Feelin’ haze-y

I know in my last post I teased you with the promise of a new kitchen wall color, which got delayed due to new windows.  I’m making good on that promise today!!

First off, can I just say that painting (and any project in general) takes 10x as long when you have to work solely during nap and bed times?  Painting the kitchen BC (that’s “before child”) would have taken approximately a weekend to finish.  Painting the kitchen AC (“after child”) took almost a month- taping happened one night after bed, then the walls got painted during a weekend, then I had to travel for work so we took a week off.  Then the ceiling finally got painted over another weekend.  I suppose if we didn’t mind being sleep deprived, we still could have gotten it done in a weekend, but I like my sleep thankyouverymuch!

I wanted a color that was lighter than our original color (Behr’s Mother Nature) but that wasn’t a tan because the office and living room are both a shade of tan.  I also wanted something with some grey to it, but not too grey.  It had to play nice with our counters and cabinets too.  I grabbed a million swatches, and painted a few test stripes on the walls (those are a good motivator to get to the actual painting process- we could only stare at those stripes for so long).  I don’t usually spend this much time deliberating on a color, but I really didn’t want to have to paint the kitchen again- there is SO much taping involved!!  I *finally* settled on Behr Mountain Haze for the walls and Behr White Clay for the ceiling.  And oh boy do I love it!! The color is still a little bit green, but looks greyish at night.

It’s actually still not 100% finished- there’s some paint to be scraped off the cabinets, and we have a project in the initial planning stages that we *hope* to complete this summer at some point (right now we’ve switched gears and are focusing our energy on the outside since it’s nice enough to be out there.  We’ll move back inside once the stifling heat and humidity show up).  It’s finished enough for photos though!!  Warning- I did not stage anything.  And there are toddler hand prints all over the dishwasher (I didn’t even bother showing you the fridge because the outside is kind of scary looking right now- I curse our stainless steel appliances on a daily basis…)

Anyway…I know you really just want to see the photos, so here you go!  First off, the dining room side:

Oh what a difference some paint and a new window makes!!  That window is the exact same size as the old window, but it looks SO much bigger.

And, just a reminder (again) of how far this room has come…

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Oh yeah…so much better!  We got a new rug awhile back too for the dining room portion- we did have 4 (!!) rugs in there and it was just getting ridiculous when we were vacuuming in there.  One big rug is much more manageable.  The colors tie in well with the curtains and wall color (the rug came first though).  And it goes well with the living room rug too.

And the kitchen side of things:

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This photo is probably the best shot of our counter tops I have- it really shows off the detail and true colors (Corian in “Burled Beach”).  I am still in love with them.  You can also see we added some new pets to our family- 9 neon tetras and 2 corydoras (aka cory catfish).  B loves to watch them swim, especially at feeding time, and has quickly learned to sign “fish”.

Another quick reminder of what this side of the room used to look like:

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It’s amazing what a little paint can do.  It feels so much lighter and brighter in there, which is exactly what I hoped to accomplish!

I’m excited about the next project we are doing in this room, but I’m keeping that cat in the bag for now.  I’m hoping we’ll get it done this summer but the way our projects have been moving lately, it might be more like fall.  We’ll see.  No promises!!

What do you think?  Have you painted anything recently?

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A different point of view…

Some time last year, I decided I was completely over our current kitchen color (Mother Nature by Behr).  I think it was caused by a combination of seeing tons of light, bright kitchens on blogs/Pinterest, and the fact that between our walls, cabinets and tiny windows, our kitchen was starting to feel like a dark cave.  You can imagine how thrilled T was when I decided to tell him I wanted to re-paint.  I think he was pretty sure we were never painting another part of our house ever again (sorry sweetie).  Here’s a couple photos of our cave (although it’s come a long way since we bought it!)

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I get a week off work around Christmas, but B’s daycare is only closed for a couple of those days, so I figured that would be the *perfect* time to paint- and T wouldn’t even have to pick up a paintbrush.  A win win for everyone!

Then we discovered some mold issues in the upstairs last fall (nothing major, but it indicated extra moisture was getting in upstairs).  Every summer we put window A/C units in both bedrooms to keep us from having to run the whole house A/C all night.  The way our windows are designed (wood divided lite windows, covered by storm windows to give us “double-paned” windows) leaves a very large gap (to the outside air) when they are open.  So this lets in all that lovely humid Georgia air.  And bugs.  I stuff a towel in there to help, but it’s obviously not a weather proof seal.  Right around the time we noticed the mold, I’d noticed that T had left the storm window open in B’s room after removing the A/C- which was causing his room to be colder than normal.  I asked T to close it- and in order to do so, he had to use a CROW BAR to open the wood window. Whoa.  Not cool.

I should mention that all of the windows in our house are this difficult to open- in fact, we never opened them so we took all the screens out of the windows to give us a better view.  Although I’m not sure that effort was entirely worth it because it was too difficult to get the outsides clean, so our view out of them wasn’t very good!  Plus the wood on the outside would mold every year.  I painted the outside of those windows once- and let me tell you, scraping divided lite window panes is NOT my idea of a good time.

Do you see where I’m going with this story?  No?  Well, let me spell it out then- after living in our house for almost 4 years with gross wood windows that wouldn’t open, we decided to get new windows!  This delayed our painting plans for a little while, because why paint if you’re going to be ripping windows out?

We purchased our windows through a local window dealer and the windows are manufactured in South Carolina, which is awesome (local for the win!!)  We chose a double-hung vinyl window with low-e glass (glass that is slightly tinted and has argon gas inside the panes) for energy savings (this kind of window is pretty started these days).  We opted for a sash replacement, which basically means they take out the old panes (sashes) and replace the parts that they slide on, but leave the rest in tact (the parts that are covered up by trim/drywall).  We went this route because we wanted to keep as much glass as possible- sticking an entire new vinyl window in there would have meant losing glass real estate. We also opted for regular windows instead of divided lite windows because we really wanted an unobstructed view out of our windows (I’m willing to sacrifice a little character for a view any day).

Here is a comparison of the old and new windows- same window location, same time of day:

IMG_2036[1]To say I’m in love might be an understatement!!  We also noticed a fairly drastic temperature shift, which we weren’t expecting (since glass is not very energy efficient, even if it’s double paned!)  I haven’t been able to do an energy savings comparison yet because our weather has been abnormally cold which means our gas furnace was in use a lot more than our electric heat pump this winter.  I’m interested to see the summer time savings though!

We did completely change one of the windows in the house- the dining room window.  We wanted to get rid of the cave-like feeling in there, and we really love that it looks out onto our deck/back yard.  But the way the windows were, you couldn’t see much:

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We decided to make this window a picture window instead:

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Tada!!  Oh wait- that’s just a giant hole in the wall.  Ha!  Hmm, an open air dining room in January?  No thank you…

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That’s better- and whoo hoo to the view!!  It’s SO much better than before!!  Sunsets out that window are my favorite!

Character-wise, I don’t think the outside of our house suffered *too* much:

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Especially since we added some character with the new garage doors and snow (oh wait- that doesn’t stick around does it? ha)

I know this post started off talking about paint- and I’ll get there with my next post, but I’ll leave it here for now!  What do you think?  Is anyone else doing any fun/major house changes?