Ranch Rambler: Creating a Blank Slate

We had a two-week window between our renters moving out of this house and our closing date on the red house.  Time was of the essence, so we lined up a local contractor to remove the popcorn texture from the ceilings.  Luckily there wasn’t any asbestos (our house was built in 1978, and thankfully it had become much less common by then) and it only took them a couple days to scrape everything down.  It’s a project that we definitely could have DIY’d if we had more time, but in the midst of moving it was relief to hand the messy task off to someone else.

Before they came we removed all the trim in the whole house (we’re planning to replace it anyway, and knew it would make painting go much faster), and took down all of the ceiling fixtures.  When the popcorn was (blessedly! beautifully!) gone, Cam and I primed and painted all of the ceilings and then our awesome family came over to help us paint every single room in the house.  Before we could do that though?  I had to pick a color.

I knew I wanted a white – part of my vision for this house includes ceilings, walls, trim, and doors all the same color, so they blend and recede – but just which white I wasn’t sure, though I narrowed it down to three:

Red House West || Creating a Blank Slate

They look laughably similar on my monitor but once they were up on the walls, the choice was easy:

Red House West || Creating a Blank Slate
White Dove by a mile! Swiss Coffee read really tan in our (lack of) natural light, and Simply White was just too glaringly bright; it looked kind of cheap and clinical. White Dove is the color we used in the upstairs of the Red House, and I’m convinced it’s the most perfect, versatile, luminous white.  We went with a flat finish to minimize the orange peel texture on the walls, and everything feels so much fresher.

You may remember from the list of whole-house updates I shared in  my last post that in addition to removing the popcorn and painting everything the same color, we also want to upgrade all the doors and lighting.  Once I had the paint picked out – and once I’d spent an inordinate amount of time online and in stores looking at doors and hardware – I was able to nail down some of those big decisions.  The light fixture in this mood board is for the entry, but its simplicity makes it a good proxy for where we’re heading with the lighting in the whole house:

 

Definitely simple and neutral; in this smaller, open-plan house, I feel like our art and furniture will be bringing in plenty of color and I don’t want the permanent fixtures to compete with that.   My initial thought for doors was a five-panel shaker, but I quickly realized that all those boxes would look pretty busy in this door-riddled house.  I love the ones we chose.  They are solid core – such a difference from the dented and peeling hollow-core doors we have now! – and the square edging on the panel (vs. a rounded bullnose, which was an option) feels both classic and modern.  I’m also so happy about those doorknobs! They are relatively inexpensive – $19 – but very weighty and substantial.  A huge upgrade from what we have now.

I’m driving up to Portland this weekend to pick up the Luna pendant (when Schoolhouse Electric says there’s a four-week lead time on light fixtures, they aren’t joking), and I’ll talk a little more about why I chose that one once we install it.

We put our first door up last weekend.  The process was, as Cameron says, a shakedown cruise, and hopefully the next 10 (!) will go a lot faster.  For now though, that one beautiful door with its smooth-actioned doorknob is making my heart go pitter-patter.  Here’s a real time before and after:
Red House West || Creating a Blank Slate

Hot damn.  Even without trim, she’s looking fi-ine.  And that ceiling?  Only a million times better.

Oh, and you may have noticed that we sneaked in (it sure feels like it should be ‘snuck’) a short Monday post!  Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be doing some mini posts about whatever we’re into at the moment – design or otherwise.  If there’s a topic you’d like to hear about or discuss, let us know in the comments!

 

Have You Watched Happy Valley?

Surprise, it’s a Monday post!  We’re doing an experiment for the next couple of weeks by adding in some bite-size posts about books, shows we’re watching, products we’re into, or just whatever we’re thinking and talking about.  Is there something you’d like to hear about or discuss?  Let us know in the comments.

Have you seen the British mini-series Happy Valley?  It’s a smart, character-driven crime drama with strong women in lead roles, including the greatest TV cop ever.  We’re hooked!  The first two seasons are available to stream on Netflix.  What are you watching these days?

