Friday, August 17, 2007

More House Projects

Like many people, we have a long list of projects we want to do to our house. Mostly of a cosmetic improvement / updating nature. Our house is a classic 70's tri-level, but there have been two additions to the house - the kitchen in 1980 and the bonus room (downstairs at garage level) new master suite (upstairs above bonus room) in 1990. That was a big one - a 2-story addition off the back of the house. We've already done a lot of painting since moving in almost 17 months ago: the entire exterior, staining the 2 decks, the family room, the kitchen (and new floor, faucet and lighting), and both kids' rooms. Next up? The living room/dining room.

When the house went on the market it was re-painted entirely in cream. Bland bland bland vanilla with no inspiration whatsoever. Plus light tan carpets. More bland. Put them together and toss in a few light cream/white couches and you have a whole big area of ZERO COLOR. I've hated it for quite some time but have been unable to decide on a plan for that space. It's a big space - tall vaulted ceilings over the living room, which is sunken one step,
and a small-ish formal dining area that shares a big wall with the living room area (hence, it must all be the same color), and the hall/stairway down to the garage and bonus room. All must be the same color since they share walls. It's the center of the house. Where you enter our home. It's the first impression and I want it to be a good one. Warm, inviting, tasteful. And since it's vaulted and sunken and big, a total bitch to paint. I only want to do it once, so I MUST get the color right the first time.

I think I found a color. I got a quart of it and painted small sections on various walls so I could see how it would look with the varying light, etc. We have a bizarre portion of a wall in the dining room that is recessed for some reason. Only an inch or two, but recessed and we don't know why. We have a pretty mirror hung in that section, but we're thinking it would be cool to make that p
art an accent wall. I mean, if you can't fix it, feature it! Good motto. Both Mr. Chick and I like these colors and are going to start painting this weekend. The names of the paint colors are "Pumpkin Butter" and "Spicy Cayenne". Here, have a look-see for yourselves and tell me what you think. The main color is the pumpkin butter - a warm-tone gold color. I was sort of trying to match with the pillow that sits on the chair in the picture. (please excuse the ugly light fixture - we're planning on changing it after we paint... plus, the chairs will ultimately be re-covered as well. I'm not wild about the floral print...) The red is the color for the weird recessed part of the dining room wall. The picture doesn't show it well, but the border of the recessed portion is just where the edge of the picture is. Above that the wall goes up high to the vaulted ceiling, so just the inset part would be the red color and the rest would be the gold. Can you envision it? I like it - I think the warm gold tones blend well with the hardwood floors and will add a nice contrast to the white-ish furniture and boring carpet (all our trim is wood, fyi) So, am I making a huge mistake here? Am I the only one who likes this?

And while we're on the subject of home improvement.... now that I'm working from home a few hours every week I needed to do something about my office space. It's horrible. It's the worst room in the house as we've been terribly unorganized in this room and it's become a gigantic dumping ground. Loose papers that needed to be filed were everywhere. The kids would drag in a toy or two while they played on the computer and the toys would stay in here, scattered and cluttered. It was awful and I hated it. I still don't love it, but I at least finally got around t
o organizing my shit and making the space functional. I made a run to the container store and picked up a grid system for the wall so I could have space to put my work stuff (files, DVD's, office supplies, etc.) The furniture in this room is atrocious: my and Mr. Chick's childhood desks shoved together. No joke. A chair, some file cabinets, a bookcase. Nothing matches. Nothing feels adult or grown-up. But it's all we have and it's what I have to make the best of. Here, take a look at my newly organized work space. It's where I am when I'm on the computer doing things like drafting posts to my blog. Hi! See the new wall organizing thing? Now I can see the tops of the desks. Note the two phones on the left of the desk: one for home, one for work. I have my multi-function machine, my computer (my screen is in the corner behind the desk sitting on a leftover small table, otherwise I wouldn't have room for a keyboard and mouse on the desk. It's that small and cramped. Sucks. The bookcase is to the left on the wall with the diplomas, but it's mostly filled with Mr. Chick's various law books and former work stuff of his that he feels he needs to hang on to. So this is my little corner of productivity. It's not pretty, but at least it's now functional.

Baby steps, baby steps. Every little thing we do around here only makes it nicer, right? Next up after painting the living room? Updating the kids hall bathroom! Oh joy.

MP- I like the colors you chose. If you like them then I'm sure they'll be fine. The gold will really warm it up and I just LOVE reds!! I still don't have a red wall anywhere in my house, but I'm gonna get one someday! Probably by then they'll be "out of style" but oh well. Good luck and I hope you'll post a pic when you are done painting so we can see how it looks all together.

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