Giveaway!: SeaLubbers Wall Decal

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thanks for all of your comments on yesterday’s post about paint. I will be continuing that series, so stay tuned. Today, however, I’m giving you a chance to win an adorable wall decal from SeaLubbers.


It measures 14’ X 14” and it’s available in the following colors (oh, so hard to choose):

Anchor Colors

There are many other great items in the shop , as well as in the “sister” shop Household Words.

You can enter in the following ways:

1) Leave a comment (I know..tough one).

2) Follow moi on Twitter (and come back and leave another comment).

I’ll accept entries until 9:00 p.m. (central time) on Thursday, April 1st.

Picking a Paint Color You’ll Love

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hi there – I apologize for my unexpected absence last week. I was ill and I couldn’t even think about blogging or house projects…and you know it’s bad when I’m not thinking about house projects. I’m feeling much better (thanks for all your well wishes), and I’m ready to get back on the blogging wagon.

So let’s talk paint, shall we? If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you know how much I love paint. Like, I LOVE paint. I don’t just love it, I’m passionate about it. Some people are into cooking, or gardening, or astrophysics…I’m into paint. I’m the first to admit that I don’t know everything there is to know about the stuff, but I do know a thing or two (mostly learned through trial and error) so I thought I’d do a series of posts sharing what I know. I’ll do a post at the end of the series attempting to answer your highly intelligent questions. And I’m going to begin by talking about paint in the context of painting a room, rather than painting furniture. I’ll talk about furniture later, though.


The first step, obviously, is choosing a great paint color. After MUCH experience over the years with choosing colors I just can’t live with, I’ve learned to follow a few “rules”…for my own good:

1) Figure out what colors you love AND what colors you can actually live with. The two things may or may not be the same thing. I’ve tried repeatedly to paint rooms robin’s egg blue just because I love it so much…but I simply can’t live with it. For some reason, it just hits me as being too sweet and too pastel-y and too “energetic”. I’ve learned that I need to stick with more neutral, muted and serene colors to be happy. But that’s just me. You need to figure out what YOU respond to, and what makes YOU happy.

2)  Find a source of inspiration: fabric, sofa, pillow, drapes, a piece of furniture, a painting…whatever. It’s easiest to pick a great color for a room if you have at least one other decorative detail in the room to branch out from. For instance, let’s say your starting point is a patterned pillow (like this Simone pillow from Pottery Barn).


There are so many different colors to “pull” from this pillow, but it definitely gives you a “range” to work with.

I then pulling out my trusty paint cards (grab a bunch at your local store) and fan decks (you can buy them at Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams) and start holding up colors against the fabric. Many colors will obviously NOT match, but others will be possibilities. Once you’ve narrowed down the colors to several options that could work start analyzing those colors very closely against the fabric. Look at the undertones of the colors vs. the fabric. Do the colors lean more green or more yellow? Are they brighter or more muted?


IMG_3011  IMG_3013

3) Once you’re down to a handful of options, go to the store and invest in paint samples! I can’t stress this step enough. Colors will look so different in “real life” than they do on a card. You can paint the samples on the wall if you like, but I like to paint them on pieces of paper or poster board so A) they’re not permanent, and B) I can move them around to see them in different lights and in different parts of the room. It’s really important that you see the colors throughout the day, so you can make sure you like it as much in the morning light as you do in the evening light.

Other tips on choosing a paint color:

  • You’re generally better off choosing colors that are less “saturated” (or bright) and that have more gray in them. I don’t mean you have to choose a gray color, I just mean that less saturated colors are easier on the eye than brighter colors.
  • Be aware of other elements in the room, i.e. the color of the flooring, wood tones (I’ll talk about wood more later), and the color of adjacent rooms (I’ll also talk about that more).
  • Be aware of the size of the room, and the presence of or lack of natural light. For example, my bedroom gets plenty of natural light so I could go with a medium value on the walls (value: lightness and darkness). My master bath on the other hand has NO natural light, so while I painted it the same color as my bedroom, I had the color lightened to compensate for the lack of light. Amazingly, though, to the eye they look the same.


  • Walk into a paint store and choose a color on the spot.
  • Assume that great color in your friend’s house or on a blog will work for you. It very well might, but you stand the best chance of being happy if you at least get a sample first.

Can you think of anything I didn’t cover about choosing a great color for a room? I’ll talk about other aspects of painting later, but let me know if there’s anything else you want to know about choosing a color for a room.

Have a great Monday!


Under the Weather

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hi there - I apologize for dropping off the face of the planet. I'm just under the weather to the point that I've been knocked on my hiney. Nothing serious...I'm not dying (even if I feel that way at the moment) - I'm just not in decorating form at the moment. Please bear with me. I'll be back ASAP.



A Few of My Favorite Greens

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

favoritegreenslabel Head over to Centsational Girl today where you can read my guest post that’s all about my favorite greens…in honor of St. Patty’s Day of course.

Have a great St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow!


