Little project. Eventually, if budget allows, we’d like to do a big corner built-in china cabinet in this area. But we had a chest that we’ve used for about two decades now, and a few weekends ago, someone in a local group was selling this bar cabinet for $50. At parties, we’d been running very short of serving space, so…
It’s not my favorite kind of wood, sort of glossy, but a coat of paint later, I quite like it. (I am not a wood purist — sometimes I like to strip paint off to reveal really nice wood, but mediocre wood, I am quite happy to cover up with paint.) I may add a stencil pattern to the top eventually, stars or flowers, but I’m going to live with it for a while first.
(Muralo Paint, 0620 Star-Studded)
Two little household improvements — added a lower story to the Little Free Library, added a suet feeder to the back deck bird feeders. The idea was that the lower level of the library would be for kids’ books, but perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s also collected some spillover from the upper level, which tended to get jammed full. People in our neighborhood are big readers.
I think it’s okay — I’m assuming kids using the library will mostly be with caregivers as they walk by anyway, and I’ll try to keep an eye on it so nothing too inappropriate makes its way into the lower level. I’m generally reasonably pro-kids making their own decisions about what books they’re ready to read, but The Story of O is a bit beyond the grammar school set.
Screen door — installed! The children have declared it “fancy!”
Next year, I’m hoping to be able to budget to get the house number done in art glass in that transom above the door (people sometimes have trouble noticing the numbers on the stair post where they currently are), and then, the front entryway will be complete, restored to its Victorian glory.
I am getting a screen door today! I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting for a screen door. Years, I think. And finally budget and schedule and the stars have aligned, and the screen door will go in very shortly, and I will have a cross-breeze from the front of the house to the back! A cross-breeze is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
So pictured below, first stage of renovation -- we ripped out the carpet, had the drywall torn down, put in insulation and ducts, and build framing around the ducts so that we got benches at the end of each wing (it's L-shaped) of the attic. Don't mind the bathtub -- it was just being stored there temporarily while work was done in the bathroom. A lot of the old pine planks were taken up here too, stolen to move downstairs, where we were re-laying the first floor with refinished wide-plank pine from the house's origin. It had been covered over with other surfaces since 1911, according to the newspapers we found between the layers.
Attic renovation, stage two. We painted it all white, stained the wood floor dark, threw all the kids' toys up here, and lived with it like that for a few years. But the space never seemed quite as cheerful and happy as it wanted to be. Part of that was not having enough natural light and cross-breeze, and finally this past winter, we added two more windows flanking the old fireplace. Much improved. Still, it could use a bit more cheering up.
Attic renovation, stage three. Last December, after the semester ended, I painted the lower walls green, the end benches a complementary blue, and the triangles a sunny yellow. It feels much more playroom-y to me now, more like a cheerful elementary school. They'll outgrow these colors eventually, and in 5-7 years, I'll be thinking about how best to convert this into a cool teen study space / hangout, but for now, this is a much happier space to hang out in than it used to be.
Attic renovation, final stage -- for now, anyway. I wanted to add a bit of whimsy to the room, and my freehand painting skills are minimal at best, so I went with stencils. Some floaty Victorian balloons, and a castle in the clouds, using the same blue paint from the end benches, plus a bit of silver brushed into the clouds.
All done! (Although I may still paint that dollhouse at some point...)
Kevin gets home tonight; we'll see what he thinks, and if he agrees that the green (sampled in third photo) would be good on the rest of the lower wall. If so, that'll hopefully get painted too in the next few days.
Paint colors: Sherwin Williams Peacock Plume and Butterfield Yellow.
The plan is to leave the slanted walls off-white (they're painted in Benjamin Moore's Linen White) for now -- despite my temptation to paint them a deep blue and stud them with gold or silver stars, I think that would make the space feel claustrophobic.
So for just the lower third of the room, basically, what color would you suggest? Choosing ideally from Benjamin Moore's Historic palette, because we used their Great Barrington Green in Anand's room and it looks awesome -- really suits the off-white ceiling and dark wood floors and the general 1885 Victorian feel of the house.
I had originally been thinking a green (Kavya suggested moss green), esp. since this is a third-floor room and outside the window the view is basically treetops, but note the green IKEA sofa -- I tried putting up one of the cushions against Anand's walls, and it basically disappeared into them. Not ideal, I think.
So now I'm maybe leaning towards a slate blue, to evoke the sky, which is also up there? (We used Buckland Blue for our kitchen cabinets, and while I love it, I'd rather not repeat. Maybe Phillipsburg Blue?) Don't worry about clashing with the deep blue rug -- that can be moved elsewhere if necessary. And I suppose if we really wanted green walls, we could get a new cover for the Ektorp sofa. So it's all flexible
Anand suggested yellow, of course. I did once paint an accent wall a deep gold, and I even liked it, but I think I probably would get tired of that here. Don't want to make the playroom a place I avoid
(First two pics are daytime, last three are at night, with lights on.)
Now, I just have to find something to plant in those little white planters (also from IKEA). Ideally, something that will a) trail down, and b) require almost no watering, as I forget to water the herbs I've tried there before, and then they die, and are sad. And cheap would be nice too, since I have seven pots -- otherwise, I'd be tempted to hunt for trailing orchids. Thoughts welcome.
The real trick will be to not let the space fill up with boxes waiting to be recycled again. Those are my nemesis.