Thanks for stopping by!
We are two house-loving DIYers now onto our second house. One of us has vision...and one has actual skills.
Design and working on our home are our major hobbies, whenever we have a few moments of free time not devoted to our daughter or jobs. We are hoping to share our ideas, triumphs and mistakes to help other DIYers and get new ideas from all of you!

Monday, August 28, 2017

A sea of blues

This weekend saw a major shift to a fully painted room. First, we had to pick the color...blue, blue or more blue? Not too purple, not too green, not too gray, not too dark, not too light...

I'm so glad Brent tinted the primer one of the colors we were considering, because it became very clear that was NOT our color. It read very purple in the space, and we had an inkier color in mind. Enter the sample cans. As much as I dislike spending money, when you're going to commit to a color that is literally going EVERYWHERE in the room (trim, walls, bookshelves), this was a wise investment. 

Tessa even got in on the action!

Colors we actually tested from top to bottom, L to R, (all Benjamin Moore):
  • Gentelman's Gray (this is our powder room color)
  • Washington Blue
  • Newburyport Blue
  • Van Deusen Blue
  • Summer Nights
  • Blue Danube

It became clear pretty quickly that CW-630 was winning us over. I also really liked the slightly more green Summer Nights, but ultimately, Washington Blue (CW-630) prevailed!

Next came the first coat of trim:

And then the walls!

Brent was on a mission, and finished it up late last night after our neighbor's BBQ.

The early morning light (this room faces west) revealed the inky, mercurial, stately blue I was hoping for.  It kind of draws you in and you peek in from the Living Room or Dining Room.  

Brent also braved late-August-weekend Ikea (he went straight to the warehouse armed with the exact spots he was heading and brought home the bones for our will-be bookshelves on the mantle wall. 

We are excited to get them assembled so we can start problem-solving a couple of issues and finalize some details on the design. 

More to come this weekend!

Friday, August 18, 2017

You can get FREE Benjamin Moore Large Paint Chips mailed to you

Amazing resource found...while you CAN get large paint chips from your local Benjamin Moore paint store (I heart Johnson's Paints on Warren Street), I just discovered that you can also get them shipped to you FREE.

I may have just ordered...8 different colors...multiple large chips of each...pics of them up in the Library as soon as they arrive!

Any early thoughts on the colors above?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Library Update and a HomeGoods find!

There has been some patching/plastering and sanding!

In general, when we (Brent) get to working on a room the steps are:

  1. Clear it out. 
  2. Scrape wallpaper if present. Ugh...the worst...thankfully we only have one room left where this will have to happen (3rd floor bathroom)
  3. Assess the ceiling and wall damage.
  4. Scrape (see the sexy new HEPA vac??), gouge, and prep to plaster.
  5. Coat of thin set.
  6. Sand.
  7. Repeat steps 4 & 5 MANY times until first the ceiling, and then the walls are as smooth as you want them to be.
  8. Prime well.
  9. Paint at least two coats (ceiling first, then walls).

Note that none of this is particularly highly skilled, it's just a lot of elbow grease, time, and audio books listened to.

I found this on Pinterest by studio36 as my jumping off point for using Ikea to make "built-in" shelves around the faux fireplace.

As you can tell, a prior owner had tried a similar feat...it just...wasn't....what we are going for.

Here are some of my inspo pics for the Library:


Do you SEE the cloud wallpaper on the ceiling??


As you can see, I'm fairly obsessed with a dark blue/gray color. I plan to incorporate coral as the accent color, which ties it all back to my wallpaper choice for the dining room.  I am very into the examples where the trim and walls are the same color.  As the trim in this one room has already been senselessly painted, I'm going with it. The window trim is still up for debate in our house at the moment...but I think it totally changes the vibe to pop white up in there.


It's just not the same...

The sectional, Brent's recliner, and the rug will be staying in the library. I've already been collecting coral and navy accessories. I'm on the hunt for:

1. Window treatments
    • Brent wants plantation shutters - anyone know where to get the kind that can split and be open on the top half and don't cost a fortune?? Now that we have a paint sprayer, getting them the same color wouldn't be hard.
    • I am into the look of the middle piece here (no heavy curtains in this room):

2. A new coffee table. Probably something round that will not kill you if you walk/fall into it and Tessa can use to eat/draw on occasionally without having an anxiety attack. 

3. Some lighting options and side tables. 

4. What to hang on the walls that do not have the bookshelves or TV.

Speaking of wall hangings! After MANY months of hunting Marshalls, HomeGoods, various websites including Minted (sooo pretty, but too $$$) and Wayfair/Overstock/Joss & Main, I have found artwork for the Living Room! 

It is as large as I was hoping (part of why so $$ other places....), has the right colors and tones to go with the furniture and wallpaper that will someday be in the Dining Room next door, and makes me think of the Connecticut shore without screaming, "BEACHY! I BELONG IN THE BEACH HOUSE YOU WILL NEVER HAVE." I hate artwork like that. 

Are you ready??

Clearly, it still needs to be hung on the wall...but...it was found ON CLEARANCE (less than $100) at the HomeGoods in Bedford, MA.  Tessa tells me daily she likes "my new paint," so I'm keeping it. 

Bonus, while on the return trip to pick up the painting (because it AND Tessa could not both fit in Brent's car...oops that was not a fun discovery), I also scored this fun bowl to accessorize the library.

Once the library furniture can move back in, I look forward to putting some finishing touches on the living room (window treatments, hanging things, possible additional chair). But that's a ways off...still need to pick a paint color... do you have any favorite navy's/deep blues/bluish grays to recommend we consider? 

