sorry, I forgot where it came from.) This room is very sophisticated. It has walls in a herbaceous green and the built-in looks fabulous in that tea stained white. I love the masculine leather chair and that awesome crystal globe/orb. I feel that zebra rug really adds a certain something to the room. Once again, I feel it keeps the room from looking too formal and stuffy. It adds some fun and makes the space a bit more Ernest Hemingway.

Zebra rug in library

Zebra rug in library

This room also makes me think of our built-ins in the great room or the soon to be formal library sitting room. I don’t know if I should paint the back the same color as he wall or the same color as the built-in? All of these choices are really getting to me.

-Victoria

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I apologize for the infrequent updates. Life is happening and we are keeping busy. We have completed so much and I hope to share that with you guys soon.

"Frame Collage" featured in Martha Stewart magazine.

"Frame Collage" featured in Martha Stewart magazine.

The “great” room or that formal living room that I long for, is not finished. We’ve ignored it because we have had so much to prioritize and work on. I mean what is more important a kitchen or a stuffy room that only houses books? There are a few things we need to do to this room. We have removed the carpet, staples, and some crazy thing covering the original mantel. We now need to trim down the built-ins because they are a bit goofy, replace the mantel since it was removed and covered up with some ugly 70’s thing, and prime/paint the walls. I want this room to be formal, stuffy, and a bit menacing. I want a shade that reminds me of forest mushroom of the rocky coasts of Washington. I guess what I am looking for a is gray brown or maybe more of a brown gray.

While browsing on marthastewart.com, looking at Frenchies and admiring color combos, I came across these 2 rooms. I love both of these mushroomy, putty, seashore brown grays. This first one is a bit lighter. I can’t tell if it is from the lighting. I really didn’t expect this shade to pair nicely with a pale floor and it does. Despite the boring frame collage, I like what I can see of this room. This shade is a great neutral. It mixes well with crisp white, wood tones, and espresso. It’s a bit lighter than I want to go for the big room we have to work with, but I do like it. I would of loved to have this elsewhere in the house.

The second room is quite dreamy. This is the exact color that I want for the formal living room. It’s moody, dark, formal, and slightly rustic. I want to find this color. I’ve been mistint searching again and I haven’t found it yet.

Perfect brown gray shade.

Perfect brown gray shade.

I guess I am going to have to give in and actually get a shade mixed. I may just have to give up on my dreams of painting the entire house in mistints. Anyways, back to this perfect color. Look at how nicely it pairs with pewter, white, tea stained white, and black! This is the exact color I want. I haven’t’ decided if I’ll paint the built-ins putty or the too bright white trim paint that David chose. I guess I should get the room color first.

-Victoria

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Marie Claire "display"

Marie Claire "display"

I love the magazine Marie Claire Maison. It also helps me refresh my French skills (or lack of them). I adore this “display” found in the magazine. It isn’t very functional and I am aware that it is just eye candy. I still love it. I’m usually not one for faux paint finishes in interiors. They often look super cheesy and have that “trying to hard” vibe. I already have dirty, disgusting, chipping, plaster walls 🙂 But, I do like this wall because I am loving gray. It is so moody and somber. The objects in this “display” are very nice treasures from the birdcage to the creepy portrait to the delicate perfume bottles. All together it has a creepy but feminine vibe. I try not to collect stuff or hoard but I can’t help it that I love “treasures”. I feel this is a tasteful way to display such treasures. It’s still not fun to dust but it is a nice balance and better edited than what I’m about to share.

This other picture is from our last residence, the rental house. I didn’t have a boudoir like I do now and this is how I had to manage all of my girly things such as makeup and perfume. (I have much more but is it hidden away from light.) It wasn’t as fabulous as this Marie Claire one but I’m just a regular gal and if I knew Marie Claire was coming over then I would clean up 🙂 I suck at editing. I’m aware of that.

My old "display"

My old "display"

I don’t know what to do with my current space. I just know that I need to learn to edit or at least get rid of some stuff. I admit that I am a cosmetic addict. But, I’m sure you already know that.

-Victoria

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Frink the frug

Frink the frug

OK, so we are so freaking crazy. I guess we’ve been inhaling a bit too many toxic chemicals during this renovation and killed too many brain cells. We’ve added a new family member to the family. Let me introduce Frink the frug. Frink is a dumb looking puppy. His mother is a pug and his father is snazzy looking brindle French bulldog. We know we didn’t need to add any more stress to our lives, but Frink is so frugly that he is cute. We’ve been wanting, well, I have been wanting a French bulldog forever. (See my previous buttermilk baby posts.) Frink just happened to happen. I wouldn’t call myself a dog lover. I am very breed specific. I only like French bulldogs and pugs. Frink is a great compromise and quite an original. He has the coloring of a Frenchie and the pig tail of a pug. He has a “win me over” personality that I can’t resist. He’ll be a great older brother and hopefully positive role model for a buttermilk Frenchie sometime in the future.

