Picking the Perfect Palette: The Loft

Fall is on its way and soon we will be diving in to our indoor home improvement projects. When it comes to painting our house, we always wait until the weather is cool enough to open the windows and pull in some fresh air. Fall is usually a great time because the air is not too moist and sticky. In the meantime, we are deciding on the color that we will paint our half wall in the loft and hallway. I chose a palette of yellow, blue and blue/green paint chips for our alma mater color scheme and taped them to the wall using painter’s tape. Now we can see our choices on the wall while we make our decision.fbfs_colorchoices (6)With this palette, I chose complimentary colors to our existing room colors. We have several different shades of blue in our room which is why I chose the blue and blue/green chips for our palette. I chose the gold and yellow chips to complement our maize yellow pillows. I like the idea of the golds being closer to the shade of the pillows because we do not have several different shades of gold existing in the room.

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The color that we choose for the loft will carry around the half wall and down the catwalk hallway. With that being said, we need to choose a color that compliments both the loft and the hallway. I think I’m leaning toward the golds,  but I can’t make up my mind. I also really like the blues. Decisions, decisions.

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On another note, you might’ve noticed that we have new curtains in our loft. I liked the previous curtains, but they were slightly to short. Some folks like their curtains to be just above the ground but I prefer the curtains to touch the ground. Finding out the curtains I bought were too short was definitely a lesson learned. Always measure before you buy! fbfs_colorchoices (4) copy

When I went back to West Elm, where I bought our gray curtains, I found the same pattern in dark blue. I like the dark blue even better than the light gray and this time I made sure to buy a longer length. fbfs_colorchoices (2) That’s it for now. I’ll keep you posted on our paint chip selection process!

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Loft Project Planning

It was still too cold to work outside this weekend so BJ and I took some time to plan projects inside. Last fall, we started decorating our loft. To continue the transformation, we’ve added a few items to our to do list.

The loft/upstairs to do list:
1. Paint the half wall
2. Add an entertainment center/storage area
3. Make a new coffee table (I saw a cool idea on Pinterest for a coffee table made of crates.)
4. Add two ottomans for the chairs
5. Add some more decorative accents to the room

Here is our current “entertainment center.”
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It looks a bit like a college apartment mash-up of electronics. Not really the vibe we are going for.
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This is the Ikea entertainment center that we would like to add to the loft. It’s a little more dressed up than our current set up and will add a significant amount of storage for games, puzzles and movies.
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Along with the addition of storage, we would like to add some color to the half wall behind the chairs.
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We haven’t decided on a color yet, but once we narrow down the options, we will pick out a few paint chips and hang them on the wall for a at least a few weeks to determine which one we like the best.
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We would also like to carry the color around to the catwalk on the other side of the upstairs hallway. This will tie the two areas together nicely.
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Now that we have a game plan for finishing this room, we can narrow down our paint selections and start saving for our new entertainment center.

How do you plan for upcoming projects? Do you create a game plan or just decide as you go?

Progress in the making…

It’s been a little over six months since I started this blog to keep family and friends up to date on our home improvement projects. Since then, it has become a way for us to log our projects and share our experiences with other homeowners. We hope that readers find our post useful and even feel adventurous enough to take on projects of their own.

One thing I’ve learned since we moved into our own house is that home improvement is not easy. It also requires you to have two wardrobes: “clothes i like” and “clothes i get dirty in.”  I still haven’t figured out how the people on HGTV shows do not ruin their clothes. They must have a million of the same shirt and you never see the one with paint all over it.

It makes sense why people pay money for companies or individuals to do their renovations and installations. But when you are newlywed homeowners like us, you work on a budget and your own time.

We’ve been working on projects since we moved in, but now it feels like our house is becoming more of a “home.” People who visit say “I love how your home is decorated” and “you’re home is beautifully decorated.” It feels good to hear such lovely compliments on our style.

Here are a few of my favorite transformations:

The Living Room

The Dining Room

The Kitchen (the addition of the island)

The Wall in the Foyer

Foyer photo collage

We still have more projects in store for this year and as we continue to see our hard work pay off, we hope you find inspiration and come up with your own unique ways to decorate and redecorate your home. If you have any good home improvement stories, sends us an email at framebyframestyle@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!

A year in the making…

One year ago, after a trip to Home Depot, we taped a blue paint chip to our wall. And that paint chip stayed there for a year.

Friends and family came and stayed at our house and still the paint chip stayed on the wall.

Until last weekend, the paint chip seemed like a part of our wall. We even joked that we would go back to Home Depot and get enough paint chips to cover the entire wall. Finally, last weekend we went to Home Depot and bought a gallon of paint instead. After a year of living with our paint chip, we decided to take the leap and paint the wall.

So below is our paint of choice for this project. It’s Behr Premium Plus Interior Eggshell Enamel. We like eggshell paint because it is more durable than a flat, but doesn’t give off any sheen. Our color of choice: Glass Sapphire. The paint chip was actually for paint that included primer. Since our walls were already a light color, we chose to go with the regular interior paint. Because we went for the non-primer paint, they had to color match our chip, which sounds funny, but it turned out perfect.

