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Saturday, February 27, 2016

New Dining Room Plans: Farmhouse Grays

Our dining room, right after we moved in, and took out all our kitchen cabinet doors and drawers to paint them.

Our dining room is pretty much what sold me on the house. There were, of course, many other things that I loved about it, but the huge windows overlooking our backyard was one of the first things I saw when we walked in, and I thought to myself, "I wanna have breakfast here every morning for the rest of my life." This is also the room where we sat together with our realtor to make an offer on this house, hands shaking at the thought of not getting it, and stomachs fluttering at the excitement that this could be ours in just a few months. It will always hold a special place in my heart. Josh sometimes jokes that I never want to leave this room, because I spend a lot of time here in the mornings (I'm sitting here now writing this post!).

This room wasn't always meant to be a formal dining room. I actually think our front room, that we currently use as a sitting room of sorts, was the dining room at some point. But the view we have is just too good to not see every day. And while I wish our dining room was a smidge bigger, it's actually quite perfect in my eyes.

When I've thought about a formal dining room over the years, I've had, as with everything else, a pretty clear picture of how I wanted it to look. Thankfully, Josh was totally on board with the vision, too. I picked out our dining room table and chandelier about four years ago, and I pictured lots of warmth with a tuscan influence, and a touch of rustic/farmhouse (duh). When we moved in, I picked out a paint color for our kitchen called Somerset Peach by Benjamin Moore, and didn't even need to swatch any other colors on the walls - it was what I always thought we'd have in our dining room. But it's taken me a while to pull the trigger on actually painting the space, and I think it's because I knew it wasn't the right choice for the room, which made me a little sad.

Swatches of the Somerset Peach color on the walls.

Our kitchen, which opens directly into our dining room, and is a bright space with crisp shades of white and light gray. It was a pretty stark contrast to the warm tuscan peaches I was planning on for the dining room. Something felt off and I just couldn't commit to the color or the style even though it was what I wanted for years. Earlier this week, I had a revelation that I just needed to let the warm dining room color go because both of the spaces had to work together, not fight against each other. I felt so much better once I just accepted this and moved on with my life (dramatic much?). It's not the room we had envisioned and designed in our heads for years, but once I decided on painting it the same light gray that's on the kitchen walls, I had new ideas to run with (thankfully, Josh liked those, too!). And so, a new inspiration board for our dining room, and where we're at now with our project.

Top to bottom, left to right: White Wisp paint by Benjamin Moore; Farmhouse Wares grainsack fabrics; Milk and Cream pillow from PeekPillowOriginals on Etsy; Camilla chandelier from Pottery Barn, Farmhouse centerpiece from Farmhouse 5540; Sumner dining table from Pottery Barn; Gabriella dinnerware from Pottery Barn.
The day we closed on our house, we bought this dining table at Pottery Barn* because I'd been drooling over it for literally four years and it was on super sale. So when we decided we really needed to stick with the light gray we'd painted on our kitchen walls, I panicked a little because our dining table is so warm (and there was seriously no way we were getting rid of that table). But, we can totally make it work. The paint swatch of White Wisp in the collage above is pulling really green, but it's actually a straight up airy, white-gray in person. Soon, we'll have a contractor come over to move our hardwiring in our dining room so we can hang the branchy chandelier (currently, there's a ceiling fan in there that's not centered in the room which is driving.me.crazy). We also own the rustic dinnerware* pictured above, which I'm contemplating stacking in the middle of the table as a pretty centerpiece, and I'm so inspired by this tabletop decor from Farmhouse 5540 (literal farmhouse porn over on that blog!). We're heading in a direction that I didn't see us taking, but I'm kind of feelin' it and we're both so excited about it.

So, here's where we're at, currently. A while back, we tore down all the oak paneling on the bottom half of the wall, and then just recently, I started to paint, and that's already made a huge difference. We also took down as much of the oak molding in the room as we could, and over the summer, we plan to replace it all with our own rustic trim. We also need to paint the ceiling once the hardwiring for the ceiling light is taken care of, and probably add some moulding to the ceiling for some visual interest. But soon, it'll be the glorious space we both know it can be.

Get a load of that ceiling fan, and all the sanding dust on our table! Sexy.

*I work for the Williams-Sonoma brand and received a discount on these items.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Bedroom Hallway Spruce-Up

It's been a while since I've posted, and that's because I somehow contracted the cold of death (or the flu, not sure), which knocked me out for a good week and a half. It was super fun, complete with not being able to do anything (including watch TV or read) last weekend because my head and body hurt so bad that any sound or movement or noise agitated my entire well-being. In addition to that fun, I also had a 102 degree fever, a cold and congestion, extreme fatigue and a general sense of "I want to die." These days, I don't get sick very often, so this just totally knocked me out and I wasn't prepared for it.

Anyhoo! While I was writhing in pain on the sofa, wondering if I would come out alive, Josh went between taking care of me, and finishing our bedroom hallway last weekend. This isn't the most amazing transformation ever because it's not actually done-done. In a few years, once we start our master bathroom renovation, the bathroom entrance from the hallway will go away, and we want to get a really nice antique armoire to store all our towels, bedding and extra blankets in. But that's a ways away, and this is what we have for now. So, let's start at the beginning.

