Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Adding a Striped Focal Wall

Even though we finally hung our TV above the fireplace, I was still faced with the issue of the big, boring wall that previously housed our old entertainment unit/TV.
The plan was still on to move the couch over,  but having a large, "blah" wall really wasn't going it for me.  I had already planned to throw some artwork/mirror/pictures above the couch, but I still feel like it needed some extra pop.

Enter stripes.

Side story: I don't know if I've really ever shown you guys our SUPER tiny half bath, but it was actually one of the first projects I did when we moved into the house (before I knew I was going to to be blogging about everything) but it was actually my first attempt with horizontal stripes since I was hoping to give the room some depth.

To be honest, I really like the results...
I actually had to do this project 2-3x since the first time I forgot to correctly measure the size of the room and the second time I had issues keeping my tape lines parallel, but at least it made me more confident if I ever wanted to try it again!

Enter this weekend:... courage level: 10... weeks pregnant: 33.... eagerness to get a bunch of stuff done around the house before my mom comes to visit on Thursday: 1,000,000...

To be safe, I started out as every good project should; measuring and remeasuring.
 Our ceilings are 8ft high, but taking out the crown molding and baseboards, I was left with 90" of wall.

After playing with some initial sizes, Chris and I decided that nine 10" stripes would look best.  This way, having an odd number of stripes, I could leave the color next to the crown and baseboards the same color without having to paint one of them! (ie. no paint, paint, no paint, paint, no paint, paint, non paint, paint, no paint).

Measuring off to the side of the wall closest to the hallway, I made my marks.
They are VERY light, but trust me, they're there...
Since the wall was already painted Restoration Hardware "Silver Sage", I actually stopped by our local RH and picked up some swatches of colors I thought would compliment the exsisting wall color.
 After some deliberations, I narrowed it down to three choices:
 But before I made any big decisions, I wanted to get little test samplers to make sure the color would look right on the wall...
I know I had 3 Restoration Hardware colors and then I snagged another similar one while at Home Depot
 After I put up the four colors (in spots that I knew I would be painting anyway) I took a step back to see which one I liked.
 None of them... they were all awful... too blue, too green, too brown, and too purple.

The only one that I "kinda" liked was this guy (which you can barely even see).
It was a color that I had made myself by taking some of the original colored paint and mixing it with paint color #3.  Yes, it was super similar to the same color already on the wall, but all I wanted was a light contrast, nothing to major.

It was then that I had my glorious idea to head back to Lowe's (where we had our original "Silver Sage" color matched) and have them bring it down a shade or two.

This was the result:
Feeling the 50% was still a little too MUCH contrast, I felt pretty confident with the 25% one (even though it was still SUPER close) and decided to pull the trigger.  I also went ahead and bought it in a satin finish to give a little more light to the wall and the room.
It was also nice being paint and primer in one since I was going from a dark to a light color
Next step, tape.

If I haven't stressed how much I love Frog Tape, I. LOVE. FROG. TAPE.
 Its really the only tape that will pretty much guarantee you a crisp painting line, even on textured walls. ANY project I do that requires paint, I use Frog Tape and HIGHLY recommend it to ANYONE painting anything.

What happened next was like an early Christmas present... Chris found his laser leveler.
 Not only did this all but promise that my lines would be straight, it made the process of putting up even tape lines 1,000x easier.
 After about 45min to an hour, I had completed my tape job.
 Since the paint I bought was low/No VOCs, I was allowed to paint myself since there were no harsh fumes for me or little man.
that is some PREGNANT belly... at least I'm starting him at DIY early in life
 With a quick two coats, I stood back... and started to panic... ... ... it looks like the exact same color...(minus the green frog tape)
I really was living my worst fear of not going "different" enough.  Would people walk in and even KNOW the wall was striped? Would it just look like this weird murky mess? Even as I was painting, I was going through scenarios in my head where I would have to go back and repaint everything to an even lighter shade...50% or more...  UGH!

