New Curtains in Game Room!

I mentioned here that I may get new curtains in the game room.  Well, I did!

I originally got navy and white chevron curtains for the game room.  But, the pattern was too small – there was no transitional pattern between it and the large graphic pattern of the letters on the wall.  So, I sold those and got these.

Game Room-30b

These were custom made for me by an Etsy shop, Sew Panache, from Duralee’s Dalesford Blue fabric. 

Below is a view of the entire room.

Game Room-67b

Below are the original chevron curtains. 


Here are the new ones.  The green barn light and chalk board were made by a shop in town called Oodles.  The pub table, armoire and chairs were Craigslist finds which I painted. 


And, a view of the other side of the room with the custom letter art by Thelma and Louize.


Much better, huh?   I’m loving it! 

By the way, if you are trying to place this game room space in my home, it is connected to the desk nook at the top of the stairs.


Here it is one more time.

Game Room-67b

We’ll see how much use we get out of the ping pong table.  It seems to be popular with guests, but we haven’t played it a ton ourselves.  We got it at a great price from our neighbors when they moved and it is what spurred on the entire space.   Do you have a game room space in your home?  What do you use it for? 


Farmhouse anyone?

Do you ever dream about what you next home will look like?


I’ll tell you what, when we first moved into our home 18 months ago, that was far from my mind.  I could not imagine moving again anytime soon.  But, we’re starting to dream about the next house again.  And, though our tastes seem to constantly change and evolve, if you ask me today, it’d be a farmhouse!

We’d love to one day find a wooded, reasonably priced lot of 4+ acres a little closer to the city (you have no idea what a tall order that is in Austin, TX!) and build a home a little smaller than the one we have now on it.  Have any of you built a modern farmhouse?  If so, send me some pictures!

I love trim work and character and that is why a farmhouse appeals to me.  I envision a porch across the front, metal roof, and simple elegance, much like these.

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The entry would welcome you in with old school texture on the white walls, probably in the form of hardy plank, reclaimed wood floors, and a gorgeous wood staircase.

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The kitchen would be a modern take on an old school farm style kitchen.  It’d have simple white cabinets (probably shaker style), wood floors and ceiling detail.  Below are some fabulous farmhouse kitchens.

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The bathrooms would be unique with an eclectic feel.  White would continue on the walls and the pieces would feel collected and would be combined to create a charming casual country look yet with a modern twist.

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The bedrooms would be light and airy for overall continuity.   Something like these.  The first image is from the home Ellen DeGeneres just sold.

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The family room would be large enough for a sectional and two chairs.  Again with the white walls, planks for texture and eclectic feel.  The first image is also from Ellen’s home.


Though I’d probably need more color.  You know how I am with color.   I am still loving dark blues.

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The laundry room would definitely have a sink.  I miss my sink.  And, plenty of storage.

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Do you have any great builders to recommend in TX?  Any great house plans for a farmhouse?   Do you love this look?  What is your dream house like?


Game Room Progress

We’re wrapping up the game room décor now.  This room is located at the top of the stairs next to the built-in desk.  It has sat empty for a year until our neighbors decided to move.

When they moved, they needed to get sell a ping pong table.  Guess who bought it?!  They gave us a great deal on it.  So, that started the vision for the game room.

And, here is where we are with it.


We have the ping pong table (in a nice dark blue color), an awesome sign made from vintage letters by the lovely Wendi at Thelma and Louize, chevron curtains, an armoire that I painted white and that we could barely get upstairs even with help, a pub table that I got on Craigslist also and painted white, two bar stools that we painted blue, a chalk board that isn’t yet hung, and an old barn light made by an awesome local man who owns a shop called Oodles.

Here is the light and chalkboard vignette closer up.  The pub table can be pulled out and used as a game table.  We have extra bar stools in the next room (media room).   It’s 3 feet by 3 feet and 42 inches tall.

I love how the light gives the room a touch of industrial and works well when paired with the vintage letters.


And, the letters?!  They are so fun.  Right now, you see the armoire first when you come up the stairs.  We did it that way due to the cable outlet being over there should we ever want to add a television.   But, we may flip it in the end.  We’ll see.

The letters are possibly my favorite part.  Wendi did such a good job on them.  They are such a large statement piece of art.


As for the armoire, it’s probably going to be sold with the house.  It’s not going anywhere.  It was super heavy.  We bought it on Craigslist and the sweet couple we got it from even helped us move it in.  And, boy, that was very difficult.  It’s extremely heavy.

I’m a little unsure about the chevron curtains.  I like them, but with the craft room/ my office being nearby and having a black and white chevron rug, it kind of feels too repetitive.  I’m contemplating selling them and getting them made in a different fabric.  I do like the color, though.  The curtains are from an etsy shop called Sew Panache.

We want to keep it pretty simple and uncluttered.  The armoire houses board games and the xbox which we never really use.

We may add to the art over the table in time.

But, this is where we are at for now and we’re loving it!  It’s a fun, vibrant space.  I love how it’s all from local artists, Craigslist, etsy and our neighbor!


Navy is Hot!

