Our Color Palette

First, a “save the date” announcement.  Our housewarming party/open house will be September 24th, starting sometime in the afternoon and going until we can’t stay awake any more.  Everyone is welcome, and, out of towners, this would be a great time to visit! We’re getting a keg of something hoppy.

So the Devine color consultant was totally worth it!  Both of us feel immensely relieved that we know what to paint each room (mostly) and that it will all coordinate while still suiting us.

The color consultant spent nearly two hours at our house.  She toured the house and looked at some stuff that we had accessible (couch, rugs, etc.) to get an idea of our style.  She proclaimed that we like eclectic thing (yes!).  Then we talked about non-negotiables, those things that we were not willing to change.  Besides the aforementioned “stuff,” our non-negotiables were the master bedroom, the newly painted and tiled bathroom, and the red dining room.  We also showed her samples of the wool carpet going in upstairs and the cherry that will be our floors and stairs.

The next step was to develop our palette.  Rather than looking at rooms and deciding what colors would go with the room, she removed herself to the kitchen and started fiddling with color samples against our non-negotiables. She occasionally asked how we felt about certain color or combos.  There was some hit or miss and, during the process, we agreed to repaint a few things.

The Devine theory is that you pick a “skin color” that should cover 60% of your house or more.  This gave me heart palpitations.  I got a talking to about painting every room a different color, and she assured me she could get me color everywhere even with most of the house painted the same, and I would like it more.  We eventually reached a compromise that uses a main color but gives us some variation in a few places.  Our palette is based off a light blue-grey color with blues, greens and grays with some accents like red, purple and gold.

So here we go…

Devine Beluga

Our skin color is Beluga, and this will go in the entry, living room, stairwell, the main room upstairs and the hall downstairs.  We’ve painted some swatches on our walls and it looks great, especially upstairs!  Sometimes more blue, sometimes more grey.

Devine Storm

Our next major color is Storm.  This will go in the mudroom, kitchen and hall (and possibly in one of the little rooms upstairs).  The house we are staying at now has a few areas painted this color, as well as the exterior.  We’ve both really liked it, so it’s  happy coincidence that it works for our house too.

Other colors that show up in some quantity in our house are Buffalo (bathroom), Manzanita (bedroom, similar color in the office), and Blade (bedroom ceiling and guest room).  Our palette gives us a couple of extra colors for the two little rooms upstairs and for accents (Rain, Steamer, Peanut (which is the color of our kitchen cabinets), Shantung and Dusk).  Then our red dining room and many red decorative accents (rugs, etc.) give the whole thing a little bit of liveliness.  You will note that to get our complete palette, we will eventually have to repaint several rooms that really only need a couple of walls repainted (sigh).  But it will look great once we get there.

So there you have it!  We love it (although I feel like I just just my colors done. I’m a winter BTW).

(I have no idea how to get the little pictures to line up.)

Devine DuskDevine ShantungDevine Cayenne (not actually our red, but close)

Devine Buffalo

Devine Manzanita

Devine Blade

Devine Rain

Devine Steamer

Devine Peanut

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Slogging On

There isn’t much to report this week.  M continues to work on his outdoor stairs, which have turned from a fun challenge to a frustrating morass.  I am continuing to paint.  We’ve painted every weekend since Memorial Day and I think we’re about halfway there.  I’m taking Fridays off for the rest of the summer to try to speed up the progress.

Today we are meeting with a color consultant from Devine Paint who recommended the colors for our friend’s house, which looks great.  We have given up and decided that we need professional help.  I am excited to turn the remainder of the house into a paint by numbers project.

Last weekend, we repainted the bedroom.  Astute readers will say, “But that wasn’t part of your remodel!”  Well, mostly true.  A window was moved from one wall to another, but more importantly, our bedroom became the scene of work — table saws, tile cutters, grout mixing, etc.  So it was a mess and needed some serious cleaning and repainting.  We just need to install the rest of the quarter rounds and find the screws to the mirror, and then that room is done.

It’s been a year since we lost Sybil.  We love the new guys, but Sybil will always hold a special place in our hearts.  We’re getting a Warhol-style portrait done of her to hang at the top of the stairs.  Just need to pick out the perfect photo to go from.  Which one do you like?

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Three Months Down, Two to Go

Sorry for the long delay.  It’s been another busy couple of weeks, and we hadn’t hooked up our computer after the last move.  M and I are starting to look longingly at ads for tropical vacation and wondering when our tropical vacation is coming. Um, not any time soon.

It’s easy to think that progress has slowed down until I look at pictures from the last time I posted. Three months into our project, the contractor is very, very close to being done. We’re talking punch list.  Since M and I are out of the house until Labor Day, the last two months will be mostly painting, floors and moving back in.

