Friday, January 28, 2011

Painting the Living Room

I'd say it's about time I shared the big change that I recently made to our cottage living room. It all began when we first moved in and painted. I chose some light blues to paint the majority of the cottage, with exception to the laundry and dining room. Because our home is so small and you can pretty much see every room at one time I wanted to keep the colour continuous so as not to break up the space and make it feel even smaller. I was happy with how most of the colours turned out, but I was not completely sold on our living room and dining room colours. While I have yet to take on our dining room walls, I have recently re-painted our living room and this time I am totally sold!

When we moved in we painted the living room walls a light, frosty blue called 'Fostoria Glass' by CIL. It was only a shade lighter than our kitchen walls, but the difference to me was noticeable and the colour ended up looking a little too 'baby blue'. It's really hard to show on camera because the colour doesn't always read the same as it does when you are actually standing in the room, but here is a picture anyway.

It's really not bad, but I wasn't happy with it. I also felt that I wanted to have a little more contrast in our home and with the nearly all our walls painted blue, there was hardly any contrast. When we first moved, I used these images of an 'elegant farmhouse' as my inspiration:

I love the blues in these rooms, especially in combination with that beautiful cream (the blue in the top right room was the inspiration for our kitchen colour). Anyway, back to the living room. After some deliberation, I decided to paint it a colour similar to the cream in the above pictures to try and better achieve this look and also to add some contrast to our home. Here are some more images I looked at when deciding whether or not I should paint our living room an off-white:

With these colours in mind, I head off to home depot to look at colour swatches. I narrowed it down right away to two Martha Stewart colours.

'Whetstone Grey'

And 'Talc'

I bought a sample of each colour and brought them home to try out on our walls. After the colours dried and I saw them during the daylight and at night, I decided that the 'Whetstone Grey' would be a little too dark and I went with the 'Talc'. Next step, I prepped our walls by filling all the holes and washing all the walls. Here's the living room as I was getting ready to paint:

Before I share the after pictures, here's one more picture of the living room before I painted:

And here it is after two coats of Martha Stewart's 'Talc':





 In the above picture you can see that I also took down the shutters in the living room and sewed a curtain for the smaller window. It really added a lot more light and openness to our living room.

The next couple photos I love because they show you the blue with the cream. I love the subtle contrast it provides- just what I wanted!

Here's a close up of the shelves above the couch. I added a couple of topiaries, a botanical print, some antique books, some glass bottles and a driftwood frame that I made. Oh, and a wreath!  

This one really shows you the two colours together:

 Anyway, I think I've probably bored you with all of those photos by now. Some of you may think it was an improvement and others may have liked it better before, but I am most happy with it now! I really feel like it warms up the living room, but keeps everything fresh and airy. Do any of you have stories of your struggles with paint colours? Have you ever chose a colour only to realize you're not happy with it once it is up? Do tell!

This post has been linked to the Beach Cottage blog!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Farm Fresh Eggs

I very much wish that could actually sell farm fresh eggs, but since I can't, I made myself a sign to pretend that I could! On a side note, while I can't sell eggs, I did recently make a connection with someone who will be selling me their farm fresh eggs when their chickens start laying. I can't wait! Anyway, here is the sign that I recently painted and 'aged'.

To start this project I made a trip to the local lumber shop and picked out some suitable plywood from their scrap bin. Once I got home, I pulled out some of my leftover paints and painted the whole piece cream. Once the paint was dry I penciled on my lettering. I chose to first print out my letters in a font I liked from the computer. This way I could use the letters as a guide for the size and shape. After I drew the letters, I started to paint them in.

When I finished painting my letters and everything was dry I sanded the whole sign to make it look aged. And that was it, I had my Farm Fresh Eggs sign!

Have you taken on any projects recently? I mentioned before that I recently took on a larger project on my home and I'll be sharing that change soon! 

P.S.You may notice that my blog has changed in appearance! I'm just having some fun playing around with different designs and banners, so it may still change. 

