Wednesday, March 25, 2015

file under: phrases of shivery death.

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I once wrote a whole blog post about my YES words and NO words. I'll wait a minute while you go read it, and then another minute while you shake your head slowly and say, "Duuuuude." (There's a reason I prefaced those lists with the descriptor "idiosyncratic and weird-ass glory.")

Well, it turns out that there can be YES and NO phrases, too - including one that I run across all. the. time, and am about to use. Repeatedly.


There. I said it. Pop of color. I've said it lots of times before, actually, because I looove pops of color in decorating. I just hate the phrase so much that I almost didn't want to write about the playroom progress, because the next stage is, inevitably, incorporating pops of color.

As you can see, painting status is: done! I spent the last week or so painting in chunks of an hour here, a couple hours there. It's the longest I've ever taken to paint a room - although, to be fair, it's kind of two rooms: the entryway (small area, but intricate brush work) and the playroom itself (large area, lots of cutting in, but then slapping the majority of the paint on with a big ol' roller). It helped that (a) J.J. had a few days off work last week, so he could be with Rowan while I painted, and (b) I skipped a lot of my usual painting steps. I didn't prime, which meant only two coats total instead of three; and instead of emptying out the whole room, I just moved furniture away from whatever wall I was working on. Oh! It was also much easier to follow the sharp lines made by our pro painter than to create new ones to hide the mistakes of the previous owners' paint jobs, and gray is a lot more forgiving than, say, bright freakin' yellow, if you happen to end up with a wobbly paint line here and there.

Speaking of gray - I changed my mind about the shade of gray I wanted after remembering how the color in Rowan's room (Benjamin Moore's Abalone) looks lavender sometimes. That's fine in a small bedroom, but I wasn't sure how I'd like that in a main room. Kind of on a whim, I went with Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl (color-matched to zero-VOC Valspar paint from Lowe's). I like it - a lot - but it's a little lighter than I wanted, and a little bluer. Hoping it looks more right after the room is put back together. And for the record? It takes EXACTLY ONE GALLON to paint the entryway and playroom. Like, you will be squeeeeezing every drop out of that roller to cover the last few square feet of wall, and nope, you won't have any left over for touch-ups down the road. Exactly one gallon.

Anyway! Now that the painting is done, it's time for...BILLY!

Grainy pics courtesy of dim evening light. Sorry 'bout it.
I picked up two Billy bookcases and a white Not-Expedit (I can't remember what they changed the name of the old Expedit bookcases to) from Ikea this past weekend, all with Craigslist cash from basement junk. (Still need to update you on the basement, too!) The bookcases are the easiest things I've ever assembled from Ikea...took about a half hour each.

But. Right now?

Everything has slowed to a halt. See, I thought it would look great to incorporate a (...wait for it...) pop of color by painting the backs of the Billys. Actually, if I'm totally honest, one of the things that motivated me to paint the playroom gray was that I wanted the pop of color in the bookcases to look great, and nothing was really jiving with the brown when I pictured it in my head. With the gray, though, the options are endless.

I wanted to pull something from the playroom rug, which led me to purple initially - like a deep violet. It's unique and unexpected. But I'm not changing out the record-frame installation I already have over the piano, and I think purple might clash with the orangey-red. UNLESS IT'S THE RIGHT SHADE OF PURPLE?! I don't know. My other thought was to go with a deep peacock blue, which makes total sense - there's already a turquoise/peacock theme going on in there:

My main detractor is that I use blue everywherrrrre in my house. Everywhere. Seriously:




So, on the one hand, blue might be overdone in my house. On the other hand, it makes it easier to swap out pillows, art, and decor from one room to the other. And on the other other hand, I love blue. It's my favorite color. And that bright, light turquoise shade I have everywhere is, like, my spirit color. (FYI, wanton use of the phrase "spirit animal" jettisons it right to the top of my NO phrase list.)

I decided to go ahead and build the Billys to see how they looked in the playroom, and then choose a color for the backings. Good thing I did...because I think I totally changed my mind about the method of popping in some color. My friend Bethy (a legit artist and graphic designer) threw a surprise alternative into the mix: bins as the pop of color. Picture me running into the playroom, staring at the bookcases, and slapping my forehead. YES! Duh! Bins as the pop of color! The whole point of the bookcases is to add extra storage, primarily for toys, which means we'll need something to corral them. We've been using brown fabric bins from Target so far...

...and it makes perfect sense to swap those out for some colorful ones and call it a day. And if the bins don't make the right impact, my mother-in-law had the perfect solution - covering cardboard cut-outs with fabric, paint, or wallpaper and just inserting them in the backs of the bookcases. Great! Lots of options, all of which can be decided on at a later point.


I can't. Get motivated. To finish. ANYTHING.

After a few weeks of chipping away at basement tasks once the crawl space was encapsulated, I powered through a week of painting, cleaning, and assembling in the playroom. Aaand then I took a day off from house updates because I literally didn't have ten minutes to spare throughout that day or night. And now? I'm stuck. I still need to:

  • Anchor the Billys to the wall (ASAP, because right now Rowan isn't allowed anywhere near them, since they're huge tipping hazards) - I was waiting to anchor them in case I wanted to paint the backs (nixed) or cut out holes to expose the outlets behind the bookcases (also nixed, I think)...and because I have a pathological aversion to searching for wall studs (yes, even with a stud finder)
  • Add height extenders to the bookcases, which will bring them almost to the ceiling...unless I decide to do a display shelf all the way across the wall?!
  • Figure out what, if anything, I'll do to make the Billys look more built in (add base trim, add trim to close the gap between the bookcases and the wall, add crown moulding)
  • Re-hang the artwork and guitars in the playroom, although I can't figure out where any of that's going to go quite yet
  • Assemble the new white Not-Expedit and decide whether it's going in the playroom (to replace the current brown Expedit) or the basement (to replace the current rotting work bench, which needs to be deconstructed and disposed of)
  • Hang curtains of some sort in the basement to close off the crawl space view
  • Oh, yeah, and figure out a hanging solution for those Instagram pics in the stairwell!

This is always the most annoying part of house updates - the middle. All your stuff is shoved in corners and on beds and in boxes, just waiting to be re-homed; there are random paintbrushes and screwdrivers still lurking on shelves; you used up all your excitement getting the first phase of the project done, and it turns out that was the easy phase; and every time you walk into the room to finish up, seriously for real this time, you get overwhelmed by how much still has to be done. So you meander away, probably to curl up somewhere soft and warm and stocked with Cadbury Eggs.

With that said: I hereby promise to complete Step One of Phase Two (build the height extenders & anchor the Billys) the next time I can hammer without waking up any babies. Friday? Maybe? Hopefully? I bet it'll help if I ignore the pop of color issue for now...and check out my playroom Pinterest board and remember why in the world I started this project, anyway. That, and eat more Cadbury Eggs. FOR ENERGY, guys. Obviously.

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