Marbled Paper and a Giveaway!

Hi everyone, it’s Mera & Katie together writing a post side by side!  We’ve been talking so much through emails and texts lately that we both had a moment of trepidation before we saw each other at the airport– much like people who have been internet dating and are about to meet in person for the first time.  Would we be attractive enough?  Cool enough?  Would we have that spark in person?  Turns out, yes, we’re still a perfect match and within 1/100 of a second together it was like we’d never been apart.

We’re spending the weekend at Katie’s mom’s house on the green and lovely Mckenzie River. In addition to doing blog housekeeping (check out our new Popular Posts page!) we decided to do a little craft project together to share with you.

Red House West||Marbled Paper

We’ve both been wanting to give marbling a try, so we bought this kit and decided to use it to prettify plain cards and envelopes.  It was to be a simple craft (and one that Mera did in grade school), but we definitely went through all five stages of crafting with this one:

(1) this is going to be so rad and beautiful;

(2) this isn’t working like we thought it would;

(3) this looks like sh*t;

(4) maybe it’s not so bad;

(5) oooooh, pretty!

In addition to the marbling kit, the supplies we needed were a shallow pan with 1 to 2 inches of water, a few utensils for swirling, inexpensive plain cards and envelopes, paper towels, and newspaper to protect the work area.

The kit includes small rounds of paper called floating paper that help to disperse the ink.  The first step is to submerge the floating paper and let it rise back to the surface of the water.

Red House West||Marbled Paper

Once the floating paper is at the surface, you gently drop ink onto the paper and let it disperse.

Red House West||Marbled Paper

Then you continue dropping ink onto the floating paper until you’ve added all the colors you want to include (we used 4-6 drops per batch).

Red House West||Marbled Paper

Once you’ve added your ink, you use an implement of some sort – like a pen, fork, or brush – and gently swirl the colors in the pan.

Red House West||Marbled Paper

When the surface looks swirled to your liking, you gently lay your paper on the water. We found that it worked best to start with one corner or side of the paper to avoid creating bubbles in the pattern.

Red House West||Marbled PaperFor us, the first dip in the water never turned out well.  We started using scratch paper for the first go round, and saved our cards for the second and third round.  Each batch of colors yielded about four cards, with the design getting progressively lighter.

After some trial and error, including early efforts that looked like an oil spill mixed with a sewage spill mixed with runoff from a breached tailings pond, we are really pleased with how they turned out.

Red House West||Marbled Paper

Red House West||Marbled Paper

Red House West||Marbled Paper

Red House West||Marbled Paper

We’ve had tons of fun this weekend together, and we’re really excited about the direction Red House West is headed.  We’ve got lots of new projects and content planned, and we hope you’ll visit the blog early and often and tell your friends about it too!

As a thank you to you, our wonderful readers, we are doing another giveaway!  Send in your good score submissions to us at redhousewest@gmail.com or on Instagram by tagging #rhwgoodscore and you will automatically be entered in a random drawing to win a marbling kit of your own!  Entries must be received by Wednesday, September 24 and the winner will be announced in the Good Score post on Friday, September 26.

Red House West||Marbled Paper

xo,

Mera & Katie

August Good Score!

Good Score! is a monthly feature here at Red House West highlighting our readers’ secondhand finds. If you scored a great bargain at a thrift store, found a treasure on the side of the road, or discovered a one-of-a-kind gem at a yard sale, we’d love to hear about it! Please send a picture and a brief description of what, where and how much to redhousewest@gmail.com -OR- use the hashtag #rhwgoodscore on Instagram and the last Friday of each month we’ll share a few highlights. To see previous Good Scores, click here.

We are giddy about the good scores that came in this month–it was like our collective birthday whenever we got a new one!  Let’s get started.

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From Nikole:
I scored a set of 4 (!!!) teak dining chairs on Craigslist Fairbanks. If you’ve ever perused Craigslist in Fairbanks (or, I’m guessing, most anywhere in Alaska), you can appreciate my overwhelming delight at this find. I got all 4 chairs for $50. FIFTY DOLLARS! Ah. Mazing.

