Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Ailment: Paint Analysis Paralysis

Okay, I've completely overwhelmed myself with this dining room project of painting horizontal stripes.  I thought I had my colors picked out: Sherwin Williams Buff and Creme, but now I'm thinking I want to go more taupe than creme.

I know you can't hear me, but I just heaved a really heavy sigh...really heavy.  I have too many samples and I think I've got paint analysis paralysis.

Please send me ideas if you have thoughts on the subject.

Below is a swatch of the trim color (Martha Stewart paint) I mentioned in yesterday's post.  The trim, including the chair rail, is painted the darker green shade on the swatch below, called Westport Tan.  The wainscoting is the lighter green, called Georgia Beach.  I want the striping colors to work well with these two shades as I don't want to change them.

I would go to Home Depot again and look at more swatches, but I just can't stand the thought of putting on all the winter gear again and driving through all that slop.  Winter sucks!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Searching For Inspiration

I've suddenly become obsessed with giving my dining room a makeover.  For inspiration I've been pouring over my books of tear sheets and the internet for color and style ideas beyond what's been floating around in my little head.

The one thing I'm completely (I think) sure I want is wide horizontal stripes.  I've seen them in bathrooms, offices and even bedrooms, but not dining rooms.  Not that that would stop me :).  Now it's simply a matter of narrowing down the colors for my stripes.  I know I want them to contrast subtly - no big dramatic color differentials.  I'm pretty sure I've got my colors selected and I'll share them with you soon.

I definitely want to maintain the trim colors I have (old Martha Stewart colors, Georgia Beach and Westport Tan) because I still really love them.  But, because my dining room opens into my living room, I want the new color palette to work well with my living room colors.  So, I'm still working through the details before I take the dive.

Here are some dining rooms I found charming and in palettes I could live with.

This one is just so soothing.... Another thing I love about this room is what looks like a makeover of a really old piece of furniture.  The console against the wall looks like 70's or 80's french provincial bedroom furniture that's been made over with paint.  Of course, it could also be brand new in which case my sincere apologies to the home owners.

I love the contrast of the black against the creamy walls, though I hate the table.  The chairs look really comfy though.

I love it, but quickly dismissed it because though I love all white in theory, I love color more.

 This one is just gorgeous, but a little too formal for me I think.  Still, those chairs, that candelier, the custom table covering...sigh......

I just threw this one in because it reminds me so much of my current dining room color palette.

This just looks so clean and crisp.  This is exactly the kind of dining table I want...dark wood, simple, elegant and I want to stay with a round table (like I have now).

This is beautiful, but again it's too formal.  This is exactly how my dining room opens into my living room and you can see why it's important to maintain color connections between the rooms.

Currently, my dining room and living room pick up colors from each other, making it all blend nicely.  Recently though, I removed all of the burnt orange accents from the living room and am looking to remove it from the dining rooms walls also and just soften everything up a bit.

My dining room is nothing like this, but this is such a soft pretty palette and I'm so envious of all the storage.

This is clearly a super narrow dining room that looks so much bigger thanks to huge windows, french doors and high ceilings.  Also, a fireplace (especially exposed old brick like this one) just adds such panache to a room, particularly when it's a little in a dining room.

I also love that they resisted the urge to go with a rectangular table that would have actually called more attention to the narrowness of the room.

If you have ideas or want to share your dining room, let me know!

Bye for now,


Monday, January 4, 2010

Design Dilemma Solved (Thanks to Aeron Lauder)

Years ago (many, but not sure exactly how many) I went through a phase of collecting those little solid perfume compacts by Estee Lauder.  They would only come out with 2 or 3 per year, usually at Christmas time.

Anyway, to me they were just super girly and glamorous (although ridiculously impractical), but I never knew quite how to display them.  They just sat on my dresser for a long time.  Eventually, they just got buried in a jewelry box and remained there for years.

Then one day last year (I think it was last year...anyone?), I came upon a story in Elle Decor featuring gorgeous photos of the beautiful, chic Aeron Lauder's East Hampton home.  In one small photo of her vanity, there they were.  Her collection of solid perfume compacts, piled onto a pretty silver tray.

Eureka!!!  I pulled out a Belleek china mint candy tray I was given for Christmas years ago.  That was another thing I thought was lovely, but never really knew what to do with.  I mean how often do you serve small mint chocolate candies (that's what the picture on the box showed anyway)?

If I were to actually purchase those little mini chocolate covered mints and put them on a tray, they would be gone within 24 hours...eaten by me, not a guest.  I would probably hide them if guests came.  I never was good at sharing my chocolate with the other kids.

I digress.  Back to the subject.  I put the little china tray on my bed side table and filled it with the four perfume compacts I had collected. Love it.

Now I get to enjoy the pretty little compacts all over again.  Thanks to Aeron for the idea.

My Little Green Christmas Tip

Have you packed away the Christmas decorations yet?  I did it yesterday and I'm loving the roomy passage I now have into the kitchen without that blasted beautiful tree in the way.  Anyhoo, I remembered a small green tip I wanted to share with you. 

I have a lot of Christmas ornaments that are odd sized and don't fit into those nice little slotted boxes they sell for round bulbs.  So I have to use big cardboard boxes for the larger ornaments.  To cushion my little prized babies, I save up the contents of my shredder and lay a nice thick layer on the bottom of the box and between each layer of ornaments.

See, they're all nicely nestled in their bed until next year when I drag them out and pimp out my tree all over again (I may complain about the process, but I do love decorating for my favorite holiday of all).

Did you pack everything away yet?  If no, good luck and stay calm.  It's a lot of work, but worth it in the end.

p.s. Happy, Happy New Year!!