Update: Breaking News Ralph Lauren Paint

I realize I’m totally “painting you out” this week, and I promise I’ll talk about something besides paint tomorrow. BUT, I have breaking news about Ralph Lauren Paint. I told you in January that Ralph Lauren Paint would no longer be sold at Home Depot, and we all cried and made a made a mad dash to Home Depot to grab RL paint chips like crazed squirrels (in high heels) collecting nuts for winter. 

So I wanted to let you know that I just communicated with Ralph Lauren…not the guy, but the company (although it would have been cool to talk to “the guy”…I wonder if he has a son..who’s hot and single)…and they informed me that Ralph Lauren Paints are now going to be sold through independent distributors, much the way that Benjamin Moore, Pratt & Lambert and other paint companies sell their paint. So, look for Ralph Lauren Paint at your local paint stores in the near future!

Reporting from my laptop in Oklahoma, this is…


Do You Have Paint Questions?

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I’m going to do a series next week all about paint, and I’d love your input. I’m planning to talking about how to choose a paint color you’ll love, painting tools and techniques, finishes, and brands. I’m doing this series for you, though, so I’d love to know what questions you have about paint, colors, etc. so I can try to address them.

So have at it – what would you like to know? What burning paint questions do you have?

Have a great Monday!


Review: Behr Paint Plus Primer

Friday, March 12, 2010

First, thanks so much for all of your kind comments yesterday.

I’ve mentioned before that I used Behr’s new Paint plus Primer in my master bedroom, and I’ve had many of you ask how I liked it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this paint, it’s a new line from Behr (available at Home Depot) that is supposed to be the equivalent of paint and primer in one (thus the name) allowing for better coverage and fewer coats.

Behr Paint Plus Primer 

It’s around $30 a gallon, as compared with $23 (?) for the regular Behr paints. The Paint Plus Primer line has it’s own amazing color options (much better colors than the regular Behr line - in my opinion), but as an FYI, the colors can only be mixed by Home Depot in the Paint Plus Primer.

So here’s my take. I liked it. I was able to paint my master bedroom in one coat. I liked the color (Silver Tinsel) and I liked the finish (I used eggshell).

Here’s the thing though, unless I’m painting over a really dark color I’m usually able to paint a room with one coat using the regular Behr paint. So that’s why it’s a tentative endorsement. I liked the paint, it’s great, there are tons of gorgeous colors to choose from, I would use it again…but I like the regular Behr paint too.

Have I totally confused you? :-)

Have a great weekend!


I Could Never Forget About You

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hey y’all. Did you think I forgot about you this week? No worries, I could never forget about you. I’ve just had one of those weeks. Know what I mean? For example, I was driving home from an especially tough day at work yesterday and dreaming of a hot bath followed by fuzzy jammies and some internet browsing…and then I managed to rear end someone on the highway exit. Gaah! Queue the waterworks. Fortunately nobody was hurt. That was a blessing.

And then I got home with my puffy, red eyes (and oh so attractive red nose), ate dinner with my son (who was looking at me like I was an escaped mental patient), and decided to sit down to browse the internet. No internet connection. Gaah!!! More waterworks.

The point of this story? Bear with me. I have 3 fab projects in the works to show you, and a giveaway planned for next week. Yahoo!

In the meantime, here’s are a few pretty pictures to look at.

bhg room

Cottage Living - spec house LR

The Inspired Room - House Beautiful Room   Simply Natural Decor Blog - Table 2

  Unknown via My Sweet Savannah

Image Credits: 1)BHG, 2)Cottage Living, 3)House Beautiful, $)Unknown, 6)Unknown



Paint Colors in My Home

Monday, March 8, 2010

I get a lot of questions about the paint colors in my home, so I thought it was about time I actually wrote a post about them. I’ve also added them to “The Cottage” section of the navigation bar above (yes, such a novel idea…you would think I just started blogging [smacking forehead with hand]).

Kitchen (part 1 and part 2)

Walls: Restoration Hardware Cappuccino

Wainscoting: Sherwin Williams Dover White

(I’m not sure what the color is on the cabinets since they were already cream when we moved in, but the Dover White does coordinate with them nicely)


Living Room

I just repainted the living room and I don’t have a photo up yet because I’m sewing new springy pillows, and I can’t possibly show you the living room without the new pillows. Here’s a swatch though. Colors always look different on the screen, but in person it’s a nice warm tan. Yummy.

Walls: Sherwin Williams Macadamia

SW Macadamia


Walls: Behr Paint+Primer in Silver Tinsel

(it’s not with the regular Behr colors, it’s in a separate section as part of the new Behr Paint+Primer line)

Guest Room

Walls: Color Place Bleached Wheat

(The previous owners painted this color. They purchased it at Walmart. I do like the color, though.)


Have a great Monday!

Perfect for the Man Cave

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Okay – don’t laugh at me. This post is a little out there, but I figured “Ah heck. Just go for it. Someone else has GOT to think this is as cool as I do.” (I say crazy words like “heck” sometimes when talking to myself…little known fact).