Just to be safe, I only took off the tape on the bottom stripe to see if I even liked it.  Before I could finish, Chris walked through the room.

"Uhhh yea, you're going to want to take it all off.  Trust me.  Don't step back until all the tape is gone."... and then he left.

Delayed gratification doesn't really work well for me (I seriously tried every single old wives tale in the book to find out if we were having a boy or a girl MONTHS before our reveling ultrasound) so peeling off all the tape before seeing how it looked pretty much nearly killed me.

When I did finally look, I was ecstatic.

It was the perfect, subtle stripe that I had been going for... not too much, but not too BAM! in your face stripe either.

One of my favorite angles was how it looked from the side when you are first entering the house... you can barely tell they are there.
Why yes, the stripes on my wall ARE magic!
 The satin finish also catches the light PERFECTLY and gives it that extra little something I was looking for.

After everything had dried, I gently helped Chris put the couch on slidely, furniture mover things, and moved the couch into place.

Especially now that the TV was set up and working, we even got to enjoy a little Ranger's baseball while eating some dinner.
The next day, Chris went one step further and added another little surprise for me... MORE CAN LIGHTING!!
We only had four can lights in the room, and with natural light it was nice, but still not quite bright enough for me.  I had possibly been dropping hints to Chris for a couple weeks but could understand how more time in the attic during Texas's 100+ degree days wasn't probably his idea of a "good time".  But alas, the sucker loves me for some weird reason and installed the extra lights anyway.
With the newly painted, newly lit, newly TV-ed room, our living area now looks something like this...
Window/front of house:
We brought in my Restoration Hardware chairs from the office (if you remember them from my score of scores HERE) and added a little side table that I sprayed oil rubbed bronze to go with their nail head detail.

View of the fireplace/TV...
This will hopefully be changing sooner rather than later once I find a little entertainment stand/dresser/buffet/anything that holds our stuff in this corner.  The TV looks AMAZING but all the electronics on the floor are killing me slowly... Damn that TV looks good though...

View as you walk in the door:
The only thing that has really stayed the same is the large chair.  It fits perfectly under that little nook and once I rewrap the cushion, it will be looking brand new.  (side comment: do you like the yellow pillow?  Im trying out some colors to bring some life into the room and so far yellow is kinda my go-to... I would love your thoughts!)

View from the archway/dining room:
Ahhh yes, its beautiful!  I totally plan on hanging some stuff on the wall AND getting a larger, more size appropriate rug for the space (and some more pillows) but for right now, I am TOTALLY digging my stripped wall.  It definitely brings that little "something" I was hoping for without calling too much attention to itself.

Most days, I can be found like this:
I love to this wall... hugs...
To really show you what a difference a little striping makes, here is the before and after of the space before we started moving everything around and painting.
It just feels more clean, more "adult"... like grown-ups live here.  You can also really tell the difference with the lighting in this picture too... love. it.

The next step is to get some artwork, frames, pictures, etc up on that wall as well.  My WONDERFUL mother and her HYSTERICAL sister (my aunt) are coming into town this weekend for my baby shower and we are going to head to the Trade Days at Canton, TX (aka. HUGE flea market) so maybe I will find some fun stuff there... fingers crossed!

What do you guys think of the stripes?  Im pretty happy with 'em!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mount Up!!

Ok guys, when we last left our little TV switch-a-roo, we had moved from this: this:
Making the final decision to mount the TV above the fireplace was, well, "final" since we determined it would have to hang from the ceiling to make it work (since our failed attempt at mounting it to the actual wall failed as explained here)

