Photographing pets for Christmas!

I say it every year...I am going to learn to use my grossly expensive digital camera.

But I never get around to it, so often my pictures are "less than perfect!"

I read a tutorial one time about taking pictures of your Christmas tree. Not sure I remember everything about how to do it properly, but one thing I did remember is to use my tripod. In low light situations, it is a must!

One thing I always like to do is take Christmas pictures of my pets...that seems like a near impossible thing to do since the shutter speed is slow and getting an animal to sit perfectly still is almost an impossible task! 

This year I managed to get a few half way decent pictures. My trick? Well, again, a tripod...gotta use it.

The other is to get them when they are "low energy." For my animals, that is early in the morning when they are still a bit sleepy or late at night. Since I don't function well after about 8 in the evening, I decided to try to capture them (almost literally) early in the morning.

Mr. Jinx is the toughest to photograph...but I did manage to get a fairly decent one this year....

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Getting Cleo to "sit and stay" is another challenge. She cooperated somewhat this year....

You can tell she wasn't at all thrilled with this process.

Litty the spaz cat is down right impossible...she rarely sits still. I did manage to catch a glimpse of her under the tree...

Animals and little kids...good luck!!!

A vintage chair makeover for the new house....

As I have mentioned before, it is important to do research on "vintage" or "antique" pieces before you take a can of spray paint to them...God forbid you find LATER that you have spray painted a potentially valuable piece.

Such was the case with this pathetic little chair....

Someone had painted a true "vintage" piece...a McGuire ratan chair. (At least I THINK someone painted it...I couldn't find any information indicating this chair would have originally been painted)

With a little bit of research I found a listing for this pair on 1stdibs selling for a small fortune!

The prices on 1stdibs and Chairish always seem a bit high for my tastes but I have found both sites to be excellent sources for researching vintage pieces. 

When I first researched this coffee table (Drexel Declaration) I found it on one of these sites for around $1600. And this little cabinet for thousands.

This little chair sat out front of 410 Vintage for several weeks before I decided to tackle it. I wasn't drawn to it because of "what it is" but rather Matt needs a few little accent chairs. Since they sold it to me for $10 I didn't feel too guilty about painting it...the "true value" was pretty much toast in its current condition! 

The strapping on the joints (strictly decorative) is actually leather, but it was all pretty dried out and one was broken...a little hot glue fixed it right up. 

I repaired the broken seat strapping, primed the frame with Kilz, sanded a bit, sprayed it with black satin paint and made new cushions and pillows. I had some foam cushions stored away in my attic from an old couch and a few small pillow forms lying around so the only thing I had to buy was the paint and fabric.

Since Matt is a pilot and we are leaning towards an "aviation" theme in his living room, I thought this fabric choice for the pillows was down right clever...lol! 

Not bad for a small investment.

So now Matt has a defaced "McGuire ratan" accent chair...of little value but perfect for his needs! 

And cute as a bugs ear!

Closing is next week and I can't wait to get started...not sure if I am more excited about Matt buying his first home or getting all this "stuff" I have accumulated out of my house! I have most of the pieces ready to load and go! I am ready to roll out the rugs, set the furniture and hang the pictures. 

In a few weeks I will post a few "project pieces" I have worked on for Matt's house. I can't wait to share what a few bucks and a little time and effort can do.

A new house, a new project....

As I mentioned here, Matt is buying his first home.

I, of course, have been designated the "project manager." (Okay, so I appointed myself!)

As with any project, I start with the "inspiration." Since this is HIS house, I graciously allowed him to "pick and choose" what he would like to see in his home. 

Any project, large or small, entire house, one room or just a piece of furniture, should start with "inspiration." Search Pinterest, magazines or HGTV shows, and find what YOU love!

In Matt's case, he also NEEDS a few "basics." A bed frame, a couch, table and chairs, appliances and of course the little things like waste baskets, towels, shower curtains, window coverings. 

What he really wants to do is focus on the "projects." The house just received a little "fixer upper" but there are still a lot of things he wants to change...paint the kitchen cabinets and fireplace, replace the kitchen counter tops, open up the entry (like I did mine here), garage shelving, master bath walk-in shower and the exterior.

Age old battle between "need" vs. "wants." (When my kids start looking to buy ANYTHING, I always ask....is it a need or a want!?)

