Which Way, Which Gray?

Hey friends!  Sorry I wasn’t here yesterday.  I started a few projects and wanted/needed to finish them up.  One of those projects is for our master bedroom.  You see, here’s our current bed set up.


We had a bed frame and headboard, but they squeaked every time we rolled over.  So annoying, so we took it out.  Now we’re living bachelor pad style, with the box spring on the floor.  At least we have two box springs to get some height.  Yes, so fancy.


Ben built a bed over the weekend.  And I have some work to do to make it purty.  But, I need to choose a paint color.  Wanna help?  Right now, the room is a blank slate.  Only the painted doors will stay.  Possibly the bedding, but we’ll probably stick with white if we change it out.


Regardless of the item, I’m consistently drawn to blue-greens.  Either Blue Sage or something similar will go on the walls when we get to that point.  What color should we paint the bed?  We’ve ruled out white (too much) and black (because we’ve already had one and want something different).  Of course we’ve got several dark gray colors going on (the doors and the entertainment center).  Which brings us to… light gray.


I pulled out a bunch of swatches I already had and then plucked out the too green/purple/dark ones, which left me with six contenders.  Left to right we’ve got Gray Owl, Harbor Gray, Wickham Gray, Classic Gray, (all Benjamin Moore) Oyster Pearl Clark + Kensington), and Ocean Pearl (Behr) on top.  Do you have a favorite?  Or a light gray I didn’t mention?  I bought a test sample of Oyster Pearl yesterday.  On its own, it looks almost white.  Against something white, it looks perfect.  At least to me.  I need to get Ben’s opinion.


What do you think of the color combo?


Would you go with gray?  Or something else entirely?

You Can Hang Your Hat On It

Hello and happy Monday!  Well, as happy as a Monday can be.  How was your weekend?  Saturday brought beautiful weather with temps in the low sixties.  A touch of spring that I’m desperately clinging to.  Yesterday started out nice, but ended with a snow storm complete with thunder and lightning.  Never have I witnessed a snow/thunder storm combo.  We took advantage of the nice weather and ran errands and grabbed lunch on Saturday.  Which is always a treat.  And we made a little tweak to the entertainment center.  But let me back up, several weeks ago, Ben put in all the drawers.  Then I primed and painted the inside and outsides.


Last weekend he attached the drawer fronts using this technique.


After some debate and opinion gathering, we chose handle option number 1, the simple (cheapest) square ended one.


My favorite and so pretty.  After all, hardware is jewelry for a room.


As usual, our projects are never in the quick one week and done style.  Oh no, we like to drag it out, because what else would we want to do?  Pshh, that’s totally it.  That means we still have a few things to do.  Number one, cut pieces for the toe kick, prime, and paint.  The only wood accent I want is the pretty top, not unfinished pine.


Annnnd I still want doors on the upper cabinets.  We don’t have a lot of clutter there, but the bounty of speakers and electronics doesn’t look pretty.  Doors would also help cut down the amount of dust.


For now, I grin like a fool when I see finished drawer fronts with functional storage behind.  The boys now have a place to keep toys.


The top drawer closest to the stairs is super handy to store hats and gloves (and other randoms like plastic pea pods) that normally get lost in the closet.


And that brings us to this weekend’s little tweak.


We hung the tv to the back wall, making it easier to clean under.


In addition to showing off more of the dark wood top.  What do you think of the nearly finished entertainment center?  Tall, dark, and handsome, right?  Of course that’s about the only thing that is done in the living room.  Now I want to repaint the walls with a little color (notice the blue swatches?) in a flat paint.  Satin is entirely too glossy on the knock down texture.

Climbing a Dusty Mountain

Not long ago, we had a ketchup and mustard look on our unfinished entertainment center.

After my bathroom painting marathon, I decided to knock out the entertainment center so we didn’t think of hot dogs.  While I painted, Ben added the face trim, side detail, and crown molding.

Of course painting isn’t that easy.  Oh no, first I had to fill every nail hole, wait for the filler to dry, then sand it smooth.  And then the priming phase.

Man was I ready to start painting.  Originally Ben and I had agreed on a white entertainment center with a colorful backing.  So I tested out my options inside the cabinets he built and liked Ben Moore’s Yosemite yellow.  But then we started talking it over and decided white wasn’t the direction we wanted to take.  Why the sudden change of heart?  Well, Ben pointed out how much light the front window lets in, which also means a lot of glare.  Bright white might cause a lot of eye strain when we’re relaxing in front of the tv at night.  White is a safe choice, and maybe too safe.  Let’s try a darker color, like gray.  But I didn’t want a sea of gray, so it had to be different enough from the wall color.  I picked out two Ben Moore colors, Kendall Charcoal and Amherst Gray.

