Tag Archives: Miller Paint

Katie’s House: Progress in the Family Room

I’ve had a whirlwind couple of weekends – two weddings of two long-time friends (one of whom I’ve known since birth!), and lots of time with dear friends I rarely see.  I haven’t had much time for house projects, but I did manage to squeeze in a day of painting.  The family room transformation has begun and I am so, so excited.  In case you missed it, this room is on the main floor and is our primary lounge space – a copious amount of Netflix is watched in here during the winter months.

It is a testament to the diverting power of television that we managed to spend so much time in this room.  Behold the overcooked egg:

beforeI am always amazed by what a little paint and a day of toil can do.  Here’s a photo of the room taken from the opposite angle:

Red House West || Family Room RedoI used Miller Paint’s Crystal Ball on the walls with Casper White on the ceiling and trim.  I also did a little Restor-a-Finish/Howard Feed n’ Wax combo on the window frames. The room feels so much fresher and brighter.  Crystal Ball is the same color I used in my living room and hallway, and the newly unified color palette really improves the flow through the downstairs.  Here’s the view standing in the freshly painted room and looking through the hallway and into the living room:

Red House West || Family Room RedoAnd this picture is taken from the dining room looking into the family room:

Red House West || Family Room RedoThis summer has been uncomfortably and uncharacteristically hot.  My eyes and soul are yearning (pining, longing, aching) for the emerald greens of Oregon’s rainy winter.  The scorched browns and yellows of our yard have me dreaming of turning our family room into a verdant oasis.

Red House West || Family Room Redo Seeing my plants against the soft gray walls and fir trim has helped me focus my vision for this room – and the vision is green indeed.

Red House West || Family Room RedoRed House West || Family Room Redo

Red House West || Family Room Redo

Clockwise from upper left: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

I haven’t had any luck yet with finding a secondhand couch.  I missed out by mere minutes on what looked like a good possibility on Craigslist.  I’m bummed but I’ve been telling myself that even though it looked great in the photo, it definitely smelled of mildew or cat pee or worse (if there is a worse?  maybe dead whale).  And so the hunt continues.  In other progress news, I ordered some fabric swatches for the recliner, and I’ve been eyeballing this light fixture from Schoolhouse Electric:

Schoolhouse ShadeI’m happy to have the painting done, and planning a monochromatic green room sure makes the design process easy (I’m kidding… sort of).  I’m looking forward to doing some research to find plants that will thrive in the west-facing space.  The way I see it, the function of an indoor jungle is two-fold: Not only are plants beautiful, but their improvement of air quality will surely mitigate some of the brain-deadening effects of winter nights spent glued to the boob tube.  I mean, right?

Please keep your fingers crossed that I find an odor-free couch soon, and have a great week!

Further (mis)Adventures in Painting and a Quick Shine for the Floors

Well dear readers, mistakes were made.

Remember when I painted the walls of my kitchen three times before I was satisfied?  Remember how when all my instincts were screaming MISTAKE MISTAKE I just soldiered on, sure that when all was said and done it would be just fine?

Apparently I learned nothing from that debacle.  I am still the eternal optimist who, against all evidence to the contrary, is sure it will turn out all right in the end.  I maintain my optimism for the final, final product, but for now I’m writing this while sitting in a living room painted a shade of powder blue that would be better suited to a nursery, or a birth announcement proclaiming ‘It’s a Boy!’ Please note that it photographs much better than it reads in real life:

Red House West//Living Room Take OneAfter the deliberations I shared with you here, I decided to have the Farrow & Ball color Blackened color matched by Miller Paint in their Evolution line.  I admit to being a little swayed by the F & B advertising which describes Blackened as being: “Historically made with the addition of ‘lamp black’, a pigment made by collecting the residue from burnt lamp oil.”  As an avid reader of British mysteries, there was just something so romantic about this imagery.  There is nothing – not one thing – romantic about the reality of  violet-tinged powder blue walls.  I mean, this is more like a cold shower:

margin of blueSo, back to the drawing board.  I have a few more samples I’m considering (though it’s hard to get a clear read on them with the current wall color – everything is cast with a blue light).  Adding a little stress to the decision-making process is that Miller Paint has a 40% off sale running through Monday, so there’s a strong likelihood that as you read this I am sweating bullets and trying to make a decision in time to get the savings.


A chilling window into my chaotic mind

In happier news, I decided to make good use of the fact that our living room is partially empty and do a little treatment on our wood floors (this had the additional benefit of forcing me to take a break from frenetically putting sample after sample up on the walls).  Our floors are fir, and original to the house when it was built in 1930.  They are in good shape but definitely show the wear of the people and pets and children who have lived here.

