Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Haint Scared of No Ghosts

From the beginning I have called our sun room the solarium. Sun room and solarium mean the same thing, but solarium just sounds so much fancier and pretty. The problem is, for 9 months the solarium has been a dirt pit, a construction zone and a storage area, basically the complete opposite of fancy and pretty.

With our deck now so inviting and awesome thanks to our new outdoor kitchen and TV additions, it was a shame to have the bridge between our deck and our house be such a blah space. So, we decided project-solarium was up next.

Let me re-acquaint you with the space: 

The sun room sits between the living room and the deck. The room is airy and bright and full of light thanks to all of the windows. While I love white, this room needed some color. Lucky for us we'd had a partial plan brewing for this space for sometime and this plan involved using Haint Blue, ever heard of it?

Haint Blue has a rich history here in the south. If you've ever visited the south, specifically coastal towns like Charleston or Savannah you may have noticed a light blue/green/aqua color painted on the front porch roofs of many of the homes - that color is Haint Blue.

Haint Blue was created by African slaves known as "Gullah people"who worked in rice fields in South Carolina and Georgia. These Gullah's were fearful of haints (or haunts), which were spirits trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. The only defense they had against the evil spirits was the haints' inability to cross water. So, to protect themselves and their families, the Gullah's would dig a pit in the ground and fill it with milk, lime and whatever other pigments were lying around.  This mixture would create "milk paint". Once all the ingredients had been added, the mixture would be stirred around, creating this light blue color, and then applied to every window and door opening of their homes. The idea was that the haints would be fooled by this blue paint, thinking it was water and poof they would leave.

And that's not all... Haint Blue has even more mystery in it's origin. It has been commonly believed that the blue color keeps bugs away. As I researched Haint Blue and it's history, I found that it's not the color that deterred the insects but the ingredients in the mixture. As the Gullah's would make their Haint Blue in pits in the ground, the mixture often contained lime which is a common ingredient in insect repellent. Because the milk paint would fade over time it would have to be touched up every year or so, which is why it did in fact help keep away the bugs. However, today most of us rely on our friends Benjamin and Sherwin for paint mixing and lime is no longer included, thus, Haint Blue sadly does not possess the power of bug repellent. However some may still argue the bugs, much like the haints, may also confuse the blue ceiling with the sky and decide to hangout elsewhere...That theory is still up for debate...

Southerner's love tradition and the history of Haint Blue is no exception. The Haint Blue legend has been passed down  from generation to generation. Today, you will see porch ceilings, door frames, window sills, shutters and front doors displaying the Haint Blue hue.

.... And that was my long winded way of telling you that the first part of our plan was to paint our sun room ceiling Haint Blue. I mean, it was kind of a no-brainer. The room came with a bead board ceiling and with all this new found Haint Blue knowledge it just seemed like the perfect way to add a little southern charm to our home.

There is no one paint known as Haint Blue, there are a lot of options out there. As I mentioned above, the color is anything from a light blue to an aqua/green. After a little research, we settled on Martha Stewart's Aegean Blue MSL118. 

Photo from Google.
When we closed our eyes and thought of Haint Blue this is the color we saw - a nice light blue. Martha's Aegean Blue fit the bill so the choice was easy.

If you've ever painted a ceiling you know what a pain it is. Constantly looking up with your arms extended really starts to ware on the body. Let's just say it will give you a new found respect for Michelangelo ASAP. This was our third ceiling we've painted in this house, but our first textured one. I can now say textured = WAY harder. 

I got things started by going along all of the edges with a brush, while Brent went over the rest of the ceiling with a roller. One would think this was enough, but no... I had to go back over the entire ceiling again to fill in all of these little gaps.

Oh and there was a fan. My patience was shot at this point so Brent took over...

When it was all said and done, we were really happy with the results....Voila:

Now that's a happy ceiling! We have some other plans for this space but we thought it made the most sense to start at the top of the room and work our way down. Good thing we got this painted before Halloween. I don't need any evil spirits visiting my house! 

Unless otherwise noted all photos are my own.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I'm Feeling Blue

Last year, around this time I posted about the green color trend I was seeing in both fashion and interiors. I ended up hitting the nail on the head as I basically predicted the color of the year. Gosh that felt good. You know, being such a genius (toot toot <-----that's the sound of my own horn :) ). I decided I could use a confidence boost like that at least once a year so I'm going to make this trend prediction thing a tradition.

Back in the olden days I was always shopping....not necessarily buying, but always in and out of shops, just browsing around. Since the engagement/house buying/house remodeling/marriage/work and more house remodeling, I haven't had a lot of time to shop. Sad I know... But Saturday I had a little time to myself so I headed out to research shop.