I also like Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue...Benjamin Moore Van Deussen Blue, and Benjamin Moore's Gentleman's Gray (which we used in the Powder Room).  Let us know what colors you like the best!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

One year in/The Big Catch Up Post

Sunday night Brent and I snuck out for a date night at Flank, which was actually where we had gone for a date night shortly after having our offer accepted on this house a little more than a year ago.

It was delicious again, by the way - totally recommend.  It being a Sunday night in the summer, the restaurant was basically dead - sad for the restaurant, but lovely for us and the very helpful bartender whom I think (hope?) we saved from tears of boredom.

We started the evening (ok, it was late afternoon) with making a list of everything that has changed in the house in the past year.  Then I looked at the blog...and realized that I hadn't mentioned about...80% of the list. So here's us picking up where I left off LAST OCTOBER.  If you want a bigger post about any of the projects breezed through here - let me know in the comments and I'd be happy to oblige. In the meantime, this post is to get the list up here, and I promise to pick up with our current project in full sentences - The Library. Ok, so here we go! In the last year, here's what has happened to the house so far.

Landscaping and Irrigation and Outdoor Furniture

Front Door and Shutters
Brent has stripped the front door back to its beautiful natural state. He also took down the existing shutters, repaired them, and painted them a crisp, glossy black.

Roof Repairs and Chimney Capped
Historical Slate Roofers inspected our roof and made some repairs that were sorely needed, as well as replaced the roof over the porch and capped the chimney.

Window Restoration
  • Fred Sullivan of FPP Window Restoration and Insulation Services has restored all windows on the first and second floors (minus the kitchen) between last summer and this summer
  • This means they all function and have been cleaned up/adjusted to work to best advantage
  • We also restored the Palladian window in the master bathroom with frosted glass instead of clear for an added layer of privacy and uniform look.

My mother-in-law was patient enough to tackle my first-ever stenciling project with me over Christmas...it was definitely an eye-opening experience and a test of patience. I'm very pleased with how our focal wall came out! The deep green is color-matched to Ralph Lauren's British Racing Green. I have some plans to change out the rug and console table to have some lighter contrast against the dark paint and wood trim.

Powder Room
  • Ceiling pulled down, insulated, and replaced
  • Crown molding installed
  • Walls fixed
  • Heater cleaned up and painted
  • Window and trim painted (Benjamin Moore White Dove)
  • Walls from...brick/blood red to Benjamin Moore Gentleman's Gray
  • Shelves from CB2
  • New toilet paper holder and towel ring
  • Ugly tile floor covered under a Home Goods find.
  • Mirror, sink and toilet are temporary placeholders


  • Ceiling pulled down
  • Spray insulation installed
  • Ceiling replaced
  • Walls repaired
  • Painted Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter (which was mistakenly purchased when we painted the Living Room...)

Butler's Pantry

  • Countertop replaced last summer with Carrara marble
  • Under-cabinet LED lighting installed (by electrician)
  • Walls and ceiling repaired and painted (walls are Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue to match Dining Room)
  • Mirrored tiles are going into the back of the cabinets to: 
    • increase the light and apparent width of the room
    • add some pizzaz
    • avoid extensive and tedious plaster repairs at the back of the cabinets :)

Dining Room

  • Wallpaper stripped (painfully)
  • Walls repaired, primed and painted Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue.
  • Lamps for the buffet and green end chairs scored at Home Goods

  • I'm still saving up for my dream wallpaper to go into the framed panels...

Living Room

  • Wallpaper scraped (painfully)
  • Walls repaired and painted twice after a paint buying oops.
  • Final color is Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray
  • Couch, chair, rug, stools, tables, lamps purchased
  • Throw pillows in the fabric of above wallpaper etsy-ed
  • Final decorating touches will be happening once the library is done, as right now the living room has most of its furniture in it.

Liz's Office

While I have yet to fully settle into my office/unpack all of the boxes from the move, it has been painted an furnished. Here is my Pinterest Inspo Board for the space. Brent repaired the ceiling and walls last fall which got a fresh coat of Warm Blush Benjamin Moore paint.  I put in a daybed with trundle for use by guests, and got two console tables, a new rug and curtains, and am still happily using my grandmother's desk. Hopefully I can make some headway in unpacking before school starts up again...hopefully.

2nd Floor Bathroom

  • Removed and reinstalled ceiling
  • Vent/light combo installed
  • Repaired walls
  • Cabinet from living room relocated for storage
  • Painted Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray

  • This room was all Brent, including picking out the paint color. I personally think it reminds me of a Parisian Bistro/Bar with the black and white tile, dark walls, and touches of dark wood. - are we surprised? I have yet to find artwork for above the tub - any suggestions?

    Lighting Switches

    As we work through the spaces and live in the house, it has been come very clear which areas need dimmers, so little by little we are installing them. They really are game-changers for the ambiance and the frequency that you will actually turn a light on. For example, the upstairs hallway light is TOO bright at full strength, and was therefor rarely used...until Brent changed the switches! Currently we have dimmers in the:

    • main entryway
    • living room
    • dining room
    • bulter's pantry under-cabinet lighting
    • kitchen
    • stairway sconces
    • hallway lights upstairs
    • all bedrooms
    • master bathroom


    I'm sure I have forgotten a few projects here and there, but I can finally cross update the blog off of my to-do list!

    Your next installment will focus on The Library. In the meantime, you can check out my Pinterest board dedicated to it here.  The room has been cleared out, and a high-powered vacuum and sander have been purchased..

    Thanks for reading, and please let me know if you want more info on a project of where I got something.