When we moved in, the one wall adjacent to our closet was covered in a blue butterfly wallpaper (which, honestly, I maybe, kinda, sorta could have worked with if we were going for a more victorian/antique look in the house). But, we took it down. Thankfully, it came off in huge pieces, and ended up being a fairly easy process that took like 20 minutes. Small victories - savor them, my friends.

The best picture we have of the old wallpaper. 
Next, we took down the old brass light fixture, all the floor trim and started to paint the room. We went with the same color as our closet, which is Bunny Gray by Benjamin Moore, and painted the trim in White Dove, also by Benjamin Moore. Because this little hallway area isn't the most exciting room ever, we decided to keep the original doorway trim for the bedroom and closet entrances, but had to remove the trim from the bathroom door in order to put in the new floor.

We also installed a new light fixture from Birch Lane in a bronze finish. In our post about our closet, I mentioned the amazing deal we got on the light we purchased for that space, and thankfully, we got the same kind of amazing deal for this light, too. It was so cheap, I can't even believe it. It's also the light I had picked out for about three years for our master bedroom, and since we won't be able to use it in there (long story), we got it for our hallway.

Finally, new ceilings and floors, exactly like our closet. We were pros this time around, but the oldness of the house and its asymmetries still made this project a challenge. But, we kind of knew to expect it going into the projects, so we were ready for wrong measurements and the dropping of F-bombs all around. Good times!

And here she is, all done (save for some floor trim that we haven't yet installed).

Such bad lighting in here! But you get the idea :)

Over the next week or two, we plan to move my dresser in, restore an old door we had in the house to put up in the bedroom entrance, and hand up some photos to make the room a little more cozy. In a few years, I have a goal of finding the most beautiful armoire to store our towels and extra bedding/quilts in to have on display.

Armoire goals. L-R, photos courtesy of Farmhouse 5540 and Facilisimo.

And now, we're knee-deep in our master bedroom remodel. Josh has been spending the week removing all the paneling from the walls, and the old, gross carpet from the floors. So, all we need to do in joint all the drywall pieces, sand them down, put in a new ceiling, fix our hardwiring for a ceiling light, install a new plank ceiling, install new floors, paint the walls, and I'm sure about 50 other things I'm forgetting! Easy, right? We've got this.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Cotton Everywhere: Transitional Winter Decor

Give me all the cotton. That's how I've been feeling lately. I love cotton clothes, cotton upholstery, cotton pillows, cotton everything. So it's natural I would like actual cotton as a decoration, right?

While I love our Christmas decorations, and while I try to keep them pretty neutral to carry us through the entire winter season, I was ready for something different toward the end of January. But I still wanted to keep our home wintery and relevant to the weather outside. While searching online for faux evergreen sprigs for our closet, I came across cotton branches. And I fell in love. So I started to Google cotton branches as decor, and apparently it's a thing right now. Despite the fact that it's a little trendy in the world of rustic decor, it was new to me, and I went for it. I love how it's neutral, natural and clean - perfect for this time of the year as we transition from Christmas into a cozy winter season. And so now, my friends, I have cotton everywhere.




Starting with our entryway, I bought tall stems for this oversized pitcher I've had for years. Up against the plank sign we have on our console table, they totally shine in all their fuzzy glory.


In our living room, I filled a small pitcher with medium cotton stems, and ordered this windowpane mirror from Etsy. I'd been struggling on what to put up there and when I saw this, my heart skipped a beat and I had to wipe drool from my mouth (slight exaggeration). Having a mirror on the mantel makes such a huge difference - the extra light it brings to the room is perfect. To keep everything more wintery, but still neutral, I added some cedar and juniper berry stems I got on clearance online, a small tuscan urn and pinecones.






In the same room, I spruced up our pillows a bit, keeping some of the ones we had out for Christmas, reusing some of our summer ones, and I may have also purchased a couple of new ones. My absolute favorite pillow covers are the Basketweave* ones from Pottery Barn. They're 100% cotton, so they're soft and durable, but they're also machine washable, provide a simple layer of texture and come in all different colors. I had a couple of the white ones already, but they recently came out with a light blue-ish gray that I had to have. And I justified it because they'll be so perfect for the spring season, too. Mixed in with white, a taupe faux fur, a cute little snow owl and a gray buffalo check, I got a lovely mix of natural wintery goodness that's still very cozy.







Finally, I added some small cotton stem to our kitchen window sill, officially flooding our house with cotton.


Details on everything mentioned:
Medium and tall cotton stems: CraftOutlet here and here
Small cotton stems: TheWreathShed on Etsy
Windowpane Mirror: ABWFrames on Etsy
Pillow Covers*: Faux FurCotton Basketweave in Smoke. Owl & Buffalo Check no longer available.
Tuscan Urn*: Pottery Barn
Everything else is old that we've had for a while, or no longer available online.

*I work for the Williams-Sonoma brand, and received a discount on these items.