15 months ago when I decided to go with a navy palette in our new home, it wasn’t that popular just yet.  But, I knew I loved it.  (Always go with what you love.)  At the time, we were still trending towards the lighter blues.  Navy, or dark blue, was just on the edge of being thought about in home design again.  But, now, navy is hot!  Let’s look at some great examples!

In Orlando Soria’s apartment on the sofa.

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In Emily Henderson’s office as the backdrop for an eclectic retro space.


How about mixed with a bit of red, but not so much that it goes patriotic.


Here it is again with red.


Navy can go with many colors and is virtually treated as a neutral.  It can anchor a room and bring in some sophistication, helping the room not to go too little kid on you.

Yet, it still can be used in a child’s room (in a sophisticated way).  Below it’s used in a little boys’ room with green. 


Or, why not pair it with pink.



Or orange.



It even looks great with yellow.


Of course, it looks fantastic when paired simply with white as well. 



I love these cabinets in dark blue!


Why only pair it with one color?



Indeed, now I’m seeing it everywhere – from painted furniture on Craigslist to showrooms to design magazines.   I’ve seen it on window treatments, pillows, painted furniture, rugs, and even stairs.  Where have you seen it? 

Are you digging dark blue?  What is your favorite color with navy?  You can see the dark blue in my home under the Tour page.

Have you used navy blue in your home?  What did you pair it with? 


Master Bedroom Progress

Would you like to peek inside of our master bedroom?

I haven’t shown our master bedroom in our new home yet.  Why?  It’s still a work in progress.   (Why do we hate to show half done things?!  Silly, huh?)  And, well, maybe the real reason is – let’s face it, the bed isn’t made that often.

But, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s looking like in there – here it is!


The only things existing from our last master bedroom are the painted wing back chair and the bench.  Otherwise, everything is new.  And, I have taken m time gathering things.

I’m keeping it light and airy with white bedding, white curtains, a white rug and a white chest of drawers.  We have added some pops of color with the wing back in the corner and the pillows on the bed.

Below is a wider angle.  You can see the front of the old Thomasville (French Provincial) dresser on the right.  That’s the painted chair next to it and an industrial floor lamp next to it.


I love the industrial side table that we used as a night stand.  It’s made from an old machine shop top, card catalog drawers and pipe legs.


We hope to find a cute little chair to go under it so it can also act as a desk should we ever need that.  We’ve balanced it with an industrial desk lamp on the left.

We still need to add some art and find just the right accessories, but we’re getting there!

Another thing that is different than our last master is no carpet!  Yay.  We have hardwood floors in this master which we love.

Here is our last master bedroom.

Master Bedroom-033

And, here is where we are with this one.  Much lighter and brighter!


We can’t wait to get it put together, but we’re taking our time and trying to find pieces that we truly love.    Do you tend to rush or take your time?

Check out the Home Tour page for a tour of the rest of the house (that I’ve shared so far) and of our last home.


The Hardback Book – Perfect Accessory?

An inexpensive go-to accessory for me is the hard back book.


Believe it or not, this is a controversial topic because some maintain that books are only for reading and not for décor.  Well, they can be for both!

We talked about arranging books by color to make your bookshelves more exciting a while back.  Today, let’s talk about using books to accessorize non-bookshelf areas.


How do I use them?  Besides on bookshelves like in my craft room.

Or, in our built in office nook.

After removing the covers, I stack them in order to add height to things that may be a little too short.  I use them in order to fill spaces and allow for a flat surface.  It’s also a great way to add color and interest.

Here are a few examples from my home.

The first is from the fireplace mantle.


This is an end table in our family room.


And, on a shelf in our half bath.


Where do you get such books?  I buy mine at garage sales, antique stores, a store we have here called Savers and Half Price Books.  I try not to pay more than $3 a book.

I buy them based on color, size and topic (sometimes).

What about you?  Do you use books?   What are your tips and tricks?


Does Color Really Look Different in Different Spaces?

You’ve probably heard designers talk about how the same paint color can look entirely different in a different home or space?  You’ve probably heard them say it depends on lighting, the direction that the room is facing, what you are painting over, and the surrounding colors.   But, have you ever wondered if that was really true?

We can start by just looking at different spaces with the same paint color, but then we’ll dive into something even more interesting!

Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter is a popular color.  Most call it a gray with a slight tan to it.  Here (below) it is in a dining room.  You can see the tan in it, thus making it a greige (mix of tan and beige).


And, below is the same paint color in another dining room.  It looks purely gray here.  Much colder, in fact.


Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue is a good example of a color that really shifts according to the space for me.  Below shows how gray toned it can look.  It’s calm and serene, yet sophisticated.


Then, here (below) it appears much like it did in my home when I tried it – fresh, much more green and it can go “little boy’s room” fast, as Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist and color expert, has put it before.


How about a color that I currently have in my home?  Lets look at Sherwin Williams’ Loyal Blue.  Here it is (below) in Emily Henderson’s office.  Dark and moody.


And, in my entry.  Cheerful and happy.


It’s also the color of the ceiling in our family room if you want to check that out.

None of these are that dramatic, but when you are trying to get a color just right, such differences can certainly cause frustration.

