Saturday, May 21, 2011

Goldilocks and the Three Greens

Three greens?  What about six greens?  Or maybe even nine?

This is why it took us three weeks to paint our kitchen.

And that three weeks doesn't count the previous two weeks, when squares of green pranced across the wall above the counter, revealing whether they were too bright, too light, too dark, or too blue.  No green appeared to be "just right."

I wanted an apple-y bright green kitchen with red accents.  Something sort of like this, as far as the colors go, but not so modern:

Here's an inspiration board I created through Polyvore:
Kitchen Inspiration

Kitchen Inspiration by GloWorm59 on

I know there are some folks, mostly men, who recoil with horror upon seeing the green on my inspiration board. And I will tell you, I learned that if this was the vibe I wanted in kitchen, the color(s) that I intially thought would provide it was far too flourescent.  When I painted the sample square (or three) on the wall, it looked my kitchen might be the studio for an eighties workout video.  I pondered mounting black lights under the cabinets.  I knew that that was not the vibe I wanted for the kitchen, so I had to figure which way to go on the color wheel. 

First, I tried lighter.  The pale green I selected looked like a sickly white once up on the wall.  Then, I reasoned - if the color I thought I wanted was too bright once it was up on the wall, then I needed to choose a shade that was slightly duller than what I thought I wanted.  With this approach, the colors I chose ended up having more of a blue hue than I wanted - more of a sage than an apple.

I was ready to abandon green all together.  Could I go back to yellow after swearing it off?  Maybe some shade of aqua or teal?  Match the dining room with Lilac Whisper?  Exhausted, yet determined, I tried one more round of greens.  This time, I took the "too blue" greens and looked for something a little more yellow, without getting the whole way to "flourescent."

BINGO!  I found our happy medium with two options:  Summer Field and Inch Worm.  Inch Worm was slightly darker and more blue.  I was torn, but since Kevin preferred Inch Worm, we tried it.

Inch Worm

Summer Field

I know the Summer Field looks almost yellow, but it really was more of a green on the wall. 

Over Easter Weekend, my dad helped us put on the first coat.  Once it covered the kitchen, we were very skeptical.  It was still a little dark and a little blue.   Painting halted while we hemmed and hawed for two weeks, trying to decide if we should keep it.  We considered switching to Summer Field, and I painted two large sample squares for our consideration.

We ended up deciding that Summer Field looked a little pukey, and that Inch Worm had grown on us enough to try it.  Once we did the second coat last weekend and removed the painter's tape, we are finally satisfied. 

I learned a lot about selecting a paint color through this process.  I've done it before with relatively little trouble, but this was especially challenging.  I would say that I took three lessons from all this:
  1. If you want a bright color, realize that the color that looks as bright as what you think you want might be too bright.  Try it anyway, but select a few more subtle samples, as well.
  2. When selecting samples, start with a few that are quite different.  I ended up with almost a dozen samples because I started with about four that were too bright, then two that were too light, one that was too dark, three that were too blue, and then two that ended up being real options.  I should have gone with one of each of these categories initially to see what would work, then maybe buy a few more samples within that group.
  3. If you're unsure about a color, remove the painter's tape and sit with it for a few days.  It's amazing how different your impression can be once that blue outline is gone.  Also, use your normal lighting so you can get a sense of what it will normally look like.

This isn't the greatest picture, but it can give you an idea:

I do plan to replace those stained "glass" windows, as they don't really go with look I'm going for.  I'm considering replacing them with punched copper, or hand-painted stained "glass" with flowers that echo the curtains (those flowered ones on the inspiration board). I'm anxious to get it all together so I feel like we can start enjoying our home!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Care for a drink?

As I've mentioned before, my cat Snuffles has quite a personality.  Although she certainly does stereotypically "cat things," I would argue that she is not a stereotypical cat. 

One thing she does that is a stereotypical "cat thing" is enjoy what my friend calls a "sink drink."  This is actually a fairly new development.  At my old apartment in the city, Snuffles always loved a drink from the tub, so much that she stopped drinking from her water bowl and would just wait for me to turn on the tub.  She would DEMAND it, standing in the tub, yowling until I turned the faucet.  For whatever reason, though, it never occurred to her to jump into my bathroom sink for a drink.  It was a free-standing sink with no counter, so maybe she just didn't have a place to stand.