Floor beforeThey’re not in need of full on refinishing, but I wanted to do something that would freshen them up.  There are a ton of products out there – the top two are Bona and Rejuvenation (As Seen on TV!) – but after reading many, many internet reviews I was nervous about the number of complaints that both of these brands are known to leave a white film on floors (especially older ones) that require ammonia or professional methods to undo.  I ended up using Hope’s Floor Revive, which – as far as I could find – had not ruined anyone’s floors and also had the advantage of costing much less than the other options.  As I said, our floors are old and I did not expect (nor want) them to end up looking like highly reflective glass, but after less than an hour’s work they are definitely shinier and the scratches are much less noticeable.  Here they are after I used the Floor Revive:Red House West//Easy fix for old wood floor

The process was simple. I gave the floors a thorough cleaning (the product forms a sort of seal, so it’s important to get every last bit of cat hair up before using it). When the floors were dry, I just poured it on a small section then spread it around with a damp sponge. It was easy, not fume-y and is a marked improvement.

With the small victory of the floors, I feel a bit more prepared to move forward with painting the walls. Again.

Please send good thoughts that I might find a good paint color for our living room or, barring that, that I might find the strength to stop painting if I notice after one coat – or hey!  even one wall! – that it’s going awry.  Also give Mera the good grace not to say ‘I told you so’ about Blackened looking blue, even though she did tell me so.  Thanks!

Painting the Kitchen and a Trip to Farrow & Ball

It’s hard to express how happy I am to be back home in our red house after four months away.  I’m so appreciative of the light and space and the fat furry creatures who live here with us.  I’m also grateful to have an outlet for the considerable energy for household projects that built up while we were gone, and I opened the floodgate this past week by painting my kitchen walls.  Three times.  I felt like Goldilocks: at first it was too shiny, then it was too light, and finally, it was just right.

Red House West:Dark to Light 7

I knew I wanted the blue in the kitchen to be just slightly darker than the dining room.  The difference is subtle enough that it’s not obvious in all light, but to my eye the slightly different tones help delineate the rooms.

Red House West:Dark to Light 9

Uncharacteristically, I didn’t dither about the color at all.  Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore was a strong contender when I was choosing paint for the dining room, and I knew it had just the right depth of color for our kitchen.

So what led me to paint this room three times?  An inability to stop before it was too late.  I began painting with a quart of Hale Navy I had on hand, and managed to get a decent first coat up before it ran out.  When I went to get more, I realized that the paint I’d used had an eggshell finish, rather than matte like the rest of the house.  Did I stop? Nope, I soldiered on.  The finished walls looked like plastic compared to the matte blue of the adjoining dining room, so I decided to redo it – properly this time – and get a gallon of Miller Paint’s Evolution line (which I used and loved in my dining room) color matched to Hale Navy.  After the first coat I was thinking it looked a little light, a little – dare I say it – Smurfy.  Did I stop?  Nope, I soldiered on.  It did not become miraculously darker when it dried, so back I went to the store for the third time.  The folks at Miller Paint were great and mixed up a fresh (correctly tinted) gallon free of charge.  And, thank goodness because I was losing my will to live, the color was just right.

Red House West:Dark to Light 4The real reason I like these dark walls is because they provide such a nice backdrop for this lithograph of Dean (well, a cat that looks a lot like Dean) that I got at the thrift store.  I am in grave danger of becoming someone who collects anything that resembles her furry little darlings.  Help keep me sane folks, but this one was too good to pass up – am I right?  The artist really nailed Dean’s haughty glare.

Red House West::Siamese Cat LithographNext on the agenda is painting the living room.  A couple of weeks ago I shared some Farrow & Ball colors that I really wanted to see in person (but didn’t want to pay shipping costs for),  so I made a detour to downtown Portland on my final trip back from Walla Walla.  It was totally worth the extra hour in the car (I cleverly hit Portland just at rush hour) to go into the cool, clean, industrial-chic boutique and see the lovely displays of Farrow & Ball.  I gotta say that I pretty much felt like Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman’ when she went to the shop on Rodeo Drive in her hooker garb and everyone sneered at her.  Except instead of prostitute garb I was in my comfy but disheveled car clothes.  And the saleslady wasn’t mean to me at all, she just gave me a weird look when I literally purred over the cute little F&B inspiration booklet she gave me.  And of course I’m just somebody who blogs about her house,  not a prostitute with a heart of gold (has there been a worse premise for a movie??) and this parallel is falling apart – BUT I did feel out of place because the store was clean and pretty and I smelled and looked like road trip.  The awkward feelings were worth it though! Just look at the goodie bag I walked out with (this ain’t no hardware store folks).

Farrow & Ball Schwag

So I’m really excited to move forward and get painting, but I admit I’ve been having a little trepidation about the flow between a light-colored living room and the dark-painted dining room/kitchen area.

Red House West::Dark to Light

All the paint colors I’m considering for the living room are much lighter than the current greenish color.

To ease my mind I did an online hunt for rooms with color contrasts similar to the one I’m envisioning for our house.

And now I feel better!  I think it’s going to look just fine.  Thanks for reading along – check back in on Wednesday for a post from Mera!