Saturday, January 30, 2016

Picking a Paint Color for the Craft Room

Ok, I am so excited because I'm finally seeing the end in sight for our little craft/exercise room! It's been so cluttered and junked up for too long and I've slowly been chipping away at it. For two years.

Last year I worked on reducing the amount of stuff I had. There are still a few things I'm holding onto that I probably shouldn't have but I have a whole lot less than I did! Even after that, I'm still having a storage issue. That has been the main hindrance to making this room organized and functional.

I've figured out a furniture layout that I think will work. I'd love to have a small table to work at in this room but, unless I find a great deal at a thrift store this year, the table will have to wait. So right now I'm focusing on creating that storage I need that's functional but looks nice too. I'm planning on hanging shelves on one wall and I wanted to get the painting out of the way before doing that.

Usually it takes me forever to decide on a paint color but this time it took me one day. I'm usually up nights thinking about colors for weeks and asking Hubby's opinion every two seconds on three shades of gray-white that he can't tell the difference between. Not this time. I'm so proud of myself.

Since we repainted the living room last year(an ordeal I have yet to blog about, now that I think about it), I have like 20 different shades of leftover paint samples sitting in my laundry nook. I started out thinking I wanted a chalky white but then I just started feeling like this room needed a softer, warmer look. This room is an east facing room with no shade so it gets a good amount of light all day long too.

I had a few shades in mind before I tried them out on the walls. I ended up trying five Sherwin Williams paint colors: Alabaster, Snowbound, First Star, Nebulous White, and Pearly White.

Picking a Paint Color for the Craft Room- Picking between Sherwin Williams Pearly White, Alabaster, Snowbound, Nebulous White, and First Star.

Can you spot the shade differences? Alabaster is a creamy white that takes on a yellow hue in my east facing rooms. I already have it in my living room and I'm not a fan. Snowbound is the color currently in my kitchen. It's a clean white with no undertone but it looks too bright in this room with all the natural light. Nebulous White has a blue-gray undertone and looks too cool and, while I love First Star, it's a little too gray for what I wanted in this room(in real life it looks much grayer than in the picture).

My favorite is Pearly White.

Pearly White has a soft, warm gray undertone. If it was on all walls and trim, it would all look plain white but I'm planning on keeping a bright white on the trim so that the walls read as a very light color. Since this is going to be my crafting room, I wanted a neutral color with very little undertone so I would have a clean backdrop for pictures and projects. Color really impacts how the light looks in photos and I want to avoid tinted pictures as much as possible!

Here's a couple more shots, one at the paint color on the opposite wall:

Picking a Paint Color for the Craft Room-Sherwin Williams Pearly White

Picking a Paint Color for the Craft Room-Sherwin Williams Pearly White

The bottom color is Pearly White. Above it is Snowbound.

I know, it's white. Everyone seems to be doing white right now and I realize that many people will always like color. I've always loved neutrals though. Even as a teen, my room had really light brown walls with darker brown trim and lots of white and pastel pink. Much to my sister's chagrin, who, after I moved out, promptly painted the room an intense shade of green and white with bright pink and dark brown trim. Her room looked way better than it sounds, I promise!

Anyway, no matter how the trends go, I believe that light neutrals will always be my go-to colors of choice. I'll just have to make up for it with my colorful personality, I suppose;) If you really know me, you know that there's a whole lot of snarky cynicism under this outer layer of quiet observation!

So, I know from pictures it can be hard to see undertones and color variations but I'd like to know: what is your favorite color from the ones I picked? What is your take on neutrals vs. colors? Which do you prefer?

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Home Goals 2016

You want to know something really unfortunate? My new goals for our home look very much like they did last year. Ok, totally like they did last year. I think I got maybe two things done off of last year's list. I suppose that I just got worn out with life, the universe, and everything. I did get some decluttering done, though not as much as I would have liked.

So this year, I have all these ideas that are mainly built on last year's unaccomplished goals. I like to call them "rollover goals." Too many of my everyday to-do lists are like this, which is also unfortunate.

The lists for 2015 and 2016 may be very similar, but I'm always getting more ideas so the execution will not be what I originally imagined last year. I also get to mark a couple things off the list, like completing the boys' room. Here's what's next on the list!

1. Storage for the powder room.

If I had the money this year, I love to replace the old medicine cabinet with a mirror, put in new lighting, and put in an outlet that's not connected to a light fixture. Since that's not going to happen, especially since we're renting, storage is the next thing this little room needs. 

