the hyphens that define my life

Dining Room – Done! November 16, 2013

Caution sign yellow-gold is out of my life FOR-EVER!

My dining room, an awesome oval room (OVAL! no corners), was painted bright caution sign yellow gold with white trim and sky blue accents.  In any other room I could have maybe probably handled the blaring brightness, but not in my dining room.  The prior owner had to paint the room something other than pale pink but why caution sign yellow-gold, I will never know as the color combination was so incredibly out of line with the rest of the colors chosen for the house.  This is the before paint, trim and accent color inside the cabinet, highlighted by the curtain and vase.

???????????????????????????????We bought the house with some rooms furnished.  The dining room was one of the furnished rooms.  In addition to the garish paint, our senses were overwhelmed with the rug and chair fabric.  You may love the combination, for me, it was painful sensory overload.


We have professional photographs from when our home was photographed for American Home in 1946.  This photo is the dining room then:

dining original

We based our paint selection off the tile, that a local quarry supplied in the 1940’s, similar to the original owners.  Instead of going with pink, we focused on the more salmon or coral color found in the tiles.  We also had to take into consideration the Brazilian rosewood that panels the walls in the foyer as it transitions into the dining room.

tile color selection

We used Valspar paints and chose Witches Brew, a red brown, for the trim because it blends well with the rosewood.  We chose Autumn Sunrise as the closest match to the darkest rust colored tile in the center tile above.  The curtains around our beautiful window pull it all together

My husband is a master painter.  I taped the whole room, he cut in the tricky parts, around the cabinet details, and we both rolled.

dining copy original

dining big window

I am not a professional photographer so the photos do not do justice.  The brown paint draws out the dark flecks in the wood floors and the rose brings out the warm tones.  Our wine glasses will go in the cabinet on the left and our china will go in the cabinet on the right in another week, giving the cabinet paint more time to dry.  We decided against a rug for now.  We still have artwork to decide on and hang.  The seat cushions match well enough that I won’t consider changing them out for at least a year or more.  Project dining room is very close to completion and we will make our Thanksgiving deadline.

I love our new dining room.  I hope you do too.

In other news, our middle son told me this afternoon he wanted to start doing more stuff.  “Like what?”  I asked.  “Cooking, horseback riding and blacksmithing to start.” Really?  Blacksmithing?  Where does he come up with this stuff?  “Let’s start with cooking,” I suggested.  Tonight he made his first batch of chocolate marshmallow cookies from beginning to end.  I only helped put in and take out the pans from the oven on his direction.



Rough Life November 10, 2013

Yesterday our youngest went to a friend’s house for the first time for a play date.  He came home after four peaceful hours and announced his friend’s family live a rough life.  Huh.  The dad is a cardiologist and the mom is a nurse.  I had to ask, “What’s so rough?”  I should have guessed his reply.  “They have a Wii but they are only allowed to play sometimes, so really no video game time.  They are barely allowed to watch TV, even cartoons! And, when we had hot chocolate, they don’t have marshmallows or whipped cream.”  “Oh my gosh!” I exclaimed in mock horror.  “What did you do for four hours?” “Oh,” he shrugged and said “we played outside, played in his room, teased his sister, helped rake leaves and just played.”  “It sounds like you had a good time.”  “Yes, but I couldn’t live like that every day.”

This was his first play date since we moved and I am so thankful he’s making friends and experiencing new perspectives on life.  Isn’t that what friends are for?

While he was away, my husband and I were painting the dining room.  I love my dining room.  First, its oval which is just awesome.  Built in china cabinets and valances above the huge window at one end and another over the buffet cabinet. The problem with this room since the second I saw the house, is the color.  The room was painted a glaring caution sign yellow-gold with the window trim, baseboards, valances and outer cabinets painted white.  The inside of the cabinets painted blue.  Every day since June I have asked if we could paint the dining room since every meal in that room (every day) makes me want to scream.  Color has huge impact on me.  I’m color sensitive apparently because the boys and my husband didn’t mind the combination. Eek.

The first step is, of course, to agree on paint colors.  Even though he is not, I’m certain my husband is color blind.  It took us a solid month to pull paint samples, test colors and finally (FINALLY) agree on colors.  With that accomplished, we scheduled this 3-day weekend to paint.  I just want to point out my husband and kids have Monday off, I had to take a vacation day to paint.  Not an ideal vacation, but I am willing since the yellow-gold paint needs to go.

While painting, we listen to music.  My husband is a metal head but appreciates a good dance track (aka, he loves Justin Timberlake).  We’re listening to the playlist I created and labeled “Housecleaning.”  It doubles as my “Dance Party” playlist.  I hate cleaning so if I have to clean, I might as well dance while scrubbing.  There are a few timeless ballads included so I can sing in full voice occasionally too.  This playlist is a good time.  My husband is tolerant, even dancing along from time to time, but he’s a serious worker and focused on task.

The playlist contains everyone.  Eminem, Michael Jackson, Lady Antebellum, JT, Jay-Z and Beyoncé and everyone in between.  At one point, Enrique Iglesias came on with “I Like It.”  My husband asked if this was Bull Dog.  You mean, Pit Bull?  No, it’s Enrique, I love Enrique. “You know he has a new album out,” he said.  “What?  How do you know?  You didn’t even know this was Enrique.”  He said, “I saw him interviewed on Ellen DeGeneres. Enrique lives with his partner in Puerto Rico, has two boys and parasails.”  “WHAT?!?!?” I asked, “When did you watch Ellen DeGeneres?”  Remember we don’t watch TV, we Netflix.  Ellen also airs in the afternoon when he is working.  We don’t TiVo anything, ever, either. While I’m thinking he has too much free time, he told me he watched the episode while waiting for the doctor the other day.  Ah yes, that explains it.  Shocking, but explained.

We’re still painting today, photos will post when we’re done.  So far it’s awesome and I love it.  The kids are raking and bagging leaves, living the rough life (minus the crepes for breakfast and the hot chocolate fortification during break time).