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One Room, One Color

During our mini holiday break (and by break, I mean that we had no obligations to leave the house unless we absolutely wanted to – which was pretty much limited by this beastly weather – stay warm out there!), Scott and I found ourselves with our fingers in many pots (or is it pies? I’m terrible at those idioms and tend to botch them completely). We suddenly had all this time; time to build out the coat closet, choose tile, fuss with furniture and curse the furnace installation (while trying to repair cold air gaps in the window casings and doors).

Our list of can’t-wait-to-dos suddenly feels a mile long (that’s a good thing – hooray!) – now that we can, essentially, do anything we’d like within these walls! There are no more contractors, no more dust and nothing but a big, blank slate. I find myself writing reminders; shop for window treatments!, put together that Ikea shelf!, start thinking about studio shelving! and so on – as if I could possibly forget. I have miscellaneous notes in pads, our phones and our in-boxes, and every day, the list grows and grows. (Needless to say, this is going to be a fun, exciting and transformative year for this house!)

And one of the most exciting to-dos? The most impactful? Paint!

Although we’re living through it, I still get a kick out of sifting through older photos and seeing where we started. Prior to the first box making its way through the front door – or the first sledgehammer through the wall, for that matter! – we were here. A saggy ceiling, a boxed in chimney and closed off rooms:

And, well, what followed wasn’t all that long ago:

But now? A large room that makes more sense for us and our family; a room with a unifying color! You might remember that we were leaning towards Pensive Sky by Behr, and we stuck with it. Despite my many hesitations along the way (Is it too blue? Is it too light? Should we go a smidge darker? Or, maybe, lighter?), we really do love it. It’s soft, barely blue, barely green and barely gray. It’s just right.

I’ve likely mentioned this before, but our furniture is, for the most part, temporary. The coffee table will stay, but we’ve been on the couch hunt for several weeks now. (This one will ultimately be used in the upstairs studio.) The yellow and green velvet chairs may make their way into a bedroom, the studio or the nook, but we are so, so undecided. We’re imagining a larger, bolder couch (Deep navy? Charcoal gray? Emerald green?), a soft rug and a more neutral chair (or two).

To balance a vibrant (I use that term loosely!) couch, we’d like to see something with pattern and color under the dining table and pair it with a sleek chandelier. Of course these pale (but one-colored, thank goodness) walls need art and photographs, and while we have a stock pile of framed goodness in storage, we have a handful of new ideas, too.

Painting the main room was a huge first step in the right direction, but we’ll also need to paint the yellowed doors to the bathroom and first floor guest room. And maybe you’ve noticed a few things missing?

During demolition, a lot of the baseboards were pulled up as we formed two rooms into one, doorways widened and a chimney removed. We’re looking forward to installing something with more oomph, more beef. This old house is worthy of classic charm, and taller trim plus crown molding is on the front of our minds! We’d like to replace the majority of the baseboards room by room, as to not overwhelm ourselves (and our pocketbooks!).

To be honest, we never thought we’d be so excited about trim, and yet, here we are.

PS… The Pet Shop custom portraiture listings have been reactivated! We’re honored to be partnering with B-More Dogs this quarter, where 10% of our sale proceeds will be donated.

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  • Layne1.7.14 - 6:52 AM

    This room looks so bright and peaceful. It’s perfect for some great pattern and color now. I love the idea of using big baseboards and returning the old house charm to your old house. I’m excited to see what you end up doing! :)ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square1.7.14 - 6:57 AM

    It must be such a nice feeling to have the contracted work complete, and now you can get to the fun stuff! That’s such a great color in the living room – I’m a big fan of neutrals with subtle undertones (that’s what we’ve used throughout our house), they are so versatile.

    Are you going to be stripping your yellowed doors before painting, or painting over what’s there? All of our doors have this dark ivory color that we really want to paint bright white, but we know there’s lead paint under there somewhere, so we’ll have to just add on top.

    And can’t wait to see what you get for trim and moldings!ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.7.14 - 8:55 AM

      Layne, that’s exactly what we’re thinking. This color lays the groundwork for some fun and bold choices now!