Kendall Charcoal was a great deep gray, but too blue for our liking.  Amherst Gray was too light.  While at Home Depot shopping for some other supplies, we walked to the paint department and looked at more swatches.  I pulled out a Behr color that I’ve liked for years, Squirrel.  About six years ago, I painted our master bedroom this color, but Ben said it felt like a battleship.  Since then, he has come around to more modern designs, and doesn’t hate all gray paint.  But we quickly agreed Squirrel was too light.  That’s an easy fix, we just chose the color below, Dusty Mountain.  Without hesitation, we bought a gallon of eggshell paint and headed home.

In the pictures above, you can see we bought the paint before I was ready to paint.  After finishing the prep and priming, I started with the color.

Love at first sight.  Especially paired with the reddish Bubinga top.  Yum.

Ben came home, saw this and proclaimed his love, too.

I think the green undertones are lovely and reminiscent of an expensive library.  Just picture this color on crazy tall shelves with a brass bar for the sliding wooden ladder.

{image via}

But I couldn’t let go of wanting a splash of color.  Using the yellow left over from the cabinets, I tested it on the backs.

I love the idea, but the contrast was too much for tv watching.

Ben suggested I paint the back Wood Smoke like the walls.  Instead, I took the easy way out and painted it Dusty Mountain.

Ahh, that’s better.  Ugly speakers blend in with this more.  We’ll build doors for the side cabinets, but the yellow will be a fun surprise inside.

If we had cabinet grade plywood, we could have built the drawers.  Sadly, Home Depot doesn’t have any in stock because it’s seasonal.  Ummm, what?  Hopefully they get it in, because we can’t make the fronts until the drawers are installed.  I’m telling you, our plans are always contingent on something else.

Progress is progress, and I’m happy.

So, what do you think of the color?  Are you into darker, saturated colors, too?  Or are you more of a light and airy person?  Do you and your significant other agree on colors easily?

Puttin’ On My Painting Clothes

Welp, over the last four days I did a lot of prep and painting.   Thought it may not look like I did.  You know, the main bathroom is deceptively large and then factor in the trim detail I had to work with.  It took most of my weekend, but we’re one step closer to a finished bathroom.  Last weekend, Ben installed most of the trim.  He finished up on Tuesday, installing the cap and details around the vanity.  I spent a few hours filling nail holes and caulking the seams on Wednesday.  After that, I packed up the boys and we took a trip to the lumber yard to search for the perfect crown molding.  Five samples came home with me, but I had a clear favorite.  That one, at the top of the pile.

Ben agreed, and it was the second cheapest option.  Hooray!  Thursday I sanded everything and started priming.  Then on Friday I put on the first coat of white paint.  After our home-made waffle breakfast, our little family made another trip to the lumber yard to buy our crown molding to finish off the bathroom.  Ben installed it once we got home.  Of course that gave me more nail holes to fill and seams to caulk, but the end was in sight.  While letting the caulk dry, I put a second coat of white on the lower half.  Bright and early on Sunday morning, I sanded the crown and gave it a quick, heavy coat of white.  Luckily, one coat covered the crown completely, so I let that dry and worked on the entertainment center.  (More on that project soon!)  Then I taped off the white trim to give the walls and ceiling a second coat of gray.  And so I did.  Because I worked my butt off to get this all done, I thought it be best to tell you every detail of the process so you feel like you’ve painted with me.  Haha.  I told you all of that to show you this; our (almost) finished bathroom.

While I’m biased, I’m completely in love.  And it’s nice to see the trim one color.  So much whiter and brighter.

We’ve got a few little things to do, like build faux drawers for the vanity, paint the door (which means the rest of the doors in the house will get painted as well-I think I’ve landed on a color), and spray paint the fan cover.

The rest is d.o.n.e.  As I mentioned, Ben and I had a few disagreements about trim placement.  Lucky for me, he agreed to add 1/4 inch detail trim around the side of the linen closet.

The rest of the room has a decorative trim (which also functions to hide the peeled sheet rock).

The same trim wraps around the vanity acting as a back splash.

Details make me happy.  While this trim is simple, I think it works well with the modern meets traditional aesthetic we’re going for.

Simple square door casement with a touch of detail.

And let’s talk about the crown.  We had the option to use traditional crown, similar to what is in the rest of the house, like this for 55 and 75 cents per linear foot.

But it all felt too formal and traditional.  Instead, we landed on a door casement with a slightly detailed, but still clean lined profile.  For us, this works.  We used casement as crown in our first house with great results.  And, this trim is only 45 cents a linear foot.  At that price, for our 8 foot square bathroom, the crown cost only $11.25.

Big impact for little money.  And the casement is easier to work with that true crown.