This post has been linked up at the Beach Cottage blog here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Embroidery Hoops

Finding art for your walls can be a challenge, especially when you are working with a tight budget. This is one reason why I like finding ways to make my own wall art, but another is that your home ends up being that much more personal. So if, like me, you don't have a lot of money, but don't want bare walls, there are a ton of fun and inexpensive projects you can take on to create art for your home! This project, involving embroidery hoops and fabric scraps, happens to be one of them. See how the lady behind the lovely blog, Bluebirdbaby, made these in her home(scroll down the post a little ways). 

Very simply, first I bought some embroidery hoops at the thrift store for 25 cents each. Then, I dug through my fabric scraps and picked three of my favourite fabrics that also happen to go with the colours in our home. 

Next, I cut them to make sure that they were slightly larger than the embroidery hoops. A square is fine, I didn't worry about the cuts being straight, just as long as the fabric was big enough. 

Once I had cut the fabric I simply placed it in the embroidery hoop and tightened it. The final step is to hang the embroidery hoops and now you have some art for your walls!

This project cost me a total of 75 cents as each hoop was 25 cents and the fabric I already had. If you don't have any fabric scraps you can always browse the discount bin at a fabric store!

P.S. If you want another idea for personal wall art, check out this post!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Inspiration Folder

Today I thought that I would share some photos from my inspiration folder. It is snowy (and now rainy, which means the snow will turn to slush) and cold and rather grey outside and so I want to look at some pretty and light rooms.

I think doing dishes in this sink would be a treat. Especially with that beautiful wildflower bouquet next to you.

 I can pretty much smell the summer air pouring in from the open window in the above photo.

If I had a bedroom like this I would never get up.

Okay, enough for today. I really have to get going to work now. It's actually a snow day here for all the schools and I desperately wish it included all places of employment. I would stay in all day and knit and drink tea and find more pictures of beautiful spaces.

Unfortunately, I can't remember where I found all of these photos! I'm sorry! However, I believe the bottom three come from Country Living.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Wicker Cake Stand and Herb Crates

For Christmas I received some beautiful gifts for our cottage and seeing as how they have now found their places in our home I thought I would share some pictures.  First, my wonderful mother in law, Dee, found me an amazing wicker cake stand that I am absolutely in love with. I have plans in the next few days to bake some of her muffins (also amazing) and keep them on my stand! Here it is by the window in our kitchen. Isn't she pretty?

Another lovely gift for our cottage I received from my beautiful Mother! I saw these first in this kitchen and I've loved them ever since. 

They are vintage-looking herb crates and there are actually four. However, the fourth is currently residing in our bathroom and is home to some fluffy hand towels. Right now, I've just got some old bottles and some hydrangea in the bottom two and on the top crate I have rested a little clay heart, but the beauty of these is that I can change what I put in them when I feel like a new look. Seeing as how I am often changing things around in our home, I figure this is a good thing.

Speaking of changing things around, I've made some big changes to a room in our cottage in the last couple of days and I'll be sharing it here very soon. However, before I show you the big changes, I'll be writing about a few projects that I've been working on lately. I've been a busy bee. January just gets me so excited to make some fresh changes in our home! Does the new year inspire you?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Let the Sunshine in

Yesterday was such a beautiful day. The sunlight was pouring in from all the windows and our cottage seemed so fresh and ready for the new year ahead. I had to take pictures to capture the sunlight because I don't know when I will see it again.

"And the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses" 
-Joni Mitchell

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I most definitely did. It was our first Christmas in our own home and it was lovely. I missed seeing my sisters this year, but it was so nice to spend time with our parents.  Our cottage was packed full and there was a constant stream of delicious food, goodies and laughter.

Here's our tree on Christmas morning!

Our centerpiece for Christmas dinner.

The table all set for dinner! Our table is actually quite small and seats only four people. However, my parents came up with the idea to buy a piece of plywood and stick it on top of the table to make it a square. It worked so well and now we can use it again whenever we have more people over for dinner!

For New Years, we went snowshoeing with some friends and then played poker with jube jubes.  All in all, we have had a fantastic holiday! 
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