Thursday, May 23, 2013

goodbye gray : a painted makeover - a paintover?

One project on my list last weekend was to add some colour to the craft room/office. There is a flat-weave, beige patterned rug in there and the walls are a very light gray, aptly named Chelsea Fog. You may have seen it in my post on photo ledges. I actually really love the gray in that space. I find that having a neutral colour on the walls helps keep my mind clear to create. 

That said, a room full of neutrals can feel a bit flat - particularly if it's been overcast and drizzly for the past, oh say, ten days.

Although I wasn't quite ready to paint any of our hand-me-down, solid wood furniture just yet, I knew I could easily tackle the concrete (plaster?) planter. It was a Winners find sometime last winter for around $20. And it would give me an excuse to browse the paint chip aisle.

Here's what it looked like before:

See how it kind of blends in to the wall behind it? It looks better in this pic than it does in person.

I was contemplating either a dark teal, sunny yellow or a kelly or emerald green. After I got the nod of approval from D, guess which one I picked... Keep quiet if you saw my sneak peek yesterday ;)

Emerald. Specifically, Eleanor's Emerald by CIL.

Here is how the project went down:

- I put my hot painting clothes on, grabbed a 2" angled brush, a butter knife (to pop the can) and some newspaper/cardboard.

- I laid down newspaper and then cardboard to protect the floor. The cardboard was easy to peel away from the painted surface, but a drop cloth or plastic tarp would work well too.

- I taped around the inside of the rim with painter's tape for a clean line on the inside. Since the tree is a swirly bugger and actually rests on the rim in one spot, I decided to tape him up too just to be safe. If you squint, you can see this in the bottom right photo below.


- To get even coverage, I did three thin coats of paint working my way around. In hindsight, I probably should have used primer first but since this tree will stay inside (at least for now) it'll be fine. If you plan to house yours outdoors, I would recommend priming, and also using a sealant afterwards. Gotta protect it from the elements.

- I peeled off the tape after painting & slid the planter back in its place.

PS: I listened to Design*Sponge answer FAQs about their blog while I painted. Grace & Amy were so lively to listen to - a welcomed distraction!


I have to admit when I decided on green I was a bit nervous about it being too much green with the leaves and all, but I intentionally chose a green that was more blue since I knew the plant had yellow undertones. This gives it a bit more contrast than if the planter was a lime-y colour.

Here's how it turned out:

I'm so happy with it. Every time I walk into the room my eye goes right to that corner. Thankfully, it helps distract from the fact that there is a Star Wars poster hanging above it. I know how to pick my battles when it comes to decorating...

It's surprising how painting an accessory can have a big impact. And now that it's done - I've been thinking about what else I could do to tie the room together. Next on the docket:

- Hang curtain rod & panel on the window
- Fix the lack of closet door situation
- Re-organize bookshelf
- Get diploma from home & hang it up

Are you an emerald fan? 

If you did any decor projects recently, feel free to link up in the comments, I'd love to see!

xx Janelle

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

small apartment : show me the green

I painted something this past weekend. And wouldn't you know it's in Pantone's Color of the Year for 2013 --- Emerald.

I'll spill the details soon. My brain is just feeling a bit foggy from so much computer time at work and in the evenings. Time to switch off for the night.

Any guesses on what has been given a new life with this splashy green?

See you soon (I promise!),
xx Janelle

Thursday, May 16, 2013

stop chasing, start choosing.

Made this on Tuesday, inspired by Paul Dalton's quote from the article below.

On Tuesday night I read a Tiny Buddha article exploring the idea of being authentically happy. Part of the article really resonated with me and I wanted to share.

I really like the word authentic. While genuine is usually used in reference to an image or expression we show to others, authentic seems to imply more of a connection with oneself. It's a bit more reflective. And as a classic neurotic over-thinker, I'm comfortable with reflection. I can understand it.

#2 in Paul Dalton's list of how to be more authentically happy starts off with a bit of a Freudian ego/id complex and then goes into something I've been struggling with lately - wanting things. I've spent a large chunk of time mindlessly and compulsively clicking through F21 and Victoria's Secret, making summer wardrobe wish lists and quietly coveting bloggers' new purses or dresses. And yet when my eyes are pulled from the glowing screen to the growing pile of clothes on the floor I can't help but imagine how much lighter I would feel if I just gave it all away.

Okay, definitely not all of it - but a lot of it. At this point, I think my thought processes, values and beliefs lean a bit toward minimalism, but my actions and behaviours for the most part do not. In other words, I'm not exactly living with congruity.

I'm hoping to make a few gradual changes over the next little while and will keep you posted on the progress. I hesitate to follow any specific challenges or rules, like "give away 100 things" or "wear only 30 items of clothing for 30 days". Instead, I'm going to take inventory of what I have, what I need and what I would like. More importantly, instead of being stressed by mess and clutter, I want my apartment to be cozy, welcoming, relaxing and to encourage creativity.

This may seem a little vague, but the truth is I am just beginning to explore this idea. While I don't see myself becoming a true minimalist anytime soon - I want to want less.

And this time, i
nstead of wishing, hoping and waiting. I'm going to try changing. Step one is to pare down.

Would you ever try minimalist living or living with less? If anyone has any useful resources for moderate minimalism, I would love to see them - blogs, books, websites... I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks so much for reading,
xx Janelle