Quick and Easy Change – Painting the Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island After

With a hole in the drywall, and company coming, I decided it was time to address the kitchen Island.

Hole in the Island

Hole in the Kitchen Island

Here’s what it looked like before:

Kitchen Island Before

Kitchen Island Before

And after!

Kitchen Island After

Kitchen Island After

We just wanted a little color- nothing too bright or crazy, and something that would not be beige. We settled on “Quietude” by Sherwin Williams.

Kitchen Island Before

Kitchen Island Before

From the other direction. Featuring our cluttered, messy counters.

Painted Kitchen Island After

Painted Kitchen Island After

I actually cleaned up a bit! Oh but what’s that in the background? We painted the pantry door to match!

Pantry Doors Before

Pantry Doors Before

And after-

Pantry Door Painted after

Pantry Door Painted after

I also like the contrast of the color against the dining room. We wanted something that could play with it, and not compete. I’m not totally sold on the color actually. But it was so quick and easy to do, that it’s not a big deal to change it in the future. The color came out a bit more blue than gray green, but it’s a nice color on its own. It reminds me of the color of Wedgewood.

 

Linking up to these parties: Thrifty Decor Chick, Remodelaholic

Garden Update – Moving a Path

Path Before moss growing

I have not been posting much this month because I’ve been spending a lot of my time outside in the garden. I love it so much!

As Spring kicked into high gear, I started looking at the garden for areas that need attention. One area that I knew I needed to address was this little path that goes from the back yard, past the raised vegetable bed, to the compost bin. Here’s how the path looked late last July/ early August during inspection.

Path Before inspection day

Path Before – inspection day

By the time we moved in late September, even more of the path was obstructed from Grapevine and the hydrangeas. Yet, there was still plenty of space on the other side, but just a bunch of slate stones just sitting there.

Overgrown Path

Overgrown Path

Nothing was even close to level, and as the fall turned into winter, I noticed more difficulty in taking this path. It felt slippery, lopsided, uneven, and a little dangerous. In this next shot, you can really see how uneven the stones were too.

Path Before Late March

Path Before Late March

So this Spring, I decided to move the stones as best I could, without making a huge to-do about it.

Path Before

Path Before

Path After stones moved

Path After stones moved

I didn’t want to over think it, and I had no money to spend, so I just did very little to move each stone. All told the project probably took me about 3-4 hours over 3-4 days. I picked up each piece of slate, Figured out where I wanted it, and dug the area I wanted to place it. I tried to make it more level, but with still just a little lean for water to run off. I used a larger shovel to start, and then used a hand trowel to make the area smooth and as level as I wanted it. I then placed the step and made sure it felt somewhat secure, and then pushed up the extra dirt and stones around it.

Path After towards house

Path After towards house

You can see some areas are lighter colored- and that’s where there was more gravel. I think originally it was probably more of a gravel path, and then over time they decided to move slate here. The soil is rich and organic, and I came across many worms, termites, and other critters living in the dirt. This picture was taken in early May, when the azaleas were going wild.

Path Looking Towards House

Path Looking Towards House

A couple weeks later, I bought some Iris Moss (Sangina) to plant in between the stones. I wanted something to grow to give the stones a little more stability, but I also love the look. I do think I’ll need to get some more scotch moss – I got one 6″ pot and divided it up and planted it in 5 different spots. But I think if I want it to fill in faster, I’ll probably need to get some more.

Scotch Moss in Path

Irish Moss in Path

I’d love to have more moss growing back here, and maybe some other kind of in between stone filler – like sedum or creeping jenny (moneywort). I have both of these growing in the veggie bed, and I did try to transplant some creeping jenny. I don’t know for sure that I want it down there though (it kinda wants to take over the ground). And I don’t know how well these do in a lot of shade.

Creeping Jenny and Sedum

Creeping Jenny and Sedum

In this picture from last year, you can see a bunch of moss growing (under the gorgeous hydrangea), but I think a lot of it died over the winter. I tried digging up some of it and transplanting it when I relaid the stones.

Path Before moss growing

Path Before – moss growing

And here’s the scotch moss today, still alive! Maybe it has even grown a little… but you can also see that there are lots of little weeds… which is why I’d love to have scotch moss over the entire thing.

Scotch Moss still alive

Iris Moss still alive

And here’s the path today, late May. Those are roses growing up a trellis in the back, to the right.

Path Late May

Path Late May

My goal for the garden paths are to be functional and pretty as much as possible. If there’s any way to lessen the overall maintenance as well, I will try!

 

 

Linking up to these parties:  Remodelaholic; Nifty Thrifty Things, Thrifty Decor Chick

Dining Room Curtains

New Curtain Rod

I put the curtains up several weeks ago, but I still can’t seem to capture a good picture in decent lighting. The curtains look awesome against the new wall color, I just wish I had magazine ready photos to show you. Instead these will have to do:

Better Homes and Gardens Wicklow Indigo

Better Homes and Gardens Wicklow Indigo

I made these curtains about three years ago with a pair of old thermal curtains and Wicklow Indigo fabric by Better Homes and Gardens. I bought a new curtain rod from Lowe’s because the older curtain rod, which would have looked cool in here with a brassy finish, was too short. I specifically wanted the curtain rod to end at a certain point, so that when pulled back, the entire window could be exposed for maximum light.