At one point, I tried to capitalize on her love of running water by getting her one of those pet drinking fountains.  In my mind, this would spare her the anxiety of waiting for me to turn on the tub faucet for her when I was gone for long stretches, and would relieve me of those demanding tub duties. Would you believe that she was terrified of the pet fountain?  She would just circle the fountain, and crouch and stare at it.  That $40 pet fountain provided no return on investment.  I ended up selling it on eBay.

When we moved to Kevin's townhouse, she was not permitted in the master bathroom, so the tub drinks stopped.  I was amazed at how often I needed to fill her water bowl once it became her primary water source.  It would appear that she had forgotten about the existance of the tub.

Until we moved to the new house.  Okay, maybe I reminded her.  Maybe, as she explored the upstairs, I carried her into the bathroom and put her in the tub.  And, just maybe, I turned the water to a slow trickle and watched with delight as she cautiously approached the stream and started lapping.  And, it is slightly possible that I created a monster.  Now, she bolts up the stairs at full speed, skids into the bathroom and leaps into the tub, yowling the whole way.  But look how cute she is!  It just gives me so much pleasure to see her so happy.

Since moving to the house and rediscovering the tub, she has also discovered the sink.  She'll hop up into the sink, tracking dirty footprints, and chirp for water.

Funny - Kevin and I have been so busy lately, we haven't had a lot of time for Lap Time with Snuffles.  So, when I sat on the side of the tub to video her, she actually ignored the running water and hopped up on my lap, instead.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Moving is Hard

Not to sound like Moving Barbie, but moving is hard!

It's not like I didn't know that.  It's not that I haven't moved at least 10 times in my life, if you include to and from college every year.  Until now, those were all small potatoes.  Those college moves were little baby steps, apartment moves a childlike scamper, but this big house move is surely a marathon.

Think about it - when you move into a residence hall, you really only need to worry about your personal items, clothing, decorations, etc.  In your first apartment (or three), you may or may not worry about furniture, combining "vintage" hand-me-down pieces with thrift-store and Walmart finds, figuring it's only temporary.  Even if you're in an apartment long enough to upgrade to "grown-up" furniture, it's still a much smaller space.  Plus, it's easier to be less picky with an apartment, since it is most likely temporary (even though some folks stay in their "temporary" apartments longer than others have been in their purchased houses!).

Even moving into Kevin's townhouse wasn't this hard.  Truthfully, I don't remember a whole lot of what he dealt with when he moved in, since I was only around on weekends at that time.  By the time I moved in, things were pretty much settled, and I just squeezed my stuff in where I could.

Like I said, this big house thing is truly a marathon.  Don't get me wrong - the house is in good condition.  Nothing is wrong - really wrong, anyway - with it.  There are things that  are less than ideal, quirky, and not to our taste.  And we want it all to be the way we want it RIGHT NOW.  As I discussed with a friend, I want it to be like The Sims where I can change out paint colors and rearrange furniture with the touch of a button, and undo if if I don't like it.  Instead, we sit with our kitchen in disarray for two weeks while we decide if the green is too green, and wondering if it's actually growing on us, or are we just tired of paint trays on the counter?  Meanwhile, deer are grazing on our grass because it took Kevin a week to get our hand-me-down tractor (for which we are super-grateful) in order.

So, I guess all this is to say that I'm sorry I haven't updated more lately.  I've been busy and exhausted, but I'm trying to be better.  In the meantime, say hello to the first stinkbug of the season:

 This was taken April 3rd.  We've given many more a burial at sea (toilet) since then.  They are prolific.

And you might also enjoy this:
1.  Kevin misspelled utensils.
2.  Kevin cared enough to make a note questioning his spelling of utensils on a packing box.
3.  I love that someone (I don't know who) went in and added foreign language accents.  I'm trying to figure out how to pronounce it, but don't really know what a tilde does to an "e."

Anyway, back to work!  I'm sure I have a box to unpack or a kitchen wall to stare at.