Always start with the basic must-haves...the "needs." He has a mattress and box springs and a few pieces of furniture, but he needs a refrigerator and washer and dryer and a couch and a rug for the living room and a bed frame. For now we can stick to basic window coverings like blinds.

Where do we start? 

As I mentioned in this post, you start at the beginning....I've covered this process before so follow the links....

1) Inspiration

First we had to identify what Matt's "inspiration" is....what colors and styles he likes. Trust me, Pinterest is not just a "girl thing." As I mentioned earlier, Matt is like me and tends to be a bit "eclectic." In other words, he likes what he likes so that makes it easier to mix and match styles throughout the house. 

2) Draw your space

As soon as the contract was in place I went and measured every room and drew up a little floor plan! I have the measurements needed for rugs, blinds and furniture! This step is super important! Trust me, you WILL NOT remember room dimensions or window sizes...have it on paper!

3) Assign a budget for every thing you want to do!

Know the "needs" and the "wants" and start assigning costs! 

In his case he has very little so much of his "needs" can be chosen with his "inspiration" in mind. He "needs" a refrigerator...the other new appliances are stainless, so there you go.

He "needs" a washer and dryer...his laundry room is a blank canvas so he choose white.

He "needs" a couch and rug. He has an idea the style he likes so I suggested staying with a neutral color.

He "wants" to paint the brick fireplace, paint the kitchen cabinets and add glass doors and open shelving, open up the entry, scrape the popcorn ceilings...and of course the list goes ON AND ON. He has prioritized these projects and estimated the costs!

This is why finding your "inspiration" and working up a budget is super important! If you know you are eventually going to make changes, then those things, even if you can't do them right this minute, have to play a role in the decision you make now.

"What is there" and what won't change also influences decisions. The walls are freshly painted with a very neutral SW Accessible Beige and the trim is white.  The living room and kitchen floors are oak hardwood and the carpet and tile in the bedrooms and baths are neutral. Truthfully, we could go with just about any color scheme. 

Since the existing "pallet" is fairly neutral I decided to focus on the colors he wants to add....the biggest being the kitchen cabinets. They are oak and he wants to paint them...and since the kitchen is open to the rest of the living area, this is where we began to build his "color pallet." 

He decided he wants blue/gray base cabinets and off-white uppers. I did what I do when choosing a color....I brought home about 50 samples of "blue/gray" and had him pick 3 he thought he might like. Then I painted them on a piece of primed oak and he choose the one he likes...Valspar Crucible. Perfect.

The off-white is a no-brainer for me...I always use BM Swiss Coffee. In my opinion, the perfect off-white with no glaring under-tones. 

Now we have the existing wall color, blue-gray of the base cabinets, and an off-white of the uppers. Black is a great "neutral accent color" so I tossed that in there as well...great for picture frames and side chairs.

I picked up a small round table and chairs for his breakfast nook. I had leftover sample pots from my master bedroom so I used that to paint the chairs and table base. SW Repose Gray is a great color that will blend well with all the other colors.

I also had a sample pot of SW Aviatrix and I used it on the drawer fronts of these two little dressers.... (here and here)

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Both may be used somewhere in his house...so Aviatrix was added to the mix.

At this point, we have a "color pallet" taking shape.

This color scheme may seem a little bland and neutral, but at some point we can begin to add in  "accent" colors with pillows, throws and curtains. Maybe a red or green or yellow...who knows. Having this simple and neutral color pallet on hand will allow us to add "pops of color" throughout the house!

He identified his "inspiration." The colors and styles he likes.

He knows the spaces he has to deal with.

He knows what his "must-haves" and "wants" will cost. 

Everything is on paper and ready to go!

I am already working on pieces I know will work in the house and I know exactly what space we have and what colors we want to incorporate! I have already painted and stained the breakfast nook table and chairs. I found a totally AWESOME mid century dresser and chest I am working on this week. Picture frames are being painted. He picked up a super sweet bed frame on Craigslist. The couch and appliances are on order and the rugs are stacked in my garage! 

How do you eat an elephant...one bite at a time. We are chompin' away!

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happiness is a choice. A conscience decision we make, no matter what the circumstances, to be happy.