I only needed two chairs, but I gladly took all 4 home. I washed them down with some Murphy’s Oil Soap and then gave them a good coat of Feed-n-Wax. The wood was in pretty nice shape, so I didn’t need to use any Restor-a-Finish. I resisted my initial temptation to try and stain them a bit darker . . . I kind of love the natural beauty of the teak and figured it’s always easier to go darker later rather than try to reverse the process.
Teak.Chair.1

The fabric on the chairs was not hideous, but not really my speed . . . plus, it was covered in plastic. I know that’s practical and all, but . . . just, no. I tore the fabric and plastic coating off of each seat and – miracle of miracles – discovered that the batting underneath was like new! I’m willing to admit that this was probably because of the plastic covering that I had given the stink eye and that I may regret this decision later.

I found a lovely fabric at JoAnn’s and, after washing, ironing, and Scotchguard-ing, I reupholstered the chairs. VOILA. They are fabulous and comfortable and I am totes in love.
Teak.Chair.4

From Pippin:

I bought a small beautiful Mexican rug from a garage sale for $15. The previous owner bought it in Mexico, and had intentions to make a pillow out of it, but never got around to completing the project. She was nice enough to throw in the fabric for free! The pillow took less than an hour to make.
As you can seen from the photos, my dog Jake was quite fond of the rug. This project turned out fantastic!
PS The chair in the photo I bought years ago for $20 and simply covered it with fabric I had laying around the house.

Pippin Good Score

 

From Cara:
I was driving down a busy street and saw this with a “FREE” sign attached to it, so naturally I had to slam on the brakes to see what it was. The owner happened to be outside of his house, and when I asked if he was sure he wanted to get rid of it he said to just take it. Music to my ears!

Cara GS

 

From Grace:
This white & blue planter isn’t my usual style, but I know gorgeous when I see it, and as I was on a mission to find pots for all my house plants I had to get it. Definitely worth it for $2.99 from St. Vinnies, and I love that with enough different patterns and colors of pots they all seem to match somehow. The last picture is a fantastic tin I found at Goodwill, also only $1.99, and another piece that isn’t my usual style, but brings so much to my plant area. I love the detail, colors, and antique quality. European made, and one of my new favorite pieces to show off!
Grace GS pic

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Amazing stuff, right?  And how awesome are the bonus DIYs from Nikole and Pippin (and Pippin, keep that Jake of yours locked up tight–we’re smitten and might just dognap him!).  And extra points to Cara and Grace for finding treasures for free or close to free!  Way to go and thanks again to everyone who sent in their Good Scores!  Have a terrific weekend and check back in on Monday for a new collaborative post.  And don’t forget to send your good scores!

Wedding Nostalgia: Summer Camp and Trebuchets

Hi everyone! I hope you don’t mind that I’m veering off the charted home DIY course to share my wedding with you today. I want to share in part because I made my first venture into the world of blogs (reading them, not writing them) while planning it, which definitely helped lead me to this happy place of writing Red House West. I also want to share my wedding because four years ago, when I was floundering around the vast, often commercialized online world of wedding planning, I was grateful to find the experiences of real, sane people who managed to have a meaningful wedding that didn’t require mortgaging their home or their souls.

B & W in front of tent

Cameron and I were married in September 2010. We were engaged for two years, and it took much of that time for us to figure out what marriage meant to us, and how our wedding might reflect that. I quailed at the idea of being a ‘princess for a day,’ as if somehow a wedding is a vehicle for the bride’s vanity, and the groom is a necessary, but secondary participant.

We considered eloping, but ultimately we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to gather as many of our loved ones as we could into a single place.

BigTrees

I’ve broken this (*fair warning* very long and picture-laden) post into categories to give it a bit of structure. First up? The venue.

*All photos in this post taken by the Weaver House*

Venue
Cameron and I decided to thwart the oft-heard complaint of newlyweds that their wedding was a whirlwind they barely remember by having a camp wedding – so the revelry could last for days instead of hours.

Camp Lane Wide Shot

We also didn’t want guests to spend a ton of money coming to our wedding – ideally, we wanted to provide accommodations (rustic ones anyway) for our friends and family.

