Thursday, February 24, 2011

i need a vacation

i realize that not posting for over two weeks is no way to build a readership.  work has been exhausting.  i have a twitch beneath my left eye and my hands have been shaking for three days.  i've been getting work done around the house, though, so i WILL post this weekend. 

please don't leave me.

Monday, February 7, 2011

black in action

last week, as i was narrowing in on a grey for the sunroom, i read this.

now, i don't think i'm some design genius.  i've never been able to style a nightstand.  i've made some serious lamp mistakes.  but i definitely don't want someone walking into my house and hearing that awful "divine design" theme song in their head.

owning a house you don't intend to stay in long term is a style minefield.  it's especially challenging in this house because it's already the most expensive house on the block.  i want our house to be streamlined and modern but i also want to be able to sell it.  resultantly, i've been pretty cautious about making changes that might be off-putting to buyers.

so i was going to paint the sunroom grey, which would have been a lovely, if obvious, choice.  but that would have been a wuss move.  most of the rooms in my house are white or grey.  we're probably already at the point where people are going to complain that the house feels cold.  someone will probably buy this house and repaint the dining room beige with a red accent wall.  plus, i saw this house tour that was so awesome it inspired me to do something a little weird.

i painted the sunroom black.

it's benjamin moore black beauty.  it may have been a stupid decision, since it's a sunroom and it already gets really freaking hot in there.  but it's the brightest room in the house and i knew i could paint it black without it feeling like a mortuary.  and i had already bought the white paint for the balcony and trim (not done, by the way, in case you were wondering why the windows looked so crappy), so much of the room will still be white.  and i'm going to do the paneled wall upstairs light grey so that it doesn't feel like it's falling on top of you.

i really like it.  it actually makes the rock wall look less awful.  when ikea finally opens i'm going to buy a white ps cabinet and some karlstad chairs and, with the addition of a craigslist treadmill, the room will finally serve a purpose.

what do you think?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

fatty bowie

i was hoping to be able to provide a follow-up post about the sunroom.  but i still haven't picked a grey: 

from left to right, all benjamin moore: smoke embers, coventry gray, stonington gray, and platinum gray
smoke embers and platinum gray are out of the question.  stonington gray is certainly the best of the bunch, but i'm just not sure it's right.  maybe grey is a bad idea?

because i wasn't ready to pull the trigger, so to speak, i did a bunch of caulking this weekend.  i hate caulking.  it's necessary but not all that rewarding.  the end product only looks marginally better than it did in the beginning.  plus, it's such a sticky mess.  maybe i'm doing it wrong:  i always bead the caulk with my finger and wipe off the excess with my hands.  then i try to wipe my hands with wet paper towels, but it's never enough.  inevitably, i end up washing my hands every five minutes, and i'm certain all that caulk can't be good for my plumbing (that's what she said--sorry, mom).

i also have three other projects in various stages of completion.  it's all "before" and no "after" here.

so, in lieu of anything house related, here's a little introduction to another of my pets: david bowie.

david bowie also goes by fatty fatty pumpkin pie and big poppa.  he is obsessed with my husband.  he likes to lie on my husband's chest and purr and drool.  he always initiates this lovefest by approaching slowly with what we like to call "fratboy bedroom eyes."  it's creepy.

at sixteen pounds, he is the largest of the pets.

he loves silvestre:

actually, he loves everything (except the dogs).

he loves his toys:

he loves sleeping on ugly chairs:

not my chair, by the way
and he loves his retro modern pet bed from like kittysville:

he also loves eating grass and throwing up.  i don't have a picture of it, though, so you'll have to take my word for it.

it's supposed to warm up again by this weekend, so hopefully i'll have something painted soon.  it's a balmy 5 degrees out right now; a significant improvement over our high of -1 yesterday.  if i don't get to paint, i'll at least try to do some shopping.  (i just got a promotion at work!  those antidepressants have really paid off!)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

front range mercantile!

hot or not?

too late, i already bought it.  last weekend, i was wandering around my favorite little slice of heaven, the front range mercantile*, and i happened upon this little bassett number priced at $119.  i took a couple of pictures of it so that i could think it over, but as soon as i left the booth this woman started pulling open the drawers and stepping back to appraise it.  so that did it for me.  i was like, "bitch, step off." 

i have this inconvenient situation (called marriage) that requires me to at least check with my husband before i bring home a big-ass piece of furniture.  so i tried calling and calling and calling, to no avail.  with mounting panic, i went to the front of the store and somehow managed to convince the shopkeep to put the dresser on hold.  then i drove home well above the speed limit and burst through the door, screaming at the top of my lungs.

after i bought it, i realized it was probably 30% about liking it and 70% about not wanting someone else to buy it.  but, whatever.  it was going to take forever to save up for this and the rest of the bedroom is a hot mess that needs to be completely revamped.  and it came with a huge mirror and i love the drawer pulls.

anyway, here it is in its present location.  it's a little scuffed up, but it's better that things enter this house in rough shape because the cats ruin everything anyway.

what do you think of that lamp?  i spent the rest of saturday and all day sunday trying to find a modern white lamp i could afford.  i really want the west elm branch table lamp, but unless i can find a time machine to take me back to 2008, i'm out of luck. (although a time machine would probably be better spent going back to the sixties and buying an ass-ton of mid-century furniture, because i still might be able to find the branch lamp on craigslist if i put a little effort into it.)  here are two relatively acceptable interpretations, but a) i couldn't afford them and b) i thought i could probably find something i liked better if i could get my mind off the branch lamp.  finally, i just got lazy and went to marshalls.  but i can still take it back.