On Sunday morning we got up, ate some breakfast, prepped the paint brushes and rollers and sanded the rough spots in the wall. After we sanded the wall, we wiped it down with a dry cloth.

While we prepped the brushes, rollers and the wall, Zoey came to inspect the paint supplies and supervise.

And to help BJ tape the trim.

After we put the kitten upstairs to enjoy lounging on our bed while we were busy working, we finished taping the trim, laying all the drop cloths, ate some lunch and then painted. So here is the wall sans blue paint:

Then the first coat went on:

And as the sun set Sunday evening, we ate some dinner then painted the second coat and wrapped up our painting project.

We waited over 24 hours before we hung the decorations and curtains back on the wall. After two days, our wall was finished and looked great.

So now the moment you’ve been waiting for: the before and after (from slightly different angles).

Before:

After:

After one year in the making, our big blue accent wall is complete!

Bike rides= Home Improvement Inspiration… Win!

During my bike ride in a nearby neighborhood tonight, I spotted a fun idea for our front porch. Somebody had painted the concrete on their front porch to look like terra-cotta. I loved it so much I came home and decided to do some research online to see if I could find more pictures and ideas. I’ve seen painted concrete in basements, garages and sun porches, but I’ve never seen it done on a front porch (perhaps I’ve been living under a rock?) This would be such a great way to boost our curb appeal! I love it.

Some inspiration from the Web:

So my bikes rides are not only good for my health, they are also proving to be quite inspiring!

Fall project rewind

It’s been over a year since we moved into our house and we’ve already tackled a few big projects on our list.

Here is a recap of what we’ve accomplished:

1. Staining the stairs and railing
2. The kitchen island
3. Painting accent walls in the office and dining room

Not to mention all the painting we did before we moved in. Or all the smaller projects we’ve done. One thing that I’ve learned is that regardless of whether your house is one or 100, there are always projects to do. But I’m loving every minute of it. One of my favorite home improvement projects that we’ve done to date is the staining project on our railing and stairs. While we were building our house, we participated in the builder’s sweat equity program. Since we painted the entire house, they took some money off of the final cost. Nice deal, right? Well, it was a lot of painting. One thing we negotiated after seeing the quality of the wood spindles they were putting in, is that we would wait until after we moved in to paint them. This would allow us to stain them instead of painting them the standard white like the trim.  Because the wood was in good shape, it seemed like a shame just to paint it white… so we didn’t! Instead, we stained it a beautiful cherry!

When we first moved in, the wood looked like this:

We moved into the house in the summer and between the hot weather, getting married and our honeymoon there wasn’t much time for house projects. I also spent a great deal of time outside in the front yard planting flowers to boost our curb appeal. Once October came, it finally cooled down enough to work inside with the windows open. And that’s when we got our stain on.

Instead of doing the traditional three-step stain process, we tried the PolyShades from Minwax. Although it was fewer steps, it was more like painting and less like staining. This isn’t as easy as it sounds when you are staining spindles. The stain dries faster than you can get it all on there. You have to work a little faster to get the stain on without creating light and dark spots. Because you do not wipe the stain off after you apply, there isn’t much room for error. But all in all, it turned out pretty well and the stairs and railing look great.

We started the project by sanding the wood (my job) and the pre-stain. Here is my beautiful sanding job on the downstairs railing by the kitchen.

And here’s BJ starting the pre-stain.

After the pre-stain dried, we applied the PolyShades. The main difference between PolyShades and traditional stain is that PolyShades is polyurethane and stain mixed together. You only need one coat of the top coat to finish! No sealing required.

Now the only thing left to do is fill in the nail holes! Because they are not really noticeable, we’ve been filling them in as we have time. I finished the railing by the kitchen, so now we just need to finish the upstairs railing.

It’s been almost a year since we stained the stairs and railing and I’m still so pleased with how it turned out!

As I mentioned in the last post, up next is painting the accent wall in the kitchen and living room and crown molding!

Coming soon! Shelves for the home office…

In my office, there is a large purple wall that is currently undecorated.

We painted the wall last fall and since then I’ve been trying to decide exactly how i want the wall to look. Currently, my desk is positioned so that the wall is directly behind it. I’ve had several ideas for how I want to decorate the wall. I’ve thought about a photo collage with large photos (11x17s or bigger) or a giant wall quote with photos around the quote. However, my latest and favorite idea yet is to install floating shelves on the wall so that I can not only gain more storage, but to use the shelves to set my large photos on.

I’ve been browsing around the Internet looking for some ideas for shelves and found a few that i like…

bedroom wall shelves design ideas

Even though I found a few ideas that I like, I think I want the shelves to go all the way across the wall with just a little bit of space on each side. Maybe one foot or so. I also want the shelves to be far enough apart that I can set large frame photos on them without touching the shelf above. I’m thinking a trip to Home Depot or Lowes is in our future. I’ll keep you posted on my progress! Hopefully I will have a beautifully decorated wall to show you soon!

Below is a simple rendering of how I think the finished product might look!