Thursday, September 26, 2013

And then I painted everything

Greg recently went to a trade show in Europe and was gone for two weeks. Two weeks! I have a habit of painting while he's gone (proof here, here, and here) and this time was no different.

Except that he was gone for so long that I had to paint multiple rooms.


First up was the dining room. For anyone keeping track (so far that's me, Greg, and my psychiatrist), this is the third time I've painted this room. The first color was a disaster, so I painted it again two days later.

The color(s) when I moved in

First disastrous paint color, minty fresh

Two days later, second alright color

The second color, that washed out blue, was never something I was in love with. It just didn't make me shudder the way that minty green did, so it stayed. Also, I was sick of painting by that point.

But! Now I had holes in the ceiling to repair and a ginormous hole in the wall to fix. When you're very lucky, your house comes with TWO fuse boxes.


This fuse box confounded three different electricians, who couldn't figure out WHY there would be two boxes in one house, one upstairs, one down. It powered a very strange set of things, like: the refrigerator, the outlets in the bedroom, one switch in the living room, and, somewhere in Mongolia, a single lamp that an ancient man cooked by. The main box in the basement powered everything else.

One reason that our electrical upgrade took so long is that our electrician removed this and properly rerouted our wires to one single box in the basement, which he then balanced and upgraded. This is all fancy talk for saying that we had a huge hole in the wall now, and the lights no longer dim when you run the microwave. Huzzah!


Blah blah blah, patchy patchy patchy . . .



I finally got smart and got professional help on the paint color. Anna Kulgren is a gardening friend who I came to learn also has degrees in architecture, interior design, horticulture, and loads of other things. She's also a brilliant color specialist and runs a small design-build studio in Portland called Optic Verve. She came over with her suitcases full of color swatch decks and got down to business.


In no time she found the perfect color for the dining room. You guys, she's SO GOOD.


But first I also had to patch the ceiling where the old light fixtures were. I think I did a pretty okay job.


We chose Benjamin Moore's Caribbean Teal and I'm head over heels for it.







I cannot recommend Anna enough. If you are struggling with finding the right colors for your home, call her. She also figured out colors for our crazy blue entryway and our bathroom. I can't wait to get painting again. That's really saying something, considering I spent two weeks prepping and painting. I'll show you the bedroom next!

37 comments:

  1. Wow! I love the new color in your dining room! Anna's amazing! Maybe I can get her to come back to Tacoma sometime, swatches in hand. Of course, that would need to come after we replace the falling plaster. The light fixtures looked pretty cool wrapped like that. It was like you had giant pet bats hanging from your ceiling.

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  2. That color looks so fucking good!!! And those lights with it too...Your dining room is looking pretty damn snazzy.

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  3. Oh man, I knew there was a reason I liked you. Kindred spirits!

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  4. Gorgeous…you and Anna did a fabulous job…I'm a sucker for deep, rich interior colors…feels so cozy! Maybe she can help me choose a color for the house…if and when we ever get around to painting it!

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  5. The room is so much cozier than before. She picked out the most amazing color for her neighbor's house, I'm sure she could find something good for you too.

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  6. We can relate with that painting sensation, we have loads to do! And love the colour, looks so regal!

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  7. I can't wait to see what you do. Hopefully your contractor isn't leaving you with too many holes to patch!

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  8. Does she come to Canada? I need help in my bedroom. That looks tres fanstastico!!

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  9. I think she might consider it if you send back that table with the secret bar back for me. ;)

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  10. It looks great! I love, love, love the color. Can't wait to see it in person.

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  11. Thanks, Sandy! We really need to have you over.

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  12. Oh my... thanks, Heather for such a nice write-up! Loved seeing photos of all its previous transformations, and I can't wait to see pics of the rest - especially that crazy bathroom! :)

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  13. I'm up for another trip up north anytime, Peter!

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  14. I'd be thrilled to help you find the color that will flatter all of your fabulous plantings! Whenever you're ready!

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  15. Love trips to Canada - they have winegums! :)

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  16. What an absolute difference that dark teal color makes. I would not have believed it, but you have picture proof and the new color changes everything. I feel sorry for the old man in Mongolia whose electrical source you ripped out, but I am thrilled to see how really classy your house is becoming. The little touches (lights, wall color) make it.

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  17. You guys don't have wine gums? That's tragic.

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  18. That IS a great color! I think I love it so much because of the white arched openings creating a contrast. I liked the blue, but this teal makes everything in the room pop! It looks great. The lamps over the table turned out beautifully, by the way.

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  19. Thanks so much! I even like that skanky carpeting that covers half the room with this paint color.

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  20. Thanks so much! I feel badly for the old man too, but you wouldn't believe what he was doing to our electrical bill.

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  21. Love the new color, so pretty. It's very similar to the color I picked for our old master bedroom. I have been considering getting someone to come out and take a look at our new place before I paint anything. I have the terrible habit of over-analyzing paint colors and getting very stressed out. Happens every time without fail. I'm so glad you went with a bold color--I think I may shoot myself if I see another person paint every singe room in their entire house "greige"

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  22. Paint is hard! I overthink it too. And I totally agree with you about the griege; it seems to be very popular amongst house bloggers and I don't think it looks nearly as clean and modern as they think.

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  23. OMG It's spectacularly beautiful! And you did a fabulous job on the actual painting. Is there anything Anna doesn't do well? (I know for a fact that she cooks like a dream, too.) What a team!!

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  24. Right? I showed up unannounced at her house one afternoon and she just happened to be pulling a delicious plum pie out of the oven. And her boys are gorgeous and so polite. AND she gives great hugs.

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  25. Wow, this looks great! I think I used the same minty fresh green years ago for our playroom, and a rule was established in our household: "Mom can never choose the paint color!" Now, let's plan Anna's road trip.... I'm three minutes off I-5 in Olympia, right on the way to Peter's & Canada! Love your blog!

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  26. It is true - in general 'mericans don't know what they are missing. But Heather - there is one place in town that has figured it out, and often carries them; Candy Babel. Luckily it's just up the street from us - on Alberta, between 12th and 13th. Amani sells LOTS of gummies, and they are all GMO-free, HFCS-free, free of preservatives and nasty colorants. She even has a German line of traditional candies made from plants like knotweed, woodruff, etc. You HAVE to check this place out if you haven't already! http://www.candybabel.com/

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  27. Yeah, I hope he likes it too when he's had some rest. Either way, I won't feel the consequences like you will. Fingers crossed...

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  28. I agree. Can you say b-o-r-i-n-g ? People who dare to snap out of the doldrums have my esteem and respect!

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  29. You guys are making me blush...

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  30. I'm definitely up for it! Just say the word! :)

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  31. Thanks Alison! I hope your husband was more appreciative than my stepdad was when my mom ripped up the old, disgusting carpet and refinished the oak floors underneath, when he was out of town. It took him years to acknowledge that it looked good... Some people just have the hardest time with change...

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  32. How did I not know this place existed?

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  33. Uummm, don't know, but better late than never. :)

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