The Kitchen is Done!  The Tile is Done!

The kitchen cabinets went in, as did the fronts on the bathroom vanity. The kitchen cabinets are awesome!  They match well with the existing cabinets (except that they are a thousand times nicer — the existing ones are stock Home Depot cabinets), and they have more room inside than I expected.  I can’t wait to fill them up.  Which may actually not be that far off.

Just before the cabinets went in, I painted the walls behind them.  I was so tired from painting ceilings, but I knew it would only take a few minutes once I got the paint can out.  Indeed, even with picking bits of rust out of the old paint can, it didn’t take long.  Now that the cabinets are in, I’m thrilled I don’t have to paint around the trim.

One nice thing about the fact that everything in our house (pre-us) came from Home Depot is that we know where to go when we need to match something.  Getting matching knobs for the cabinets was not an issue.

The tile setters returned last week to finish off the tile.  They tiled up to the bath vanity around the little half wall and installed the pebbles in the kitchen where the old tile got yukked up or needed to be extended.  It looks pretty good!  Still probably wouldn’t be my first choice if we were doing the whole kitchen floor, but given our options, it seems to work.  I wish we’d extended the tile border more on the dining room side of the kitchen, maybe up to the refrigerator (it looks less intentional than the hall side, pictured below), but we’ll live with it and see if we get used to it.  If not, there is a bunch of extra tile.  You’re always supposed to buy 10% or so more in tile for breakage, etc., but our tile setters haven’t needed extra for anything.  They sure don’t waste tile.  We even returned two full boxes of leftover field tile.

This is the pantry cupboard. The one on the right that you see just the edge of is also new.

Electrical is Done!

The electrician came last week to do the finish electrical — installing fixtures, faceplates, etc.  It really makes things look more complete.  I painted all the ceilings the weekend before in anticipation and am glad I did.  There are a few places where we’ll still need to dangle the fixture for some touch up or color change, but not much.  Aggravatingly, I painted the living room ceiling up to the plastic zip wall in the middle of the living room (beyond the fixture hole), but the fixture is so big, it overlaps the line by an inch or two.

It’s nice to be able to turn on lights in the house now.

Painting Will Never Be Done!

We continued the painting slog.  We also discovered that caulking the trim and covering nail holes falls under “Interior Paint” rather than “Trimwork.”  Sigh.  More on painting below.

I continue to struggle with colors.  Anyone with an opinion is welcome to come over and opine.  I can’t guarantee I’ll take your advice, but I’ll definitely take it into consideration.  I thought M was going to let me paint the mudroom lime green, but then a friend looked at it and said it looked like mom jeans.  There goes my lime green.

Dog Days

We moved to our housesitting gig near Council Crest.  Our gig includes taking care of a very large black shaggy dog, Sabine (we tell people who ask that she is a black Golden Retriever.  They give us funny looks, but it sounds better than mutt).  I’ve never had a dog, and it’s been a long time since M has (and it was a little Dachshund), so we’re getting used to the different routine — mostly not staying away for as long at a time and getting up early enough to walk her before work.

Sabine goes ballistic when she sees cats, and socializing attempts have not gone well so far.  So now the cats are relegated to the basement, which is a very nice basement, but still, they would like more windows and attention.  It’s worked out that I stay on the main floor with the dog, and M stays downstairs with the cats.  We sometimes rendezvous on each other’s floor since I have the kitchen, and M has the man cave with 60″ TV, shuffleboard, hockey net, basketball hoop and laundry.  After a couple of tense days at the beginning, I think everyone is beginning to settle in and relax.

I did take Sabine to our house for a little adventure.  It was an adventure for all of us.  So exciting, she pooped in the basement.  Don’t think we’ll be trying that again.

Besides the dog, check out the fan, pendant light, railings and oh-so-nicely-painted balusters

Do It for the Kitties!

This has become our rallying cry.  Given the situation with Sabine, we decide to move the cats back to the house as soon as it’s habitable and the workers leave.  They will be better off with free reign even if they are on their own a bit more.

Looks so sweet and innocent. Also looks like Devine Buffalo and Miller White Shadow

Mikey has now gotten out twice in the last week. With the new neighborhood, wooded area, lots of dogs, a busy road and Mikey’s “street cat” confidence, we were quite worried.  Fortunately, he is easily betrayed by his treats, and both times, we found him after a short time looking.  The second time out, he busted out the screen and got in a fight with another cat.  He was very pleased with himself.  We were not.  It heightened the urgency to get the cats back home.

