Jess B House Update -- Paint Scheme

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Its Jess B here. I hope everyone’s snow adventure was safe and uneventful. As I looked around the drab and bleary conditions, I got inspired to write about my next home decision challenge – color! I’m talking about my interior paint choices.

My goal for the house was to keep the color scheme warm, light and airy. Since my kitchen is open to nearly every room on the first floor, it was my starting point. I needed a color that would be neutral enough to blend with the adjacent spaces. Yet, I wanted the space to “pop.”

Early in the project I decided to use “Dove White” for the kitchen cabinets and “Chelsea Gray” for the island. Choosing the right shade of gray for the walls was the next step. From there, I took to the internet for inspirations. Gray Owl, Revere Pewter, Stonington Gray and Silver Chain seemed to be featured the most. I wanted a gray that was warm without being beige, green or purple.

The best way to find a shade that works in a space is to try it. I had samples made from my local paint store as well as large color sheets that I ordered from Benjamin Moore. I found the color swatches to be easier because I discovered that the small paint samples in lighter colors may not be a true match to the actually color mixed by the gallon.
As you can see here the Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter is much lighter than the actual color sheet. I thought it was a mixing error and brought the sample back to my local paint store. I showed them the difference and they explained to me that as they mix the colors in the small jars there are rounding in the pigment ratios. The smaller the amount that's mixed, the more margin of error can happen. While the small paint samples can be really helpful keep this in mind and always compare your samples to the actual color sheet.

For some reason, I can’t find the pictures I took of the paint testing process.  What I can tell you is that Gray Owl was too green, Revere Pewter was too beige and Stonington Gray was too blue.  Silver Chain was just right!  I then did a similar process for each room of the first floor, making sure that tone blended well into the next room.  The final result this warm and soft 1st floor color scheme! Stayed tune for photos of the rooms as they are put together!

Off the CHart - Online Art Buying

Monday, January 18, 2016

Its Jess B here.  As our construction project is winding down, I'm now switching gears from choosing the permanent fixtures to the softer things that pull the room together.  Art, of course, is a part of the mix for me.

I'm spending a lot of time online looking for art that will help complete the spaces.  I thought it would be a good idea to share my top 5 favorite resources.

1. Minted - Minted is much more then a place to buy wedding stationary.  It is a design-driven marketplace where you can find anything from housewares, stationary and curated art.  Prices are reasonable and even have a mix and match section if you are really stumped on how to pair works.

2. Saatchi Art - Charles Saatchi's estranged distant cousin Saatchi Art is like a supermarket of mediums.  Prices range from under $100 to into 5-figure territory.  The sheer volume of material available, can make the site daunting.  But, with strict parameters, there are unique finds.

3. Etsy - Etsy can also be a black hole of mediocre art. I tend to think outside the box with Etsy and look for things like letterpress and textiles.

4. Art Artists and Artwork - Art Artists and Artwork is actually a Facebook page that I follow.  Their feed features a steady stream of member artists. They do have a limited number of works that can be purchased directly on their website.  

5. 20/200 - 20/200 has come back from their financial troubles from a few years ago.  The site has a large selection of curated prints at great prices points.

Jess B House Update -- Wood Floors

Monday, January 11, 2016

Its Jess B here. While Jess has been busy with her new house, I have been consumed with my own house renovation.  I had good intentions of writing along with the progress but I'm way behind in posts as life, work, kids... got in the way. Excuses aside, I thought it would be helpful to write a series of articles on the house decisions that really kept me up at night.

First on my list was choosing the floor color.   All the inspiration images I gravitated toward were of dark wood.  I knew my 8-foot ceiling entry wouldn't magically transform into the showstoppers below but I loved the drama and contrast.
What worried me was the maintenance.  Would the dark floors show every speck of dust?

I had my contractor put a bunch of combinations on the floor to help me decide.
Looking at the image, the left two were also "water popped."  Basically, the floor is damped before stain is apply to help deepen and darken the color.  Of course, I gravitated toward those two.  The dark walnut/ebony mix read more brown and the Jacobean/ebony seemed a bit cooler.

