Monday, January 30, 2012

Friendly Places: Home Tour #5

Well, it's time for our first home tour of 2012! This beautiful home, located on the north shore of Massachusetts, belongs to my BFF and sister Debbie.

You wouldn't know it by these pictures, but Debbie hates decorating! I don't know how we are sisters. She hates shopping and decorating. And antiquing? Why would anyone want someone else's old junk? It kills me, I tell you. Especially since she is surrounded by some of the best antique places in the country.

Despite her disinterest in decorating, Debbie has managed to create a lovely home for her family of 4. It's a kid-friendly, dog-friendly, warm, welcoming and comfortable house. Perhaps I shouldn't use the word "warm." They seem to never have the heat on, and I need to wear 10 layers of clothing when I visit. Brrrr... Those New Englanders are a hearty bunch!

Come on in to the living room...

The french doors lead into the family room...

Told you it was dog-friendly. Do you spot Roxie and Clyde?

The most impressive room in the house is the kitchen. It was completely remodeled 6 years ago, and involved a 900 square foot addition. This photo, taken early in the construction process, shows you the old kitchen space...

And here is the kitchen now...

The original kitchen ended where the half-wall is located.

I love the view from the kitchen table.

Off the kitchen is the mudroom...

Debbie has a beautiful master bathroom that was remodeled a couple of years ago, and a cool firepit and patio that has been added since these pictures were taken. I'll have to share those with you another time, as she hasn't sent me updated pictures. Did I mention she doesn't quite get the whole blogging thing either? :)

Hope you enjoyed my sister's house!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sea Salt

Gosh... my blog titles are real creative lately, aren't they? I've got to go wake up a napper, pick up my kids from school and head to the orthodontist. However, I thought you might want to see how the new Sea Salt walls turned out.

It was difficult to get real good shots because the sun isn't shining.... just as it hasn't been shining for, I don't know, about 30 days!

This is the back staircase. Sea Salt is only one shade down on the color chart from the kitchen walls, which are Comfort Gray. I need to redo the gallery wall I had going on here. Maybe my soon-to-be 3 year old will actually get his photo on the wall now. But, don't hold me to that. I know... bad mom!

Yes... parents, grandparents and great, great, great grandparents are on the wall. Don't worry, honey. Mommy will get you on the wall before you turn 100!

Now, please throw out a little prayer that one of my children will not require orthodontic work. I've got one in braces, and a thumb-sucker who will definitely be following suit. One out of 4 isn't too much to ask, is it??

 Have a great afternoon :)

Sharing at 

Crazy Cute Thursdays

Monday, January 23, 2012

Our Basement

Wow! You all sure know how to make a girl feel good! I was blown away by all the nice comments you left about my sons' bedroom. You're really helping me keep the motivation to get organized and stay that way!

Today I'm going to show you another former disaster area.... our basement.  This space has been "kids central" for the past 4 years, and it literally looked as if a toy store had exploded down there. Every so often I would organize the toys, only to have it revert to disaster status in a matter of days. To keep my sanity, I'd close the door and pretend that part of the house didn't even exist.

Well, after several days of sorting, purging and organizing, and a few trips to Goodwill, the basement is actually presentable...

The main room of the basement is divided by a large brick fireplace.

One side is used for TV viewing and Wii playing...

The other side is where the real fun is...

I'm not talking about the bar (or am I?). This is where we have the pool/ping pong table and pop-a-shot.

Not to brag or anything, but I remain the undefeated queen of pop-a-shot.

Yes. Those are lego men dangling above the bar. Before the big clean-up, the bar was home to Hogwarts. The school was moved to another room, but apparently a few Quiddich players were left behind :)

The closet under the stairs became the perfect little house/grocery store for my younger sons. My 2 year old loves being in this little nook.

I didn't even try to stage this photo to make it look like I actually use the treadmill.

Here's a little glimpse at the "music room."

Now, this next room is not going to interest you or excite you in the least. I'm posting it for purely selfish reasons. I just want to document how clean and organized the work room is.

This room was the dumping ground for anything we didn't have a place for. Now I actually have room to work on projects in here.

Having the basement cleaned and organized has helped me regain my sanity. And, the best part is that we can actually use the area for entertaining.

I'd bet most of our friends didn't even know the basement existed :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Boys Bedroom

Remember my 2012 resolution to "control the chaos?" Well, I've been in major organizing mode, and the first place I started was in this room.

This bedroom is shared by my 11 and 9 year old sons, and let's just say I never thought this room would be suitable for blog viewing. However, after spending many hours rescuing my kids from a future appearance on "Hoarders," I figured it was safe to let you in.

 I painted and distressed this red dresser about 10 years ago, and I still love it.

Every drawer, shelf, nook and cranny of this room was cleaned and organized. Believe it or not, it's been 3 weeks and the room has stayed that way. It's a new world record!

On to the next room....

Thrifty Decor Chick

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How To Choose A Paint Color

Ever since I painted my kitchen Sherwin Williams' Comfort Gray, I've been contemplating changing the color of our back staircase. The staircase leads into the kitchen, and its yellow walls don't look so great against the blue gray kitchen walls.

Painting the stairway would be no problem, except for the fact that it connects to the upstairs hall, down the front staircase and into the foyer. That snowball just keeps on rolling!

So, the yellow walls' days are numbered. But, now comes the big question: What new color should I choose?  

Today I'll share my process for finding the perfect paint color.

1. Research. Look through magazines, design blogs, Pinterest photos, Google images and your neighbors' houses to get an idea of the colors you like. You never know where you might find inspiration. I tried the blue from the Dunphy's house on "Modern Family." (It's BM Labrador Blue, in case you're interested.)

2. Pick up a few (or twenty) paint samples and put them on your wall. If you are doing a large space, put the samples in a couple different locations. The paint looked very different in the light of my back hall than it did in the sunny foyer. Make sure to paint a couple of coats to ensure that the original wall color isn't seeping through.

3. Live with the paint samples for a few days to see how you like them in different light. I thought for sure I would go with a gray or beige, but after trying 4 or 5 different shades, it wasn't working for me. Beige was boring, and the gray was too depressing, especially on days when the sun wasn't shining. I needed color.

4. Try different shades and intensities of colors. I like blue/green, and as you can see I tried lots of them.

5. Eliminate the colors you don't like, and paint larger sections of wall with the paint you do like. I originally thought I'd go with the darker Van Courtland Blue or Oyster Bay, and so I painted larger areas with those colors. However, after a couple of days, I realized they looked gloomy in my space. I needed a lighter color.

6. Make a decision. After living with the paint samples for a few days (or weeks), you'll have one that speaks to you. Even if you keep trying to ignore it, because it's the same color you painted your master bathroom and you realize you could have skipped steps 1 - 5. But, where's the fun in that?

The painters are here, applying Sea Salt as I type. Gee... I hope I like it!

Am I the only one with 20 sample-size paint cans? How do you choose the perfect paint color?