Dark Dining Room

Dark Dining Room

It’s pretty dark in the dining room, mostly because the window faces westernly. So generally, the only time I have light pouring in, it’s coming in directly and is blinding. It is just so difficult to find a good time to take photographs, and the light fixture doesn’t help (and sets everything in an orange cast). And I will admit I’ve been too lazy to bring up the lights and set up the tripod. So here is the same picture but with (GASP) flash!

Dining Room Curtains

Dining Room Curtains

At least it shows the actual colors better. The only thing I don’t like about the curtain rod is how dark it is. In the store, and on the box, it says it has an antique brass finish but it really just comes across as black. I’m considering spray painting it in the future- or maybe just touching up the birds with some rub-n-buff or a wash of paint.

New Curtain Rod

New Curtain Rod

I’m very happy with how this room came together, and I pulled out the pink tablecloth for Easter. I wasn’t sure how the pink would look in here, but I actually dig how it looks with the dark teal walls. My grandmother painted this tea set, which I think is so sweet and brings in the feeling of Spring.

Painted China

Grandmothers Painted China

To recap, here’s my moody midcentury dining room mood board

Moody Midcentury Dining Room

Moody Midcentury Dining Room

To check out the dining room transformation, click here!

Larking Chest with Triptych

Larking Chest with Triptych

 

Linking up to these parties:  Remodelaholic

Sherwin Williams Paint Review

Two Coats of Duration Paint

Just to get it out of the way: This post is not a sponsored post, nor have I received any recompense from Sherwin Williams in any way. This post is my experience with Sherwin Williams Paint, and expresses my opinion of the paint. And let’s just say, it’s not good.

After all the good things I’ve heard about Sherwin Williams Paint, and finding coupons for 30% off in the newspaper, I wholeheartedly gave two of their top lines of paint a try- Duration and Emerald. These are supposed to be the best of the brand, but they both fell completely flat for me. I was very disappointed in both the Duration and Emerald paint. And I think my pictures speak for themselves:

Two Coats of Duration Paint

Two Coats of Duration Paint

According to the employees at the store, two coats of Duration should be enough to cover the walls. Now, I’ve painted lots of rooms myself, and I’ve tried lots of different brands of paint. I will say hands down, this was the worst paint I’ve ever worked with. Maybe it’s because the tinting strength was so high, maybe it’s just a difficult color to get even. However, I’ve painted one hallway a deep red (nearly ten years ago now), and I painted the hallways in my last house a fairly deep blue, and both times I didn’t have this much trouble with coverage. The deep red paint I used was from Behr, and had some gloss to it, and it covered really well in two coats. The blue paint I used in my last home was a flat paint from Benjamin Moore and also covered really well. This time, I wanted to use a semi-gloss paint in the dining room (which is the glossiest paint they have in Duration and Emerald) and I felt like it was tinted water when it dried. The Duration paint was very thick and gloppy in the can, and I stirred it very well even though I had just come back with it from the store (only five minutes away) where they had just mixed it. I was not happy when I had two coats finished. I went back to the store and told them what was going on, and they acted very surprised. Upon their recommendation, I checked the walls to make sure they weren’t covered in oil paint first. They were not. Were they primed before hand? I know they at least had one coat of paint already on them. The employee was trying to be very helpful and said it could be a number of factors. Maybe it was a bad can of paint, sometimes it happens. Apparently it was one of the last cans in the store because they were out of Duration in the deep base in semi-gloss when I went back the next day. Maybe The walls weren’t adequately primed and it’s just soaking it up. He talked me into trying the Emerald line instead, top of the line, and if it still didn’t work to come back and talk to the manager. (I haven’t done that yet, because at this point I would just be going back to complain).

So I took the Emerald paint home and put a third coat on the walls:

Two Coats of Duration and One Coat of Emerald

Two Coats of Duration and One Coat of Emerald

Much better coverage yes, and the paint was better to work with. Emerald had a really nice consistency to it and went on like butter. It was smooth and pretty. However, when it dried, it was obviously not enough. You can still see my test spots- which now had a total of 7 coats of paint. After one more coat, even though Mr. Lucky was happy with it, I was not. I still needed to cut in for a fifth time, and I could still see spots on the wall with uneven coverage. The whole room honestly needed a fifth coat of paint, but I was down to a very little in my gallon bucket and I refused to spend more money on paint. So I cut in with a brush, and went over the worst areas with the brush as well. It’s OK, but I can still see some brush strokes on the walls. Sometimes it’s tricky with the lighting and mirrors in the room because they can cast so many weird shadows, so some areas don’t look even when they are.

The final product:

Dining Room After

Dining Room After

They say to do a darker primer first, and that is one step I skipped. However, with all the “super paint” out there now, you don’t always need to do it. Maybe this time it would have made a difference- but it still would have meant probably putting at least four coats of something on the walls. And that means it would have been at one coat of primer (one gallon) + two coats of Duration (one gallon) + one or more coats of something else? More Duration? Emerald? Maybe if I had done the primer coat and then two coats of Duration it would have been enough? I don’t know, but I do know that I’m not going to test it out anytime soon nor will I ever try it again with Sherwin Williams Paints. I had much better coverage with Behr, and I know Benjamin Moore works as well and I’d much rather put my money into a product that works for me without guessing.