Archive for the ‘Beigeland’ Category

We finally broke out the paint brushes again, over the 4th of July weekend, and got busy giving Clare’s blah room a bit more oomph.

Remember what it looked like before?

Very beige, like every other room here in Beigeland, save the downstairs powder room and Xander’s bedroom. This is the third room we’ve painted since moving in almost three years ago; we could really do with upping the painting pace.

Here’s what Clare’s room looks like now:

I’m not sure it has the same before-and-after punch that Xander’s room had, but it’s still a wonderful change and, like always, I’m so glad we did it — and wondering why it took us so long.

I was going for something similar to Clare’s nursery, in our old house. But I like the slightly softer shade we ended up with even better.

Now it’s time to get serious about painting our master bedroom, the guest room, and the living/dining/kitchen/family room spaces. We need to hire a professional to handle the living room, because of its vaulted ceilings, but the other rooms are totally do-it-yourselfable. (Yes, I made that word up.)

At the lethargic rate we’ve been going, all painting will be complete just before we’re ready to move out.


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The husband doesn’t agree, but he would be wrong. Heh.

I saw these at Nicole Balch’s amazing blog Making it Lovely, and fell in love. Quirky, clever, and functional. And when I saw the price? Well, I purchased them for our powder room without hesitation.

The quality is amazing, a heavy porcelain with a white glaze. The male vase arrived with a slight hairline crack in it, and CB2 sent a replacement immediately without making me go through the hassle of returning the marred piece. (Anyone want a slightly dinged — barely noticeable, really — wall vase in the shape of a male symbol? No? You really need the couple to make the look complete.)

I always forget how fantastic it feels to do a little decorating. Even just a smidge. It inspires me to do more. Up next: Clare’s room will finally get some color.

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Remember how excited I was about the complete transformation of Xander’s room with just a new coat of paint? And how I was going to do Clare’s room next? Well, life sometimes gets in the way and our girl is still living amidst the boring beige.

Mark my words, it will be a lovely shade of green someday, but probably not anytime soon.

Grasping at decorating straws, I ordered three awesome pom poms from the extremely helpful Kirsten at Pom Love.

One of many reasons to love Etsy in general, and Kirsten's shop specifically: Amazing attention to detail and a lovely personal touch.

The package included detailed instructions for putting the "poof" into the poms.


Gorgeous, simple to assemble, and utterly affordable.

It was just the punch of color, albeit a tiny one, that the room needed.

I was inspired by this blog post. And yes, I’m far behind the curve on the pom pom trend, but oh well. I love them, Clare loves them, and they simply make the room happier (while it waits patiently for that fresh, colorful coat of paint).

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Back to blue

The weekend painting was a huge success. I keep walking into Xander’s room to remind myself of the immense difference a little paint can make. It’s time to make plans for the rest of Beigeland.

Here’s a reminder of what it looked like before:

And here’s what it looks like now:

It’s not the exact shade from Xander’s old room in Bellingham, but it’s awfully close. (Tip: always keep a paint chip from rooms you love; then you can color match it exactly in your next place. I have samples from our old living room, but none of the other spaces.)

We got to work first thing Saturday. Michael did all of the (tedious) prep work, and then I put on the first coat. It always takes the longest, but that meant I also got to indulge in one of my favorite things: painting all by myself while listening to episodes of “This American Life.”

Back when I re-did every room of the West Connecticut Street house, in 2003, I had to time my painting around NPR’s schedule if I wanted to work and listen to Ira Glass at the same time. Now I can load my iPod with podcasts and listen to my heart’s content. It took three programs to finish the first coat.

Xander got to help Michael with the second layer.

He also got to help pull up the tape.

Then Clare “helped” Michael put together Xander’s new bed. I’ve had my eye on this bed at IKEA for ages, and some friends just happened to be getting rid of their son’s. Score.

This room is meant to be Xander’s in-between bedroom: in between a toddler room and a big kid room. I wanted it to be fun. Just fun. Hence the hidey-hole under the bed:

I’d like one for myself now, too.

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Blue by Monday

It’s time to tackle room number two in our (slow-moving) Beigeland-no-more painting extravaganza. We’re giving Xander’s room a blue boost. Picking colors is, for me, such a seat-of-my-pants, random experience. It usually works out, but not always. Wish us luck.

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Kids at play

Sometimes when I feel particularly homesick for our last house, I look at pictures like this one:

and remember that we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be right now.

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We have a bit of a problem with books. As in, we have too many of them.

They’re spilling out of closets, piled up on floors, and strewn all across the family room (those would belong to the kids).

Looking for something to read? Come on over.

There are worse problems to have, of course, and luckily we have room for them in this house (thanks to the world’s biggest hallway; our neighbors use theirs as a TV area for their kids). But that hasn’t always been the case. I’ll save the story of the wall o’ books that became our headboard for another post. Let’s just say I lived in fear of being brained by an earthquake-rattled Zadie Smith novel the entire time those tomes towered above my pillow.

Now that we have children, and almost no disposable income, when it comes to books we thankfully use our library cards far more often than our debit cards.

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