The next day I came back to the house and I got a good idea of what the floors would look like dirty.
Ok, its not really a fair true to life test.  I had my mind made up anyway.  My design concept was too strong to compromise and decided to have the floors water popped with the 50% Ebony/50% Jacobean mix.  

Here is the final result.
I am beyond thrilled with the results.  The floors are deep and rich without feeling too dark. Please ignore the unfinished state of the rooms.  I'll post lots more photos when everything is put together.  

In all honesty the floors are more difficult to maintain then the light oak we had previously.  I am vacuuming and "swiffering" a lot. They do show more dirt but even the extra work wouldn't have me change anything.   

A little New House Update

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Happy New Year Everyone!  Well, I've been kind of bad about posting house updates. So I'm trying to give you a big update. For smaller progress updates, please follow me on instagram (@jessdnest).

Since we closed on the new house in mid December, it's been a whirlwind of infrastructure updates, holidays, other random surprises and generally trying to keep up with life with two small children.  So here is a list of everything we have done so far - admittedly most of it is not very sexy:

- Painted the interior
- Installed new light fixtures (in the living, entry, family and master)
- Rebuilt main chimney from the roof up (and fixed some flashing and slates on the roof)
- Did some structural work under the house, replacing beams and jacking up our solarium
- Repaired a leaking toilet drain
- Serviced the radiators and steam heat
- Hung some of our existing artwork

I'm excited to move on to some of the more fun parts of the project.  The lighting and paint has been fun, and hanging artwork has made the house feel more like a home, but digging into some DIY's and furnishings will really make the place more alive.  Here are some photos of where we are so far from my instagram feed:

New light fixtures up in the dining and family rooms
New light fixture, art and salvaged window frame mirror in the entry.
 Me hanging crystals on the living room chandelier (it took forever but was so worth it)
Vintage modern style fans in the kids rooms (I am not a fan person but these were nice looking and practical) and a mid-century light fixture in the master - plus our new oriental rug and king bed.
 Thinking about ideas for how to make the powder room cool. And a gallery wall started on the landing.

Most of these are very much half finished, but they give you an idea of progress and hopefully you can kind of see where we are going.  But that said, it's always good to see concept images are our jumping off points. I've been doing a lot of pinterest concepting as well. You can follow my boards here but here is a medley of images that I am taking queues from.

In most of the rooms (except for the kitchen and baths), decorating will be the name of the game. I am trying to go for an eclectic airy feel with a mix of vintage and modern. Unlike my last house I want this to feel more undone and like something gathered and evolved over time.  I'm looking for a few rugs and additional pieces to fill stuff out, but of course it's always hard to balance furnishings and renovations budgets.  I also hope to do a DIY wallcovering on the powder room walls (more on that later).  The kitchen will need a larger renovation down the road. In the meantime, I plan to switch out the lighting, paint the cabinets, do some painted pattern on the floors (concept above) and get some sort of rustic kitchen table to serve as an island (also per the concept above).

As far as Other projects in the near future I hope to:

- Put in a picket fence to create a play space in the yard
- Create a (possibly DIY) stone patio outside
- Put in a Victorian shed / playhouse to store our yard care equipment and serve as a fun kids space
- Paint the exterior (see my color post here - plan to give a few updates soon on this)
- Fix the stained glass windows
- Move laundry room upstairs

I want to say these projects are all no more than a year out but as the budget comes into focus and things get ticked off the list, of course projects get pushed further and further back in the timeline. I am thinking 2-3 years for most of these and then another 3 or so before a real kitchen reno.

Our biggest impending project and something I hinted at a while back is that we will be creating an Airbnb Suite in our back bedroom with its own bath and separate entrance.  This is part of our laundry room relocation project. I can't wait to share those plans with you and our ideas for making an inviting guest space for our own guests and visitors to the neighborhood. Stay tuned.

What do you have planned for 2016?  It's gonna be an exciting year.