Camp Lane porch

After much searching we found Camp Lane, a summer camp nestled along the Siuslaw River about half an hour from our hometown of Eugene. It had everything we could want: a commercial kitchen, an historic log lodge, a copse of trees perfect for the ceremony AND a swimming hole, myriad games, cabins and large open fields for camping.

On the bridge

Invitations
We – and that term encompasses not just Cameron and me, but friends and family as well – took a hands-on approach and made most of the elements of our wedding. We fully planned to make our own invitations, but I got absurdly lucky and won a contest hosted by the wedding blog Style Me Pretty. The prize was a full, custom-designed letter-pressed invitation suite by Paisley Quill and oh man, do I love them!

Invitations

Molly at Paisley Quill had such creative ideas and her design completely captured the feeling of our wedding. The invitations were such a hit that Cameron’s Aunt Lory made us this incredible quilt:

Quilt

Photography
Cameron and I went back and forth a lot on whether it was worth it to hire professional photographers. In hindsight, it’s one of the best decisions we made – the images are touchstones for memories that might otherwise blend into a hazy – albeit happy – remembrance of that day.

eyeballs

Kelty and Hannah of the Weaver House are amazing women and absolute magicians. Neither Cameron nor I are comfortable around cameras – I typically look like I’m trying to eat the camera; all neck tendons and teeth and the whites of my eyes. Somehow they managed to capture photos where we look like us – but the ‘us’ we are when there aren’t any cameras around.

Dancing 2dancing

To help us stay within our budget, Kelty and Hannah took photos of the ceremony and dinner, but not the party after. Having both of them there meant that while one took portraits, the other was taking photos of our guests. The result is a beautiful and pretty complete record of the day.
forehead kiss

What we wore
Cameron’s mom made his vest, and my mom gave him his shirt. My wedding dress was an early 1970s handmade creation that I found at a thrift store. With its empire waist and softly-draped skirt (and once the mutton sleeves had been trimmed to cap sleeves) it had a very Pride & Prejudice feel.

walking

The Ceremony
Because we knew we’d be nervous until it was over, we decided to have our ceremony on Friday evening so we could spend rest of the weekend relaxing with everyone else. The ceremony site was in an amphitheater lined with wooden benches and surrounded by big trees.

Entering the site
Our wedding party was comprised of our eight parents and our niece, Taylor, who carried the rings. Cameron and I walked in together, split ranks to give our parents hugs and kisses, then met again at the front.

hugging the parents

Ceremony from the back

When we first started planning, we were really embarrassed by the thought of sharing something as personal as our love and commitment in front of people. Once we realized there was no script we had to follow and took the time to write down things that we actually wanted from marriage and wanted to promise each other, the embarrassment was gone.

Friends at Ceremony

Our friend Annalise – who I’ve known since birth – was our officiant. Our vows emphasized giving each other support to grow as individuals while also making time to nurture each other and our relationship. Here are two of our vows that we’ve frequently referred to in the last four years:

I support your interests and the things you do that bring you joy and I vow to carve out space and time for you and us within my own interests.

I acknowledge that you are not a mind reader, and I will do my best to communicate with you.

Cameron also vowed to bring a little order to my disorder while I vowed to bring some disorder to his order. We’ve both done a bang-up job at that :)

Hugging it out

Then we hugged, kissed and led a parade over to the trebuchet. Because, why not?

B&W Parade

Our Nod to Tradition
It is here, dear readers, that we veer into a world of nerd-dom unpalatable to most blogs.
There are lot of wedding traditions out there, and we tried to pick out only those that meant something to us personally. Neither of us was interested in Cameron trying to wrest a garter from my thigh with his teeth while his Grandma Jackie looked on. We didn’t plan on doing a bouquet toss either, but when practicality made us abandon the plan to fling a flaming orb from the trebuchet, we decided that was a tradition we could make our own.

A sign let people know that this was a bouquet toss for both men and women (and boys and girls) and that the object was to place a flag with their name on it in the spot they thought the bouquet would land once hurled from the trebuchet.

Flags for Trebuchet

Trebuchet

Cameron built this sweet little siege weapon in our driveway – the neighbors eyed it warily – and there wasn’t much opportunity to test it before the wedding. So with guests cordoned off for safety and some trepidation in our guts, we let fly the bouquet (weighted with a bag of sand).