Impossible you say? Obviously it may seem impossible every single minute of every single day. The sad fact is, "the negatives" in our lives (and our pasts) have a way of creeping into our minds and stealing our happiness. 

I find myself mired in "the negative" all too often. Something bad happens or an old memory creeps in and it is just too easy to slip right into "the negative." Shit happens....don't have enough money to pay the bills, a kid is struggling in school, or worse, in life...the cat is sick and the vet bills are astronomical, someone you love's health is failing, the stupid policeman wrote a ticket right before the holidays, the car won't start.

For me, this week, it was a fire. Not at my house but at the manager's house at the apartments. Somehow the gas shut-off valve to the dryer "opened" and gas filled the laundry room. The dryer was running and it sparked an explosion that blew out the window and caught the room on fire. 

Curses.

For two weeks I have been dealing with the expense of plumbers and inspectors and materials and the back breaking work of replacing windows, trim and siding, repairing sheetrock, cleaning every square inch of a room covered in soot, Kilzing it all and paint. 

All right before the holidays.

Specifically a holiday for which we "give thanks." 

This is one of those times when I had to dig deep to find my happiness.

So the first thing I did was look for SOMETHING to be grateful for...because the truth is, the best way to find happiness is focus of the positive...the things in your life you can be grateful for!

First, I am grateful that the dryer was running, otherwise the house could have filled with gas and killed the occupants. Had the door not been closed the smoke and fire could have spread to the rest of the house and created a MUCH bigger mess.

I am grateful that my plumber was willing to move heaven and earth to get everything tested and inspected quickly.

I am grateful it is fairly warm out and we didn't end up with frozen and busted water lines.

And as always, i am grateful I have the ability to do the work that needs to be done to restore order. 

Positives. Gratitude. Happiness.

A choice I make to focus on the positive, the things for which I can be grateful, rather than focusing on the negatives that are inevitable. 

How ironic that we only set aside one specific day a year to "give thanks."

So this Thanksgiving, focus on the things in your life for which you can be grateful...and vow to carry that gratitude with you every single day. When the negative creeps in and grips your heart and soul find something positive to grasp ahold of and focus on it....it won't be easy and sometimes it will seem down right impossible.

But it is a choice...a conscience choice you make...to either be happy or be unhappy.

It really is that simple.

Have a grateful and happy Thanksgiving!

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What's my "style"....

As I have said time and again (and evident by my Home Tour) my "style" is very eclectic. What exactly does that mean?

It means I like what I like and because my home is not all "farmhouse" or "traditional" or "mid century" I can pretty much find a place for any piece I fall in love with. 

As I mentioned in my last post my son Matt is buying his first home so I have been on the hunt for pieces that can be transformed and used in his house. Taylor, my daughter-in-law, asked me what Matt's decor style is...hum...not sure I ever asked him. Fortunately, like me, he likes what he likes and doesn't restrict himself to a specific style. He loves the mid century Lane Acclaim tables, but he also loves the farmhouse table I refinished several months ago! I promised him that if it didn't sell, he could have it for his dining area. I have picked up a few chairs and a round oak pedestal table for his breakfast nook. I'll share them when I get their "facelift" done! 

In the meantime I want to share this nifty dresser. Seriously horrid in it's original condition, but I could see the potential. 

Solid wood and very well built...and unique!

I think it could be an awesome piece in his bedroom, along with this little dresser, but I'm not sure I have convinced him it is worthy....but then again, he hasn't seen it finished! 

I absolutely LOVE this piece, especially the old rusty hardware. Matt asked if I could put cup pulls on it like the little dresser, but honestly, this hardware too cool... so unique and amazing. I cleaned them up and reattached them...rust and all! I just think they are awesome!

I chalk painted and distressed the cabinet and gel stained the top. The drawer fronts are latex paint. 

As I said before, if he still doesn't love it, someone else will! 

That is the great thing about being "eclectic"...to each his own! 

I blame it all on "Fixer Upper" ...

As I mentioned here, Matt is buying a house so I have been on the hunt for inexpensive pieces he will need. I often remind my children that it took decades for me to accumulate the pieces I have in my own home...so patience!

But I find myself being terribly impatient when it comes to someone else's house. I blame it on "Fixer Upper." A couple walks into their home after 1 hour and it is perfectly decorated and styled and staged...certainly I can do that in 2 months.

