Happy Easter!

March 31, 2013

Decorating

It’s Easter for some of us…we don’t celebrate until May this year…so it’s a kicked back day for sure.  I have a pork butt in the oven for pulled pork sandwiches.  Some sweet potato wedges.  Cole Slaw on the rolls.  Yummy.  It’s almost like having ham right???  To those of you who celebrate today, Happy Easter!

It’s definitely Spring nesting season at my house.  The housecleaning continues.  I know.  How long can it take right?  I mean, it’s not a castle!!  Well, I am also trying to de-clutter.  That doesn’t mean the stuff on tables or whatnot.  I don’t have a bunch of that.  That means the stuff that is the accumulation of 33 years of marriage that was just too good to get rid of and I might need it one day.  Especially crafty things.  I could sew a complete project for every day of the rest of my life, complete it in one day, and STILL have projects left, stashed in the armoire or the closet or the basement when I die.  Some of that really needs to go!  But such decisions surround it.  And it isn’t getting any easier to decide what stays and what goes.  Easier with clothing that is for sure.  Haven’t worn it and don’t plan on wearing it?  OUT it goes.  Not so with the sewing projects.  SIGH.

Even as the housecleaning is ongoing, there is work happening around me.  There’s a long list of things (repairs) that needed doing that never did get done.  So I have a friend’s brother working as a handyman for me.  Dry wall has been repaired, molding is being changed out for the colonial molding style that is used downstairs, stair treads have been repaired, next the attic is being insulated.

I was shocked (but I suppose not surprised) to learn that the attic has pretty much NO insulation.  It was blown in originally in 1980 when the house was built.  When we had the new soffits and gutters installed and they took down the old ones, tons of the insulation came out of the old soffits.  We had a whole house fan…which, may have sucked it out to the soffits or out through the turbine or ridge vent I guess.  Bottom line, I have almost none.  Hopefully, once completed, my electric bill will be reduced even more.

It’s a relief to finally be getting these done.  Once the repair type stuff is done I’m having him paint the whole interior and finally install a new bannister and balustrades at the bottom of the stairs.   He worked in construction his entire life so this stuff is easy for him…it’s a blessing to have him doing it.  Really.   Meanwhile, still waiting for the garden design.  I’d like to say patiently, but I’m chomping at the bit to see it.  Not like the yard is going anywhere.  Or me either for that matter.  I’m just anxious to see the potential and visualize how wonderful it will be to use it finally.  While I wait I’ve begun the chore of choosing my paint colors for the house.

Have you chosen paint colors and agonized over them as I do?  Or do you just get what you like?  I used to just get what I liked, what I thought would work with the colors and then sit back and be pleased.  Or not so pleased.  Or truly unhappy.  That was when I began to evaluate every step of the color choices.  The wall paint is never a big problem.  Ceiling and trim paint is where my downfall lies.  Having been through all the phases of glazes, faux finishes, intense deep colors and wallpaper (and its subsequent removal which is an odious task), I am well over experimentation.  I want nice flat paint on my walls and nice sturdy semigloss on my trim.  Because my rooms usually have some pretty strong influences and colors, I like neutrals on the walls and let the furnishings take the stage.

So for now, in the spare bedrooms, I’m doing just a nice, safe, warm white.  When you look at whites take a good look.  hold a bunch of them side by side.  You’ll see some are greenish undertones, some greyish, some pink, some blue, some violet, some yellow.  I prefer the warm, yellow undertones.  Sometimes you think you have a warm white but it turns out it has some other base color in it too that is just not going to work with your wall color no matter what.  Warm whites seem less harsh to me and overall, I think, more flattering to people’s skin tones.  In the two bedrooms I am painting right now, I’m taking the safe route. The no thinking about it route.  I got 5 gallons of Valspar Signature paint (satin and semi gloss) in Swiss Coffee.  It’s white.  Off white.  But warm.  Like milk with a bit of coffee splashed in it. It’s going on walls, trim, ceiling.

So, you ask, what am I conjuring up with paint?  Well, wall, trim and ceiling paint for the walls, trim and ceiling in the hall, stairwell and living room.  The wall color is a foregone conclusion.  Benjamin Moore Monroe Bisque.  It’s a beautiful color.  It’s ecru basically.  On the brown side of ecru with loads of yellow undertone.  It’s a chameleon paint color though.  Depending on the light in your room in combination with your furnishings, it becomes different colors.  It’s on my living room walls now.  In my room, with garnet, navy, black furnishings, it is a soft buttery yellow.  Creamy.  However, before I put up my very creamy sheers, the daylight made it look greenish.  That was an uh oh moment I can tell you!  Greenish is not the look I was after.  I chose Monterey White for the trim.  Which, on the surface, is a good white for it,  It has a yellow base too.  But in my light it’s kind of muddy looking.  I am thinking this time I want to go with Ben Moore’s Mascarpone.  That leaves me with a ceiling paint choice.  Now there I am stuck.  I’m not normally a ceiling white kind of girl.  Normally I get an eighth tone of the wall color.  My local Ace guys asked me what an eighth tone was when I got my Monroe Bisque a couple years ago.  I’m not entirely sure I got an eighth tone.  But I did get a lighter shade of my wall paint which is the point.  Unfortunately, it is kind of muddy and blends into the crown molding.  So I am thinking maybe another “white” which isn’t really white…but also has a yellow base.  I’m thinking Ben Moore’s You Are My Sunshine.  I just ordered up 8 inch color cards of all three, plus Monterey White, plus Swiss Coffee, plus a 75% reduction of Monroe Bisque.  I’ll be testing out these colors side by side.  Could be Mascarpone on the ceiling and trim, Monroe Bisque on the walls and the 75% lighter version on the crown molding if the Sunshine or Coffee doesn’t work.  Once I decide which cards I like in combination, I’m going to order up paint boards.  I’m going to use their Aura paint and do not plan to paint again while I am on this earth.  So I want to be sure it’s right.  I’ll take some pics when the samples come and post them when I’ve decided.

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