Can't have a picture of Mikey without one of Arnold

As I may have alluded to, painting sucks.  While we painted the last couple of weekends, we kept reminding each other to think of the kitties and persevere.  The sooner we finish, the sooner they come back.  This was made easier since we painted the bathroom in shades of Mikey — white trim with dark grey walls.  We completed all the caulking, trim and topcoat over Fourth of July, and just need some touch ups.  Had we asked for opinions on the dark grey, I’m not sure we would have gotten much support — it is dark, nearly charcoal.  But it looks great with all the trim work, and lighter reflective colors in the tile, fixtures, plumbing, etc.

Unfortunately, our painters are lazy, take frequent beer and Blues Fest breaks and are not very good, so that and some trimwork are all the painting for the last two weekends.  But our painters, they are cheap.

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It’s Starting to Look Like a House!

As we’ve gotten used to, some things take awhile (like trim) and some things seem to happen overnight.  Trim is almost done, but in the meantime, a few others tasks snuck in and got completed.

House Paint

The exterior of the house is painted!  The painters were waiting for a dry break in the weather, so when it happened, they didn’t waste any time.

The dormer looks like it belongs, doesn’t it?

All exterior work is done, so they will start taking up the temporary walkways and clean up the porch.  The dumpster made its final departure about a week ago.  As M says, our house will no longer look like a construction zone, it will just look like we neglect the yard.

Stair Railings and Posts

We decided to have the cherry newel posts stained, rather than paint them.  They’re so gorgeous, I’m not sure what the concern was now.  I can’t stop petting them.

Argh, you can see a couple of drips on that post.  We’ll see if we can get that fixed.

Marble Countertop

The marble countertop also went in this week.  I know it isn’t everyone’s style but we both LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.  Definitely not a “everybody’s got one” piece from Home Depot.

It does change the look of the bathroom, but the natural stone floors help to tie it together.  I think it will all work together fine once it’s done.  Today I painted the walls the same color as the ceiling, which is similar to the tile.  Now that the marble is in, I’m not sure that works anymore.  I’ll put a bunch of swatches up and see if I can find something better.  Probably light grey.

The fabricators did a fantastic job.  The backsplash actually came from a different piece of stone than the main part, but they pieced it together so it looks like it all came from the same piece.

There is so much cool stuff going on — veining, color, water seepage and (my favorite) crystals!

More Painting

M worked this weekend, so once again, I painted.  This time it was topcoat on the ceilings — Pearl White.  This was the color all the walls in the house were when we bought it.  It’s an off-white with perhaps a grayish (or at least not creamy) cast.  Those familiar with my quest to rid the house of white walls when we moved in will note the irony.  I seem to be painting it all back.  I started to get a little anxious today that the house would end up all off-white and beige.  I may paint something purple to alleviate the tension.

I also got some bathroom walls done and touched up the kitchen (yellow!).  We’re just trying to stay one step ahead on painting based on the next things scheduled to go in.

The Week to Come

Lots of finishing up this week.  Trim should be done early in the week.  The bath and kitchen cabinets go in Monday (can’t wait to see the kitchen cabinets!).  The tile guys come back Wednesday to tile up to the cabinet and to kicks and to do the kitchen pebbles.  Electrician also comes Wednesday to install all the fixtures, face plates, etc.  And the plumber will do the finish plumbing on Friday.

The big thing left (besides M’s outdoor stairs that he has to finish by final inspection — yikes!) is the shower glass.  It can’t be cut until everything else is in and then takes 2-3 weeks to complete.  No worries about that slight delay — all the other subs will probably be done by July 4th, 2 months before our move back date!


Oh, that reminds me.  We’re moving on Wednesday to our housesitting gig in the West Hills.  It’s not a bad thing — it’s probably time for us to leave H&J alone with their family, and exploring a new part of town will inject some excitement into the process.  We are taking care of a dog there, so pet management continues.

Posted in Bathroom, Painting, Stairs | 1 Comment

Highs and Lows

I get one whiny post, and this is it.  Large house remodels like ours seem to have high highs and low lows.  Both of us tend to run even keel, and 3 months of roller coaster riding is starting to wear us down.  This week had highs and lows that seemed particularly draining, and I’m not sure if it really was up and down, or if we’re just hyper sensitive at the moment.  Everything is still on track — just part of the process neither of us handles as well.

I already mentioned the bathroom floor grout.  It will likely darken when the floor is sealed and with age, and we’ve frankly gotten used to a little lighter color than we originally expected.  But of course, we spent a lot of time worrying about it and comparing the picture on the bag to the actual grout before deciding it was fine.

The vanity frame went in last week, and it was exciting to see that part of the bathroom come together.  Then, we had a sinking feeling (get it? ha ha!) when we realized the sink opening was marked to be centered over the two-door cupboard, rather than across the vanity, which would look odd.  See right – shouldn’t that sink be centered under the mirror and light?   It’s getting centered, and ultimately the change to the top drawer will be inconsequential, but again, it tempered the excitement of seeing the vanity go in.