What do you think of our almost finished bathroom?  Did you work all weekend?  Or did you take some time to relax?  I’m off to work on the entertainment center now.

I Just Dyed in Your Arms Tonight

After hemming and ironing longer than I would have liked, I finished the curtains yesterday.  And I’m now convinced I need to invest in a higher quality iron.  Apparently, the ten-dollar one I have isn’t fit to iron curtains, hence the hours of ironing.  But let’s start at the beginning.  As I pointed out yesterday, we needed a way to take the curtains down without removing the rod.  Why?  This might explain it.

Rather than going the conventional rod route, Ben and I agreed it would look cool to use galvanized pipe for the living space.  Once attached to the wall, it will be difficult to remove just the rods.  The living room window is 125 inches wide, which means we need a looooong curtain rod and extra wide curtains.  When looking for 144 inch rods, its slim pickin’.  Target didn’t have anything longer than 120 inches.  Home Depot had 144 inch rods, but all are more traditional looking that we wanted, like this one that was $45.  However, our Home Depot doesn’t carry that same rod in a shorter length.

So I called Ben while shopping to see what he thought of pipes turned industrial curtain rod.  Luckily, he was down for it.  We discussed the sizes available and came up with three flanges, three 3 1/2 inch nipples (I can tell men named these parts), two 90 degree elbows, and one tee, all 1/2 inch diameter per window.  The larger living room window needed 72 inch long pipes, while the shorter dining window was fine with 60 inch pipes for the rods.

Using a flange, nipple, and tee in the center of each window gives an extra support and allowed us to use two shorter lengths of pipe.

Ben was apprehensive about using drop cloths for the fabric, but I told him it would be okay, so he trusted me.  I walked out of Home Depot $163.76 lighter (dang pipes are expensive) with curtain and rod material in hand.  Now the pressure was on.  I actually had to make these look good.  A quick stop at Joann fabric for three boxes of black fabric dye and I was ready to get to work.  The process of sewing wasn’t difficult, just time-consuming, including a ton of measuring.

With the top, sides, and snaps done, I decided to dye the panels before ironing and hemming the bottoms.  I really wanted a medium gray color, but Joann had light gray and black dye.  Black was my best bet to get a mid saturation, so I mixed one and a half boxes of powder dye with a huge bucket of hot water.  I’m not sure how many gallons, but trust me when I say it was huge.  Then I soaked each panel, one at a time until the colors seemed uniform.  Because I was alone with the boys, I didn’t time anything, just left each panel in a while until it seemed to reach maximum saturation.  Then into the washer for a short, cold wash and a toss in the dryer.  Quite pleasantly, all panels seemed to match and didn’t have uneven spotting.  Success!

And here are the washed, measured, sewn, tabbed, snapped, dyed, hemmed, and ironed curtains in place.  Looking lovely, if I might add.

Each panel barely grazes the floor.

Back tabs are the shiz.  Look how nicely the panels bunch and hang.

But there is one small downside.  Even though the drop cloths are marked 9 by 12 feet, they’re actually about 8 1/2 by 11 1/2 feet.  Straightening up the edges and adding about one foot of rod length makes the large window panels look short when closed.  Oh well, the window is covered and that’s what really matters, right?

The dining panels are perfect though.

You can kind of see that I didn’t make panels for the French doors out to the deck.  When we replace the windows (which will probably happen next summer), we’re changing things up.  No more door there.  Muhahahaha (that’s my evil villain laugh).

Now if we could just get a dining table.  And a light.  Ha.

Can you tell I’m excited about the new curtains?  I’m loving the warmth they add to the room.  Just makes it look lived in.

Mission accomplished.  We’ve got (pretty) curtains.

And here’s what it cost us:

For living room:  $33.90 for two 72 inch long pipes, $2.24 for one tee, $18.72 for three flanges, $3.12 for two elbows, $4.38 for three 3 1/2 inch nipples, $21.98 for a 9 by 12 foot drop cloth, and $2.29 for one box of fabric dye for a total of $86.63

For dining room:  $27.40 for two 60 inch long pipes, $2.24 for one tee, $18.72 for three flanges, $3.12 for two elbows, $4.38 for three 3 1/2 inch nipples, $21.98 for a 9 by 12 foot drop cloth, and $2.29 for one box of fabric dye for a total of $80.13

If I had bought two standard curtain rods, I would have spent 90 bucks on rods, so basically four curtain panels cost about 75 bucks.  Not too shabby.  But I’m not completely done yet.  I think I’ve decided what I want to do, so I’ll be back with more details when I actually get around to that.

Do you have odd sized windows to work with?  Have you used pipes for curtain rods?  Drop cloths for curtains?