Flying Bouquet

Watching the Bouquet Fly

Running for the bouquet

Sarah's flag

It worked! And much of the rest of the weekend was spent using the trebuchet to fling just about anything we could find – watermelons made the best explosion.

Food
We opted to have a buffet-style dinner catered on Friday night. The food was lovely and it felt wonderful to sit down to a meal with our nearest and dearest.
Set Table

We did ask for family and friends to make pies, and did they ever come through! Most people chose to make them when Oregon’s berry season was at its zenith, freeze them, then bake the pies the day before or day of the wedding. The rest of our meals were simple: Our moms and stepdads provided breakfast: bagels, cream cheese, fruit and sliced meats with plenty of coffee were laid out for guests on Saturday morning as they came in from cabins and tents to have breakfast by a roaring fire in the lodge. Late that afternoon, our dads and stepmoms joined forces for a barbecue of epic proportions. Everyone pitched in to help with dishes and clean up.

Pie Stand 3

Pie Stand

Favors, Flowers and Decorations

site decor

All of the wedding decor was DIY. I’m thankful for the afternoons spent getting to know my mother-in-law (and learning to use a serger) as we sewed napkins and table runners from vintage fabric I’d been collecting (hoarding?) for ages. The flowers were grown, picked and arranged by family members and the bright pinks and oranges of late summer dahlias were so pretty in the blue glassware that my mom and I combed the local thrift stores for.

table flowers

For favors, we made magnets with pictures of things we liked (i.e. chickens, roller skates, bats, etc. – you know, the usual) and grew little rosemary starts to give away. People also took home some of the napkins we made, though we still have thousands (rough estimate, possible over-exaggeration) that we use daily in our home.

Slide1

With the Advantage of Hindsight
There aren’t many things I’d change about our wedding, even from this vantage four years later. I guess if I were to do it again, perhaps I’d check to see if my dress was see through before our actual wedding day so I didn’t spend ten very anxious minutes stressing about it (it was fine). I suppose I’d figure out what I was going to do with my hair ahead of time, so Mera didn’t get saddled with a vague, pleading request and a handful of bobby pins while everyone else was already at the ceremony site. I would probably try to eat some actual food during the day so I wasn’t a zombie by dinner, and I’d manage to get a picture with my baby sister in which we don’t look like close relations of ol’ bug eyed Don Knotts. And I would definitely, definitely have gotten a picture of Mera giving her tender, sweet speech in which her mouth wasn’t agape, so she would let me put that photo on the blog today.

A Final Word
I loved our wedding and I wish we could do it every year! It was a great excuse to take on creative projects, but I did find myself battling against the Demons of Avarice and Expectation that would arise from the glossy, perfect wedding images I saw in magazines and on blogs.

So I want to finish up by saying that I don’t think there’s any right way to have a wedding – there are a zillion permutations, all unique to the couple, and in the end what’s important is that you and your partner are doing what matters to you, and not feeling bullied by expectations – both societal and familial – and traditions that have no meaning for you personally.

Tent

Thanks so much for reading along! We’ll be back to more house-based content next week (and we have a terrific set of Good Scores to share this Friday). Have a great day!

Resource List
Photography by the inimitable women of The Weaver House; Invitations by Paisley Quill; Venue – Camp Lane; Friday Dinner Catering by Cornucopia; the blog I found most sane and helpful while planning was A Practical Wedding

Velvet Drawer Liners for Commitment-Phobes

Last week I shared the Broyhill Brasilia nightstands I got courtesy of Craigslist (the post is here, in case you missed it) and this week I thought I would show you how I gussied them up a bit more, and where they ended up in our house.  First, a reminder of what these beauties look like post refinishing:

Red House West

Apart from their good looks, one of the things that thrilled me about these nightstands is that they have drawers–an improvement over my old nightstand situation.  But when I opened up the drawers I was underwhelmed.  The drawers were lined with baby powder-scented contact paper.  The smell was cloying, so I immediately ripped out the paper only to discover that it was masking something worse:

Red House WestAfter revealing this massive smelly (yes, smelly) stain, I sanded it down so that it was less obvious and I scrubbed it several times over.  But would this image ever leave my mind? Would I ever be able to open the drawer without wondering what created this malodorous mark?  All I know for sure is that the stain was created by . . . fluids (suddenly the word ‘fluids’ sounds gross in a onomatopoeia way).  A new liner was in order.

