Friday, May 6, 2022

The "Vacation" Update: Why Rebecca and Bernie Have Sore Muscles and Bare Windows Instead of Suntans

Hello and Happy Shiny New Month of May to all of you!  I have so much to share after taking three weeks off; I don't even know where to begin.  (If you only follow me for the quilting eye candy, you may want to skip this one.  It's okay if you do -- I will still love you!)

I didn't actually go anywhere exciting; my husband and I just needed that chunk of time to kick off some long overdue interior updates before the boys came home from college.

Casualties of My Changing Taste: These Custom Draperies Had to Go

When I decorated this house fifteen years ago, that "Tuscan Villa" look was all the rage and I have been living in a sea of mustard gold, brown, terra cotta, and Merlot ever since.  And, full disclosure here, it was not just the walls -- I had the ceilings painted a 50% tint of the wall color in most rooms as well.  I have been ready for a change for a long time, but it's so overwhelming to start over when everything is connected to everything else like Dominoes and one small change can quickly lead to changing everything...  

After being trapped in our home, surrounded by walls the color of baby poop for two years during the Pandemic, though, my husband and I were in agreement that The Time Had Come.

Our "Vacation Photos": Bernie Painting the Living Room Ceiling

Our home has an open floor plan with vaulted ceilings in the foyer and in the kitchen, so the main wall color connects the foyer, downstairs hallway, kitchen, family room, living room, both stairwells, as well as the upstairs hallway.  All of those walls were previously Sherwin Willians Restrained Gold, and after our "vacation" they are all a neutral warm gray shade, Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige.  

Previous Wall Color Throughout My Home

New Wall Color Throughout My Home

Of course the new wall color does not work with any of the upholstered furniture, the wall-to-wall patterned wool carpeting in the living room, or the custom drapery panels throughout the main floor of our home, which is one of the main reasons we resisted updating for so long.  It finally has gotten to the point that the upholstered furniture we bought when the kids were little is looking shabby and needing to be replaced/reupholstered anyway, and the hardwood floors need refinishing...  This will be a long process for sure, one piece at a time, but we are loving the lighter wall color and taking it a step at a time.

We didn't just paint walls and windows, by the way.  My kitchen cabinets had a honey-orangey stain finish similar to the floors, and I had yards and yards of custom draperies made up in a peach/terra cotta Vervain fabric that I was in love with when I bought it and spent way too much money on, to be honest.  (Bernie tried putting those drapery panels back up after repainting the walls but they did NOT work, and I was ready to thank them for their service and let them go!)

Paired with the gold walls, my old kitchen was looking very dated, very yellow and orange, and it was time for a change there as well.

My Kitchen Pre "Vacation"

Now that both of our sons are in college, I don't know how long we'll want to stay in this big house before we think about downsizing to a floorplan better suited to empty nesters, so I'm not about to replace my kitchen cabinets or my granite countertops (longtime blog readers will remember when I had these installed in 2011).  Instead, we repainted the cabinets with Sherwin Williams Ripe Olive and I swapped out the bronze cabinet knobs for an updated satin brass knob that really pops against the dark green paint.

Same Kitchen After "Vacation"

That's the new Accessible Beige wall color in the kitchen as well.  I am loving my new colors!  

Brief Experiment to See if Old Draperies Work with New Wall Color

(I did NOT love it when my husband put the orange drapery panels up again after painting, to "see if they would work".  They are gone now!). Those pendant fixtures above the island will eventually get replaced with something that has more of a vintage industrial vibe, like this one:

Possible Replacement for Island Pendants?

Not sure whether the chandelier above the kitchen table will survive my decor revisions, either.  I'm not in a rush to order new light fixtures or furniture, though.  We still haven't decided about repainting the dining room walls and ceiling (my faux painter did an amazing job on that ceiling eleven years ago and my husband still loves it, but I think it's way too formal and ornate for what we're trying to accomplish with our updates).  Once we're finished painting, the next big thing is going to be the hardwood floors, which are in really bad shape and need refinishing.  We're planning to have that living room carpeting removed and replaced with hardwood when they do the refinishing because it's the ideal opportunity to ensure that the new and old flooring matches up perfectly without a visible transition.  I still have to decide whether to have the floors refinished in that same honey oak color family or if I want to go with a darker brown.  I'm sick of orangey wood tones but if I go to a brown stain on the floor I would need to have the stair treads and railings on two flights of stairs plus the railings upstairs looking down over the foyer and kitchen.  The floors get sanded by machine but railings and stair treads are hand labor, so there's a significant labor cost to that.  We'll see.  I'd love to replace the wall-to-wall carpeting upstairs as well but the thought of having to empty all of the furniture for that is daunting -- especially all of the gym equipment from the third floor and my long arm studio...  I think that the carpeting is going to have to stay just because the logistics of replacing it would be such a nightmare.

