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Tag "gray"

doorsixteen_kitchenfloor_lovelylife
Photo by Lönngren/Widell for Lovelylife

Last weekend we had another plumber come to the house to take a look at the work we need done in the kitchen — removal of two steam radiators, re-routing of steam pipes and, eventually, re-installation of one of radiators (we’re putting the other one in storage for now). While we’re waiting for his quote to come in, we’re trying to make a list of everything we need to get done once the radiators have been removed. It looks a little like this so far:

▶ Frantically tile the last two walls
▶ Frantically refinish one of the radiators
▶ Frantically pull up the existing VCT floor tiles
▶ Frantically remove the plywood subfloor, which was at some point used as a large snack for carpenter ants
▶ Frantically assess the condition of the original pine subfloor that’s underneath the plywood
▶ Frantically do something so that there’s a floor in place when the plumber comes back to re-route the steam pipes and re-install one of the radiators

But let me back up a little. A few months ago, amid all of the tiling chaos going on in the kitchen, I happened to notice that a few of our VCT floor tiles had come loose. One of them actually felt…squishy? Knowing that squishy floors are generally a bad thing (I learned that from watching This Old House), I peeked underneath the tile to see what was going on. ANTS! ANTS! ANTS!!!!! Yes, a swarming mass of carpenter ants. Ugh. The carpenter ants have since been eradicated (I may have a vegan diet, but, well, let’s just say I did NOT rehabilitate, foster, and re-home each individual ant), but the plywood subfloor is looking pretty terrible. It has to go. We definitely weren’t planning on replacing our floor — we installed it dirt cheap years ago (pre-blog), and I’ve always been happy with it — but it seems to be unavoidable.

I do know that the original pine plank subfloor is hiding under the plywood subfloor (which was already here when we bought the house — it was in decent shape, so we patched it up and tiled over it rather than replacing it for no reason), but I don’t know what kind of condition it’s in. In theory it’s the same as the floor in Evan’s studio (unfinished, dirty and rough, but mostly OK), but in reality it might have a lot of water damage, weird sections cut out of it from when the walls were reconfigured 50+ years ago, or any number of unknowns that might make it unsuitable to be exposed.

However it turns out, I know I want a painted wood floor in the kitchen. Tile just isn’t in the budget, and love painted wood floors anyway — especially in kitchens. If we luck out and the existing pine is usable, I’ll follow the same steps I did upstairs when painting them (probably black, but we’ll see). If they’re a total wreck, then we’ll install inexpensive pine on top. We used the lowest-quality cheap pine flooring available on the walls in our upstairs bathroom, and it was CHEAP — like $1/square foot or something crazy like that. Once it’s patched and painted, the knots and holes and stuff don’t matter.

Anyway, here are some inspiration photos of painted kitchen floors that I’ve been squirreling away for when the time came to make decisions about the kitchen floor, and that time is officially HERE! Assuming the plumber’s quote isn’t totally insane, this is all going to start happening really soon and really fast. GULP.

What floor color would be best in the kitchen? Stick with black? I do love black floors. Would white be too crazy-bright in there? The same gray color as the walls??

doorsixteen_kitchenfloor_paulmassey
Photo by Paul Massey

doorsixteen_kitchenfloor_b-arch
Interior by B-Arch Studio / via Remodelista

doorsixteen_kitchenfloor_2up
(L) Photo by Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer for Bolig / (R) Photo via Corcoran

doorsixteen_kitchenfloor_insideout
Photo from InsideOut

doorsixteen_kitchenfloor_lottaagaton
Interior styling by Lotta Agaton

Pia Wallen gray cross

If there’s anything I don’t need, it’s more blankets. I don’t know what it is about candle holders, pillows and blankets, but I’ve somehow wound up with way more of all three than someone who rarely takes time to even relax in the first place, much less while wrapped up in a blanket by candlelight. That said, I may have to make the time, because my favorite blanket in the world is now available in gray (or grey, if you prefer) exclusively at Pia Wallén’s online shop. So pretty!

Photo via Pia Wallén’s Instagram

sink area

I painted the kitchen this weekend, and yes, I got just as bold and crazy with my color choice as you’d expect: GRAY. Valspar’s Filtered Shade, to be specific, in a matte finish. I had almost a whole gallon of it in the basement left over from when I painted the inside of a closet four years ago, so I figured why not give it a shot? The weather was cruddy and I have a sinus infection, so doing something indoors that required very little brain activity was about as much as I could handle.

At first I painted a square on the wall and thought it was too dark, but you really can’t tell from a swatch or a chip, you know? So I just went ahead and painted everything.

sink area, Filtered Shade

long wall

It doesn’t look as dreary in person as it does in these photos, I promise (not that there’s anything wrong with dreary). There was so little daylight left and I’d left my real camera in the city by accident, so these are just bad iPhone photos.

I’m really happy with the levels of contrast between the white, gray and black. It just all feels right. Filtered Shade has a bit of blue in it that really complements the inky-blue-black hearth (Benjamin Moore’s Soot) nicely. It also picks up on the color of the stainless steel counters.

Industry West stools

My bright yellow Marais stools from Industry West arrived, too! They look super cute in the kitchen…so bright and happy. I refuse to say “pop of color,” but they really are zingy. It’s pretty cool to see my whole kitchen plan coming together a little bit at a time. I’m already at the two month mark (or the seven year mark, depending on how you count) with this kitchen renovation, so every little bit of progress feels good.

I thought about titling this post “ME ME ME ME ME ME (and a little more ME),” because let’s face it—this is a whole bunch of ME. I don’t post a lot of photos of myself on the blog, I guess because it just always feels awkward. I hate having my picture taken by other people, and I don’t like taking a photo of myself unless the camera/phone is visible in the picture as well. Having the camera visible makes the resulting photo less about documenting the subject and more of a marker of that specific moment—which is the act of taking the photo.

Am I over-thinking it? Maybe, but all of that over-thinking made me realize something: I am my own design project. Here are some Instagram snaps from over the past few weeks.

So yeah. I mean…I pretty much look like my house. I don’t really draw any distinction between designing myself and designing anything else. I have a set of limitations that I need to work with, and a knowledge of how to use certain tools and materials in order to achieve the results I want. I never think about what would be perceived as “sexy” or whatever, that’s just not something I’m concerned with. I do like to look attractive, of course, but for me physical attractiveness (in anyone) is determined not by a specific set of features, but by a series of proportions, contrasts, textures and colors—exactly the same things that make a room or a book cover or a garden appealing to me.

OH, AND: Here’s me matching my dorm room 18 years ago.

I’m curious: How about you? Do you “match” your home? If you’re an artist or designer, do you feel like there’s a correlation between your professional work and, say, your hair?