I had a small amount of beautiful patterned velvet that was part of the massive fabric collection my mom gave to me a few years ago.  It’s pretty and luxurious and I decided it would be perfect for drawer liners.

Red House West

I looked at a few tutorials for lining drawers, like this one, and this one, but having just sanded the inside of the drawers and gone through the whole refinishing rigamarole I wasn’t eager to make permanent alterations.  So I took the commitment-phobe’s way out, and used cardboard instead.

I measured the inside of the shelves, then cut the cardboard to size so it would just fit.  Then I cut pieces of velvet a bit larger than the cardboard so that I could fold over the edges.

Red House WestThen, using Mod Podge, I glued the velvet to the cardboard.  If you haven’t tried Mod Podge you really should.  It’s super forgiving, dries clear, and works great for gluing and decoupaging.  Basically it’s the bomb.com.

Red House West

I smoothed and stretched the front to avoid any wrinkles and then folded the sides over the cardboard.  To keep the fabric edges from fraying I put Mod Podge both on the top and bottom of the folded over edge of the fabric so that it is completely adhered to the cardboard.  Then I let it dry for half an hour, and ta-da, velvet lined drawers!

Red House West

Here is what my nightstand situation looked like before:

Red House WestAnd here is what it looks like now:

Red House WestMuuuuuch better.  It’s nice to not see the mess of cords anymore, the height is just right, and I have way more surface area for the things that I need and want like the picture of Opal and the little St. Francis statue I bought in Assisi.

Red House WestHaving the drawer is great, and the velvet lining makes it feel especially luxurious.  Chester is liking his new nightstand too.  His old nightstand wasn’t quite so ramshackle but this is still a major improvement.

Red House West

(Did you notice that I claimed the refinished version for myself and gave Chester the restor-a-finished one?  I am so that kind of wife.)

Red House West

And here is my darling Cromwell showing off his gibbous eyes and jutting chin in all their protuberant glory:

Red House West

Has there ever been a cat so weird looking handsome?  I dearly love this guy.

So that’s it, my simple, zero-committment drawer-lining trick.  Have a great week and stay tuned for a gorgeous post on Wednesday when Katie harkens back to her wedding and shares what she learned about planning the wedding you want.

 

Pinterest Friday: Pink!

Hi everybody and welcome to the fourth edition of Pinterest Friday!  One Friday a month we comb our Pinterest boards to pick out our favorite spaces and design ideas.  This month we decided to take a look at rooms that make great use of pink.  If you’d like, you can check out previous Pinterest Fridays here.

From Mera:

I don’t think of myself as being a huge pink person-it can seem too pretty princess or country cute.  But lately I’ve been seeing pink pop up in a way that is pretty and a little irreverent and it’s appealing to me more and more.

This room is completely berserk.  Soft pink walls, mid century credenza, and a green shag carpet?  I’d never have believed it, but it’s a do.

I love the crazy patterned pink upholstery on the staid English roll arm sofa here. Again, the pale pink walls and Serge Mouille sconce creates that sweetheart with an edge thing, like Molly Ringwald by the end of The Breakfast Club.

From Katie:

When Mera suggested we do a pink-themed Pinterest round-up this week, I had my doubts.  It’s not a color I ever wear, nor is it one I’ve used much in my home.  As I began scanning through my pins, however, I realized that pink actually factors pretty heavily into rooms I love.  I like it best when it’s hot and bright and in small doses, like the chairs in these two images:

 

This room wouldn’t be anywhere near as lovely if it weren’t for those two perfect pink pillows.  They add just the right punch of color and make the room so much more inviting.

Obviously there’s a lot more going on in this room than just pink, but for me that lamp and the pinky-red bedspread steal the show.  They’re working great amid the riotous colors, but they’d do just as well in a more neutral setting.

