Sunday, October 9, 2011

Shutters are up and it's done-zo!

Finally, my shutters are up and the exterior of the house is done. From 2 years ago to now!

New paint (Brown Tee Pee by Behr; New shutters (; new lighting from Lowes; 

Before: (2 years ago)

My fall yard plan is to trim a lot of of the shrubs and two large trees in front of the house and that's that!


Here are some of my dahlias I planted this year. Unfortunately, I planted the tubers a little too late and while they've been blooming for a few weeks now, it will soon frost here in RI and I'm afraid my 2011 season of dahlias will just have been way too short!

Anyway, here are some of my favorites!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ta-Da, they are done!

Whewwwwwwww! I feel like I just went down the hill on a rollercoaster!!!

Just over one week later, the stripes are done! This project didn't take me one solid week, but I gave myself plenty of time to do it because I just knew it would be extremely tedious. Actually, Wed-Sat this past week were gorgeous summer days here and I didn't pick up my paintbrush once. Ultimately, I worked Sun, Mon, Tues, Sun, Mon on it.

I was excited to get the room back in working order today after finishing the second coat on the last wall, so here is a pic I captured just a short while ago. The accessorizing is basic, nothing too overblown or with anything new. From the start, I intended to keep the existing white bedding and bubble shades (both from Target), but I switched out the curtain rods (to ones I already owned, but never put up in this house, so no cost there).

Again, a look at the before w/ the seller's blue walls:

And, NOW!

Colors: Behr's Chocolate Froth (lighter color) & Wheat Bread (darker color)
Supply: Used about 2/3 of one gallon of Chocolate Froth (2 coats); Almost 2 full quarts of Wheat Bread (2 coats); 2.5 rolls of 1-inch Frog tape

What did I learn from this project?

  • My ceiling isn't quite level. This was challenging for measuring the first set of stripes from the top of the wall. The eye wants to see them the same distance from the top of the ceiling the whole way around this room AND intersect window frames from the same point on each side--uh, tough to do.
  • Frog tape rocks to make clean tape lines. It's very tough, though, to maneuver in high humidity and loses its adhesiveness quickly if you mess with it a lot, causing it to buckle and peel a little. So, you've got to press the tape down tightly just before rolling the paint on.
  • Patience and taking breaks made this possible. My only goal was to finish it before I went back to school on August 23. Accomplished! This is not a weekend job--at least not for me!
  • I don't know if I would do this again.
  • I'd have to have a pretty darned good reason to EVER paint this room again!
  • I love the final product---a lot!!!
  • I really love Home Depot, but I strongly dislike Behr paint. For the base color, I used their new "Ultra" paint, which boasts about its built-in primer. This paint did not offer any higher quality coverage than paint I had used before. In fact, basic Benjamin Moore paint has better coverage than this paint. Then, when I painted the darker stripes, I used the regular Behr paint. It was very thin. Two coats were a must. I had a store credit for Home Depot and that is mainly why I used Behr paint. In the future, I'll definitely go back to Benjamin Moore and save my store credit for other things.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Here's an update.....Well, after peeling the tape on the test wall, I deemed it a success!

I turned the corner...literally! I've just started taping on the other side of the window and I ran out a tape and am almost out of the "Wheat Bread" stripe color (I clearly underestimated my supply demands--I only bought one quart of the wheat bread and I probably had enough to do the first coat of the next wall, but not 2 coats on the rest of the walls.) PS, the lighting is bad because I used my iPhone for these pics and not my regular camera w/ a flash.


To the other side of the window! Using the lower stripe line to keep both sides of the window consistent. Fingers crossed!

Step by by day! I'll get there! I have 2 weeks until school starts back up and this room will be done!

Monday, August 8, 2011

This is what I've been up to...

....and I'm super exhausted already and it's not even close to being completed yet!

I have always been drawn to striped walls like these:

Now, all I needed was tape, paint, and patience. The kicker in never embarking on this process was the patience factor...

Last week, my inspiration was sparked by a friend's room that she just completed featuring gorgeous striped walls. She made it look so easy and gorgeous, I was set on biting the bullet and copying her look!

I decided the guest bedroom was the place to try this experiment. Here is a recent photo of the guest bedroom with its original seller's blue walls:

Here is where I am at so far...I painted the walls "Chocolate Froth" by Behr (2 coats):

Then, I taped the wall (ONE wall so far) ....I marked the wall in 8 inch intervals 4x across the width of the wall. Then, tried to line of the tape so it was level. THIS was the most frustrating part of the project (as I expected it would be and ultimately, the reason why I've never tried this project before!) I marked with a random piece of tape the areas that would be painted so I would remember to put the tape either below or above the 8 inch mark points. The main problem is that your eye starts to play optical illusions with the tape lines and they start to move and....needless to say, I kept obsessing with my level and measuring tape (and a few curse words here and there!)

Then, I rolled the color "Wheat Bread" (the next color down on the Behr paint chip). The frog tape kept peeling up because it's humid out today, so I had to press it down firmly again just before rolling. I used a brush to do the sides around the edges. The first coat is drying as we speak and I will apply the second coat later tonight (as I have to leave soon to go to a meeting at work and then teach a spin class!).

Hopefully, tonight after I do the second coat & peel the tape, I will love it so much, the remaining walls will be taped and follow in suit....but, I can't make any guarantees! That is why I only did one wall right now. If I hate it and deem myself "unfit to tape stripes properly" I will just paint over the wall again in Chocolate Froth...