So Friday after work, we decided to get started.
 I made sure Chris measured, and remeasured 100 200 times to make sure we were perfectly centered above the fireplace and even used the laser level to make sure it was spot on.
Sorry for the grainy picture... it's from Chris's cell camera (apparently from 1999)
 I turned my back for a second and Chris had already put the hole in the ceiling. (Honestly, it was probably better that way so I didnt have to be lurking over his shoulder telling him he's doing it wrong/right/too fast/too slow/not careful enough).
Yes hunny, that IS a hole in our ceiling...
 Chris, because he's smart (on TOP of being incredibly good-looking) he made a hole-sized template BEFORE he started drilling... the result was a perfectly sized entry point for our ceiling mount.
He makes such pretty faces...
 Chris then ventured up into the attic where he proceeded to use a 2x6 to hold the mount and then drilled the 2x6 into the crossbeams, making it extra secure.
Sorry this picture is confusing.. I was not the photographer... but you get the general idea... oh, and Chris was NOT drilling into the brick fireplace although that's what it kinda looks like
Less than an hour after we Chris started, we had a ceiling bar strong enough for Chris to do pull ups on.
 Another quick note, the bars to this ceiling mount kit were actually black... I just took a quick can of spray paint to them so the black wouldn't be as obvious when coming down from our WHITE ceiling and against our WHITE crown molding... hooray spray paint!

The next step was actually putting the "mount" part on and guestimating it to a comfortable watching height.
 Boom.  Looks good to me!
 It was then we said goodbye to our dear friend, TV stand/entertainment unit.
"...I will remember you... will you remember me???"
 Honestly, the hardest part of this entire process was adding the hooks to the back of the TV.
 Getting them installed and set up to a point where a 80lbs TV doesnt come crashing down gives me the nervous willies, but Chris is pretty much a pro, so other than me peering over his shoulder, asking what he was doing every 15 seconds, he didn't mind nearly as much.
 He also had a pretty good assistant.
 I dont have any pictures of us actually putting the TV up since it was Chris's job to lift and mine to make sure he was on the proper brackets, but when everything was finally in place, it. was. BEAUTIFUL.
 Of course, we just had it up for a minute to make sure the angle and everything were where we wanted it before we had to take it down.

Chris then ventured back up into the attic to feed down the wires for electric hook up and the HDMI cables that we use to get our satellite.

Look at me helping!!!
 Once everything was down, it was just a matter of getting everything plugged in and cleaned up.
 Rocky was a bit more impatient and nabbed the best seat in the house before we were even ready to turn it on...
"Entertain me"
 Since we had yet to move the actual cable for our DirecTv from the previous wall, we used my laptop again to watch a little Arrested Development online.
We finally made it to Season 3!
 Really? I mean come on, I love it.
 You can barely notice the bar coming down from the ceiling and once we move my laptop and clear off the mantle, it actually looks very clean!

On Saturday, I awoke to another hole in my house.
 This one is for all the cables and wiring coming down through the ceiling/wall to hook up to our satellite box, stereo, blue-ray player, etc. to the right of the fire place.
 The only step left was to get the cord from one side of the room to the other...
Please dont look at all our dust bunnies... yes, I know its gross... just look away... look away....
 Moving the cord would have been easy if it had gone up through the ceiling like we had originally thought... but alas, nothing in the house is really "easy"... especially when the wiring (for whatever reason) goes DOWN into our crawl space.
 So we had to send in our family gopher to move them... aka. Chris.

Luckily for him, the crawl space entrance is located in my closet (why? no idea) so at least he was greeted by pretty dresses and XL shoes on his way down.
 Mmmmm, k bye...
 Rocky, fearing a runaway attempt, was none too happy about Chris venturing under the house.
 After army-crawling through dirt, dust, and bugs I don't even want to think about, Chris eventually was able to move the wires and successfully switch on our satellite.

Since I have still yet to find a piece of furniture to rehab to use as our new entertainment unit (come on, Craigslist!) we currently just have everything sitting on the floor in the spot their "eventual" home will soon be.
DirecTV, blue-ray, stereo, sub-woofer? check.
Since the new set up is also underway (details tomorrow) I am dying to get the stuff OFF the floor ASAP.  Now if Craigslist could just cooperate and give me EXACTLY what I need...

What do you guys think of the TV?  Do you have any ideas of what would look good in that corner?  Im thinking something maybe french provincial with some curvy lines.