Getting Started

November 4, 2010

in house stuff,The (misc.) Adventures of Grumble Girl

Well, in the end we hired the apprentice to our Excellent House Painter, who it would appear is far too busy to help us with our place until after Christmas… so enter New House Painter. He aided our first painter on the apartment downstairs, and I think in our own apartment years and years ago, before Oliver was born. We like him. We’ll see how it goes!

I’ve been thinking about the story-board for our TV room, which so far looks much like this:

Our couch is loden green, but shaped more like the white one, with seating for three. Ours is an Ikea couch we bough off Craigslist when we were expecting baby #2, and our other couch had seen better days. I was totally uncomfortable sitting on it, but I suppose I was a bit uncomfortable anyway, being all pregnant and stuff. So we bought this extremely comfortable hide-a-bed couch (which we need for visitors) with washable cushion covers, which are key in a life with kids. I don’t love the rolled arm AT ALL, but it was a small(ish) concession for getting something we needed at the time. I didn’t think it wise to invest in a long-time couch (read: expensive couch of my dreams) while I had small people milling about, who are prone to spilling, peeing, and puking on furniture when you least expect it. So hooray for Craisglist.

The downside of this couch is I can’t buy a slipcover from Ikea. Boo! I would have loved a white one… but I guess you can’t have everything. And? Really, what’s the point of spending a bunch of money on a brand-new couch when no matter how much you scream at to SIT like PEOPLE, your kids totally treat it like this:

Yeah. How do you like them apples?!

We have a small pine armoire, in a similar fashion to the one pictured above – it’s an antique piece, and it’s on permanent loan from Martin’s parents, so I really can’t/shouldn’t paint it. (Though maybe a greyish wash or stain on it might be nice…) It houses a bunch of the toys and things the children play with. The room also houses a small Ikea kitchen for Madame, which is tres adorable (as these things go) but it’s in that white-and-birch finish… if we change our glass-topped coffee table to one like the Hemnes one, should it be espresso, or white? And the bookshelves? And if they’re both dark, can I have the white Ikea drawers (for all the farts & craps supplies) next to the couch? Oh, ack.

The wall colour will be Benjamin Moore’s Stone Harbour, which is a warm grey with a hint of green in it – the green hardly shows next to the couch anyway. It’s greyish and good. (I know these things look different on every monitor though.) The trim and doors will be Snow White, which is, you know… white.

No ideas yet on what sort of TV unit to look into, but that’s of less importance for now. Besides, though it’s the first room you get a good look at when you walk into our house, you don’t see the TV at all, nor the piece of furniture it’s perched upon. Maybe we’ll do a TV/unit that are wall-mounted? Later…

What I think I’m completely sold on is that enormous, excellent light fixture from Ikea. It’s from the PS series called MASKROS, and at $100, I think it’s a good bet, and not so much to spend on a light fixture. It reminds me of a dandelion puff, and it casts a pretty light pattern on the walls. It’s 32″ in diameter though. HUGE! But, our ceilings are over 9 feet high, and it will hang over a coffee table, so it’s not as if anyone will risk banging his or her head into it. (We’re a house full of small people, anyway.)

Our wood floors are stained very dark. I think some kind of gray carpet will make the room cozy and might muffle some noise at the same time.

I’m also really digging so excellent wall decals at the moment too… but it’s just an idea for now.

I wouldn’t want things to look all busy and confused with the light shadows and everything. Might need a different light fixture all together if I go that route.

And maybe, just maybe I should talk some of this over with Martin before I go buying everything. Heh. But if you’ve got cool ideas, just shout ‘em out – I love new stuff.