We shall see what the future brings!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

MLS Photo Fun

Lonny and Franny* were having company over for a dinner party & to watch the Red Sox game.

The first thing Lonny did was tidy up the front yard to prepare for their guests.
Then, Franny set up a second TV for people who weren't interested in watching the Red Sox game (losers!)

Franny then called to Lonny, "Honey, make sure the bears are ready for bed before everybody gets here, I don't want them disturbed."

**Franny and Lonny aren't real people.

I hate waiting.... I put up the new front step lights myself rather than calling someone (why I did this on an 85 degree day that is hazy, hot, and insanely humid---well, muggy as all Hell--I don't know!)

Man, this took longer than I thought as the screws that came w/ the fixtures were too long to make the light flush up against the house and I had to hunt through my stash of supplies to find some suitable substitutes. Anyway, an hour later, I had both lights up on either side of the front step. Again, as I mentioned in an earlier post last week, they were $39.97 by Hampton Bay at Home Depot. There was a larger size, maybe I should've gotten those, but I feel like they look a bit smaller in this dimly lit photo from my iPhone. But, I do love their styling and they're not too small--there were certainly smaller lanterns at Home Depot for sure. I also checked Lowe's and didn't really love their selection of exterior lights.

Here is a before & after of the front door w/ paint, new mailbox (14.99 from Home Depot), and lighting:

I also installed the floodlight w/ motion detection on the back deck. The challenge here was the old light was wedged under one of the wood shake siding shingles. I had to tilt the new fixture to fit it into place where the old one was. 

After all was said and done, I was so happy when I turned on the breaker and the lights worked!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

House paint is done, just waiting on those shutters....

Hey everybody! The painters finished my house this week and I'm just waiting on my new black shutters to arrive from!

To remind you, the BEFORE (and this is w/ the old rusty colored roof)

And now, the AFTER with a new roof with architectural shingles in "Driftwood" and exterior paint in "Brown Teepee" by Behr. Black shutters, a new mailbox, and lighting to come soon--but I wanted to post an update now! Let's not talk about how i opted for no impatiens this year and my flower beds lack major color...ugh. The zinnias are doing great, but they are hard to see from far away!

Here's a before and after of the back of the house:



Hmmm, next I need to do something about those unsightly (and seemingly functionless) cinder blocks under the deck. I'm thinking a wood lattice panel.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New lights for the front door...

I purchased two of these lights for the front door area of the house to finish off the look of the new paint job! I wanted a traditional misson style lamp and I think for the price, these do the job quite nicely--I definitely didn't want to spend more than $50 per lamp. Man, these lamps are expensive out there! I also picked up a motion detector flood light for the back deck.

I also purchased some oil-rubbed bronze spray paint to do the mailbox and the door handle on the door......we'll see how that goes later!

They were $39.97 each from Home Depot. They are formally known as  the "Hampton Bay Wall-Mount 1-Light Outdoor Oil Rubbed Chestnut Lantern" (here's a link if you want to check them out on the Home Depot page: Link

Not sure if I'm going to install these myself or have someone come do it...

July flowers!

I'm always torn with cutting flowers....I love the way they look outside adorning the front of my house, but I also love to enjoy them in a vase in my house! I bit the bullet and snipped juuuuuuust a few this morning.

I love the deep blue of the hydrangeas (without them turning purple) and the vibrant purple and yellow gladiolus.

Sneak Peak!

Here is a shot of the front door area in the newwwwww paint color!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lights worth a look! has some really cool lights! (That site has everything, man! I mean, where else could you find a watch, a light, a tent, a jumperoo for your toddler, and a new sheet for your bed!)

I thought these chandeliers under $160 were inventive ways to add some flair to one's home without going too overboard on price or style. (click on the pics to a link to its page on

1. Five light rectangular glass for $139.99:
2. "Rose" design metalwork pendant for $129.99:

3. Nickle chandelier for $149.99

4. Copper & Glass pendant for $159.99:

5. Antique Copper Lantern-Style pendant for $139.99:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day

Enjoy this celebration of America's independence! This video is a wonderful take on why the colonists wanted to separate from the British crown. I actually show this video to my AP Government class for a laugh after we discuss the foundation of American democracy......I think you non-history dorks might enjoy as well!

It's "Too Late To Apologize: A Declaration" to One Republic's "Too Late to Apologize"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer Reading....

Hey everybody!

I just finished reading a book by an English author Harriet Evans titled "The Love of Her Life." I've never read anything by Evans before, so I was looking forward to branching out to a new author.

The book circles around the main character, Kate, a late 20s/early 30s something woman working in NYC after moving across the pond from England in the year 2007. She is living with her mother and stepfather in Manhattan and receives notice that her father, back in England, is sick due to a kidney transplant that could go wrong...basically, Kate feels as though this is her time to say goodbye to her father, btu she feels reluctant and apprehensive about going home to London. Hmmmm, I wonder why!?!?

When Kate arrives in London, she returns to her flat that had just been vacated by a sub-letter. Clearly, being back in London and the apartment are surreal...the reader quickly senses that Kate had left London after some sort of tragedy, breakup, or both, but Evans keeps us hanging on to figure out what happened. Suddenly, we're transported back in time to 2003 where everything began.

Overall, I enjoyed this book despite its slow start and length (it was 300+ pages). I enjoyed the way Evans wove various characters' lives together and the events that transpired causing Kate to leave London. It was a good summer-by-the-pool-or-beach-read. Enjoy!

Now, I'm onto this book "Life As I Know IT" by Melanie Rose....another author I've never read before. We shall see how it goes!