Trimwork continues.  That is one long, messy process, but once again, our contractor has brought someone in who seems to care about doing a good job.  The stair trim starting going in on Friday, beginning with the railing and newels.  We decided to use cherry for the railing to go with our future cherry floors.  The cherry railings and newel posts in the showroom were gorgeous, but we opted for paint grade newel posts with cherry caps to keep costs down and to match the large amounts of white trim in our house. When I arrived Saturday to paint balusters, I was very excited to see the beautiful cherry railings, anchored by the newel posts.  Wait a second…. those newel posts sure look the same.  Checked the inventory list against the parts catalog and sure enough, those newel posts are solid cherry.  Crap.  Because the newel posts were cut, sending them back was not an option.  We ended up deciding to have the cherry varnished rather than painted and sorted out the cost with the contractor and millwork guy.  And yeah, they’re going to look pretty awesome.

Painting balusters sucked.  There are 61 of them, and I primed and painted all 4 sides over the weekend.  I didn’t have a good set up for where to lay them out, so I laid them out on the floor.  My knees were so sore by the end of the weekend, I could hardly walk.  Ah, well, the balusters are done, and Advil comes in economy size bottles.

That’s only 35 balusters above. The other 26 were in another room.

Today, M got ambitious and decided the replace the faucet in the bathroom downstairs.  We’ve had the new one for years, just never installed it.  He even found a small enough sink at the Habitat store to replace the ugly one that was there.  Well, the pipes were rusted, and there was a bit of a kablooey.  So the water is going to stay turned off for a bit.

We’re packing up the kitties and going to our friend’s house in Parkdale this weekend.  I think we both need a break from the house.

When we get back from Parkdale, we start packing up again to move to our next residence.  We’ll be there for about 10 weeks, then home at last.  Last night, we met the dog we are taking care of.  She is super sweet.  We’ve gotten very comfortable at H&J’s, but once we get moving over with, it will probably be fun to check out another part of town.  Plus, our new place has shuffleboard.

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Tile, Etc.

Just a quick post to drop some pictures in your lap.

Last week was tile setting week, which took most of the week.  Since we decided we cared very much how it turned out, M and I tag teamed so we could watch how it was going. Early in the week, we laid out the entire accent strip on the living room, so we could decide on which tiles to use (or not use) and the distribution of color.  The tile setters seemed pretty good, but having it laid out made sure we were all on the same page.

I’m glad I was there when most of the shower was being set.  Even with laying it all out, a lot of question came up related to bullnoses, edges, wrapping around corners, etc.  In the end, we changed a couple of things and improvised on the fly, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

The tile guys grouted everything on Monday, and the cabinet base went in yesterday.  We had a little uncertainty with the grout.  The floor grout (Oyster Grey) is quite a bit lighter than the sample we chose from.  At first, we were not sure that the correct grout had been used.  But it apparently was, and ultimately we decided we were ok with it.  Had we known how light it would appear, we probably would have chosen a darker color, but I have a feeling we won’t even notice after a time.  I’m so used to seeing the pebbles in ungrouted samples, that I think seeing them grouted is part of the surprise.

I can’t wait to see what the bathroom looks like when the marble slab goes in. It’s looking good!

Also this week, the marmoleum floor was laid in the mudroom.  Right now, when our house is a dusty disaster, is perhaps not the best time to see the dark blue, dirt showing floor.  However, M and I are confident that once the house is cleaned up, we’ll be able to keep the footprints in check.  I do like the feel of a marmoleum floor.

Trim started last week too and is ongoing.  It is a long, messy process.  They seem to be going assembly line style with window trim first, then door casings, etc.

The window sills are especially cat friendly (much like their double wide cat scratcher), and there will undoubtedly be much lounging in the windows.  Speaking of which, the deluxe cat passageway is more-or-less done.  I think it needs some sort of mouse decor.

Posted in Bathroom, Floors, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Prime Time

“All right, Mr. DeMille.  I’m ready for my close up.”

With drywall complete, we decided to prime as much as possible before the trim starts going in.  We haven’t yet picked colors for the new parts of the house, and there’s only so much we could do in one weekend.  Our housemate H, aka “The Color Whisperer,” will help us choose colors later.

Over the long weekend, we primed all the new drywall (and some patching over existing walls), painted two coats of topcoat on the mudroom and bathroom ceilings and painted the medicine cabinet — 9+ gallons of paint in all.  It looks great!

The tile installers laid the bathroom floor today (grout comes later) and will start on the shower tomorrow.  I laid out all the accent tile so M can oversee the tilework (while also building a deluxe cat passageway between the finished and unfinished sides of the basement).  Millwork/stairs starts tomorrow too.  Let’s just remember it’s still May.

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