I have a 17 year old cousin who has his own (awesome!) band and lives for music…especially his guitar. Last time I was at my Aunt’s house she showed me the coolest thing they had found for his room – a special guitar hanger (stay with me here). My cousin refused to let me take a picture of his bedroom (…and proceed to post it on the internet…go figure), but these photos from the manufacturer’s website kind of give you an idea of what it looks like.

guitar 1

I know…this definitely isn’t the miracle decorating cure for everyone, BUT if you happen to have a husband or son who loves to play guitar this could be a pretty cool little gizmo for you them. It not only gets the guitar off the floor, but it kind of makes it a cool showpiece – and apparently it lets you hang the guitar in any position…even upside down (if you’re into that kind of thing).

Of course you wouldn’t want in your kitchen, but it could be really neat in a den or guy’s bedroom…ah! or a man cave! Oh!…and they also work with Guitar Hero guitars! Sorry…I’m geeking out here.

Anyhoo…just had to share. If you’re interested in buying one, they’re manufactured by a company in the U.K. but I found an online company in the U.S. called Guitars in the Village that sells them for $24.00. Not too shabby.

Have a great day!



This post is sponsored by Quality Custom Designs.

Send them your fabric and measurements, and they’ll create gorgeous window treatments for you!

What Are You Afraid Of?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How many times do you think “I really want to (paint woodwork or brick, change a faucet, change a light fixture, paint ugly laminate countertops, put up wainscoting, use a power saw, etc.) in my home, but I could never do it. I wish I was that brave. Maybe someday.” I can relate to this fear. Really, I can.

With each project I tackle, there’s always a little fear lingering in the room with me. Fear usually hangs out in the corner, smoking a stinky cigar and saying discouraging things to me like “You’re going to ruin your house, ya know.”, or “Your project is going to look (silly, awful, amateurish) and nobody will ever want to buy your house from you.” You know…sweet things like that.

Honestly though, Fear is wrong 99% of the time. And even when it turns out that Fear had a pretty good point and something does look a little stupid or “off”, I can always fix it, and learn valuable lessons along the way.

Can I tell you how many times I’ve painted a room and hated the color? I could do an hour long Power Point presentation on the modern history of paint colors in my home. Those who have been reading my blog a while know this to be true. For instance see where my bedroom started 2 years ago: It had its good points but it was waaay too dark…for me) and by continuing to experiment with ideas, it’s now someplace I LOVE.


And yes, spending hours painting a room only to end up hating the color is incredibly frustrating. The good thing? It is soooo easy to remedy. A $20 can of paint and an afternoon is all it takes to get closer to finding a color you’ll truly love. And isn’t that better than spending years with a color you despise…or at least really, really dislike?

Need another example? Remember when I changed my bathroom faucets and warned you to reconnect the hot and cold hoses to the right valves? Um yeah…turns out I failed to do that on one of the sinks. After shaking my fists in the air and letting out a big “Gaah!”, I spent 5 minutes with a wrench and fixed the problem – and now I have lovely faucets that make me smile each time I see them.

And my most recent example?: my beautifully framed bathroom mirror. I love the concept. I love how it looks in pictures (or from a distance), but my cuts on the small trim pieces were a little off and the wood grain on the frame was bothering me. So did I tell myself “I’m a huge DIY failure and I should never attempt another project”? No. I learned from my mistakes and spent a little time fixing them. I took of the small (poorly cut) trim pieces, and made better cuts on a new ($3) piece of trim. I also got out my handy palm sander, gave the mirror frame a good sanding, and then skimmed the surface with a layer of spackle…followed by another light sanding by hand.

Note: Reflection grayed out to hide top secret bathroom projects underway.

The result? A more “professional” finish, and the satisfaction of knowing I did a job well all by my little self. And if I ever frame out a mirror like that again, I know to buy a smoother wood and/or sand/patch before painting.

The point is, do NOT let your fear of making a mistake keep you from creating a home you love. Do your research, plan ahead, but be kind to yourself if the results are less than perfect. Just pull up those big girl pants (or big boy pants if you’re a boy who’s reading this) and keep trying until you have that room you’ve been dreaming of. With a little trial, error and persistence you will get there.

What project have you been procrastinating because you’re too nervous to try?


Um…Not Sure What to Title This One

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thanks so much for all of your advice about my noisy bed situation. Y’all have some fantastic ideas. And what is wrong with me that I hadn’t visited Knock Off Wood before?! I don’t know that I can tackle building my own bed right now, but that site is awesome! So thank you for all of the amazing suggestions.

I accomplished quite a bit on my secret master bath project over the weekend, but once my arms were so tired I couldn’t lift them anymore, I knew it was time to stop. Also, might I suggest something to you ladies out there? Do not attempt complex and possibly infuriating DIY projects when you’re in the throws of PMS. I’m just sayin’  - I very nearly caused some permanent damage to an innocent caulk gun because the stubborn, petulant, temper tantrum inducing caulk was approximately the consistency of taffy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And finally (yes, I’m already at the conclusion of this post), as an FYI, check out the March issue of Coastal Living. One of my favorite designers, Erika McPherson Powell, is featured. You can read more about her work on her blog Urban Grace Interiors.

March 2010 Coast Living

March 2010 Coast Living 2

March 2010 Coast Living 3

See what I mean? Lovely.