HA!!!! 

Maybe if he had an endless budget...but he doesn't so I have to focus on the essentials with a few "froo-froos" thrown in for good measure.

Saturday I scored a "free" sectional couch. It will be an awesome piece if an upholstery cleaner can get all the nastiness and dog hair off of it...for now it is in the storage shed along with patio furniture, garden tools, kitchen stuff I have picked up and of course his "college day" collection.

I do have a garage full of "projects" and a few of those pieces will work beautifully in his new house...IF it will ever stop raining and I can get them all repaired and painted!!! For now it is just a collection of "junk" that is stressing my OCD tendencies.

Actually I pulled a lot of it out into the driveway Monday, went for supplies, and got home just in time to drag it all back into the garage before it got soaked. Curses. 

I worked Monday and Tuesday building and repairing and cleaning...making wood tops, gluing busted drawers, puttying splintered veneer and misplaced hardware holes. All the stuff you can do when it is raining and you can't drag everything out and start assembly line painting.

One piece is a neat little three drawer chest I scored while emptying out one of my apartments....

It certainly had it's issues. Laminate top, busted drawers, splintered veneer, and an AWEFUL finish! 

Number one rule...if it is broke fix it PROPERLY! No sense in "making it pretty" if the veneer is going to continue to peel or the drawers don't function.

I removed all the "loose" veneer, puttied and sanded. I repaired all the drawers. And because I think this would make an awesome bedside table in Matt's new house, I replaced the top with a stained wood top....

I chalk painted and distressed the cabinet with one of the sample pots I bought when I was looking for a wall color for my bedroom. I kilzed and painted the drawer fronts with another sample! Nothing goes to waste!

And of course new hardware.

Again, I think it would make an awesome bedside table but I have a few other little projects up my sleeve Matt may like better. Nice thing about having a room in a vintage market...if he doesn't love it, someone else will! 

The next generation...

My youngest son is buying his first home. 

Two things I have drilled into my kid's heads from the time they are young...get a college education and buy a house. 

I have not rented since I was in college. There are just too many advantages to owning a home. The first house I bought cost $34,000 and had a huge hole in the bathroom floor. And that was the LEAST of it's problems.

But that little "fixer upper" gave us the money to start working our way towards "bigger and better." 

Even if you can't afford your "dream" home, buy SOMETHING! I think people would rather drive a nice car and rent a nice house than own a cruddy little house. Huge mistake.

Certainly I wouldn't advocate buying a house with "structural" issues...but even the worst cosmetic issues can easily be resolved. With all the information and tutorials out there, it is possible to "learn" to do just about anything.

Matt is moving back home for his "dream job"...corporate pilot for a Fortune 1 company. He has spent the last 5 years traveling the country and living in several areas and he knows now this is where he wants put down roots!

The logical next step was to buy a home!

So Saturday we looked at a few places and by Saturday evening he had a contract in place! He's like his mama...when he sees what he wants, he doesn't mess around.

It is not his "dream home." It is a nice little starter home that has good bones and has recently had a little "makeover." Of course by Sunday night, he and I had compiled a long list of additional "projects" he wants to tackle...painting the fireplace...

...painting kitchen cabinets, redesigning the entry, removing pop corn ceilings, etc. 

I am past the point in my life where I personally want to tackle a "fixer upper." But I love helping my kids make their houses a home. It gives me the opportunity to pass on what my father passed on to me...maybe not ALL the skills but the confidence to figure out how to do just about anything! 

I can't wait to see what he can do under the guidance of his newly appointed "project manager." (Okay, so I have appointed myself his project manager...it sounds better than "my mama said....")

My dad grew up during a time when builders poured the footings and installed the doorknobs...and EVERYTHING in between. I was fortunate to learn how to do much of what I do by his side.

There was still so much I wish I would have had time to learn from him. I may not have learned everything...but he left me a tremendous legacy...the confidence to know I have the ability to "figure it out."

Here is to the next generation...I hope I have passed on that confidence. It is the greatest "skill" one can possess!!!!

 

 

 

My "keys" to being your own boss...

Doesn't matter if you own your own business, are a stay at home mom (hardest job in the world) or even work at a job that requires you to "self-motivate." These are a few of the "keys" I have used over the years to help me.

