Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Me and my paintbrush

This house is so much bigger than our last house (almost double the size), so I spent some time last fall acquiring things to fill it up a bit.

Moving in mid winter means there are a lot of things around here waiting for warmer weather so I can work a little paint magic on them.

The things that can be done with spray paint are slowly getting done every time we have an afternoon in the upper 40's, like this past Saturday.
I always paint all of the chandeliers white. Always. They always start as hideous brass things and I slather them with white spray paint.

And then on Saturday I painted this one blue.

I am getting bored with my usual color routine. It seems like I paint everything we own white or green 1 or green 2 or blue . Oh, and occasionally pink .

Let's ponder painting some of this stuff!
I bought this at a thrift in the fall for $30. I LOVE that scalloped edge. It needs fresh paint and different knobs on the doors for sure. (My grandparents stained glass is leaning against the wall, also waiting for paint on the frames.)

I am thinking about painting inside the cabinet a different color than the rest of it. But what color? White on the outside and pink on the inside?

I have no ideas...
I bought this table at a garage sale many moons ago even though there was absolutely no room for it in the old house. I loved it's girly shape.

But right now it is kind of, well, nude colored. Blech. It's the first thing you see when you walk in the front door and originally I was thinking blue. Our front door is blue too.
Dave has been bugging me for years to paint the pie safe. I resisted. But the pine is getting really discolored and the cats and Jack have really torn up the screens. Since we are going to replace the screen with chicken wire, we might as well paint it.

You can see I tried out both blue and surprise! green. LOL

Last week I stuck a lavender paint chip on it because I really want to paint something lavender, but the purple does not work with the creamy white in our room at all. (Sadly it doesn't work well with the yellow everywhere else either.)
Dave and I bought this chair at an auction before Jack was born I think. I need to fix the caning on it desperately (not sure where to buy that stuff??) and make a new seat cushion. It needs a new coat of paint too.

White for sure on this one, since it is in the pink bathroom.
Speaking of bathrooms. I choose a grayish white for the hall bath. The grout is gray, everything else is white. It looks kinda purply though and frankly both Dave and I hate it. The night before he left we started auditioning a few paint chips in there.

These colors are all pretty good.

But here is my real problem:
I KNOW that if I choose one of them I am going to hate it in 2 months. Anytime I stray away from my usual style or color palette I get sick of it very quickly. If I stick to the stuff that I KNOW I love it seems to stick around here a lot longer.

I really wanted to branch out a bit in the new house. Stretch my legs a little. Try on a simpler style. Something less "collected" or "cottagey" or "girly" or "shabby". Something more like Pottery Barn instead of Flea Market. (I do not want to be the girl still hanging on to 1980's geese in 2010 if you know what I mean. LOL)

But Dave and I keep saying to each other "this house is missing something" or "this house just does not feel right yet". After spending hours yesterday pouring over the new Flea Market Style magazine, I honestly think it is because I tried too hard to make my style simpler. (Even though my best girlfriend will tell you this house is very *me*. And it is. Just a lot.more.sparse.)

How about you? Do you stick to the tried and true? Have you successfully tried something new in your living style? How do you keep what works for you feeling fresh and not like 1980's geese?

I should just paint it all blue or green or pink or white shouldn't I? :-)


  1. It's only paint. I think you need to live on the edge and try something different. Go for it. I can't wait to see what you do!! You have such great pieces to work with.

  2. I'm a white wall kinda gal, so I'm no help. I have so much eclectic stuff, that I have found white walls just mae it less cluttered. Your paint chips make me think of a roll of Necco Wafers - all pastel and sweet. I like them!

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  4. I think if something in you responds to a certain color palette you should stay with it. You don't have to change it just because you think you "should" change it.

    Does that make any sense?

  5. Do something different, then the norm! It's so fun, and refreshing. Sometimes it can prove to be a challenge, but that's what life is about! I've been going through this, for the past 8 months. I've changed from that... red, cream, black and brown Tuscan style, to a more pottery barn, clean, crisp, Ballard design, style!
    It's been SO fun! And that's why I created my new blog! Step out of your box! It's a new house, and a new start! DO it... Do it... Do it! hahaha.
    You're so creative. And you can add your old, fun, twist on your new house in LOTS of ways!
    Good luck!
    Shelley Smith

  6. I think I'd do the walls in a color you love, one of your tried & true colors. Then paint the table or the pie safe something a bit different. That way if you want to change your paint in 2 months, it's a lot easier to repaint a small piece of furniture than an entire room!

  7. Anonymous11:43 PM

    I'd have to agree, paint the walls a colour you know you love. It may be only paint but it's a lot of work to change it if you hate it. Try different colours on the small easily changable stuff. Maybe grey and pink? I am looking forward to finally HAVING a style when we move into our own home.

