Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dining Room Chandelier

As I posted about previously, I finally got around to ordering a light fixture to replace the exceedingly boring Home Depot fixture that we've been living with for a few years. I was a little nervous ordering the chandelier site unseen, because it was a suspiciously affordable fixture from Restoration Hardware. Restoration Hardware Baby & Child, but Restoration Hardware nonetheless.

When I first opened the box, I was disappointed. Every strand of crystal was wrapped up, and all you could see was the metal which was not looking the way I expected. I don't know why I thought it would be white when the website clearly states gray. But somehow I took away from the photos that they would be a distressed white. Instead, they are a distressed putty or greige (shudder) just like everything else you see in the RH catalogs. Why should I have been surprised? It looked like it was awaiting a paint job instead of being a finished product.

Ultimately, I unwrapped all the strands of crystal and it no longer looked so blah. The greige ended up looking like a nice neutral and the crystal gives off a good amount of sparkle (without being too much.) I love the French Empire shape and, as I had hoped, I think it blends into the space. Certainly, much better than its predecessor.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Stratton Blue in the Front Hall

Over the winter I painted the front hall. Of course, I hemmed and hawed over what paint color I would choose. I was painting over the same ivory color that I have been systematically painting over throughout the rest of the house. This hallway is pretty dark, having no windows and only receiving natural light from the much-needed skylight that the past owner put in over the stairwell.
 In my infinite wisdom, I decided to paint this dark corner of my home Benjamin Moore Stratton Blue. This is a lovely color, and I think it looks really great with wood trim. It is another one of those blue/green/gray tones that I always fall for. I had visions of a stately space that could wear this dark paint color well. 

And now, I am considering painting this room white.

 Can you spot the sad golden who wants to go for a walk?

Painting this hall was one of the most arduous jobs that I have done, thanks to that wall that reaches all the way up the stairwell. It took me approximately forever, so any decision to change this color can not be taken lightly.

The pendant is something we put in, and it is the Pottery Barn Calhoun Pendant. It is pretty great, so I'm sorry to tell you that it is no longer available.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Dining Room Challenges

There are two things that really bother me about our dining room currently: 1) the terrible fabric that is on our chairs (and maybe the chairs in general), and 2) our cheapo light fixture. The sellers put in this light fixture as an update before selling the house, and it probably replaced something much worse. But still. It is just so ho-hum boring and Home Depot-tastic. It needs to go.

There is the living room as it stands, and there are the offending chairs and light. The Chippendale chairs and the Hepplewhite table just aren't jiving, and of course there is that dreadful fabric. I just can't do anything about those chairs right now, but I finally made a decision on a light.

After reviewing photos of dining rooms that I love (here's to you, Pinterest!), I found that the common theme was a white or light chandelier with moderate crystal. Ideally, it visually blends into the room. I've always loved the French empire shape, but usually they are a bit over the top (both in sparkle and price). This French empire-inspired chandelier from Restoration Hardware fit my requirements, and it is surprisingly affordable. What? Restoration Hardware affordable?? I know, I don't get it either, but maybe it is because it is actually from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child.

Yes, I am planning on putting a light in my dining room that Restoration Hardware considers "baby's first light fixture". The scale seems right, and the rustic white makes me think it will work. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Woodlawn Blue in the Foyer (redux)

I posted a bit of a before and after on the foyer a long time ago, but as I am now doing a series of before and after, I figure it is worth a revisit.
The before pictures are scary, but here you go. Knotty pine at its worst. I didn't take very good photos because these were at our initial walk-through and I may have been trying to avert my eyes. Can you imagine this being the first thing that you saw when you walked into the house? Can you believe that we bought it? Well, nothing like the power of a little primer and paint.

 Oh boy. Are you still with me? Because I wouldn't blame you if you clicked away. Let us quickly get onto the After shots. So Woodlawn Blue on the walls over two coats of Zinsser B.I.N. Primer. If you are painting knotty pine, you must use a shellack-based primer! It is a beast to work with as far as smell and clean up, but you have to use it. Think how sad you would be if those pine knots started bleeding sap through your paint! (And they would. Oh, yes, they would.)

Oh, right AFTER.

This is my kind of DIY: Painting and hanging hooks. The back of the front door is one of my favorite changes: Benjamin Moore Raccoon Fur. How could you not love a paint color called Raccoon Fur? Walls are Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue, and the trim is Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. The hooks and copper boot tray are from Target.
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