2. New living room chairs.

Currently, we have two cheap Ikea wicker chairs and an old, green, $2 chair from the thrift store. The green chair has been nice but it has decided to give out. Like if you sit on it, one side of you falls halfway through the chair. The wicker chairs are better suited for quick seating, not everyday seating. They definitely aren't the chairs you want to sit in for a two hour movie.

Home Goals 2016:Christmas decorated living room with greenery and neutrals.

I'd like to splurge on a couple of comfy leather chairs to go in front of the fireplace in place of the little wicker chairs. Hubby has been wanting a recliner but most recliners are made of ugly so I'm hoping we can find a stylish recliner that is still comfortable for his 6'+ self. Even just one leather recliner with a similar chair to go opposite would work.

Home Goals 2016

3. Makeover and organize the exercise/craft room + reading nook.

This room has been a process for the last couple years. Little starts here and there, a little decluttering, some more moving of things from one side to the other, but I've never been able to truly have this room finished. This year, I have hope. Ideally, I'd like to have a small table to sew and craft at but, since we want new comfy chairs, that table/desk will probably have to wait. I do have a working layout for the furniture that I do have and plans to paint and hang window treatments. This room also has a little nook which will be perfect to turn into a reading nook for the kids that they can play in while I'm working or exercising.

Home Goals 2016: An office gallery wall with faux horse head and ocean theme paintings.

4. Paint and create a command center in the office/study.

I loved this space before we moved the kids' toys in here and had to take down my gallery wall. At the moment, the office isn't exactly pretty. This is the room with most of the books, the computer, and the kids' toys. Everything is packed into this one tiny room. Honestly, I don't have much of a clue what to do with it design-wise and perhaps that's just the stage we have to be in right now, but we do need it to function better when it comes to papers, bills, and keeping track of it all. It's also in desperate need of a new coat of paint. 

5. Hang curtains in the kitchen.

While the kitchen may not be my favorite space with all those orangey pine cabinets, it has been de-wallpapered and painted, it has a new floor, and it functions well for us. It just needs a bit more softening and a little more personality. I'm thinking a simple gray ticking stripe would work well for curtains but I'm still deciding.

Home Goals 2016: Knotty pine kitchen cabinets with white walls.

I really only have five big goals for 2016. I really want to make some more progress than I did last year! What are your goals for your home this year? It can be anything you want, even if it's hang all your picture frames up. We all have that stack of frames laying around the house!

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Monday, January 11, 2016

My Top 15 Favorite Posts of 2015

Sometimes you just feel rather blah about writing. I love it and I like to think I at least do a decent job of it, but sometimes you just wanna relax with the family and watch some Netflix. I have hopes to have a big girl blog business one day but, until then, I am enjoying the more chill speed of life. Slow and steady, right?

This week I've been busy with family so I haven't been able to do anything around the house or any writing either. So, as it's the beginning of the year, I thought I'd do a round-up of my 15 favorite posts from 2015. These are the posts that I feel the best about; the ones that include a little piece of my heart in them.

DIY Chalkboard Canvas

This DIY Chalkboard Canvas was one of my favorite projects of the year! Taking an ugly painted canvas from the thrift store and covering it in chalkboard paint was an easy and cheap way to jump on the chalkboard everything trend. It's probably on it's way out now since I finally made my own chalkboard art. I still love it though!

31 Days to Less Clutter: Knowing What to Keep When You're Decluttering

One of my favorite posts in my decluttering series was on knowing what to keep. It can be hard to narrow every thing down but in this post, I shared my process for decluttering my own stuff. I'm still working on it and I have a sneaky suspicion that decluttering is like doing the laundry.

8 Ways to Foster Your Child's Creativity

We all know that how we raise our kids determines much of who they are in life. As parents, we can shape, not only our kids values and behavior, but their creativity as well. In 8 Ways to Foster Your Child's Creativity, I wrote about the 8 things we try to do in our home to help our boys develop creativity.

Triple Chocolate Nutella Mug Cake Recipe

Triple Chocolate Nutella Mug Cake Recipe. I think that says it all. 'Nuff said.

Why I Have People Over When I Don't Have a Floor

Want to know why I have people over when I don't have a floor? It's hard to ignore when every one sticks to it as they walk in but relationships are vital things. Have the neighbors over for dinner! Honestly, you'll probably make friends faster that way. 