Now, let’s play a game based on this premise – that colors appear different in different situations, specifically based on the colors surrounding that one color and perceived lighting.

Look at the squares below.  Which is darker – A or B?



Post it Science writes:  “Incredibly, the answer is that squares A and B are the same color, but your brain perceives them to be different based on surrounding color and shadow information. What’s amazing about this illusion, is that even after you learn that the 2 squares are the same color, your brain continues to perceive square A as significantly darker than square B. This proof drawing helps your brain believe what your eyes aren’t seeing:


Why can’t we see the colors as they actually are, even after we’ve been told, and shown, that they’re the same? It largely has to do with our brain’s ability to interpret a 2-D drawing as a 3-D representation. We expect the cylinder to cast a shadow on the checkerboard- and because we are used to compensating for shadows in “real life” we perceive and compensate for the shadow we assume has been created by the cylinder. However, the creator of the image has manipulated the colors and the shadow to give the illusion of the shadow–without there actually being a realistically rendered or predictable shadow. In addition, because we interpret a checkerboard pattern in an expected way (alternating light and dark squares), due to the respective positions of squares A and B, our brains automatically categorize square A as a dark square and square B as a light square, despite their actual color.”

Check this out.  I looked at it in Photoshop with the color picker on B.


And, now with the color picker on A.  No kidding.   The numbers are all the same!  Yet, they look so different to us.


Would you believe that gray ovals have the same shade of gray?


It is interesting how the color surrounding them affects our perception!

Here is another variation on Adelson’s illusion.  This one is from National Geographic episode of Brain Games.

Can you believe these two boxes in the image below are the exact same shade of gray?


Gradients and shadows give your brain clues based on your past experiences with shadows. But shadows can lie to you.

Don’t believe it?  Save the image and use a photo editor’s color picking tool and compare the two colors.  I assure you that they are the same.

One more example of how color can change based on the objects around it?

Another illusion from the show that demonstrates how color can appear differently based on its surroundings is this one (below).  See the square in the middle marked orange and the square above marked brown?


Would it surprise you if I said they are the same color?  Below is another view.


One side is colored to look as if it were in a shadow.   Because of this coloration, two blocks appear to be different shades of brown even though they are the same color.

Crazy, huh?

So, keep that in mind as you choose color in various forms and wonder why it may be looking so different in your space.  It’s not the color itself, it’s perception, my friend.  Based on lighting, surrounding colors, the direction the room faces (and quality of outside light), as well as what you are painting over.

Have you experienced this?



Other color topics that we’ve discussed on this blog:  muddy versus clean colors, greige and undertones, whites, beige and mistakes to avoid, greiges by brand, color recommendations listed by brand,

Family Room Changes!

I’m back!  I’m dropping in to show you some changes that I have made in our house over the last few months.  Today I wanted to share one that I’m loving.  We changed the rug in the family room.

Photo May 23, 7 06 12 PM

I’ve wanted a blue and white rug in there for a while, but the scale was important.  Though I love rugs like this (below), the scale would compete with other patterns in the space.

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By the way, those rugs are on sale at for 65% off right now!

So, I needed to find something very large scale AND affordable.  I patiently waited and watched Craigslist.  This 8×10 navy and ivory CB2 rug came up a few weeks ago and I snatched it right up.


Notice the new black campaign style chest of drawers over against the right wall?  I got that this past week off of Craigslist.  It needs a little work – like painting, re-gluing drawers.  And, then accessorizing.  So, that’s not the best angle to photograph right now.

It’s tough to see in photos, but the ceiling blue isn’t actually quite this bright and the rug is a little lighter, so they are pretty close to the same shades in real life.   The ceiling is more so the shades of darker blue you see on the outside edges.  This is one of the toughest rooms to photograph and get the colors just right in.


What is going on behind the sectional?  Well, my beloved custom made sofa table is back there.


And, on the other side is my french provincial dresser turned tv stand from Thelma and Louise (a local shop) which I adore.

Photo May 24, 9 38 25 AM

And, from the entry area where you can see the blue dining room walls, family room ceiling and rug all at the same time.  There is also a blue dresser in the entry to the left of the photographed area here (below).  It all works together for a cohesive feel.


We’re loving the changes.  Here it was before with the layered cow hide rug (below).

Family Room-193

We enjoyed that look, but we’re loving the more graphic rug even more.   We also eliminated the chair.  Instead, two of those chairs now live in the office, along with the cowhide rug.  If you are really observant, you noticed in the upper photo that the art in the niche is also changed out to a sunburst.

Family Room-168

And, after.


I am reposting the first image below since that wall color is most accurate.  The color in photos can drive me nuts sometimes.

Photo May 23, 7 06 12 PM

I hope you enjoyed seeing the changes!  It’s still a work in progress.

Now to work on the campaign dresser and accessories around it!  I’m thinking of maybe floating bookshelves over it.  We could use more.  I’ve also got a little more fireplace mantle styling to do (just got new prints for the IKEA Ribba frames over it).

To see the rest of the photos I’ve taken, visit the Home Tour page.  However, I need to update a few rooms soon due to tweaks like this!