The Kitchen Floor - Finally

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Well, I know some of you have seen some photos of the kitchen floor via facebook and instagram, but I have yet to do a full on blog post about the process and final result.  And I know it is eagerly awaited. After some serious overcommitment and some resulting stress-induced sickness (and a toddler with two ear infections) I've come back up for air and made time for a few blog updates.  So here goes. 

I showed you the whole glazing process a few weeks back (this was before I was thwarted by the flu).  Well, that was by far the easy and fast part.  To recap, here is what the floor looked like before.
And here is what it looked like with the glaze

And this was the idea for the final concept.
So, I received my Shipibo Allover Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils and flattened it out to get ready for the the stencil process.  I started at the top end of the room toward the middle and then worked out using a very dry firm mini foam roller and not much pressure (as per their suggestions). 

Because I wasn't worried about an even coat  - I wanted a patina'd look afterall - the first few rows went fairly quickly.
The edges and corners, however got a little rough.  Paint was starting to goop under the stencil despite how little pressure I was using and there was more going back and wiping both the floor and the stencil. The edges weren't quite as crisp because of all the goopage and the fact that paint started drying around the edges of the stencil openings causing the lines to be less straight (although that doesn't bother me so much and I'm glad that the middle, most noticeable portion looks the best).  By far the most challenging part was going in and out of the corners. You can bend a stencil to pretty close to a 90 degree corner but try bending it 90 degrees in two directions and it does not want to cooperate. I ended up having to use a brush and doing some hand fudging.  Here is what it looked like further along.
By the time I finished all the edges and corners the center was dry enough to walk on (especially since so little paint was used).  I was pretty happy with the results and was debating leaving it at that.  The black squares in the above concept seemed like a commitment.  But I had a couple of hours left (like an hour and a half) before picking up Bryan at daycare and I figured I'd go for it.  Minor glitch - I had not purchased black paint.  Oops.  So I opted to use the dark charcoal grey that I used for the glaze. I had so much left over and in undiluted form I figured it would contrast nicely and maybe be more subtle than the black. Other minor glitch - I didn't end up looking at my original diagram, so I opted for a different square to stencil.  This ended up being a blessing in disguise.  Instead of stenciling over a white square that had already been painted, I stenciled over a negative space grey square.  This was better because it allowed for more error on the edges. Imagine if I'd stenciled my grey square and had a little white edge poking through all around?  Anyway, I used a file folder and traced my floor with a sharpie, cut out my stencil and went at it (this time with the brush only).  I think the results were better than if I had gone with my original plan!

Nice job! You were probably so happy to be done in time to pick Bryan up from day care.... is probably what you are thinking.  But no, there is more.  Polyurethane!  A couple of days later, I moved on to the next step  - clear coat. This was a tuesday night (first coat), wednesday morning (second coat) affair involving a baby gate for the cat and one minor freak out when I decided to touch up a spot in the middle of the floor and skated over the wet and very slippery polyurethane barefoot. 
In the end it turned out great and will hopefully prove to be both pretty and durable - and WAY less expensive had I gone the route of the encaustic tile which I was trying to mimic.  I'd give stenciling two thumbs up - definitely something I'd do again especially on a floor where the impact and difference was so large. Stay tuned for a stencil giveaway tomorrow!!!!!

The Dining Room Chandelier

Monday, January 21, 2013

One of my favorite finds recently has been our dining room chandelier. It's from Jonathan Adler and is one that I'd been eyeing for a while and had pinned to our house pinboard.  Well, I'm on this great mom's email list in our town and people are always selling stuff, giving stuff away and offering valuable information up.  Someone had bought this chandelier for her living room but it turned out to be too big and she was selling it new for a deep discount.  I snatched it up and it looks fabulous in the room. The dining table is also a freebie from my mom's list and I plan to paint it a sort of minty celadon color so there is less heavy wood in the room.  It has two leaves so is great for entertaining.  Also planning to get a fiddle leaf fig for the right hand corner and maybe a brass or lucite bar cart for the left.  Here it is from a couple of angles.  Don't you love my new accessorizing?  Baby wipes, sippy cup, gold fish crackers, high chair (as I said in a previous post, if I waited to stage the space, this post would never happen).

And a view from the kitchen (pre-glaze and stencil):

Stylin' Mammas: Tough As Nails

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sometimes I think one of the trickiest things about dressing well when raising kids is their -- for lack of a better term -- capacity for destruction (sartorially-speaking).  My list is long and growing: the Thomas Pink shirtdress, purchased in London and worn everywhere, forever stained when I leaked through it while nursing LittleMan before work one morning; the Marc Jacobs aviator sunglasses Babygirl mangled during an early dinner at a local pub; the Banana Republic wide-wale white sailor corduroys that LittleMan smeared with chocolate-covered hands; the fact that my dry cleaner can pay for a trip to Barbados with the revenue generated by Babygirl's first spit-up-infused six months.
This is why so many moms opt for life in sweats: they are durable and machine-washable.  So why not turn that on its head a bit?

