Decorating Ideas

Decorating From Photoshop to Reality

I don’t know how most decorators or just decorating-lovers plan their projects, but I have learned over the years that I am a very visual person when it comes to designing a room.  I usually have an idea of what I want, but it really helps me if I draw out what I want, make a mood board, use tape to “sketch” my idea on the wall or floors, or look at photos online of something similar.  I’ve been lucky enough to have used Photoshop for many, many years, starting in high school when I just had a hobby of making fangirl art of almost-celebrities like Jesse McCartney (facepalm).  Yeah . . . lame, I know.  However, this dorky teenage phase turned into something useful when I started my photography business because I already knew my way around Photoshop pretty well.  Now, when I really want help figuring out what I want to do with a room or a certain nook of our home, I turn to Photoshop and play around!

For example, I really wanted yellow-striped curtains for our living room, but I was really worried about how they would look with everything, so I Photoshopped them into a photo I had of our living room!

yellowcurtains_only

Pretty cool, right? It was the encouragement I needed to go ahead with painting them.  here is the after with the real curtains:

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Obviously, they aren’t exactly the same, but that would have been nearly impossible.  For fun, I also changed out the ottoman with a gorgeous wooden coffee table and added a navy lamp to the console behind the sofa (with the fake rendered curtains):

yellowcurtains

Here’s a little before and after gif so it’s easier to see the difference:

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I’m so excited to add some wood into this room because I just feel it makes it feel more cottage-like, adds warmth, and is just so beautiful!

Before we added the board and batten in the dining room, I played around with it in Photoshop as well to figure out the spacing of the battens.  Here’s the Photoshop version:

boardandbatten_only

And here’s the real deal:

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Pretty crazy, right?

Originally, we had meant to paint the dining room a darker gray than what was in the living room because we thought it would balance out all the white, but through color matching certain colors, the color ended up being almost exactly the same as the living room color (it is virtually impossible to tell the difference without knowing they are really two paints from two different cans).  Before we added the board and batten, I also tried out adding a darker gray paint color to see what it would look like along with the gallery wall I want to add, some curtains and a different light fixture (just for fun – we still aren’t sold on any curtains or chandeliers yet).  White curtains:

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Blue curtains:

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And gray curtains:

boardandbatten

We decided against the darker gray after seeing these renderings and after installing the board and batten.  We really like the lighter gray with the white (since the white pops so much more with the walls than it seems to in these renderings).

So, for fun again, here is the room with the lighter walls, the gallery wall, a fun chandelier, and different colored curtains.  Blue curtains:

boardandbatten_blue_lightwall

Gray curtains:
boardandbatten_gray_lightwall

White curtains:

boardandbatten_white_lightwall
And here’s a gif to see the difference between the blank walls and somewhat of the direction we are headed in:

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We also plan on switching out the black chairs for white x-back chairs and possibly upholstered chairs on the ends of the table, but for now it is just so fun to play around with all the possibilities!

I’m seriously slightly addicted to this!  I’m working on one right now for the exterior of our house to plan out some of the landscaping, but that’s not a project we plan on tackling any time this year, so I’ll probably share it later after stewing over it for a while.

So, what do you think?  Are you a visual decorator?  What direction would you go in the dining room?

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The Perfect Paint Palette

The first thing I did when we got our offer accepted for our house was go out and pick up as many paint samples as possible.  I have followed many decorating/DIY blogs for years and have already known either the type of colors I want in our house or the exact color names.  I had been dreaming of painting walls for a LONG time!

paint colors palette

 

Little did I know when our offer was accepted, that we would be doing a major renovation that would push back painting for many, many months.  That didn’t stop me from dreaming, however, as I painted multiple swatches in every room in the house.  Our bathroom, second bedroom, and master bedroom still have those swatches since we haven’t completely decided what we want to do in those rooms.

When dreaming about decorating our house, we definitely wanted to keep the rooms bright and airy and let the accessories do most of the talking.  I love more subdued paint colors in grays and aquas.  I want our home to feel like a happy cottage, and to me aqua/mint green are the colors I think of when I think of a cottage.  Gray is my favorite neutral, and I love how it looks with white and different shades of aqua, so we knew there would be a lot of gray in our house.