I own my own business...and that may sound ideal to many. But staying "self-motivated" and managing your own time and effort can be exhausting and frustrating...to say the least! 

One of my children just embarked on a new "life adventure." So I jotted down a few pieces of advise I HOPE will help him because I know how hard it is to stay motivated. Some days it just seems easier to sit around in my pajamas, drinking coffee and watching Good Morning America.

Sometimes that "desire" is the result of fear, frustration, discouragement... negative feelings that are overwhelming and paralyzing. Those negative emotions have no place in our minds...regardless of your "lot in life"...allowing the "negative" to creep into your mind and soul is NEVER a good thing. 

So here is the email I sent him...advice I hope others can benefit from....whether you are starting a new venture or are already living it....truth is, it is never too late to "make a change."

So you are going to embark on your next “life journey.” Let me share a few tidbits I have gleaned in my years of “self-employed” experience. Haven’t perfected it all…and I certainly have my “bad” days. But seriously, if you will do these things, it will help you a great deal.

BE POSITIVE

Think positive thoughts when you wake up, think them when you go to bed, think them all day. Negative wears you down…mentally and physically…if things aren’t going great and you find yourself “thinking negative” shut it down immediately and find SOMETHING positive to think about. 

BE GRATEFUL

The best way to be positive is to find things to be grateful for…anything! Thank you Lord for…..doesn’t matter…there is always SOMETHING to be grateful for! Some days all I can find to be grateful for is enough toothpaste to get me through the day....but you know what, there are people in this world who don't have toothpaste...be grateful! 

MAKE YOUR BED EVERY DAY.

Seriously, every single day. Okay, you can pee first, but then go right back and make your bed. Just do it. Trust me, it makes a difference!

GET UP EARLY EVERY DAY!

Every day…not just Monday through Friday, but every day of the week. Find a “morning routine” that allows you to start your day with a positive attitude…prayer, meditation, exercise, reading the paper (although a lot of that is negative these days so I avoid them!)…whatever works for you!

KEEP A “TO DO” LIST AT ALL TIMES

I keep a list of the things I need to do the next day. EVERYTHING! Every errand, every call, every email I need to send. I mark off the things I accomplished that day and carry what I didn’t to the next day. 

Sometimes it might seem frustrating that you didn't get it ALL done.

Don’t get discouraged or upset if something didn’t get done…just put it on the list for tomorrow!

Calendars are for dentist, hair appointments, kid's activities…a list you can throw away every day is the way to go.

I keep yellow note pads all over the place so when I think of something I can immediately write it down…nothing is more stressful than to forget something. I keep a grocery list, I keep a "Lowe's" list, I keep a "need to clean/repair" list. 

Once it is written down, it is OUT OF MIND…in other words, I don't have to worry about forgetting it. I won’t forget I need to do it because it is on my list!

I may have 2-3 lists in the house or the car, but once a day I combine them and go over my “things to do tomorrow” so I know what I need to do.

In the morning I don't even consult my "to do" list until after I have gone through my morning routine...make bed, drink coffee, get dressed...be grateful, think positive. After my mind and body are right, THEN I look at my list and start working the list.

KEEP YOUR WORK OUT OF THE BEDROOM

I know that is hard to do when you live in a small apartment, but find a place that can be your “work space” out of the bedroom. I say that because you really need a “haven.” A place you can go to shut off and shut down…and that should be your bedroom…don’t fold clothes, don’t write business emails, don’t return business calls in your bedroom!!!! Need privacy? Go sit in the bathroom…lol!

MAKE A CONTACT/INFO JOURNAL

I wish I had done this years ago…a journal of everything I have repaired and replaced in each apartment…but I didn’t and now I can’t remember when I bought that stove or replaced the bathroom floor! 

So get one of those composition notebooks and just keep notes…just write it all down in the “journal.” Keep it simple…just names, contact info, who you talked to, what you talked about, etc. 

You never know when you will need the name and phone number of that guy you talked to three years ago…

SHUT OFF ELECTRONICS

Set a specific time to turn off or put down ALL electronics…phone, iPad, computer…even the tv…whether it is 8-9-10 o’clock…just put it down. And turn off the email and text notification on your phone! (This is especially important for kids!)