Mera’s House: The New Master Bedroom

It’s been a long time coming, but our new master bedroom is done!  If you recall, the room is tiny, full of sloped ceilings, tricky angles, and little eaves.  If you want to revisit the plans and progress for this room you’ll find them here, here, herehere and here, but suffice it to say this has been a slog.  Seeing these before and after shots gives me a proud sense of achievement.  Let’s get into it!

Looking from the doorway into the room, before:

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

and after:

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

Before:

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

And after:

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

Looking back toward the doorway and closet, before:

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

and after:

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

And finally the closet eave, before:

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

And the closet eave, after:

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

Ahhhhh, so fresh and clean and, best of all, functional!  The closet easily houses both of our wardrobes, and a few of the drawers are even still empty (once this baby makes his debut (in approx. 47 days, not that I’m counting) bring on the fall fashion!).

One of the best things about the closet is the simple brass hardware on the sliding closet doors and drawers.

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

Red House West || Master Bedroom RevealHere’s the view from the closet looking back toward the bed:

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

Those of you who’ve followed these chronicles might remember that I had my heart set on an indigo upholstered bed from Serena and Lily.  I ordered it, and then I waited, and waited, and waited.  Seven months later, the bed still hadn’t arrived, and I started looking for alternatives.  This bed from CB2 appealed to me because of its small size and simple shape.  I posted a plea for input, and that very day I got an email from Serena and Lily saying that the bed was in production and would ship a few days later!  But after getting great feedback from you, dear readers, and after several calls to Katie in which she design and life-coached me, I cancelled the order for the Serena and Lily bed.  The CB2 bed got the rose, and like Trista and Ryan Sutter, I’ve never looked back.

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

I’m so glad I went this route.  The Serena and Lily bed is beautiful, but the reality of this room is that with the angled ceiling, the paneling, and all of the nooks and mullioned windows, there is a lot going on in here before you even begin to talk about color.  As it is now, the subtle palette of mostly white and off-white, with touches of peach, indigo, and deep teal green gives it a quiet, restful, and slightly unstudied look that I love.

In its naked form, the CB2 bed was a little too masculine for me so I layered my antique piano shawl over the headboard.  I love the way the inverted triangle mirrors the triangle shaped ceiling above, and that it adds a quiet dash of romance.

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

Once during this long process I googled “feng shui bedroom” and learned that a bed (1) should never be under a window, (2) should never face a door, and (3) should never be under a sloped ceiling. Check, check, and check.  Despite breaking all the feng shui rules, I find this set up restful and comfortable.  My side of the bed is under the sloped ceiling, and I was worried about hitting my head or having to stoop uncomfortably every time I crawl into bed, but so far, even with pregnancy-induced limited mobility, it hasn’t been a problem at all.

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

The bed faces this over-sized mirror and bench.  The mirror isn’t so low that we stare at ourselves from bed, but it’s the perfect height to reflect the view out the window behind our heads.  It gives us the feeling of gazing at the trees and sky, and also functions well as a close-to full-length mirror.

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

In the other eave I made a nursing command station.  Eventually I think we’ll build a hinged window seat with storage below for linens, but for the foreseeable future me and my boobs will be right here.

Red House West || Master Bedroom Reveal

So there you have it!  I’ll be sharing more details in upcoming posts, but for now here are sources:

CLOSET AREA
|| sliding door hardware || drawer hardware || ceiling light || rug ||  necklace holder || small triangle mirror ||

BED AREA

|| roman shades || bed || linen sheets (a gift from my mother in law!) || peach linen pillowcases || Catherine of Aragon portrait (a present from Katie!) || peach sky print || bench || round mirror (no longer available in gold) || face planter || peach planter || table lamps (no longer available) || pendant lamp (similar) || wall hooks ||

ROCKING CHAIR AREA

|| chair || pillow ||