Anyway, I've had a busy couple of weeks since I've been back to work and it feels good to be quilting again!  One son moved home from college yesterday and the other son will be home on Sunday.  My laundry machines will be working around the clock for sure.  Have a happy Mother's Day, to all of you mothers and to all of you sons and daughters of mothers!  Hope you get some stitching time in this weekend as well.


Gretchen Weaver said...

Updating the house is a LOT of work but so worth it. I'd leave the hardwood floors the way they are now, the sanding sounds just like too much work and cost. I'm glad you've been able to find some time for quilting now, happy stitching!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

so much work ! you have been busy for sure no wonder we didn't hear from you for awhile - that is one problem when you decorate to a theme throughout the whole house - sounds like you have a very big house too - what you show is great said...

Love your updated kitchen cabinets! Yes, there is so much work involved when you start the process. It really is a domino effect, isn't it? I hope you are able to play with your fabrics and quilting while you let your ideas percolate!

Sandy said...

Wow! This all sounds like a Herculean task -- you have accomplished so much! I'm sure your sons will be surprised at the new look. Happy Mother's Day!

Pamela Arbour said...

That was quite an undertaking but you two did a great job. I like your countertops. Mine were similar to yours in my previous house and I loved them. I sure wish I had them in my new house. I love the warm colors.

Barb Neiwert said...

What a refreshing transition! Your stay-cation was certainly a back breaker but a welcome transformation for you. Did your boys like the changes? I am ready to do something with our home - we still have one red accent wall that runs from the kitchen around and over to the dining room. Egads! We've been in this house for almost 10 years and it's definitely time for it to go, lol. But I can't decide on the right color. It's not as easy as matching fabrics! Enjoy your updates!

DonnaleeQ said...

Oh my, what a chore. Been there for sure. Several years ago I decided we had to take a huge wall out between our kitchen, breakfast dining area and family room between our formal dining room and formal living room. We pulled out carpet, and tons of tile and went with wood floors. It included also included taking panels with tube light above the kitchen to updated can lights. We love the huge expand living areas. Lots of work but worth the money and time. I know you will enjoy your new area so much more. Your changes look wonderful.


Jenny K. Lyon said...

Oh I would hate to do all that painting and have the house in a mess for 3 weeks! BUt what a change and boy was it worth it - so clean and refreshed. Is that a Wolf I see? MIne is on order and I wonder how you like yours. NOw, you need a real vacation!

margot said...

I feel for you guys! I’m in the same boat - right down to the paint and floor colors although I did not follow the Tuscan theme. Open floor plans - a blessing and a curse! My son is getting married in early September and I’d like to have major things changed by the time extended family descends. Our progress was delayed by our daughter’s 9 month long move from Chicago to Seattle with stops/storage at our home in between. Everything looks lovely so far though and I p, for one, can’t wait to see what your next decisions bring!

Darlene S said...

Oh my, what a big project. I thought your kitchen looked great before, but I must admit I really like how you painted your cabinets. Overall, your home looks refreshed and so inviting. Once again, you have a great eye for color.

Peacemeal said...

So you have a second "career" as home designer - you did a marvelous job on this remake! Beautiful! I'd love to leave the keys and go on vacation and come back and have it done. I spend so much time in the workroom, that I probably couldn't tell you what the dining room fixture looks like!

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

Beautiful and it has lightened the house up! Have you considered a very light contrasting green for the curtains - I totally agree that the old ones need to go away! If you have not priced the floor job be sure you are sitting down. Things are almost twice the price of anything - that includes my hearing aids, and dental work coming in June!!!! I am glad my long arm quilter probably won't be available until August! But I agree that an update is uplifting even if it costs more. Long term if you downsize, it makes your house worth more!! Enjoy coming back to quilting again. Hugs

Preeti said...

Hope you love the new look and get some well-deserved rest. I am at the other end of the spectrum when it comes to home improvements. The rug in the kitchen/dining area covers a horribly cracked floor :-D

Kathleen said...

I love everything you did! Funny how sometimes the husbands just want to do something, no matter how much it doesn't work. Mine recently decided our 20" tv screen needed covering. He found a quilt - that my son and I started when he was 7 or so - and brought that down. Looked awful. I said I would do something but this wasn't it, more like calling attention to it rather than making it look good. Anyway, you did a fabulous job updating your space!