Oh, and hey! Did you know that I’m writing over at Urban Moms these days too? Well, I am. Check me out (On Top Of The) Mutherload. My last post was about my Halloween pumpkins. Come see…


  • annypurls

    Love! I went gaga for the light fixture when I first saw it too but with our reg 6 ft ceilings and lack of ceiling lighting anywhere but the kitchen, the daydreaming ended kinda short :(
    Don’t know if you already know about it but I’m totally digging everything on this blog: lots of gray and yellow which is so fresh crisp and yet warm. Love! Good for inspiration…

  • LL

    Well, as I work for IKEA, I can say good choices ;) Love me some home makeovers…

  • Stephanie Keobel

    Ah ha, see NOW you’re speaking my language lady! Can we go shopping, OMFG I LOVE designing interiors and you have such fabulous tastes!My thoughts are quite simply this: White looks great because it’s got such a crisp look. However with that wall color you might want to go with something a little less brilliant. IE: Cafe Au lait, espresso and charcoal Grey. Unless you want high end drama…Black is very stark on a paler wall, but a charcoal as opposed to black with that sofa=FABCafe Au lait instead of white=gorgeous! Really depends on your pieces though. Anyway my advice is this: Lighter wall tone, stick with warmer colors. You have a beautiful home and it’s comfortable and classy without looking fussy so best to stick with that realm. I would avoid the starkness & darkness of full on black and full on white except for accent pieces.Just a thought :)

    PS. If I ever open a design firm, I’m hiring you!

  • GrumbleGirl

    I DO know this site… I haven’t been in a while – thanks for reminding me! Our super-old house didn’t have any overhead lighting in many of the rooms either.. pain in the ass. When we did a big reno years ago, we rewired a lot of spaces, but we’ve still yet to get the lighting sorted out. I thin that fixture might be awesome. We’ll see. But first, PAINT!!

  • GrumbleGirl

    I did NOT know it was Ikea, lady!! Cool… and yes – good, affordable choices, I think. I want the space DONE, you know? I don’t want to wait for the coffee table of my dreams or whatever… I’d like to see stuff pulled together ASAP. I’ve only been waiting for a light fixture for the room for 13 years… I think it’s time. Hee!! Stay tuned…

  • GrumbleGirl

    I know that you mean about the starkness of the white – I’m still undecided. I think it’s best to just paint it all first, and look at the furniture afterwards. The rest of the house is going to be oyster-y whites and pale neutrals… this room will be the darkest of them all, but I don’t want it to look like a cave. Also, the one and only window in the room looks onto a beige-y-grey brick wall… so it’s similar.

    Since we’re not changing the couch (sadly) I have to work around the green… and I’ve seen how the Littles can trash a white coffee table with markers and stuff (sometimes it washes, but sometimes it just doesn’t) so I’m thinking the dark version is better. So then the bookshelves can’t be white, right? And what about that drawer thingie? Uch. Paint it first, and then see.

    Oh, and I’ll TOTALLY come and work for your design firm, lady!! Any day.

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  • Stephanie Keobel

    Oh honey, it would never in a million years look like a cave! Unless you paint it you know black ;)I like that color actually! When I was still married I painted the walls a similar color except the undertones were a pale blue/silver and it was really quite lovely! Gives it a nice tone without being all up in your face and odd looking.Yes white + little’s (usually) = homicidal disaster for you. Although you know what’s super fun for that sort of thing? Get some inexpensive faux wood panels from home depot or something like it and get some white board or chalkboard paint (or both) to use on the table when they’re in there and they can happily smudge and destroy all the while not destroying your furniture. I’m all about dual purpose here!You know strange thing is I *almost* opened a design firm, except I can’t be all Martha Stewart like and crap out awesome designs (although I bet you she does have someone do that for her and she just smacks her name on them, no one is that perfect ever!) without being inspired. If I’m not inspired my work quite simply sucks! Although if I ever do, consider yourself hired!

  • annypurls

    Sounding in with another coffee table idea. I love ours but yeah, it’s full of non-washable marker and lovely pock marks that reveal the unvarnished would underneath. It’s very, shall we say, “lived in”. I’ve actually considered the very coffee table you have in mind but in white and was thinking of having a custom glass (or plexi but I don’t think plexi would be heavy enough to stay put) piece cut to put on top to protect it and add extra glitz.. Hmmmmm….

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