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Color Psychology

29 Jan

Color is such a touchy subect as I have discussed here. And here. And here.

So when someone sent me this infographic from Macy’s, I thought it was worth sharing. Makes sense that I prefer green because I need a LOT of balancing and orange because I like a cheery room.  (Or hallway.  Or door.)

Color Psychology: Style Your Room, Design Your Mood


Ninja Turtle Sibling?

22 Jan

Remember this dresser restored by the lovely Brittany as memorialized in this post?  She worried she had turned it into a Ninja turtle dresser!

Well, she’s gone and done it again, this time with nightstands.  She had some leftover veneer and paint and renovated these lovely little beauties too!  I think they look awesome.  What about you?  I especially like the Orla Kiely wallpaper pattern in the back.  Despite all my ranting, I am obviously in a co-dependent relationship with Orla.  Will I never be free?


And voila!



Reader Re-Do: Dresser Makeover or “Did I just morph my dresser into a ninja turtle?”

12 Nov

I have mentioned Brittany in the blog before, as she is one of the readers who sends me interesting mail from time to time.  I even did an inspiration board for her a while back.  Brittany said she was also inspired by Maeve’s dresser re-do and gave it a go herself.  The lovely Brittany below.  (And she’s married and a mother of Bayley, so don’t get any ideas.)

Which brings me to a slightly panicky email I received from her sharing the results and asking my opinion, which I of course love giving wholeheartedly.

I need your opinion on something. I’ve been pulling my hair out after I found an awesome MCM dresser on Craigslist and decided to refinish it. So, I refinished it and then realized it was way too orange. It’s hard to tell in the pics but it looked like a carrot. So, after much debate, I decided to get a good rest and then start all over. Well, I screwed up and sanded too far into the veneer. So, my only option was to go buy new walnut veneer or just paint the whole thing, which I did not want to do. I googled for a while and found some pretty cool before and after’s, so I thought I’d meet in the middle and paint half and veneer the other half. I picked the green from the Orla Kiely pear canister and stained the new veneer a dark walnut. I feel like I’ve ruined a good thing, now that I’m finally finished. I am one to NOT paint over perfectly good wood, but in this case, there was no way I was re-veneering the whole beast of a dresser. And plus, veneering is HARD and stinky.  I would love a second opinion. I know you did something similar recently with your daughter’s low boy dresser and I LOVE the results. But I am not sure what I think about mine. Maybe I have been staring at it too long?

Suffice it to say, I can see the carrot and understand the dilemma.  I asked her to share more about her experience with veneer, as this is something I have never been brave enough to attempt.

 It’s not too spendy, I went to Windsor Plywood and bought a 2×8 sheet of black walnut veneer that came to around $36. Cheap, considering I ruined the original veneer, which I can’t believe I did. But I was not going to just paint the whole dresser. It would’ve been a crime. So, I thought up re-veneering.

I traced out the dresser drawers on the back side of the veneer and then cut out the shapes with a really sharp pair of scissors. I cut it a tiny bit bigger than the size of the drawers so I could have some wiggle room when veneering. I painted a thin coat of contact cement onto the drawer fronts and then another thin, even coat onto the back of the veneer. It’s MESSY because the contact cement is drippy. So don’t do it in your bedroom like I did. Also make sure the room is well ventilated, or you’re going to faint from the fumes. Let the contact cement dry for about 15 minutes, until it looks like a satin finish and is tacky to the touch. I would suggest two people doing the laying of the veneer on the drawer fronts, because it must lay down properly, or it’s ruined. Once the veneer touches the drawer fronts, the contact cement automatically glues to itself, and the bond is strong, so make sure you have it exactly how you want it to lay. Have a rolling pin on hand and roll the veneer with force, to make sure there are no bubbles under the veneer. You can cut out any rough edges with one of those really sharp hobby knives that look like a surgical tool. And then sand on the edges to make sure they are even.

Then sand the veneer lightly with 220 grit sandpaper to prepare it for the stain you will use. It’s really not as hard as it sounds and is a cost effective way to keep wood grain in your piece instead of painting the whole thing. The green color I used is called “Olive tree” from Benjamin Moore. It is the closest match to the Orla Pears as I could find. The paint I used was water based, but I decided to use Minwax oil based wipe on poly in Satin, to get a really nice, hard and smooth finish. It gave the green color an even more mustardy look, which makes it look even more vintage. It definitely toned it down, which I like.