What do you think, are you a fan of pink?  Would you paint a whole room pink, or do you like it better as an accent color?  We’ll be back on Monday and Wednesday with new posts and next Friday is Good Score!  Don’t forget to email us pictures of the treasures you’re finding or tag them with #rhwgoodscore on Instagram.  Have a great weekend!

A Mega Craigslist Score and a Comparison of Refinishing Techniques

Craigslist everywhere is a hit-or-miss hodge podge, but I’m fairly certain that in Alaska it’s especially bleak.  There’s a lot of taxidermy (don’t try to tell Alaskans that stuffed dead animals don’t belong in the furniture category!), overstuffed ’80s couches, and mattresses so stained they look like crime scenes, selling for the bargain price of $150.   And yet I check it every day, sometimes several times per.  Last week that fiendish madness paid off big time when I came across this ad:

Red House West

I have been on the hunt for new nightstands and a credenza-y dresser for ages, and here they were all in one sweetheart of a package.  Obviously $550 is some serious dough, but if I were to buy just the nightstands from, say, West Elm, it would cost way north of $550 when you include shipping.  Let alone the dresser, which is crazy and beautiful, so needless to say I jumped at this.  Here’s what I ended up with:

Sales pamphlet found here.

Sales pamphlet found here.

Here’s a picture of a dresser like mine (not my actual dresser) looking fine:

Image found on pinterest.

Image found on pinterest.

When we unloaded them from the car the smell of talcum powder was dizzying.  The nightstands came complete with the crocheted doilies that topped them (though did little to protect them) for upwards of fifty years.  There was sort of a dingy, half-a-century-of-smoking-inside pall to the finish, and it was clear right away that more than just cleaning was needed.

Red House West

I decided that I would experiment with the nightstands first to see how little work I could get away with in tackling the dresser.  I chose the most damaged of the two to begin with; it had one leg that looked like a dog chewed on it, and so I decided I would have to go at the whole thing with an orbital sander to smooth it out.  The sanding only took about an hour, but my right hand was a painful claw afterward.  Here is what it looked like post sanding:

Red House West

The bottom shelf and back are a thin veneer and I was worried that they wouldn’t stand up to the orbital sander so I just lightly sanded them by hand.

After sanding I cleaned the table thoroughly and then used Danish Oil in Light Walnut to stain and finish it.

I waited about an hour, and then applied a second coat of Danish Oil.  After letting that dry for another hour (you probably don’t actually have to wait that long) I used Howard Feed-n-Wax to really make the wood sing.  And here is the result:

Red House West

It’s a pretty major difference, and let me tell you, in person the refinished version is FOXY!  I was tempted to give the second nightstand the same treatment, but one glance at the massive dresser reminded me that I owed it to my former-right-hand-now-claw to see if I could get away with a short-cut.

The second nightstand was in better shape than the first, but still pretty beat up.

Red House West

I lightly sanded it by hand, and then had a go with Katie’s beloved Restor-A-Finish in Walnut.

Red House West

The Restor-A-Finish couldn’t be easier: you just wipe-on wipe-off (while Mr. Miyagi’s voice echoes in your middle-aged ear) and call it good.  It took all of 15 minutes to do the whole nightstand and the results are pretty impressive:

Red House West

And here is the side-by-side comparison of them after they each got, to greater and lesser degrees, some TLC:

Red House West

It probably surprises exactly no one that the refinished version looks better than the restor-a-finished version, but I have to say that the restor-a-finish impressed the heck out of me.  I think for the dresser I will probably do a combination of techniques, but that’s a post for a later date.  And speaking of later dates, stay tuned for next Wednesday when I plan to share the nightstands in their final positions, including the results of my efforts at lining the drawers in velvet.

Anybody else gotten lucky with Craigslist lately?  If so, send ‘em in to Good Score via email to redhousewest@gmail.com, or on Instagram by tagging #rhwgoodscore.  Check back in with us later in the week for a Pinterest Friday round-up of rooms that make great use of a color I’ve been loving lately–pink!