As I be-bopped from store to store (this is how a girl shops when she's alone and not being drug encouraged to hurry through one store to the next), I noticed the emerald green hue still had a strong presence on the racks. It didn't take long to figure out this year was not going to be AS obvious as last year. However, the more I looked around I realized another color was popping up a lot too.

The color: Dark Sea Blue. I stole this name from Tory Burch, but it fits the color perfectly.

Tory Burch. 
To me, this color is a blue with a lot of depth and life. Much lighter than a navy but with the same regal presence. It's almost a teal, but not quite. It's a happy color, but a moody one. 

The above photo is an outfit from Marc Jacob's and shows this deep sea blue color-blocked with navy.

On Sunday Brent and I headed to Scott's Antique show. This show comes to town once a month and is always full of all kinds of goodies. But this trip my mind was on validation regarding my color thoughts....and I hadn't been in the door 10 minutes when I saw these.....

This fabric is a bit lighter than the "Deep Sea Blue" above, but you get the idea. A deep blue almost teal color. This fabric fits the bill. 

And then I saw these......

And it was like WHAM BAM, I might be on to something. I was seeing this color at every turn. 

With my color chosen I went in search of some rooms that were incorporating this look....

 House Beautiful. 
This color is used several times in this room. The walls are a glossy version of the deep blue while the fabric on the chair and the lampshade against the wall are sporting this hue as well. The color looks great with the rich dark floors.

Dark Blue/Teal cabinets..that's a bold choice. The color marries well with the white, stainless steel and the wooden beam, but painting all of your cabinets this color is a big commitment. 

I love this. I really love dark painted walls, and I'm especially digging the color. Often times people are fearful of painting a room in a dark color, because they think it will make the room look too small and cave like, but when paired with lighter furnishings it can make for a dramatic, happy space. I also love, love, love when pieces of furniture/cabinets are the same color as the wall. It adds texture and depth to the space in a way that makes you look twice. 

So, there you have it....Deep Sea Blue. It's debut on the fashion/interiors scene hasn't been as obvious or strong as the emerald green color last year, but I think it has promise. It seems like a color that would work well popped in here and there or as the dramatic center of attention. It's elegant and fun and just screams Fall/Winter. 


JLo's on board....what do you all think? Would you wear/decorate with this color? 

Unless otherwise noted all photos are my own. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dining Room Details

You may have noticed that I kind of went MIA regarding my kitchen remodel. Oh, that's right, I have two kitchens now, let me clarify, I'm talking about my INSIDE kitchen...:). Earlier this summer I realized I had to pump the breaks on posting the reveal of the kitchen because some contest opportunities came up and I entered my space! To be eligible to win, the project can't be published. So, until I hear the results I have to keep the kitchen reveal under wraps. Fingers crossed!!

Since the kitchen is off the table I thought I could show the dining room some love. In getting ready for the kitchen space to be photographed we completed several projects in the dining room, just in case it came into play. If you remember, the dining room sits right off the kitchen. The only thing separating the kitchen and the dining room is the peninsula, because we tore the wall down during the kitchen renovation.

Below is a shot of the dining room standing in the kitchen.

Let's dig into some details starting with the chandelier. Back in June I posted about transforming our brass chandelier to blue. I ended that post  kind of on the fence about the results. While I loved the color and the concept, the chandelier just didn't fit the vibe of the space. In July, we were in Highlands and found the chandelier you see above. The colors and proportions were perfect and we knew it was "the one." Lucky for us my Mother-in-law Cindy gave it to us as an early birthday present! The whole room changed the moment it was installed.

The next big improvement was the curtains. My mom, sister and I went fabric shopping one day and came across this fabric.

The material and pattern really spoke to me in an elegant-meets-light-and-airy and sophisticated-but-still-fun kind of way. It took a little convincing Brent to go with a floral pattern, but I knew the space could use the pop of color and once the panels were made it wouldn't read girly, it would just read awesome. He agreed and again, Cindy helped us out by sewing the curtains herself! I swear this blood line has it going on in the crafty department! 

The moment these panels were installed the whole room, heck, the whole house felt more pulled together. It's our first window treatment we've added to the house and this one packed a lot of punch. The antique brass rod was hung just under the crown moulding and the panels pool ever so slightly at the floor. Not only do the curtains make the room feel taller, but the added color these curtains bring to the space really makes the room feel warm and happy. 

As you can see, only one wall has wall decor. We plan to take our time and not rush into any decisions regarding art, especially because we have plaster walls. Plaster walls = devil to patch. But, I'm so glad we took the leap and completed this corbel/succulant idea of mine. 