This is our current paint palette of colors we have used and colors we plan on using (or similar colors to those shown):

paint colors palette

 

The process of choosing our paint colors was very easy.  I began by going through my Pinterest boards and blogs with homes I love and I kept note of the paint colors I liked.  In a Word document, I simply dragged photos of rooms with paint colors I liked and kept track of the paint names and makers.

paintworddoc

Then, I showed San the photos and we picked out ones we wanted to buy samples of.  We bought eight different samples of our favorite paint colors and then painted swatches and wrote the names underneath in pencil.  We painted swatches on multiple walls so that we could see how they read in different lighting at different times of the day.  We knew we wanted a bolder, darker aqua in the kitchen because of all the light it gets and the amount of white from the cabinets that would need to be balanced.  I also knew I wanted a soft, light gray in the living room and bedroom hallway with a darker gray in the dining room.

Here are the rooms that are currently painted and what color we chose:

Living Room – Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore

housetour_01_2014-6_progress

 

The living room is painted Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore.  We got it color matched in Sherwin Williams paint.  I am in love with this color!  The coved ceilings and white furniture looks so beautiful with this paint color!  We are hoping to add more color in with curtains, more pillows, and art, so this paint color is a wonderful, soft, light neutral to balance all the colors that we plan to bring in.  I love how this light paint color mixed with the white ceiling and coved ceiling allow the light to just flood in and fill up the room.  Gorgeous!

Here is Stonington Gray in other rooms around the web (so you can get an idea of how it looks in different spaces):

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Dining Room – Stonington/Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore

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Technically, the dining room is color matched in Sherwin Williams paint to match Coventy Gray by Benjamin Moore.  When I originally picked up paint samples and painted them on the walls, I bought them from Menards.  This was a bad idea because the way they color match and the way Sherwin Williams color matched Coventry Gray were different.  I imagined the dining room being a much darker gray with the same undertones as the Stonington Gray in the living room.  I wanted it to be darker because we are going to add board and batten to the bottom two-thirds of the dining room walls and I want a darker gray that can balance all the white.  Right now, it is impossible to tell a difference between the living room and dining room paint colors, so we will probably be painting this Timber Wolf by Benjamin Moore or a similar dark gray once we have the board and batten done.

Here are some rooms with a dark gray like we want to use:

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Timber Wolf by Benjamin Moore – Source

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Cinder by Benjamin Moore – Source

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Mombasa Mist by Ralph Lauren – Source

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 Unknown color – Source

Kitchen – Stratton Blue by Benjamin Moore

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Ahhh, the kitchen!  This is my favorite paint color in the house!  The kitchen is painted Stratton Blue by Benjamin Moore.  We used actual Benjamin Moore paint for this room, so the color is exact.  This color reminds me of Nantucket or of Cape Cod.  It’s the perfect cottage blue and it looks amazing with white and black (and red).  I love that it is a bolder color than the living and dining rooms because it draws people in, which is exactly what I think a kitchen should do!  The white we are using in our house for the cabinets, dining room buffet, and eventually the trim and doors, is Cloud Cover by Benjamin Moore.  I won’t lie, this is the only paint color we didn’t see on the walls before choosing.  That was bold considering we have it all over the house, but it looks perfect!  When seen next to stark white, it is actually more of a cream/gray, but it looks bright white in our lighting and with our other colors.

Here are some other rooms from around the internet that are painted Stratton Blue:

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Those are the only rooms we have painted so far.  I would like to share the paint colors we are thinking of using in the rest of the house.  I’d love some advice or recommendations if you have any before we dive in to painting these rooms!