*longmont is no pasadena, ca, but we have this great indoor flea market called the front range mercantile.  to love it you have to first accept its limitations.  it has an inordinate amount of cowboy and western memorabilia, glass insulators and pyrex bakeware, and janky new furniture pretending to be vintage.  nevertheless, i go every week.  other than my house, it's my favorite place in the world.  the best part of the front range mercantile, however, is its jingle:

                it's more than just shopping
                it's an experience!

               front range mercantile!

               something for everyone
               friendly and full of fun

               front range mercantile!
               it feels good here!

Friday, January 21, 2011

blue friday

check out this gorgeous before and after on design*sponge.  drool.  i desperately wanted to order our sofa in blue velvet but everyone acted like i was crazy.  now they're all over the place and i could have been a tastemaker but instead i let the room and board salesperson make me feel like a half-wit.

i'm trying to concurrently finish three projects to post on the blog, but nothing is in blog-worthy condition right now.  so instead i'll give you this happy friday image, taken at our old apartment in boulder.

part of an elaborate dance routine they've choreographed to "grease lightnin'"
happy friday!  i'm going to paint my ass off this weekend.

Monday, January 17, 2011


arguably the most dated room in this dated prefab is the sunroom.  which is strange, because the house was built in 1976 and the sunroom wasn't added until the '80s.

we didn't touch the sunroom for the first year we lived here.  it was home only to the litter box and a kitchen table we were no longer using.  oh, and three dead plants that came with the house.

more previous-owner glamour shots.  my husband just said, "uh, look at that f**king nightmare."
the room faces south and, as you can imagine, it gets hot as hell in there.  presumably that gorgeous rock wall serves to hold heat for the house.  it's also a filthy, filthy dust magnet. 

the room is two stories tall, with windows spanning the whole southern wall.  there's a balcony on the second floor that opens from the office. the day we closed, we took down those dowdy little curtains.  and then we didn't touch anything, including those sad plants.  i desperately wanted to paint the paneling.  but there was SO MUCH WOOD in there it was hard to know where to even start (that's what she said).  i called in a couple of painters, who each wanted 400 dollars (!) just to paint the large window frames.  which was obviously a little out of my budget for the project.

in march, after living with it for almost a year, i finally bought some wood filler and started filling in all the knot holes.  i had read a post on young house love that optimistically claimed that we could paint the paneling in an afternoon.  which might be applicable if the wood had been even remotely in good shape, but this paneling was awful.  the finish was gummy from decades of baking in the sun. 

extreme close-up.  yikes.
 i thought we might be able to tackle it in a week, but we hated working on it.  we started with a quarter-sheet sander, which was totally ineffective on the sticky, bowed wood.  we then moved on to an orbital sander.  once we started sanding, the room became so sawdusty it was totally unusable.  so, for eight months we completely avoided it.  which is humiliating to even write because, otherwise, my house is very, very clean.

at any rate, we got our shit together and made a commitment to at least get it cleaned up before the end of the year.  over christmas break, we spent a whole day filling in the last of the holes and finishing the sanding.  then we spent another whole day cleaning everything.  every square inch of that room had to be vacuumed and wiped with wet, soapy rags.  then we primed with kilz oil-based primer.  after two hours, we realized we were both totally high and that we ought to open the windows.  oops. 

at any rate, we finally finished priming yesterday!

i am so thrilled.  it was totally worth killing all those brain cells.

i know all of my (three) beloved readers are worried about how i managed to paint those upper window frames.  slow your racing hearts, my loves.  i made my husband do it.  on an extension ladder. 

here are the next steps:
  1. pick another grey for the main walls; buy in a uv-resistant paint
  2. buy more of the paint we've used for trim (benjamin moore's simply white) in a uv-resistant semi-gloss
  3. pick a darker grey for the three steps leading down into the main floor
  4. paint the main walls grey
  5. paint the trim white
  6. paint the balcony and railing (white?)
  7. paint the three steps dark grey
  8. wash the windows
  9. replace kitty litter box (hopefully with the uber-sexy modkat litter box)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


i loved this little house call in november, and i really love this house tour.

i love white walls.  when we bought our house, it was kinda nuts inside.

i'm keeping these pictures on the smaller side for your benefit

gaggy.  i mean, those rooms are adjoining!  and the walls that appear to be white in these photos are actually peach.  peach!  peach and mustard yellow and cornflower blue!  duuuuuudes, noooooooooo!

people always lament renter's white walls on apartment therapy, but at least it isn't customary to paint rentals peach.

that wood stove is still in the house, by the way.  some guests find it charming, but those are usually guests who haven't heated their homes with a wood stove.  i grew up in the country, folks.  i'm never lighting a fire in a wood stove again in my life, if i can help it.

most of my favorite house tours have white walls.  i've posted this hot little number onto my facebook page twice.