Living Room/Dining Room Update: Part 2

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Living Room Remodel
After Craig finished the pillars between the two rooms, it was time to paint. Craig and I struggled in agreeing on the wall color. Currently we had two different colors for the rooms: the living room was a light coffee color and the dining room was a dusty yellow color. We brought the two colors together through accessories throughout both rooms, however...I felt that since the two rooms were so open to each other that it would be best to paint the rooms the same color...Craig felt otherwise. He liked keeping the two rooms separate. Back and forth we went...we could not agree at was extremely frustrating!!! With each friend or family member that came to visit, we sought out their advice...and the consensus was to paint them the same color, thus hoping to give off a feeling of a larger room all together rather than two smaller rooms next to each other.
Craig still felt strongly about keeping the rooms different colors, so our compromise was this: we would paint the second room with "half the formula" of the other room. What does that mean? We found a paint color that we agreed on for one room. We then took that paint "formula" to the paint center at Lowes and asked for "half the formula"...basically they divided the color in half and then equaled it out with white, so essentially it is the same color just a shade lighter. The funny thing is that YOU CANNOT TELL AT ALL!!! Because we have the pillars dividing the two rooms and the walls...the color is so close that, since the walls aren't touching, you can't tell that there is a difference. However, Craig has peace of mind  that the rooms are still a "different" color.
So, why would you want to use "half the formula" when painting? A couple of summers ago, I visited a family friend's house in California. Their house was BEAUTIFUL!!! One of the things that stood out to me, in a subtle way, was that they painted their ceilings with "half of the formula" then their wall color. It was stunning...subtle, yet stunning. It actually seemed to give off this sense of higher ceilings as a result.

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After we completed the painting, the next step was to try to agree on decorating. Needless to say we were butting heads with every suggestion. It was so bad, that Craig suggested a "design challenge" where we each had $500 to spend on redecorating. We would take turns transforming the living and dining room and then we would bring our friends and family over to judge. Not that it didn't sound was very intriguing, however...none of them had to actually live in the house, and with Craig and I on opposite ends of the design wheel, I didn't want to leave the big decision to my friends and family...of whom I may not share the same design taste.

As a result, we agreed to find an affordable interior design team to come in and do a consultation. After researching the design companies in the surrounding area, we agreed on "Calla Lily Designs". This was a mother and daughter team that would come in for one hour and rearrange our furniture, and create a list of suggestions for each room. They were WONDERFUL!!! The thing I liked most about them, is that they didn't always agree with each other, so it was as though I was getting two designers for the price of one. They went around the living and dining room, measuring the walls, the windows, etc and explaining the type of furniture we needed to look for, the type of curtains and fabric that we should keep an eye open for, and how to bring in the finishing touches with accessories. They were great at explaining why their ideas would work and they weren't afraid to tell us if something we had wouldn't work...and why it wouldn't work. They also didn't pressure us into making purchases from their store, though we would be able to get a 20% discount.

DIY Kitchen Cabinets

Friday, April 1, 2011
DIY KAfter completing our large living/dining project, Craig moved all of his tools into the!! Our kitchen cabinets are in such desperate need of a makeover! First of all, they have no design to them whatsoever. They are flat, they don't close smoothly, and let's not forget how there just isn't enough "Mr. Clean Magic Eraser" to clean them up and make them sparkle.

Since Craig and I started our remodel, I have started to hear this strange noise in my head, "cha-ching...cha-ching". Hmm...trying not to drain our savings account is going to be a challenge...HOWEVER, when you have a handy-dandy man like mine, Craig laughs in the face of a wood working challenge. YEAH me for finding a man who inherited some amazing craftsmanship from his grandpa.     Before I knew it, Craig was off and running to Lowe's to pick up some trim pieces. Craig sanded down the doors, fit the trim pieces around the perimeter and then asked me what I thought. "It looks great"...I said, even though I really wasn't feeling it. I have absolutely no ability to visualize somethings potential without being able to see the finished product. Luckily Craig had just finished some amazing wood work in our living room so I was in a trusting mood.

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It wasn't until "tag team" went into motion and it was my turn to add the primer and paint. HOLY TOLEDO!!! I couldn't believe the final transformation. In looking at the cabinets above, the only thing that we added was two pieces of trim around the perimeter, the trim around the base of the cabinets, and then the knobs. It looks like a brand new kitchen...I just love it!

Our next project, coming up soon, will be a set of glass cabinets on the wall opposite of what you are looking at in the pictures above. Our idea is to have my brother do some simple stained glass design and then to have Craig add a small detail of trim! Come back to watch the progress!!
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