For a day off with the kids, bright colors (the double-strap Swatches are so cute you could wear two!) and playful touches (ponies on your pants, hightops, fingerless gloves) keep the mood light.  If you need something a little on the sleeker side, the James Perse cozies are elevated by an elegant sweater/cape, tough cuff and glam gloves that break a few rules (thank you, Brian Atwood) but never the bank (merci, Target!).

- Jaime

The Kitchen Floor - An Update

Monday, January 14, 2013

Well, the kitchen floor got started last week. I was hoping to actually complete it as well but a cold slowed me down.  So today I'm stenciling (wish me luck).  But I thought I'd show you the progress from last week. The floor was a light grey basecoat originally.

To add a bit more contrast between the base and the stencil and to give it more of a weathered look I did a charcoal gray glaze over top.  I ragged it on with a 1:1 ratio of glaze to paint. It was surprisingly easy and used way less paint and glaze than I anticipated (unfortunately because I'd already mixed it I wasted a lot).  Here it is in progress:

Here it is done after two coats.  It almost has a sort of linoleum look now which I'm liking, and it hides dirt so much better than the solid grey.

I'm looking forward to seeing the stencil over top and crossing my fingers that it goes as well as the glaze did.  As a reminder, this is what we are going for:

I hope to complete this today and then see if I need to add the black squares and do some sanding to give it an antiqued feel. And then on Wednesday I hope to clear coat it. Ambitious, I know, but I can't wait to have it done!  What do you think so far?

The Master Bedroom

Friday, January 11, 2013

So remember back before Bryan was born? I'd done a little concept board for his room and Scott liked it so much that he wanted me to do one for every room in the house (and the end product was pretty much on par with what the board looked like, so now he's definitely hooked) . Now, concept boards for existing spaces are easier said than done. It's always nice to have clean uncluttered images of all the pieces your putting in a room, and that's not always possible when you have a photo of your banged up coffee table with kids toys around it, but the intention is to paint is and re-use it in the space with all the new stuff.  So, needless to say, I never really got around to concept boards for the rest of the house. That's probably why I struggled so much with the look and feel of our bedroom in LA. 

Anyways, we pretty much transferred the decor in Bryan's room over to the NJ house so no need for a board there - really just a change in wall color and some new window treatments will make it feel like a fresh new space.  But the master bedroom here in NJ is still a struggle.  We had it in one arrangement and then shifted the furniture to a new wall and like it much better.  That said, it's nowhere near done. I want to do an upholstered headboard again (this time NOT a DIY) and get a Morrocan Beni Ourain sort of rug since it's colder in these parts. I love the idea of using sconces instead of lamps so they don't block the framed chinoiserie panels that will now be flanking the bed.  Using sconces also frees up some valuable space on the nightstands. And of course one day I'd love to do lucite nightstands to really make the panels pop.  But more immediately, I want to paint the campaign dressers a color.  Since the walls are already a grey that we had decided on, I have to work around that.  Shouldn't be a problem right? I chose the grey after all.  Well, after my orange coffee table incident (after painting it orange I suddenly developed an aversion to that color), I am a little scared of orange and other bright paint colors on furniture.  So the concept boards are even more vital.  Here is what our bedroom looks like now (forgive the clutter and lack of staging, otherwise this post probably never would have happened).

Here are a few boards that I tried out.  Mainly to figure out the wall / headboard / dressers color combo (and obviously that turqoise was a serious contender for the dressers, and clearly I still have a thing for orange):
Here is the final color arrangement.

Yellow headboard, blue dressers (but not too bright!).  I bought the yellow pillow in the above picture at Target today and I'm loving the brightness it brings to the room. Now to figure out what to do about the bedding (I think the white with the lines is too similar to the rug concept) and what to do with the windows.  Any ideas? I'm sort of digging something block printed or colored on the bed? Or maybe a simple roman shade on the window with a contrast band?


Monday, January 7, 2013

sometimes gets in the way of blogging.  So I guess you could say we've been doing a lot of living: renovating, traveling, hosting, entertaining.  We're glad to be settled back into the house (that is almost done) and looking forward to finding a rhythm to daily life in New Jersey.  Happy New Year to everyone! Hoping to share a bit more in 2013.

Art that looks like interiors...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Living Room by Martial Interiors, Office by Unknown, Bedroom by Larry Laslo

- Lauren