Bathroom – Light Aqua Blue

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I would really like a light, pale blue in the bathroom.  The floor tile has a lot of brown, and the square wall tiles have little tan flecks in them, so we want to stay away from gray in here because I am not a fan of brown and gray unless it is dark brown wood with gray.  I’m really in love with the photos I have seen of Rainwashed by Sherwin Williams such as these:

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However, I also love Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore:

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palladian2

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Master Bedroom – Some Shade of Blue or Blue/Gray

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Our master bedroom definitely has me torn as to what color I want to paint it.  We are planning on painting all the trim white as well as adding white closet units on the right wall (where the dog bed is and along that side wall in the photo above), and we will be keeping our rug and bedding.  The headboard will probably be recovered either a fun pop of color (a sherbet orange?  coral?  yellow?) or a dark charcoal, so that it won’t clash with the walls which we want to paint some shade of aqua blue.  Part of me wants to go a very light, happy shade of aqua blue, almost like the two blue pillows on the bed, but part of me wants to go a little darker to make it more of a cozy sanctuary feel (does anyone get what I mean???).  I love the idea of a lighter blue to lighten this room up, but I am hesitant because our bathroom and second bedroom will most likely be lighter blues.  Thoughts?

Here are some other blues that I like that could be possible contenders:

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Woodlawn Blue – Source

masterbedroom2

Woodlawn Blue – Source

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Serenata by Benjamin Moore – Source

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Nimbus Gray by Benjamin Moore – Source

Second Bedroom – Stay Tuned

Marital Glue House at Closing

Much like we have done nothing but fill this room with stuff we don’t know where else to put, we also don’t have a paint color picked out for this room yet.  We have decided not to work on this room until we have news that we are going to be having a baby.  We hope that will happen in the near future, so we don’t plan on decorating this room only to change it right away.  The gender of the baby probably won’t matter when it comes to paint colors, and I already have a lot of ideas in mind for when that time comes, but for now we are going to keep it a secret.

So, there you have it!  Those are our current paint colors and our plans for painting in the future.  I have kept this post centered on the interior only because I have not put too much thought into the outside.  If we paint the stone, we will probably go for a darker blue/aqua color, but if we don’t paint the stone, I have no idea!  That’s a project for another time, but we will keep you posted once we know!

I’d love if you could share your favorite paint colors in the comment section!  I would also love to read any suggestions you have as we paint the rest of the rooms!

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How We Make Pinterest Work For Us

Two years after I first joined Pinterest, I am surprised by how much I still use it.  However, the way I use it today is much different the way I use today.  I’m just a tad bit obsessed with organization, which is hard to tell by our house which is currently mid-renovation, so I’ve been searching for other ways to organize my life before I am able to organize our house.  I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming, but practically the day we moved into our house, I started looking around and realized that there is a tremendously long list of things we want to do to our house.

I’m the kind of person who feels completely overwhelmed to the point of not being to do anything when I have a list of things in my head that I need to do.  Even if that list covers things that I need to do in the next decade, if it’s only in my head, I feel like I’m about to explode.  I’ve learned that getting those lists on to paper or some other form of getting them out of my head but somewhere where I can reference them easily calms me and eliminates the overwhelming feelings.

Now that we are getting closer to finishing the renovation (we will update you with pictures and descriptions soon – it’s a little chaotic around here right now), I’ve been seriously thinking about decorating, furniture-buying, and organizing.  Thinking about all the rooms to decorate, although it is fun for me to do, had me feeling overwhelmed.  So, I came up with a couple methods for organizing all of our ideas.  Next week, I will be posting a video of our tangible way of tracking projects and ideas.  Today, I’ll be sharing how I use Pinterest for this purpose.

The method we use that I will be showing you next week is more specific and detailed, which makes it useful in a different way than what I use Pinterest for.  I use Pinterest to house our ideas that I need help visualizing, to keep links to certain products we want to buy or websites that will help us with our projects, or for inspiration purposes.

For the past two years, I have kept my home-related Pinterest categories separated by room.  Anything related to bedrooms, I would oddly enough put in the “Bedroom” category.  Makes sense, right?  I thought so, too, until we had rooms in our own house that I had specific ideas for.  For example, in my “Bedroom” category, I would have all kinds of photos of different rooms with different color schemes, and ideas that if all put into one room would look ridiculous.  That folder just housed all of the things I liked, but not necessarily ideas I would want combined into one room.

