December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Family Room Redo

Yesterday I posted a few photographs of my family room.  Some weeks ago, I decided that this year the family room needs a re-do. 

Actually, calling it the "family room" probably dates me to the 1980's but that's when this house was originally designed and that was the intended function of the room.  Fortunately, the person who designed my house created a wide wide opening from the family room into the dinette that has a sliding patio door to the deck in the backyard; the dinette is separated from the kitchen by a cabinet based peninsula that does not feature an overhang and therefore NO stools!  No overhanging cabinets either, to block the view and make the spaces feel small.  The kitchen primary (if one includes the peninsula cabinet) is about 11 x 12 and features a classic work-triangle:  the sink overlooks the backyard through a short double-crank out window facing west; the gas range/oven and hood are centered on the north wall, and the fridge anchors the east wall at the end of a cabinet run.  A microwave sits on the east wall near the fridge.

The dinette is about the same size (haven't measured with a tape measure) as the kitchen, 11 x 12.  The family room is about 18.5 x 12, that was roughly measured with a tape measure, but it's hard to measure with a tape measure with only one person. 

I suppose I should do a line drawing and post lots more photos to give you an idea of the space. But not tonight!

The space reads pretty much as one large open space and since its windows and the patio door face full west (oh my!), there is TONS of light, especially in the summer; but even in the depths of winter on a sunny day it's bright and warm.  This is despite there being no windows on the family room south wall; it was purposely designed that way, to cut down on cooling costs during the summer.  The south wall, which is 18.5 feet long, therefore gives me an opportunity to place a gigantic run of built-in bookcases if I decided to go that way; or put in a prefab fireplace; or a combination of the two. 

The budget does not allow for any such flights of fancy!  Or new furniture or new carpeting.  Maybe not even a new area rug that I may have to put into storage because I'm thinking with it's tones geared toward red and green it won't really "go" with the wall colors I've picked out.  But one never knows until one actually lays the thing down in the "new" room...

I am not a patient shopper.  I am generally happy with "good enough" rather than "perfect" which usually doesn't turn out to be perfect after a year or two anyway.  It's a conscious trade-off between my precious time and everything else.  My precious time wins every time!  So, some weeks ago, during my last shopping run with a friend to Menard's, a Wisconsin-based service-oriented super-market for hardware, etc. that these days competes with Home Depot and Lowe's - quite successfully in Wisconsin, I might add (yeah, Menard's!) I picked out several paint sample cards.  No, I did not buy little cans of paint and plaster loaded brush marks of paint all over my walls.  I contented myself with laying down the samples on the furniture, the rug, the carpet, against the drapes, at varying times of day and night, under varying levels of light and lack thereof, to see what the hell the samples looked like.

I settled on this "taupe" neutral tone for the upper half of the family room walls:

This image of the color is the best I can do and looks much more "grey" than the sample I have at hand.  It is a Dutch Paint, "Family Tree" B13-2 and is a medium-to-dark tone of taupe.

The bottom portion of the wall will most likely be an anaglypta-type patterened wall covering painted in white.  The white accompanying "Family Tree" is B13-4 "Superhide White" but I could not find it anywhere on the internet, not even at Dutch Boy's website!  Eek!  No matter.  I know the folks at Menard's will be able to mix it up for me.  A close, but somewhat "murkier" white I found at the Dutch Boy website is this:



It looks sort of pinkish-grey in my monitor on this Acer laptop I'm working on right now, but with respect to my paint sample cards, it is fairly close in color to B13-4 "Superhide White" that goes with "Family Tree" B13-2.  Superhide White is a fairly "white" white (and yes, I'm well aware of the hundreds of colors of "white!")  "Popcorn" is just a little bit warmer tint? tone?  than "Superhide White."

So, sometime during the next several weeks the bottom half of the family room walls will be stripped of their aged vinyl wallpaper border and paper.  And then the real fun will begin...

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