Word of the Year for 2015

Last year's Word of the Year for 2015. I dedicated much of the year to getting rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff. Not just tangible stuff either. It was also my year for going through emotions, hurts, and opinions and discarding all the baggage from those. Sure, I only got around to picking my word halfway through the year but still useful:)

Styling Bathroom Shelves and Settling for Done

Our upstairs bathroom is so hard to decorate and take pictures in but last year I tried my best to style the bathroom shelves and settle for it just being done. The shelves were a mess and had been for some time. I'm still trying to figure out that bathroom but, in the meantime, the shelves are a bit more pleasant to look at. Many times it is better to just get it done imperfectly than to live who knows how long with things undone.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Fighting for Joy

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was one of my favorite reads in 2015. Naturally, I did a review post and shared some thoughts on the deluttering process. Less stuff taking up our thoughts and time means more time spent on people and things that bring joy. While decluttering is good for creating space and making things look neat, the process of decluttering is also a fight for peace of mind and more joy in our lives. 

Low-carb Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Bowl

Last year we tried to go more low-carb in our diet. I love pasta and potatoes but we weren't feeling too great. It's been...interesting trying to find replacements for my favorite baked goods. My husband loves this low-carb chocolate chip cookie in a bowl

Boys' Vintage Modern Nursery Reveal and Free Printables

The big thing that happened in the realm of home decorating last year was finally finishing the boys' vintage modern nursery. It's been semi-finished for a few months but finding time to do the finishing touches and take pictures was hard. About time since the Munchkin will be two this year and I started this room before he was born! I love how it finally turned out with lots of light and space for books and toys. I painted the walls white and, believe it or not, those white walls are holding up rather well!

Sweet and Simple Fall Mantel with Turkey Feathers and Fall Branches

This fall I went with a sweet and simple fall mantel

Beauty in the Mundane

Every now and then, when I'm going about my day(you know, like pulling out my hair, refolding the dumped out laundry, and wishing I could drink all the coffee), when suddenly I'll be struck by the beauty in the mundane. The way the light hits the trees or how the blanket was thrown over the couch reminds me to slow down and see the beauty that is already there, even in the chaos of everyday life.

Decorating from the Yard

Decorating from the yard is not just something I do because I like it(although I really do), but it is also from necessity. I don't have flowers or the money to spend on them, but I can use the simple things that I do have. 

Easy Five Minute Fudge

This recipe for Easy 5 Minute Fudge is the best fudge recipe! It takes only a few ingredients and five minutes to make. I always make a few batches around the holidays.

Rustic Christmas Home Tour using greenery, neutrals, and lots of textured layers

I shared my 2015 Rustic Christmas Home Tour. Even with school finals and stuff going on, I managed to get the house somewhat decorated for Christmas.  

I've got some big plans for 2016; who wants to take bets on how many I actually accomplish?

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Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Word of the Year

Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed ringing in the new year! We did not intend to stay up until midnight but we ended up reading, writing, and watching several humorous episodes of Jeeves and Wooster and The Big Bang Theory. I came away thinking, as I always do, that I need a Jeeves in my life. An immaculately dressed British valet doing all my housekeeping and fixing everything I mess up?

Where can I get one? Can I get one that comes with a blue police box?


Anyway, now that I've wandered off into nerd-dom and probably lost half of you, I want to bring up one of my favorite things to do for the new year. Every year, I pick a Word of the Year. A Word of the Year is a goal of sorts. It is a word to define one's hope for, and approach to, life in the coming year. I started doing it a few years ago after I started blogging and saw all the cool bloggers doing it.

Cool bloggers pick a Word of the Year. I'm cool and I'm a blogger. That makes me a cool blogger too which means I can pick a Word of the Year. Something like that.

In 2014, I picked organize, and (halfway through) 2015 I picked discard. This year, I picked the word deliberate. Hubby and I were having a discussion and he used the word deliberate and it jumped out at me. I had been trying to decide on a word and deliberate fit exactly. I feel that deliberateness has been lacking in my approach to life, the house, the blog, and my relationships.

This year I want to be deliberate in my actions. I want to think ahead a little better and keep my long-term goals in mind. I need to be more deliberate in my relationship with God, connecting with people, in teaching and disciplining the boys, in loving my husband, and even in my approach to improving our home. 

I don't do resolutions but I have found choosing one word for the year to be helpful in helping myself focus. Do you usually do resolutions or a word of the year? Feel free to share some of your goals in the comments!

Happy New Year!

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