Pinterest Organization

So, what I have done is added separate boards for each room or area of our house (even the future rooms like the basement family room, basement bedroom, and basement bathroom that aren’t existing yet).  I named these boards “Our Home’s _________” (with the __________ indicating whichever room in our house that board is associated with).  I renamed the old categories things like “Bathroom Inspiration,” “Bedroom Inspiration,” and so on.

Now, when I’m browsing Pinterest or looking at a store’s website and I see, say, an awesome board and batten tutorial, I can yell, “HUZZAH!  I’ll add it to my ‘Our Home’s Dining Room’ Pinterest board!” And, off I will go.  If I see a dining room that is awesome, but doesn’t really fit what I want in our current dining room, I will yell, “That’s amazing!  I’ll add it to my ‘Dining Room Inspiration’ Pinterest board!” And, a happy camper I will be.  I just love the structure this gives me to let my thoughts wander, but to leave a spot for me to always come back to when I am ready to work on a certain room.

Such a little thing makes a huge impact on my stress level and my creativity. I am so excited to watch these boards grow and eventually morph into actual projects we will take on.  If you are interested in seeing all of my Pinterest boards, you can check them out here.

Stop back next week for a detailed look into our detailed decorating, renovating, and organization project management.  It may involve a video!

Now, I’m dying to know if there are any awesome ways you make Pinterest work for you.

Becoming Inspired: Kitchen Phase One Inspiration

Last time, I talked about the pros and cons of our original kitchen (before we touched it).  Today, I am sharing our inspiration and our plan for the kitchen (at least when it comes to aesthetics).  As we talked about in our post about our dual decorating style, we like kind of a modern, bright, cottage feel.  We like classic touches with some fun, quirky, colorful pieces thrown in there just to make it more comfortable and fun.

Our kitchen is a galley, so we looked at lots of galley kitchens to see what directions we wanted to go in.  Here are some inspiration photos of galley kitchens that we really liked followed by what we really liked about them.

Galley Kitchen:

Galley Kitchen Inspiration

Southern Hospitality

Galley Kitchen Inspiration

Not a House, But a Home

What we love:

We also looked through our Pinterest boards to see what paint colors, hardware, light fixtures, and other kitchen-related items we were naturally drawn to.  Here are our favorite photos and what we liked about them.

Kitchens We Were Drawn to:

Galley Kitchen Inspiration

House of Turquoise

Galley Kitchen Inspiration

House of Turqouise

Galley Kitchen Inspiration

House Beautiful

Galley Kitchen Inspiration

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Galley Kitchen Inspiration

Better Homes and Gardens

What we love:

We took what we loved from these kitchens and applied it to our kitchen.  Here is an inspiration board I created to give you just a taste of the final kitchen (I used the exact products we used as much as I could).  This doesn’t include the fun accents, art, and shelving items, but it gives you a taste of the more permanent finishes we chose.

kitchen phase one mood board

 

Details:

  1. Benjamin Moore Aura Satin paint in Cloud Cover (for the cabinets)
  2. Benjamin Moore Regal Eggshell paint in Stratton Blue (for the walls)
  3. Oil rubbed bronze hinges (since our cabinets are old school and the hinges show)
  4. Oil rubbed bronze cabinet handles
  5. Oil rubbed bronze classic drawer pulls
  6. Black granite sink
  7. Vintage-inspired faucet
  8. Black Alicante formica countertops (this was a low-budget kitchen upgrade – one day we will have solid stone countertops)
  9. Nautical light fixture
  10. Ikea white shelf with bracket

 

Looking at the inspiration board, it looks like there will be a lot of black in the kitchen, but really, because the cabinets will all be white, the black is there to balance it out.  The Stratton Blue wall color paint was taken from the inspiration photos (it is used in the third and fourth photos in this post) and it is so pretty!  It’s the perfect color and just reminds me of Cape Cod, which totally fits our vintage coastal style that we love.

We can’t wait to show you the final kitchen (when it is complete), but stay tuned for many progress photos of how we are getting from the inspiration to the final product.