Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My House Re-done: new colors

My house is a work in progress. I have one friend in particular who challenges herself every time she comes over to find something different, and she usually can. I'm usually repainting, rehanging or asking Ben to do those things. OK, I almost always ask Ben.

I like the creative process, and my house is kind of my place to let it all out. It's nothing new. My parents endured me coloring all over my walls with magic markers. I wrote deep things like my favorite Goo Goo Dolls song lyrics, and I colored bizarre wall murals. Not the kind that make you need to call the school counselor, just the kind that are not really artistic unless you're 15.

But, somehow, over the past couple of years, other than redoing my kids' rooms, I lost my decorating mojo*. Everything in the main part of my house stayed generally the same. Maybe because I was too busy filling out 18 dozen background checks and financial statements for the adoption, or just generally trying to keep little people alive.

But, it's come back. My desire to have the spaces I live in reflect and inspire my personality.

When we moved back from India, we painted the kitchen turquoise, which was inspired by our surroundings there, but the living room/great room was some horrific shade of khaki. My least favorite color in the whole world is khaki. In pants and on walls. Gross. No offense. Most normal people like it, just not me.  One of the things that makes me weird. That and the fact that I don't believe in reading more than one book by the same author. And that I love Greene County, Ohio. And many other things.

Other factors in my "style." I don't like to spend money. And one other big thing. Everything that hangs on my walls needs to be meaningful to us personally. I don't hang pretty pictures up, I only hang up pictures of places that are part of me (Lake George, India, Rwanda), things I'm obsessed with (paisleys), people I love. And I'm pretty neurotic about it. That leaves me having to make most of the "art" in my house. The next several posts are going to show you what I made. It's not spectacular, but it's all very much "me." Oh, and it was all pretty cheap.

But, first, the paint. Historically, we buy our paint at Wal-mart, enlist some friends or my little brother, and then do it ourselves. We're not that good at it, but we're not perfectionists, so we make promises to touch up later and then don't, and then eventually we just change the color. This time, we decided that three kids + vaulted ceilings + a lack of perfectionism + Ben's fear of heights = paying someone else to do it. This proved to be a good decision and left em free to obsess over colors.

I wanted to get away from warm colors completely - especially khakis, tans, and mustards, but we still needed a neutral, so picked dark gray for the great room. For the kitchen, after much facebook advice, we went with a sort of billboard/grassy green. It's pretty much the color of the green screen the weather man uses. Sounds hideous? I love it. It's bright and cheery and about as green as you can get.

My pictures are terrible, but here you go.

those big pictures are of Lake George, which as my cousin says, is my "emotional home."
family pictures
*mojo in this instance has nothing to do with expertise, talent or skill, just the desire to keep at it.

Up Next: My DIY art projects


Erika Duke said...

I've been waiting patiently for this post :). Love it. I too hate khaki and my living room is khaki which makes me grouchy. We just redid out bedroom a similar gray and I love it. I want to do the living room a new color but my husband is a perfectionist and we have old plaster walls that he says if we repaint have to be smoothed out which means lots of dust. So...for now I am dealing with khaki. Anyway, all that to say I really like your new colors.

IndianTies said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the tour! We recently got new living room furniture so I'm also inspired to do some redecorating in there! I'm not sure I'm brave enough for a bright green wall though! :-D

Kirsten said...

Awesome. I love the gray. I wish I could get my husband to do some projects around the house. He's a little burnt out.


Mom said...

What were we thinking! Only kidding! All those gallons of paint were so worth it when we had to paint over it all to sell the house! We love you and we love how you enjoy the whole garden God has given you!

DelhiBound said...

holy cow, Susie! That is GREEN, but it totally works!!!

Love the gray wall too ... we are about to paint the whole house (or rather, HAVE the whole house painted by our wonderful crew of Indian guys who will probably make just as much of a mess as I would, but for so little money, it is worth it !)

I'm thinking the kitchen deserves a bright punch of color as well ... and I can't WAIT to paint my office RED!!!

Thanks for the reminder that I need to pick out colors!

Abby said...

That green is amazing. And SO you.

Love the collage. We bought a B for our photo wall, then ended up putting it on a bookshelf. But now I'm thinking I want to work it in...