Spice Girl.

Feeling the first Fall crisp in the evening air, I love that. I’ve grown to enjoy Fall and our family rituals a little more each year.

Never getting past the back to school shopping exhilaration, I’m seeking Fall clothing, etc. Especially since I’ve been in pregnant attire for 9 months and c o u n t i n g d o w n. Waiting for baby (any minute now)!

And my eyes are feasting on merchandise in spice tones…

Interesting considering I’m usually on the cool side of the line. There are also an abundance of warmer tones in my Fall picks post in the works. Hmmmmm?

It started with this…

And rolled into this…

And I thought about how I would like to pair these fiery tones with gray for a new twist

How I love this bolster pillow from Anthropologie.

And this one from World Market too…

It’s all feeling very globally inspired, exciting, and fresh. Who’s going to let me spice up their room(s)? I feel an accent wall coming on!

Benjamin Moore cactus flower 1335. geranium 1307. cork 2153-40. dark burgundy 2075-10.

(thank you Frugal Village, American Eagle Outfitters, Piperlime, Anthropologie, Crate and Barrel, Crate and Barrel, Anthropologie, and World Market for the design inspiration/photos)


.:. Zen Paint Colors .:.

You asked, you searched, you got it— zen paint colors. Color Zen? I mean, you already know I love the look and feel. When people come to our house they comment on the peacefulness, like a spa, or so they say (granted, this is following a clean job in which a semi stops by to remove 4 years worth of toys, etc…). It looks good for a minute anyway?

And the spa state of mind is where I always want to live. Clean lines, sun-kissed, soothing, decluttered, smells good, feels healthy. I believe I am not alone in this?

So how do we create a zenful space? This is definitely open for interpretation since we are developing an overall feeling versus following a set of design rules. And the term is vague. But here are some inspiring examples that feel just about right…

Feels good, ahhhh. And the paint colors? I decided, instead of coordinating photos with color #’s, or overanalyzing, I’m headed to a quiet corner with a pile of paint swatches to thoroughly enjoy choosing an array of beautiful shades out of the clear blue, that simply feel zen. What fun?

Here’s what I came up with, enjoy readers! .:.

(Colors by Benjamin Moore) 1st row– Soleil AF-330. Honeymoon AF-345. Coastal Path AF-380. Dune Grass 492. 2nd row– Moonlight White 2143-60. Flowering Herbs 514. Bath Salts 624. Meditation AF-395. 3rd row– Revere Pewter HC-172. New Age 1444. Creekbed 1006. Shoreline 1471.

(thank you decor-ideas.com, HGTV.com, Martha Stewart, everythingfab.com, luxury-furniture-design.net, and Martha Stewart for the photos)

Old Things to New Life (with paint).

{Painted wood frames, love the way this series stands alone!}

Recently I took a shot at spray painting a wooden chair that no longer made the first-level cut and was sitting unused in our lowly basement. Going in, I was skeptical of the spray paint as my past experience never produced the great HGTV results I was hoping for, ha! :)

I taped up the upholstered portion of the seat and haphazardly sprayed the remainder a bright turquoise. Much to my surprise, that old chair turned into something special. After the paint dried, I went back in with fine sandpaper and scuffed it up, which allowed little bits of the original dark finish to show through. This is what really made it look like a special vintage piece.

Once I get the clear, seal coat finished, I’m going to use it as my new office chair (I’ll share pictures). But for now, I’m left wondering how many wooden pieces I have discarded that could have been completely refurbished with a simple coat of paint and new hardware? Hmmm.

Here are some shining examples…

{Painted chairs in a range of color, love this modern take! Classic, vintage, and contemporary chairs work great too, you really can’t go wrong.}

{Do you find yourself owning a few matching side tables past their prime? I think this cluster in a shade of sunny yellow makes the whole room.}

{A dresser with nice clean lines is updated beautifully with a coat of white paint and a new set of coral knobs.}

{Outdated stair rail in an undesirable wood finish? A coat of white paint freshens it up amazingly well!}

Have you had any luck with a beyond the walls paint project? We would love to hear…

(thank you Country Living, Nate Berkus, Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, Jonny Valiant for Real Simple, Martha Stewart, and Apartment Therapy for the photo inspiration)

Colorless in Seattle?

Well, something like that :)

Hello Jessamy,

I live in Seattle and just moved into a brand new home. We were decisive in choosing all the details of our home except the paint color- we panicked. I love color and am drawn to blues, greens, grays (maybe a beachy palette) but we chose a very safe khaki.

While decorative accessories or colorful furniture would be helpful, I can’t help but wonder if we should have gone with our first inclination which was to pick a sophisticated and whole house friendly blue/bluish gray. Or, is that just a no-no? I went with it in the master bath and it’s become my happy place :) Or, do I just paint the great room a new fun color and leave the rest in khaki (dining, hallways, stairways)?

AND, A BIG ISSUE IS THE BIG WALL IN THE GREAT ROOM. Do you have suggestions on what I could do here? I’m stuck and looking forward to hearing from you!



Here is a peak at Elisha’s home-

Dear Elisha,

What a cute place, I LOVE it! You have a very beautiful foundation to build upon. I don’t mind your khaki walls, they create subtle groundwork. The khaki tone will go well with the blue/grays you mention. But… let’s add some sizzle! Not screaming sizzle… sophisticated/dynamic moments here and there to break things up and add the WOW. It won’t take much.

I pondered your photos, and here are my thoughts on paint… You know those very debatable accent walls? I think they could really work in your home. I would add one behind the breakfast nook and one behind the hutch in the dining room. I would also paint the entire great room a different color. You mentioned some paint shades, many were pale, grayed down shades of blue/green. I think we can incorporate that color into accents for sure. On the walls however, I would go a little darker/richer. Why? Because darker/richer will complement the khaki walls and dark wood tones you have in abundance.

Here’s the paint/decor color range that comes to mind-

So let’s get into details…

Dining Room.

I already love your dining room. The light above your table is fantastic (the art too!). Also, the little topiaries on the table make me think bright grass green would be a fabulous pop color to add dashes of here and there.

I would paint the wall behind your hutch a color like the above options, Benjamin Moore caponata Af-650 or tamarind AF-120 (2 great shades). Then add a throw pillow on both end dining chairs as well as a patterned placemat in the center of the table. I think these options from Crate and Barrel would flow well.

Great Room

I agree with your inclination to mix up the khaki by painting the great room a different color. I also think we can make a blue/gray work- it just can’t be super pale. I love this one- Benjamin Moore fieldstone 1558. It’s the color of the cabinetry in the room below. I would incorporate the new wall color with accents such as these pillows from World Market, Crate and Barrel, and Tonic Living and rug from Shades of Light.

By the way, that black and white artwork above? Maybe something like that for your great wall! A little touch of modern may ruffle things up perfectly. I found these-

Marimekko wall hanging from Crate and Barrel and butterfly print from ZGallerie.

Also, how about adding a white, low profile storage unit that fills the bottom 1/3 of the great wall from end to end. Something like this (just half the height) from Ikea.

Breakfast Nook.

And last… the breakfast nook. You mentioned switching the chairs to white. I think that would look great as well as this dark option, both from Crate and Barrel. It may be worth hauling a few options home to see what you think. I like the idea of this laser cut table runner from Crate and Barrel too. And of course the accent wall- how about a muddy, earthy, slightly olive, dark gray like the swatch above, otherwise known as Benjamin Moore copley gray HC-104. Will make that beautiful little drum light pop. Oh-la-la.

Thank you all for enduring this looooong post. Elisha, hope these ideas inspire you- let us know how the rooms evolve!

Thanks for writing,