When I told Brittany I really liked it and thought it looked lovely in her Orla inspired bedroom, her response was…

Yay! So glad to hear you like it! I was staring at it going, “Did I just morph my dresser into a ninja turtle???”

I love the walnut and olive together.  I think it turned out to be a gorgeous piece.  What do you think?  Have you had any experience with ‘re-veneering’ something?

Master Bedroom Redux Part 2

6 Nov

I’ll get to the punchline and save you any more suspense after yesterday’s post:  It worked.  Oh yeah, it really worked.  If you didn’t read yesterday, what worked was painting over the bedroom wallpaper.  We followed m all the steps:  gluing down loose seams, mudding over them and sanding down the mud when dried.  To be honest, the wallpaper walls look better than the one with the wallpaper removed.

Maeve and I headed to Home Depot to find the right gray for the painting.  You all know what challenges I have with picking gray paint.  And Maeve, my artist extraordinaire, has an eye for color and I knew she wouldn’t steer me wrong.  I needed a gray that was more tan than blue.  After much debate and her convincing me that this was the right color, we landed on Silver Tinsel by Behr.  The premium Behr paint has primer in it and I was hoping this would help with the pattern of the wallpaper.

And it did.  Only took one coat.  Seriously.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen Brett so happy about a paint as he was about this one.  Got painted in just a few hours and then I could hang my art work and really move in.

We started here:

And currently are landing here:

What is still outstanding…

light fixtures…maybe these?  I think they’d look nice with the patter on the curtains.

MASKROS Pendant lamp IKEA Projects decorative patterns onto the ceiling and on the wall.

Also, art is needed above the bed.  The pop art piece is too square.  I think it needs something long and rectangular.  If I were a bazillionaire, I would buy this piece from one of my favorite artists Barbra Kruger.

Unfortunately, there aren’t even reproductions of this available.  (That I could find anyway.  If you know where to get one, please please tell me!)  I started looking on Etsy because I love supporting small production artists.  I found this by Jestsetretrodesign:

Mid Century Modern Art Painting Eames Era Tiki 60's Retro danish modern Modernist 60s

I think it would look great above the bed.  And while the price isn’t too precious ($250), it’s still more than I want to spend on something that isn’t Barbara Kruger.  I wonder if I could get Maeve to paint something similar.  Bet I could.  What do you think?

Master Bedroom Redux Part 1

5 Nov

For me, the bedroom is my sanctuary.  I don’t have a room of my own in this house, as I have bemoaned in other posts.  The girls have their bedrooms. Brett has his man cave.  So for me, the bedroom is the closest to my own little private world that I have.

The idea of what I want my bedroom to look and feel like has been rolling about in my head for months.  The first decision I landed on  was gray.  I wanted a gray bedroom because I find it to be soothing and enveloping color.  Then I decided I wanted gray with yellow accents.  The search for the perfect duvet ended at West Elm.  So did the search for the perfect curtains.  Not the ones I thought I would want; something even better.

Linen Cotton Duvet Cover + Shams - Slate

Queen Anne's Lace Printed Panel

I tried these out with a yellow pillow and my favorite pop art painting. My bedroom isn’t really my bedroom until that painting and my Buddha wall hanging grace the walls.   At first, I liked the idea.  Still needed more to flesh out, but the right direction.

But, how fickle is woman?  Especially me.  Ans especially under the spell of something gorgeous and orange.  And because I was on a West Elm tear, I couldn’t resist these lamps.

Mia Table Lamp - Paprika

Okay.  Plan B.  Not yellow.  Orange.  Put it all together.  Nice.  But.  There is still the matter of wallpaper.  I won’t hang pop art or Buddha until the wallpaper is down and the walls are a lovely shade of gray.  Ugh.