  8. It's just me, but I think I'm always happier in the long run when I stick to my tried-and-true colors. You can always jazz things up with a different colored tablecloth or quilt, if you happen to have any of those lying about - ha!

  9. My vote is for stretching your comfort zone. My brother the psychologist always reminds me that growth happens when you are uncomfortable. Paint the walls safe colors you love, and paint the furniture awesome jazzy colors that make you nervous. Like a raspberry-esque purple or olive or something. My Oliebollen designer's friend house is AWESOME and I have learned a lot of color and texture lessons from her.

  10. I'm afraid I'm going to answer your questions with another question...How did you hang the group of mirrors in you hallway? I have a similar one and have never found a good way to hang it. Your house is yourself and what you like!

  11. Anonymous7:38 AM

    How about a colored stripe following the edge curve of the table , that is a different color. Kinda making it look like a table cloth. Or paint some flowers or vines on it.

  12. With the walls, stay with the colour palette that you know and love. If you want to try experimenting with new colours, find some colours that work well with the ones that you have everywhere (maybe the same colours - just a few shades darker/brighter?) And use it WITH the colours you love. As accents. So the outside of that bookcase blue and the inside, dark blue. And if you find that you really like it, bring it out slowly.

    Some houses are rainbows (mine) and some are calmer. I love my rainbow (main colour in my house is cream, but then I have accent walls - green, orange, red, yellow, blue...). That depends on your comfort levels. :)

  13. I’m kind of in the same boat. We moved into our first house two years ago, and I’ve only repainted one room. I already had that room planned before we moved here. I’m just not sure what to do, because we would have to pay a professional painter. I decided to just live with the main living room color because of that, but I have no idea how to lighten it up in the rest of the rooms. So it’s stayed this way.

    With the book case I would say not to bother painting the inside unless you are going to put something else on it because you can’t see it. Could you do something to hide the hinges too? Can you paint hinges?

    I would probably go blue in the bathroom, but then again I do the same thing with blue and different shades of olive green. I kind of like numbers four and five from the top. I can’t wait to see what you decide.

  14. Go with what you love, especially on the walls. We have a light yellow bathroom that I do not like. As soon as I started painting, I knew it wasn't a deep enough color for me but I kept going, hoping I would like it more. Still don't like it and am not at all motivated to paint it.

  15. This is such a great post, Sarah! It really speaks to me because I want to paint two pieces of furniture in the dining room, but my husband and our daughter strongly disapprove. I want more color, and they like the wood tones. I think you should go for it. Try something different! I keep forgetting to go look for that magazine, but I have a feeling it might give me the push I need to just go for it too!

  16. I think the easiest thing to change is paint color so go for something you like (be it old or new) and change it up in a bit. Plus you've only been there a few months so it might take some time to get it to that perfect homey feeling, right? And personally, I stick with what I like, French Country. :)

  17. Revelle Lee in Independence,Mo. sells caning materials ... he's in the yellow Pages under chair caning supplies. But you can also buy it on-line.

  18. John and I both grew up with white walls, but when we moved we decided to try something new. K's bedroom is gamma green because we thought it went well with all the pink stuff she liked. We like the way it turned out. And I agree that it is only paint. I say go wild!

  19. I was thinking about your cupboard that you wanted to paint the inside a different color- instead of paint what about fun paper- or martha scrap paper she has some really great sophisticated patterns that would work well with your style.

    Then the little table (oh how I love that) Maybe, since it is inside the front door- you could paint welcome or some greeting on the drop down part. It would be pretty a grey color with white words so it was subtle.

    Just thoughts... I love your style and do not think that it is outdated at all. It is not geese yet anyway :)

  20. Paulette in WV4:05 AM

    I love a good chocolate brown with pink or blue. You might want to add a small bit and see how you like it.

  21. Love the blue on the chandy. I just picked one up for $2. I think Im going to paint it blue as well.

    I think pink & white sounds great for that cabinet.

    I would love to have some color on my walls. The living room & hallway that is. The kitchen is yellow, the bathroom is blue, but my hall & living room is beige. Which I say to myself is a color, not white. But lets be real, its basically the same!

    I want to paint but have no idea what color since our couches are reen & brown.

  22. Visit the Cane & Basket Supplies Directory on my site, to find several companies where you can buy the sheet cane and spline that you will need for repairing that beautiful old cane chair! And if you need instructions, I have posted an article on called, "How to Install Cane Webbing" at and another on "How to Remove Pressed Cane Webbing Spline" at Good luck on the project, and if you need any more help, be sure to check out the Seatweaving FAQ, Wicker FAQ and the Articles pages of my website. Also lots of hints and tricks on my blog! Happy Weaving!
    The Wicker Woman® - Cathryn Peters


Hi there. What say you?