      Laura, we won’t need to strip these doors, as they’re just inexpensive hollow doors that seemed to have been replaced in the last ten years or so. They’re just absolutely filthy, and we have no idea why they’re so yellow in color! We know that there used to be a lot of kids in the first floor apartment, but the yellowing looks like age… Regardless, there’s currently no paint on them. They’re straight from the factory – thank goodness! As for your doors, if the paint is in good condition, you could probably just encapsulate the lead paint and use bright white on top. The only reason we stripped our closet door was because it was chipped, peeled and pocked.ReplyCancel

  • caroline [the diy nurse]1.7.14 - 7:31 AM

    I love the paint color- it really is perfect. Can’t wait to see what you choose for furniture, I already love your mid century direction!ReplyCancel

  • rachael1.7.14 - 8:53 AM

    where did you get that green chair??ReplyCancel

  • Kim1.7.14 - 8:59 AM

    Rachael, we picked it up from a local vintage shop, Humboldt House:

  • Sarge in Charge1.7.14 - 9:12 AM

    I can totally relate (except for that whole part about renovating an entire house largely by yourselves…that part, not so much). My new place was such a blank slate, and it left me so, so undecided:

    I honestly think that a few limitations can actually make decorating so much easier and maybe even produce better, more creative results. However, it seems like you guys are being really thoughtful and deliberate, so I have no doubt that the end product will be amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Kim1.7.14 - 9:47 AM

    Sarge, you’re absolutely right – our condo was limited in design choices, creating challenged with space. This is so different than we’re used to! It’s exciting and overwhelming all at once. Your condo looks so rich and inviting! Love that blue.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly G.1.7.14 - 10:08 AM

    How great to have a blank slate!! Man, that’s exciting! Also, this was a very good color selection. No disco ball needed. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim1.7.14 - 10:17 AM

    Kelly, right! The disco ball will be ushered into the minty green coat closet :)ReplyCancel

  • misie1.7.14 - 10:39 AM

    I absolutely hate painting – so much easier without trim! We just bought a house and I have a couple rooms to re-paint. the dread. Too bad we don’t live your way – my husband is a carpenter is his favorite thing to do is trim – he gets giddy thinking about the detail and perfection.ReplyCancel

  • Kim1.7.14 - 10:43 AM

    Ah! Misie, it’s too bad we can’t paint your house and you could trim ours. It would work out too perfectly!ReplyCancel

  • carrie @ brick city love1.7.14 - 11:42 AM

    Looking good!! With the baseboards & casings, my vote is always go bigger than you first think – especially in older homes. I have some baseboards that are 12″ high, which seems ridiculous, but they actually look great. The stock 2 5/8″ or 3″ baseboards just don’t cut it in homes like this. YAY TRIM!!ReplyCancel

  • Amy1.7.14 - 12:03 PM

    Oh my gosh – I’m so jealous of your being able to work on the more decorative/fun things now! We’re still a few months away from that. But everything is coming together beautifully in your home and I’m super excited to see what you two have in store for 2014. It’s going to be a great year for you guys! Keep up the great work!

  • Kim1.7.14 - 12:18 PM

    Carrie, thanks for the tip! I’m not sure we can go THAT high, but you’re absolutely right – right now we have the stock 2 5/8″ baseboards, and to top it off, they were installed BEFORE the flooring, so they’re even shorter! It’s so silly!

    Amy, thank you! Let’s just say that we can do the fun stuff for MOST of the rooms. We close the doors to the really scary rooms… Ha!ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design1.7.14 - 8:40 PM

    Deep navy couch YES!
    And I have that same cat pillow! Most people always say it’s a creepy cat but I LOVE it!ReplyCancel

  • Kim1.8.14 - 8:40 AM

    Julia, I absolutely LOVE that pillow. Great minds ;)ReplyCancel

  • alexis1.8.14 - 2:00 PM

    Everything looks incredible! Congratulations on making it through, keep warm and enjoy your hard work.ReplyCancel

  • The paint looks awesome. I can’t wait to see what color couch you choose. I’ve been secretly fantasizing about a bold colored couch in our downstairs living room. Emerald is my current favorite but I think I could be woo-d by something deep blue or even mustard yellow.ReplyCancel

  • SEM2.5.14 - 11:22 PM

    that green chair! gahhhh!ReplyCancel

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