Keep a real book (preferably something positive and informative) by the bed and READ. Not business stuff…just for shits and giggles. (My kids had a strict bedtime...no electronics, no overhead lights, no tv...even if they weren't tired, they had to be in their beds with a book...they have all become avid readers as adults)

And don’t start your day on the computer or your phone…prayer, meditation, exercise…whatever.

Brian literally starts his day off drinking coffee and staring into space…no tv, no newspaper, just him and his coffee. 

KNOW YOUR “BODY RHYTHMS” AND DEVELOP A DAILY ROUTINE!

I know my mind and body are sharpest in the morning…so I make sure I do the stuff that requires my mind and body to cooperate before 1 p.m….after that, I am toast! So I take a “down time” in the afternoon…return mundane calls, read articles I want to read, etc. Then I kick it back into gear in the evening…I think that comes from years of having kids come home from school, dinner time, evening activities, etc. But I know this about myself, so I have developed a daily routine that takes advantage of my “body rhythms.” I know not to do important book work mid afternoon…my brain is mush! 

EAT, DRINK WATER, SLEEP.

Eating right, drinking LOTS of water and getting enough sleep is important. I have tried telling you guys nothing good happens after 10…so why stay up late. Go to bed…get the sleep you need, then get up in the morning WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE!

There will be days when you will feel discouraged, frustrated, afraid, defeated, etc. All I can tell you is YOUR ATTITUDE WILL DETERMINE THE COURSE OF YOUR LIFE (and most definitely your day!). Shit attitude, shit happens. And honestly, even with a “good attitude” shit happens…but you just lift up your chin, put a smile on your face and keep on moving in THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!! (EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO FAKE IT!!!!)

Keep a positive attitude…sometimes the only thing I can be thankful for is the pretty blue sky or a pretty flower…everything else is just CRAAAAP! But dwelling in the negative does nothing but bring your mind and body down. 

There will be days when you wake up and think “life sucks…I don’t even want to venture out into the world today.” GO!!! GET UP, MAKE YOUR BED AND GO!!!! Pick up your list and start making a plan. You never know what day will be THE day. Wasn’t yesterday, maybe today! 

Before you know it you will look back and see that 10 years has passed…trust me, you want to look back and know that even though things didn’t always go JUST RIGHT, you were happy.

And THAT…happiness…is all dependent on whether you GET UP, MAKE YOUR BED AND GO INTO THE WORLD WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE. 

So today sucked, last year sucked, the last decade sucked…well, its all up to you as to whether the NEXT decade goes any better.

Love you! ;)

One more piece of advice I forgot to mention (but I am sure he will read it here ;)

Don't wish your life away..."I wish it was payday, I wish the baby would sleep through the night, I can't wait for Christmas/my vacation/that raise!!!"

STOP WISHING YOUR LIFE AWAY!

Live in the day...enjoy THIS day! Payday will come, your vacation will come, the baby will start sleeping through the night, you will get caught up on those bills...it WILL happen but all your wishing and wanting and fretting and worrying isn't going to make time go faster. It will just make today miserable.

And trust me, there will be a time in your life when you will wish you could make time stand still.

Live today. Just today. Plan for tomorrow but don't wish this day away. We only get one life and only so many days to live it. 

What if this was your last full day on this earth...how sad if you didn't cherish every minute of it!

A simple side table...

When we added the new bedroom chairs....

...we decided to take out the "surround sound system." When I built this room 16 years ago, I installed surround sound and we had a whole sound system set up and wired through the walls. 

Truth be told, we haven't used the surround sound system in YEARS...so there was no need to have the hulking components taking up real estate. It was just something to dust.

As pretty as the little MCM table was that held the sound system components, it really didn't work in the space.

But that left one small problem. Brian didn't have anything to set his computer or drinks on. Every guy should have a place to put his "stuff" next to his recliner...right?

Most of the side tables in my house are square or rectangular. And that just wasn't going to work in the space next to his chair.

Fortunately, my neighbor Carolyn has a "flea booth" and has a garage full of odds and ends. So I dug around in her garage and found this little round table....

She bought the little pedestal at a garage sale and attached a round craft board for the top. She hadn't gotten around to painting it and that was just fine with me! Again, "not my style" but it was the perfect size for the space.

So I brought it home, stained and sealed the top and painted the base the same color as the accent wall.

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I painted it with chalk paint and considered "distressing" it a bit...and I may do that at some point. 

