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!


  1. Looooove the stripes!! So subtle yet bold!!

  2. The stripes look awesome! Love that they aren't BAM in your face, but definitely give the wall some interest.

  3. The stripes look great and i love the rug. Yellow is a fun color and orange is my go to color.

  4. darn you. now i have a new project to add to my list! LOVE IT!

  5. It looks great!!! The whole room looks amazing! And I am a huge fan of the TVs over the fireplace! The rug and curtains also look amazing! I'm def. going to keep in mind the laser level for future projects around my house. Too bad most of the painting is done... and the hard way, haha.

  6. I love this so much. I've been thinking about an accent wall in our living room and couldn't decide what to do...thinking this might be perfect!

  7. LOVE the stripes. Subtle but still so beautiful.

  8. As always, LOVE everything about your latest project! The stripes are perfect, love all the details AND yellow accents!
    Plus, I can keep track of Trish's schedule through you!! :)

  9. Love the stripes! The size and finish are perfection!

  10. The stripes are magazine perfect!


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