Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Blank Canvas

That's what our house was when we moved in. One of the great things about buying new construction is that the home is untouched style wise when you move in, a blank canvas. While it's wonderful that we were spared all of the work of redoing someone's previous house to our taste, a completely empty, undecorated house seems like a daunting task to me. An exciting task, but an overwhelming one, particularly because we're just starting out and don't have much furniture or money to buy furniture! Many of the rooms in our house are empty or have have-me-down furniture from our relatives (which aren't in the best condition or outdated in style). I have a direction I want to go in with each room in our home, but it's going to take awhile for it to get there.

For now our house looks like the typical 1st home buyers does and that's okay. I compare our house to my parent's 1st house. I find looking at pictures of the house I grew up in when my parents first bought it so interesting. We'll flip through the pictures and say "look at how small the bushes/trees were out front!", "look at the kitchen before it was painted/furnished," "remember that old couch?", etc. Everything about the house in those old pictures looks so new, fresh and timid in appearance. But for some reason, they are the pictures I enjoy looking at the most. It's so interesting to see how a house changes through the years and it's a good reminder to me now that homes are a lifetime project. You have to enjoy the ride, rather than be constantly chasing what task to tackle next. This process also reminds me of one of my favorite books growing up Smiling Hill Farm which is about a pioneer family that moves to an undeveloped area and builds a house. The house goes from a half-camp, to log cabin and eventually to a brick home as the years go by. I want to document our home's journey on my blog with projects/changes we've made to the house, so I'm sorry if these update posts bore you. My blog functions as a record book for me just as much it functions to share some of our life with others.        

Above are the after shots of our family room and foyer since they've been professionally painted (as I mentioned before these rooms were done professionally because of the high ceilings). The foyer was painted a color called basket beige. The family room and kitchen color is Manhattan Mist with Milestone for the accent wall. I was really torn about doing an accent wall. They've been a really popular design element recently, but I was worried that it would go out of style in a few years and the room would look dated. We ended up doing it however because we felt that the rooms would look too plain all the same color and needed something to make it pop. What do you think of the colors, accent walls, etc (and be honest!)?


  1. LOVE it Marjorie! I tend to like more neutral stuff too b/c it doesn't get dated so quickly. I really like the color of the foyer, esp. with the off-white trim! Very classy!

    Just curious, did you use gloss paint or flat? My Mom had gloss paint in her house growing up and Chris had flat paint at his house. LoL each feels "like home" to us so I'll be interested to see what we do when we buy a home.

    You're right about a home being a work in progress. It's sometimes hard for me to not "keep up with the Joneses" (LoL) and remember to pace myself. I just have to keep in mind that my Mom's house wasn't perfect and I grew up just fine. The same will be true for my family. Thanks for sharing!

  2. for the paint we used eggshell. flat is the "most desirable" paint because it has no shine. however, it does not wipe well and shows marks if you wipe. i would have loved to do flat, but it wasn't practical with two kids. eggshell is the next level up from flat, then there's satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss paint (as you go up levels the more shiny it gets). i may eventually do the trim in a satin or semi-gloss white paint (you can't tell in the pics, but the trim was just done by the builders and isn't very good). thanks for reading!

  3. I really think that neutrals are a better way to go. You can always infuse color with pillows, furnishings and other decorations. The nice thing is, you can change pillows and decor much more easily (and cheaply) than repainting a wall after you grow sick of the color.

  4. anonymous, so true! that makes me feel better. a lot of people rag on me for picking beige and neutrals because their "boring" or "playing it safe," but i think it's a better investment.

  5. Wow!! I LOVE the light blue in the kitchen. My first impression was elegant. It looks so nice. This post was great- not a bore at all. I also really like the "gold" color. The bathroom picture reminded me how lovely it is that your powder room has such lovely tall walls (and not the ususal under the stairs closet type).


  6. thanks! i chose the light blue/gray color bc i thought it would go well with the gray granite counter tops. the beige was much more "gold" than i thought it would be, but i liked it anyway. i will always wonder why so many homes put the bathroom under the stairs. it seems that to put plumbing there would actually be more difficult. maybe they thought it was a way to use the space rather than it be empty? there is a coat closet under our stairs which i think is a better use of the space.