Right now it serves it's intended purpose.

So now this room is done...right?

Nope.

Last weekend we went shopping for a king size bed. I have NEVER had a king size bed...but sleeping with a huge dog and two cold kitties was beginning to take a toll on my back and sanity. 

So we bought a king size mattress and box springs. 

That set off a frantic search for all new sheets and blankets and a bed frame that will support and conceal the box springs...it all had to keep my bedding simple and easy to make and fit into vision I have for this room.

OH MY GOSH!!!! 

First, I hate shopping. It is just not my thing. Second, I'm "old school"...mattresses go on box springs, not platforms, which seems to be the "in" thing right now. That and REALLY tall head boards, which I don't like, or fabric covered headboards that will NOT work in a house full of critters. Third, box springs aren't suppose to show. And lastly, I'm lazy...the only way you can make a "platform" bed look decent is if you tuck all the blankets in on all sides. That breaks my "make the bed in 30 seconds" rule and we all know what would happen if I didn't make the bed every morning!

I did it. I bought new sheets and a mattress pad. I ordered a new down comforter and quilt online. I ordered a bed frame I THINK I will like...when it arrives in 1-4 weeks. 

So when it all arrives and is put together, I will do ANOTHER reveal on the master bedroom. And that should be the FINAL reveal.... until I change out the paddle fans or buy the new lamps I've been eyeing, or finally find the perfect piece of art for the big blank walls.

It's only taken me 16 years to get this far...no hurry!

Master bedroom paint color...

The "creme" walls just didn't jive with the new grey tone chairs.

It is a real struggle. It is a head banging, nail biting struggle that often leaves me feeling helpless and hopeless.

Just kidding...it's really not THAT big of a ordeal. But it is a struggle for me to change wall paint colors. Truth is, if you hate the paint color of anything, it is a relatively easy and inexpensive fix. Just repaint. Isn't that what I post time and again.

I think for me one of my biggest fears is that it will be too dark. When I was building homes I always told my clients, if you think you like the paint color on the chip, go one shade lighter. If they insisted on sticking with the color they liked, I would buy a sample, paint a huge swatch on the wall and EVERY time they would go lighter....every time. 

That is one reason I advocate painting large samples on the wall and living with it for a few days. Also, every paint has an "under tone" and it is impossible to see until the light in the room or natural light from windows hits it just right That awesome grey you thought you loved suddenly appears green or purple...the "off-white" that looks perfect on the tiny chip suddenly looks very pink...the blue-grey that matches your bedding looks purple when the sun hits it mid day.

I think that is why the process of picking a wall paint color sends me into a dark hole. 

The upside is, I KNOW THIS....and if I will just take my own advice, I will be fine.

So I pick colors I THINK I will like, paint large swatches on different walls in the room and look at them at different times of the day. 

Last week I shared the colors I first picked...and the reasons why I thought they would NOT work!

I did go back and pick up a sample of SW Nuance...it is one shade lighter than Useful Grey. I liked the Useful Grey but I was picking up a hint of green.

So Nuance it was...and I like it...but it is VERY light and truthfully, it is tough to see a real change.

Side by side, you can see that it is an exceptionally subtle change....but a change none the less. 

I probably could have gone with a darker color...this room gets tons of natural light but for now I am happy the "creme" is gone and the subtle gray blends a bit better with the elements in the room! 

Sherwin Williams "Nuance" is pretty close to the color in my "inspiration" color chart....

I originally discovered this little color chart at designseeds.com. It is a great site where you can find color combinations that work together...colors you would never imagine could exist side by side. This color sample has been my inspiration since I first started working on this room 3 years ago...one element at a time! 

This site is a source of endless inspiration and in my opinion it is one of the first sites you should visit when designing a room. If you have an element you HAVE to decorate around it will help you find colors that will enhance, and even mask it....that ugly brown couch or the wing back chair your mom gave you. 

I was able to pull every color off this chart and incorporate it into my master bedroom. The "white" in the trim, the "grienge" on the walls, the "bluish" on the fireplace wall, the "frosted berry" in the rugs, accent pillows and throw, the "grey" in the chairs.

Start your inspiration journey with colors in hand! And remember, if the paint is too light (or too dark) JUST PAINT IT AGAIN!