Archive
Tag "Soot"

doorsixteen_light_bathroom

Something happened with the light this weekend. Despite the three feet of snow still piled up along the side streets in the City of Newburgh, it suddenly feels like spring is coming. The weather was beautiful yesterday, and the daylight pouring into the second floor of our house made want to do nothing but wander from room to room.

I don’t really take many pictures of the house anymore unless I’m working on a specific project, but after eight years, those projects are fewer and farther between—especially since the remaining ones are expensive and daunting, but not necessarily interesting to look at (like replacing our exterior window casings or buying a new boiler…snore + $$$ = no fun). I still love my house, though, and it still makes me happy to share it. So maybe it’s OK to just take some pictures without them being about a renovation project!

Here’s a walk through the oft-neglected second floor of the house, taken while admiring the almost-spring light.

doorsixteen_light_bedroom1

doorsixteen_light_bedroom2

My fiddle-leaf fig tree is still alive! Miracles. The print is from Fieldguided—I bought it ages ago but just got around to framing it last month.

doorsixteen_light_bedroom3

Ah, it’s the rarely-seen east wall of the bedroom! I’m still unsure about the Heywood-Wakefield dresser. HAH. I’ve been thinking about either painting it (don’t bother with the hate mail, H-W protectionists, I already know) or getting rid of it since pretty much the day I bought it, but it’s kind of grown on me? I don’t know. It’s not hurting anyone, so it can stay for now. I promise not to paint it. Really. It is an amazingly well-built piece of furniture, I’ll say that much.

doorsixteen_light_dressingroom

I love you, Tom Dixon Offcut Bench. This is one of the best things I’ve ever bought. It really needs to be seen in person to be appreciated—the fluorescent orange is nearly blinding. I got a good deal on it because it was a floor model and it’s a little banged-up.

doorsixteen_light_guestroom1

doorsixteen_light_guestroom2

The guest bedroom gets such nice light. It’s in the middle of the house, directly above the dining room. It’s a little shadowy, but the sun that comes in the huge window is beautifully filtered. It’s such a nice place to be. I wish we had more guests. (Sadface.)

doorsixteen_light_hallway

Frames. Everywhere. Always. I’ve been making a big effort lately to get artwork I’ve collected over the years out of storage and into frames, and, hopefully, onto the wall. It never ends! One of these days I need to sit down and make a master list of frame sizes, what I want matted, and what I can frame myself versus having to send to a shop. It’s overwhelming.

doorsixteen_light_studio2

doorsixteen_light_studio1

And finally, the studio. I never get tired of this white floor—it’s the best room. It looks bright and clean even at midnight, and even when there are guitars and amps and cables all over the place. Yes, that section of molding is still missing. And yes, that’s OK—it’s good enough.

I spent the last couple of nights of 2011 painting the long side wall in our dining room black, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. The living room and dining room are right in line with each other, railroad-style, so visually it’s just a continuation of the black wall in the living room.

The house is very narrow (20 feet wide, including the entry hallway), and the black wall adds some depth to the room in a nice way. Also, since the dining room doesn’t get a lot of natural light, the dark paint has a richness to it even in the daytime that makes the room feel cozier than it did before…and, as in the living room, it brings in a bit of formality that feels right in a Victorian house. Personally, I think black walls get written off as being cold or depressing far too often! Elvis agrees, as you can see.

As in the living room, the bedroom, and the apartment kitchen, I used Benjamin Moore’s ‘Soot’ with a matte finish. It’s actually the deepest, darkest indigo blue imaginable and not a true black, but that’s what gives it that extra oompf.

(How is this plant still alive?! I always forget about it, and it’s right next to a heater, so it’s been teetering on the edge of death for years.)

Coffee + Music + Painting = My default comfort mode during vacations. Seriously, once I get going with painting stuff, I feel really good. It’s definitely one of those tasks that inevitably takes ten times longer than you imagine it will, but the impact is so worth it in the end. I can’t imagine paying someone else to paint walls for me! The payoff when the work is done is just way too satisfying.

Speaking of painting, if you want to know how I do it and the steps I recommend, shuffle over to Manhattan Nest and read Daniel’s post about the whole process. I prefer Aura over Regal, but other than that, we pretty much do things the same way, right down to the Wooster paintbrushes. What he says about painter’s tape? That’s the truth. Don’t do it. Especially in an old house. Yes, I freehand everything, even black paint that butts right up against white.

I didn’t take any full-length shots of the dining room yet because things are still looking like this, but that’s just because we’re getting ready to build new bookshelves. That’s what all of this fancy plywood is for! Yay.

P.S. There’s an Instagram gallery right here on the blog now. I used a plugin called Instapress to create it. It’s a teeny bit buggy, but good enough!

livingroom 1

Perhaps a more fitting title for this post might have been, “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before”—because yes, I’ve painted another wall black. But really, can you blame me?

I’d been hemming and hawing over doing something dramatic in the living room for a while now, and my first attempt was to put an electric blue slipcover on the sofa (seen briefly here). For two months I tried to convince myself that I liked it, but it was just so dominating in all the wrong ways. The obvious focal point of our living room is the ginormous black forest-themed marble fireplace, and there’s really no sense in trying to fight that with a bright blue sofa, you know?

So back to the store went the blue slipcover, up from the basement came the old white one, and all felt better…but I still needed the drama. On New Year’s Eve morning, I Photoshopped a black wall onto a picture of the living room, sent it to Victoria with a bunch of question marks, got a thumbs-up…and started painting.

livingroom 2

livingroom 3

livingroom 4

livingroom 5

WE. LOVE. IT. SO. MUCH. I think Evan and I must have commented 3948754 times today on how how great it looks. The living room just feels so much more finished now. I know the black makes the room look a little more traditional and formal since the lighter, more ornate details in the room are being highlighted as a result, but I’m okay with that. My modernist instinct is to neutralize ornamental details, but this fireplace is my favorite original element in the entire house—so I’m embracing the traditional leanings this time.

As you can see, the room is puppy-approved! That’s all that really matters.

livingroom 8

livingroom 6

sailor

I gave Evan a sailor from Johan Pergenius (yes, that’s the amazing Sandra Juto’s husband) for Christmas. He came all the way from Sweden and has made a happy new home for himself here on our mantel.

Don’t you want to paint something black now? The color is Benjamin Moore Soot, matte finish—the same paint I used in our bedroom and in the kitchen in our city apartment.