Thus began the tedious process of wallpaper removal.  And you all know how much I love doing THAT.  In fairness, I did painfully little of it.  Brett, a steamer and a scraper spent the better part of two days and only conquered one wall.  We are lucky to have a very large bedroom.  Unlucky however in that it means a ridiculous amount of wallpaper to remove.  The wall stayed blank with no paper and lots of glue for a few weeks.  The next step was to use TSP to remove the glue.  Feeling badly that I hadn’t helped with the removal of the paper, I offered to do the TSP.  Brett has a major aversion to this job and avoid it until I volunteered.  Now I know why.  Excuse my language, but that job is a total bitch.  I spent a Saturday with TSP and a scrub brush and multiple towels removing copious amounts of sticky gooey glue.

And I hate to admit it.  But it beat us.  It beat us down good.  We surrendered to the wall paper.  Over dinner one night, we had the conversation that started with ‘What if…’  As in, what if we painted over the rest?  What if we broke the cardinal wallpaper rule and just painted over it?  Writing that makes me a little nervous even now.

I mean, we’re rebels, right?  I think I was recently described as upscale bohemian nonconformist.  I am modern woman, carefree and unencumbered by convention.  (I am starting to feel like a maxi-pad commercial.  Or one for Virginia Slims.)  Plus, we’d flirted with this before and painted over impossible to remove wall-paper backing.  Successfully. 

So the more wine we drank, the more we decided this was a clever idea.  Plus, to be honest, the state of the wall behind the wallpaper we removed wasn’t all that great.  That’s one of the biggest issues with removing wallpaper and carpet.  You  never know what you’re going to get.  (Oh wait, that’s a box of chocolates.)  I did my research.  Some people paint over wallpaper successfully and live to tell about it.  In fact, the DIY network even has a video tutorial on how to do it.

You know how much I love leaving you in suspense.  We did it.  And tomorrow, I’ll share the results!

New Door Part 2

3 Nov

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, once we got the new door in (like fitting a square peg into a round hole!), we realized that we didn’t really like the white trim.  We have been toying with the idea of going back to the original color of the house, which is a chocolate brown evident in the unpainted garage.  I feel like the warmth of brown will complement the orange better than white.

So in typical burst of energy fashion, Maeve and I got out the paint and paintbrushes and went to work.  The interior side of door was painted ‘Walnut Bark’ by Glidden.  A deep warm autumn-y brown.  We decided to use that for the trim.

I love the result!  I would like to get the doorknob and doorbell hardware from Rejuvenation that I mentioned in a previous post.  And I think a large orange pot perhaps with some tall bamboo growing it in would finish it off nicely.

But because painting that trim was too easy and didn’t satisfy Maeve’s obsession, she went to work on some interior beams.  In the living and dining area, one beam was painted brown and the other white.  Given our obsessive compulsive nature, we needed uniformity and decided to paint the other beam in the Walnut Bark brown as well.  I really like the result of that as well.  Eventually we will continue the beams in brown to the outside of the house above the side deck as well.  Eventually.






New Door Part 1

2 Nov

This post has been a long time coming.  Remember my excitement at the ordering of my Crestview Door?  Well, it came.  And it sat in its box for a while.  After some cajoling, Brett and I went to buy a new door to get started.  As a reminder, this was the door and entry we started with:


According to Brett, installing the doorlite was not as easy as one might imagine. The fit was very tight because some of the wood had bowed which made the glass difficult to pop in. Regardless, he conquered and got it installed properly. He painted the door as we had planned, with Pumpkin Patch and Walnut Bark from Behr paints. However, this was nothing compared to installing the door in the original frame.

It just didn’t fit.  After almost 50 years, it’s not insane to imagine that it might not be completely square any more.  And it wasn’t.  At all.  Brett got the door in and then the damn thing wouldn’t close.  At all.

As you can see from the photo, the issue was at the top.  There was plenty of space at the bottom.  So, being us, we decided the most efficient way to deal with this (other than forcing it in and never being able to open it again) was to plane down the top and then sand.  The difference wasn’t incredibly significant so we thought we could do it.


And we did. However, not without a little damage, which we painted over and are currently deciding to live with. Imperfection is charming, right? Right.

This was it after the installation.  I love it.  But it’s still not quite right.  The white trim looks odd with the orange.  Maeve and I got on a tear one day and fixed that too.  Wait and see the final results with painted trim, etc. tomorrow!  (Apologies for the poor photo with the bright sunlight.)

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