Frink is very sweet, a bit dumb, but he is only 10 weeks old. I was shitting my britches and screaming at that age as well. Frink is great because he doesn’t judge. He doesn’t care if he is being raised in the chaos of a renovation. In fact, he loves to snack on lead paint chips, just kidding but I bet he would if he could. He doesn’t care if we appear stressed out about exterior paint colors. He just loves us. We’ve had him for 5 days and he is spoiled rotten. He’s a good friend and really well behaved for an infant. We’ve learned so much. We are becoming quite the behaviorist. We needed a distraction from the chaos of our renovation. It also feels very good. It makes us feel like a homeowner. No pet deposits, no asking for approval. Frink has really brought the home ownership, dare I say, home. We love our Frink and he gives us the motivation to finish this huge project 🙂

-Victoria

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It is almost my favorite time of the year: full fledge fall. I have always loved autumn because of fall fashions (love layering), falling leaves, the smell of decay, cooler weather, pumpkin spiced lattes, and mushrooms. David and I are mushroom hunters. This keeps us outside when the weather is less than perfect. It’s actually fun to be out in the misty rain with decaying leaves just to spot their strange shapes, odors, and colors. We eat what we know is safe, very obvious ones, but mainly I just love mushrooms for their strangeness. (And when I say we hunt mushrooms, I must add that we are all about the non-psychotropic types). It is almost prime mushroom time here in the forests of Washington. We went out today and saw a few. It was nice to see after the dryness and hotness of our freakish summer. Since we are mushroom fans, we are always happy to spot mushroom decor. I’m always on the “hunt” for mushroom home items. I love this toad stool found at Velocity. It’s a bit costly at $297 and many local artists in the PNW can create one of these for much cheaper. But, anyways, I love these but I didn’t know how to use it without looking too cheesy, nerdy, hobit-ish or make it work with what I like. I found this Parisian apartment online and fell in love with it. It is very whimsy, but still classic and functional and totally what I am in to.

Parisian apartment

Parisian apartment

It is a very inspiring room for the fungi fanatic. Every detail is so interesting. It’s classy and a bit unexpected. This is how I want our house to be. A bit stuffy but with a sense of humor. I love the beach pebble lilac grey walls of the sitting room/dining room area against the contrast of the pickle green wallpaper. (I must add I adore the dog paintings, wouldn’t it be cool to have Gig paintings over a formal sofa like that?) I feel this space is so charming and functional. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have a location in Paris, amazing woodwork, perfect hardwood floors, and towering ceilings.

It’s nice to think about decorating again and not the boring stuff of a renovation such as peeling wallpaper, popping staples, demolishing walls, and restoring hardware.

-Victoria

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If  you’ve spent more than 20 minutes in the paint section of  a big box hardware store lately, you know what this post is about.  There are about ten million paint gadgets out there aimed at separating you from your money by convincing you that they can make painting easier.

Some of them can.  Most of them will actually slow you down.  Take the Wagner Paintstick:

Sucks.

Sucks.

It was recommended to me by a neighbor.  A nice, well meaning neighbor who said that she had good luck painting a ceiling with it.  I made it through about 20 minutes of assembly and attempting to get the paint onto the roller evenly before I started rolling.  And paint went everywhere because I did it wrong.  Then it started bending and developing little white plastic cracks.  One use and it was in the contractor bag.

Cheap sprayers are another stupid idea.  If you’ve never used a sprayer, you can rest assured that you’ll get the hang of it.  After you’ve got your whole house done.  Even the entry level “pro” airless sprayers would probably waste more of the average amateur’s time than they save.  I shouldn’t even have to tell you, knowledgeable reader that you are, that a paint sprayer with plastic on it anywhere was made to sell to ladies.

I learned the most about painting from going to my local Benjamin Moore store.  Not because the guy who runs it claims he was a champion luchador.  Because while he was telling me about the totally awesome women’s wrestling league he manages, I got to watch people who paint for a living buy their stuff.  Here’s what I learned:

1.  Quality is worth the money you’ll pay for it.  Better brushes lay paint on better, faster.  Don’t even think about those foam things.

2.  Get a paint grid and buy a 5 gallon bucket for big jobs.  The grid is so much easier to cleanup.  You don’t waste much paint, and because you press it into the roller, you’ll get to lay more paint without reloading.

3.  Painter’s Comb:  They’re under $5, and they will make cleaning up your brushes much, much easier.

4. Extending pole:  You shouldn’t stand right underneath the ceiling as you paint it.  Duh.  I found myself using it when I didn’t even have to.  This is why you don’t need a powered roller.

5.  Contractor Paper/Resin Paper:  For $10 and some masking tape, you can prep a few rooms.  Don’t even think about trying to use old sheets, plastic tarp things, newspapers, etc.  You’ll tangle them up in your feet and ruin the job.

6.  Paint Shield:  You can get one for under $15 and they will save you so much taping, and ensure that your trim/detail work doesn’t get screwed up when you do that last touch-up.

Believe it or not, after painting thousands of square feet, that’s all we learned.  Painting is work, and no silly plastic thing is going to make it easier.  Most things marketed to the do it yourself painter are garbage.  The tried and true methods work.

As far as color choice goes, I defer to the lady of the house- but we used mistints on every room except the one we haven’t started yet.  Something tells me we’ll bump into that color when we need it.

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officechestWhile I was wasting time looking at cute things on the internet instead of renovating a house, I found this pretty cool “home office” on marthastewart.com. It is a chest turned into an office or really just a nice storage place for your important paperwork. I like it because it is unsuspecting unlike a file cabinet. We all have paperwork we must keep but I find that it is hard to organize. I would love to transform an old steamer trunk into something like this. You could have the paperwork on the bottom of the trunk, hanging, and well organized, have other important stuff on the tray above. For me this would include the random stuff that I keep such as empty MAC cosmetic’s containers for the Back To MAC program or those monogrammed napkins from our wedding reception. The corkboard on top isn’t a bad idea. I just don’t know if I find it necessary for my use. Maybe you could paste important #’s and contacts up there. I don’t know, that’s why I carry a planner.

Anyways, I like this idea and would love to convert a beat up steamer into one someday. I used to love little projects like this but now I have a huge project to consume every last minute of my life…

Oh, and BTW, so happy to have the Internet back despite the holes in the plaster.

-Victoria

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