Gray is making me go gray

As mentioned in a previous post, we decided to paint our living/dining room, and expanded to entry way, with a color match of BM Thunder from the affinity collection. Since it’s not BM paint, it’s probably just a close match, but we love it!

Now on to the main room and kitchen color. And I am having SUCH. A. HARD. TIME. CHOOSING.

I have literally tested ~11 colors now and have samples coming out of my ears. The colors seem to look very different on different walls, and I don’t want something that is going to go too cool. These are North facing rooms, so I think that is part of our issue with the lighting vs. how easy it was for our first go round. Plus, it needs to look good against Thunder but be lighter, more airy and hopefully a bit warmer.

Here are all the colors I’m considering and our front runner in the “?!”! I know they look so very close in this image but on the wall they look quite different. Any suggestions welcomed!


Bathroom & Cabinet Refresh

Happy Spring!

In honor of Spring, today, I’m painting our downstairs bathroom cabinets and giving the room a refresh. This is important to me to get done now, because we have our guests stay down here during our renovation, and we have some coming in just a week or so! I’d like them to be cozy and no look at the patched drywall we have from one of many plumbing disasters so far. So… a paint update is in order!

I headed over to home depot, and grabbed a small can of paint and we already have on hand some semi gloss trim paint + primer in one. I’m going to use that for this small vanity and medicine cabinet, then hit the walls.

Painters Tape
Sanding Block (or sand paper)
Purdy Paint Brush
Foam Paint Roller
Paint of your choice
Recommended: primer (I’m skipping this step)!
Updated knobs if you want

First, start by giving the space a good clean and scrub down. I’d already done this when we moved in but did scrub these cabinets in depth before starting to sand.
Next, you’re ready to sand. Go with the grain.
Once you have done this, you’ll want to vacuum your cabinets with a soft brush and/or wipe down with a wet rag/cheesecloth to get all the loose sand off.
Tape off your walls/areas you don’t want paint!
Prime & wait to dry.
Give a light sanding

You want to use a brush on areas without a flat surface or that you can’t get with your roller.
Roll the rest.

Now, I’m pretty good at “cutting in” but in small spaces it’s still best to tape off so I’d highly recommend. If you want a super clean line, apply caulk to the edge of your paint line and then remove tape while paint is still wet!

Before and After images coming soon:

Black Mold and How to Fix

Uh oh, you guys. We finally found the source of the terrible smell in our laundry room: black mold!
We were finally doing demo of this room, and after taking out the granite counter/sink and the cabinets we found: BLACK MOLD! EW.
But actually I’m very happy because a.) now i know I’m not crazy and was RIGHT it smelled terrible in there. and b.) we can fix this and move on with a LOVELY laundry room!

So if you’re wondering what black mold looks like, it’s pretty clear, but this is it:

And it smells to me like mildew and cat urine mixed together (yuck). You can also be suspicious if you have it if you’ve been having allergy symptoms in your house or an area where you might suspect it to be, as it causes mainly sinus issues and allergic symptoms like sneezing, runny nose and coughing. All of which I had in there!

Now for what to do:
1. Stop what you’re doing when you find it, and head out and grab a ventilation mask that says it’s meant for mold. Since you’ll be disturbing the spores you want to protect yourself. It’s also recommended to wear long sleeves/pants when removing so as not to come in too much contact with this stuff. And then to throw that stuff away in a sealed bag, so use something you were going to take to Good Will, anyways!
2. Quarantine off the area. In our case we just put the door back on and shut it, but you might want to put up plastic to separate it from the rest of the room.
3. Whilst at the store (#1) grab a moldicide. We got this one. And then spray it all over the stuff and let dry overnight. Ours was near a door we could keep open to dry or point a fan at it over night.
4. Clean up! Bleach and water mixture (or i’ve read about some great solutions with tea tree oil), and scrub the mold off. In our case we cut out the drywall where this was and were disposing of all the other stuff, anyways. We did spray it with moldicide, though so as not to send this to someone else as a problem. Be sure to dispose of everything you used that came in contact with the mold, better to be safe than sorry with this stuff spreading.
5. Paint with an oil based primer – we chose KILZ Original. Let dry fully.
6. You’re ready to rock and move on with your project!

Have you encountered black mold? Any other good tips to share?

Gray or Greige? (Paint!)