Katie’s House: Paint Colors for the Living Room

We have just two weeks until our sojourn in Walla Walla ends and we’re back in our red house for good.   I’m so excited!  After consulting the mile-long to-do list, I’ve decided that the very first house project I want to tackle upon return is painting the living room.  The problem?  I’m still not sure just what paint color I want to use, though I do at least know the color family.  I think.

First up, let me give you a little tour so you know what we’re working with.  This room has great bones and a lot of potential.  It is south-facing and filled with incredible light throughout the day.  It is currently painted a soft green – that sometimes reads beige – which is in itself inoffensive, but which doesn’t work at all with our furniture and art, or with the transition into the newly blue dining room.

Red House West - Dining Room_Miller Paint3

Our house was built in 1930, and had a major remodel done in 1960.  They opened up what had previously been a number of small rooms into one large space linked by generous archways.  The room is bisected by the front door and the dining room arch (as seen in the image above, taken from the dining room) which means that though it’s visually a single room, there’s a sort of pathway in the middle where we can’t really have any furniture, so we use it more like two rooms.  Let me show you what I’m talking about:

Paint Ideas for the Living Room 6

Here we are standing by the front door and looking toward the dining room.  I’m sure it’s hard to tear your eyes from the wonder of Beatrice, so let me quickly introduce you.  I found Beatrice (so named because of the artist – Beatrice Roitmann Metrick) at an antique store and for more than a year I would drop in and visit her.  Cameron and my mom teamed up and gave her to me as a gift, and I love her.  I find Beatrice’s heavy-lidded stare serene, my father finds it homicidal, and Cameron loves the bird in the party hat.  Something for everyone.  I think both she, and the orange couch I got on Craigslist, will benefit greatly from a change of wall color.

Here’s a wider view of that part of the room.  That cat-ravaged pink chair?  Fixing it up is number two on that mile-long to-do list.

Paint Ideas for the Living Room 9

If you were to stand next to the couch and look across the room, this is what you would see.  An indoor jungle.  I consolidated most of the houseplants so our housesitter would have an easier time watering them, but I can still admit I *might* have a problem.
Paint Ideas for the Living Room 10

The little alcove where the tulip chair sits was the home’s original front porch; they moved the entrance to its current location in the 1960s.

Paint Ideas for the Living Room 4

We’re definitely still figuring out how best to use the space, but I’ll save thoughts on layout/furnishings for another post.  For now?  Paint!  I’m on the hunt for a soft white or very light gray.  It’s important that the color we choose plays nicely with Beatrice, the couch, and the orange-y fir floors.  It’s also imperative that it work with the linen curtains.  Cameron’s mom and I made them not too long after we moved in and I’ve got no interest in sewing that many hems again any time soon.

First up in the closer-to-white colors I’m considering is Seapearl by Benjamin Moore.  It’s kind of an earthy white with gray/brown (griege) undertones.

Seapearl_swatch

Shown against the fir floors with a swatch of fabric from the curtains

seapearl

Seapearl used in a room.  Image found here.

A nice, creamy white I’ve tried out is Mascarpone, also by Benjamin Moore.  I think it’s whiter than I want for this space -and a bit on the yellow side next to the color of the floors and curtains – but it’s very pretty.

Mascarpone_swatch

portland4square1

Mascarpone used in a room.  Image found here

I really loved the quality of the Miller Paint I used in the dining room, and this light gray color called Crystal Ball is a frontrunner.  Unfortunately there are no images online of this color being used in an actual space.

Crystal Ball_swatch

I’m also very interested in a couple of colors by Farrow & Ball, but there isn’t anywhere in Eugene to buy their paint and shipping expenses for a sample pot are too steep for me to pay.  There are lots of images online, though, and the colors I’m most crushing on are Cornforth White and Blackened.  It might just be worth a road trip to Portland to pick some up.

Farrow_and_Ball_cornforth_white

Cornforth White

Cornforth White by Farrow & Ball. Images found here.

Blackened

Blackened2

Blackened by Farrow & Ball. Images found here.

Have you used any of these colors?  Do you have a clear favorite of the ones I’ve shown or a recommendation of your own?  Thanks for reading along – I’m so excited to paint this room and share it with you!  Make sure to check the blog on Wednesday, Mera made an enviable Craigslist score and will be sharing a couple of really great restoration methods.