For awhile now I've been collecting cool corbels I would find at antique stores. I wanted all of the corbels to be different in shape and size and I didn't want to spend very much on them (I believe the most expensive one was $22.) Below are the corbels I ended up with:

I painted each corbel the same color as the walls - Benjamin Moore's White Dove OC-17.

I realized one thing present in every well designed space is plant life. It adds such depth and texture to the space not to mention color.  So I went out in search of some succulents. I ended up finding my succulents at IKEA of all places.  Who would have thought???   They actually have a pretty good selection of both large and small live plants and you can't beat the price! 

One by one the corbels were installed. 

Because there wasn't as much open wall next to the curtain we put the biggest corbel there and the other three went on the perpendicular wall installed at varying heights. I wanted the corbel locations to be random, so we just eye-balled the locations and went with what felt right. Next, we potted the succulents in little white pots (also from IKEA) and put the succulents atop the corbels. Again, we played around with which succulent goes where, until we felt like everything looked balanced. 

What a happy little corner! Notice the little antique brass dangle hanging from the highest corbel? The corbel had this piece when I bought it and I decided to let it stay gold. It's my favorite part!

As far as the furniture pieces go - the round table was from my house growing up. My parents got a new kitchen table a few years ago and let me have this one. We sanded it down to lighten the color and then moved it right in. It's as if this table was made for this small dining room - it fits perfectly. The chairs are from World Market and were a wedding present from my Grandmother & PapaJack. The hutch piece is from Crate & Barrel and was the first piece of furniture Brent and I bought as a couple. We weren't even engaged yet and had decided if we broke up I would get the top of the hutch and he would get the bottom - haha. 

Well, there you have it, you're all filled in on the recent dining room happenings. The dining room/kitchen area is definitely one of the most finished spaces in our house. We really like how everything is coming together - hope you do too!

P.S. I'll keep you posted on the contest....wish me luck!

P.P.S.... yes that is a horse head made out of drift wood in the middle of the table. Brent is still learning to love this one.......... :)

All photos are my own. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

TV in a Box.

THANK YOU for all of the positive feedback on our outdoor kitchen. We are so proud of how it turned out and it was so cool to hear that so many of you liked it too!

I'm back this week with another deck project to add to our repertoire. As if the installation of an outdoor kitchen wasn't enough, the posting of this project will likely have every guy on this side of the Mississippi flocking to our deck. I can sum this project up in one word: Television. I mean, no deck with an outdoor kitchen is complete without a T.V. right?? Apparently the answer to this is yes.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the outdoor kitchen series, we have a large deck that just screamed for an outdoor kitchen, and as that project was winding up we suddenly had a large wall on this same deck just begging for a TV. I've clearly lost all control.

Below is the open wall we had in mind for the TV. It is flanked by a guest room window and the doors into the solarium.

We found a TV, picked up our supplies and then we began the measure-cut-assemble dance to create a box for the TV.

A little roof was added to the box for protection from the elements. The wall is already partially covered by an eve, but we figured an extra roof couldn't hurt, plus it would be cute, so.....done. 

Once the box was constructed it was time for the doors. 

4 evenly sized doors were cut and installed with hinges so they would operate as bi-fold doors. This way they could fold back when the TV was on without obstructing the view. 

Now it was time to install this beast. 

Once the box was installed it was time to pretty it up. For paint we decided on white so the box would blend into the color of the house. We went with an exterior paint with a semi-gloss finish. 

We added some black shingles to the roof of the cabinet.  Using the same style shingle and lining up the pitch of the roof with the existing roof helped the unit blend in and look like a part of the house, rather than something we just threw up there.  So, basically it's a tiny, adorable replica of our actual house. 

About the time the roof was going on my parents showed up and my Dad was put to work. He gave some guidance on the roof and then installed some beefy ring hardware on the doors. 

Once we had the cabinet box looking good it was time for the TV. A mount was installed to the back wall.....

and the TV was carried out and installed. We all breathed a sigh of relief that it fit perfectly.

Brent installed some outdoor speakers and got the cable hooked up and we were good to go. 

Here's a shot of the unit closed:

and here's a shot of it open:

We hosted our first shin-dig at the new house on Saturday for the UGA vs. Clemson game and got to try out the outdoor kitchen and watch the game on the new TV. Brent cooked up some ribs, wings and sliced pork.  It was a great time up until the Dawgs lost and our hearts were broken. But, that's OK we plan to get a lot more use out of our new deck area for many football seasons to come!

All photos are my own.