To be fair, I spent two weeks painting and another week cleaning and organizing for Son the Older's graduation party (graduation pics will follow). I've had a little downtime, which admittedly I should have spent blogging, but now I'm back with a vengeance. Or at least a whole lotta pictures.
In general, I let my interior designer friend Heather have her say in the paint colors. Because A) she's fabulous that way; and B) I'm not. Turns out Heather's dad, who is the adorable Tom, used to work for Benjamin Moore (the paint company), and he and Heather used to name paints together. So all of my paint colors were Benjamin Moore. Great stuff.
The first thing I tackled in the painting insanity was our downstairs half bath. It's a tiny room, and I'd always wanted a sort of wine color in there. You can get away with a bold color in a small space. Heather chose Pottery Red. Here's what it looked like before painting. It was one of only two rooms in the house with any wallpaper at all -- yay!
And here's the same shot, more or less, after the Pottery Red. The lighting is funny, but the color is a true Aggie maroon. Now understand, I'm an Aggie. I'm picky about my maroon. It can't be too red or too brown. This color is just perfect.
It shows up a little better in this picture -- more like the color actually is. We called our neighbor Eric over to show it to him. Eric is surrounded by females -- lives with his wife and two daughters. He told them he was taking over the garage since their house was all "girly" -- then he proceeded to stain the concrete maroon with a big aTm in the middle of the floor. He's a true Aggie. Anyway, he came over, took one look at this paint, and said very calmly and clearly, "I need the brand, the color, and the number of coats you put on." He was very excited; he's been looking for a "real" maroon paint for a long time, apparently. It sure doesn't look maroon when it's wet, but after two coats, it dried that way. WHOOP!
Next up was the kitchen. I should probably state somewhere in here that every wall in my house was the same off-white color when I started. I did do a few test patches with the kitchen color, which is called Concord Ivory, although it's clearly yellow.
It clearly looks much better painted. This is Heather's all-time favorite color; it goes with pretty much everything. It's hard to tell here, but my tile backsplash is cobalt, which looks fantastic against the yellow.
Here's the bay windown in the breakfast area prior to painting. One of our next expenditures will be plantation shutters in these windows and the windows in the next set of pictures. The sun sets through these windows, and it's just brutal -- I can't imagine why the original homeowners chose to install shutters that left so much of the window uncovered.
Again, the difference with the Concord Ivory is stunning. Love the color. Still hate the shutters, but love the color.
This wall is just to the left of the bay window and reaches into the living room where our entertainment center used to be (it was a casualty of this project -- keep scrolling for those pictures). Again with the yucky cheap shutters that I want to replace with some lovely real wood ones. Ah well, baby steps.
The same area with Concord Ivory. It almost makes the cheap shutters presentable. Almost.
We have reached the end of the "before pictures, so from now on, you'll just have to use your imagination and remember that all walls were the same off-white color. This is my kitchen island, which I painted Gunmetal. Yes, I could have taken a better picture, but that would have necessitated a great deal more cleaning. Tough noogies, people.
And this was the last leg of the project: the master bedroom. I did two of the four walls in another of Heather's favorite colors, Blue Danube. Ironically, I had spent forever finding something to hang over my bed, and it had been there less than a year, but it doesn't work with the blue paint (it's antiqued brass). So Heather the Wonder Designer is trying to figure out what to do with the large space over my bed now. Yes, it's very large and very empty.
I wasn't sure if the last picture really conveyed how awesome the reddish wood looks next to the paint, so I took a close-up. I really love the paint color with the color of the wood in my furniture.
This is the opposite wall, which holds my dresser and a bunch of family
pictures. The cross-stitched towel over the mirror was made by my mom, and the rectangular doily on the dresser was made by my great-grandmother. The round doily off to the right was made by my mom. Two of the pictures are five-generation pictures, with my great-grandmother, my grandmother, mother, me and my kids. Having lost two of the five (I still have my grandmother), it's great to have those pictures.
This is my master bathroom. There is a 6' x 6' glass block window in it, which is great for natural light. The color I painted in here is African Violet. Again, nothing on the wall... I know. Pathetic.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand that's it for the painting. Now aren't you sorry you asked for pictures? Ask and ye shall receive!
So once I was done with painting, I was ready to tackle another pretty major project (and I really wish I had the "before" pic for this one!): organizing the completely overflowing bookshelf in our front (formal) living room!
We started by buying two additional shelves -- one in place of our entertainment center, and one to replace an old dresser that sat outside our bedroom door and held office supplies.
Since we mounted the TV above the fireplace, it left a lot of space in the bookshelf for actual books (along with a few DVDs and video games). Here's how it turned out.
The upstairs shelf gave us a place to put all of the comic strip books we've collected over the years (Calvin and Hobbes, Baby Blues, For Better or For Worse, Zits, Get Fuzzy, Fox Trot, Dilbert, etc.), along with some other books. This is where the chick lit resides, as well as all the Oprah book club books I've ever bought. But there are three solid shelves of comic strip books. I don't know if that's cool or completely appalling.
And this is the poor, overloaded shelf that used to hold everything. It looked like a book volcano. Well, truth be told, the comic stip books were really stacked on the floor, but everything else was in here. Sad. This is why I have joined Bookins (and if you want to join, please let me send you an invitation so I can get extra points!).
If you're wondering, yes, I know there are still a large number of books in this shelf. Books in front of books. Books on top of the shelf unit. But it was SO much worse; you have no idea.
And while we're on the book topic, here's what's currently on my reading list. For those who know me reallyreallyreally well, that means those are the books that are on the floor between my two nightstands. Yes, there are a lot of them. I'm currently reading The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn and Bird by Bird.