The Quail House is currently 100% … let’s call it a light beige. My best guess is they never had painted it, just stuck with white, based on their decor sensibilities (ie none). And then when they went to sell, they were told to have the place painted, so went with all beige. In the entire thing!

So, we’re left with a pretty blank palette to spice things up.

We’re going for a more luxe look, or as we like to explain it, a place modern day, cool vampires would like to live. “Vampy” if you will. But not Dracula vamp. Confused?

Well then let’s start with the search for the perfect gray – leaning toward greige to be on the warmer side. After doing a ton of gray research, and there a ton of blog posts dedicated to thisĀ out there, I decided to test:

BM Revere Pewter, the internet sensation. – 6.
BM Affinity Thunder – 7.
SW Repose – 4.
SW Agreeable Gray – 5.
Behr Silver Drop (one of my old tried and true faves) – 1.
BM Silver Fox – 2.
Behr Toasty Grey – 3.

Here they are (not the crispest pic, but you can see the tone):


gray or greige paint

In this case, we are painting our dining and living room first so we wanted a more saturated color with a bit more drama than what we might choose for the rest of the house. So we went with Thunder. (7)

Here’s where the debacle comes in. We went to the Home Depot paint department, where we had gotten our test samples and simply color matched the above colors. Well, for our testers, we used Glidden as I had so many testers I asked for the cheapest. When i bought the real deal 2 gallons, I got mid range Behr. Took it home and it was a different color. Close, but so GREEN. (below above the tests) My husband said it was “institutional green.” Not good. I spent all night ready to go in for a fight with Home Depot to get my $60 back!


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But when I got back to Home Depot the next morning, they were so nice, returned it and made us a new batch. Stuck with Glidden to be sure we could get the color we fell in love with.

We LOVE how it turned out. Will probably use this color again in the house, either a bathroom or bedroom.

Thinking Agreeable Gray or Silver Drop for our “main/great” room and entry hallway and up the stairs… any votes!?

Home Renovation Begins

This weekend, we truly began our home renovation project. My brother came to visit, and was a HUGE help. There’s only so many things Andrew and I can do alone, partially because (as Patrick put it) I have “ninny” arms. Sure, these things are solid but I simply couldn’t lift the huge island granite with sink stuck on, etc.

So, check out what we accomplished on the most fun days of a renovation: DEMO DAYS!

  1. Carpet tear out in dining room + living room. This is huge because this is the room we’ll start to lay wood floor in first (typically rule here is the longest wall in the house is what you start with).
  2. Kitchen island and bottom cabinets tear out (almost there…)
  3. Kitchen floor tear out.
    1. Check out that long crow bar looking thing? Kind of like the cat’s claw, but just a huge version. This was a life saver for the wood floor and tile tear out. Highly recommend!
  4. Tile tear out in entry!

And now for getting things started to get put back! Starting with the living/dining paint. What better time to paint than when there’s no floor to drip on?! See next post for that debacle… project turned out great.

Don’t forget your safety sunglasses, er… safety goggles. I knew I kept these for a reason…

Ikea Finds

After a very long trip to Ikea (as they always are, right?!), I came home with some items I’ve been searching for to move The Quail House along.

First, for my home office I decided to go for the super cheap Ikea Gersby. These little babies took about 2 hours to assemble and it wasn’t what I’d call fun. But they fit the budget! Office pics to come soon.


I ALSO picked up the Ikea Doksta table.


This will go in our kitchen table nook, where we plan to build a banquet (built in bench). It’s not quite the real thing, but loving it so far and is perfect for us!


The (Very Important) Home Office

Since we know we’re going to have a lot going on in terms of noise and moving around in the house while we get settled in pre-reno, I want to get my home office set-up asap. Work must go on!

Here is my inspo pic for layout:


But going for a saturated blue. Here is my inspo for that! (Em Henderson // House & Home, Feb ’14):

First up! The search for 2 bookshelves to go behind desk… definitely going with Ikea as I’m on a budget.

Already have the West Elm Parson’s Desk in white, a non designy ball chair from gaim that makes my back feel great even after a long day of sitting, and several rug choices. Mainly going for clean white on a deep blue.

Eventually we’ll have wood floor in here and debating on white wainscoting.

Paint options in a terrible messy pic… more to come!

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