Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Yawning Portal

The Yawning Portal...otherwise known as our front door. Several days ago, we decided to paint it.

Lucky for me, my old boss has a full fan deck of Benjamin Moore paints.

Let me tell you, when you have a lot of painting decisions to make, there is nothing handier. It was so great to be able to flip through all the available colors at home, where the light is actually how the light will be on the paint. Also, we are working with some existing pieces in the living room that we don't intend to replace. Most importantly, Doug's grandmother did a painting for him from a picture he took in the Bahamas when he was doing geology field work. Not only is it very masterfully done, it also has absolutely glorious colors, making it a great centerpiece for the room. You can see the actual painting below, but when I was making furniture decisions, I mocked up this so I could see all the colors together.


So that's basically our living room as it stands now.

Anyway, when you're like me and read a lot of design blogs and magazines, you get ideas about things. For example, I got an idea about using grey for our living room when I was reading Making It Lovely, a super popular blog by the very talented Nicole Balch about updating her century old bungalow. Two years ago, she did a series using the Blu Dot chairs we eventually decided on for our dining room (more on that later) where she also used Benjamin Moore's Timber Wolf.


Good color, right? Well, I knew from previous painting projects that I would probably want a slightly lighter color than what was printed on the card so I also got Marina Gray, which seemed a little lighter.


Yeah, so it looks darker here. It isn't. Look, see what it looks like on our wall?


Ignore the aqua there for a minute. That was a debacle of a whole different stripe. See how even the Marina Gray was too dark? Yeah.

Enter Silver Lake.


And here it is on the wall:


That's Silver Lake in the upper left-hand corner. I didn't get a picture of it with the painting, but trust me, it's better. Doug is going to paint a few more samples on other walls today so we can really get a sense of how it will look, then I'll buy paint on Friday!

Oh, you're probably wondering what this has to do with our front door.

Well, we couldn't very well paint the front door without deciding on the what the wall color was eventually going to be. I knew I wanted something kind of bright and out there, that would mediate between the painting, the Blu Dot chairs, which haven't arrived yet, and a poster of a satellite view of the San Francisco Bay we picked up at the DeYoung Museum when we were in California last month, which also hasn't arrived yet. See?

The chairs will make more sense once we get into the kitchen renovation, but for now, just trust that they'll work.

Let's look again at the door. By the way, the new poster will hang where the Edward Hopper print is now. The Edward Hopper print may move into the bedroom, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.


I believe what we're looking at here is Sea of Green and some other color that I've blocked out because they were so obviously too bright and wrong. Yikes!

In any case, meet the finalist:


Oh, and in case you're wondering, the trim and ceiling will stay white. Probably White Dove.

The only thing I have to decide now is whether to put a vinyl decal of a dragon on the door. I'd love to, but it I think it might be too busy. So sad.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Square Two

Welcome to square two. It's not really square one because we've already started the rehabilitation of our sweet little condo, but since we don't have real "Before" pictures, we can't really give you a full "Before" post. So what you'll be seeing (at least in the living room is mid-"After".

But perhaps we ought to first introduce ourselves. I'm Ali. I run Dog River Biscuit Company and wrangle our puggle.


The person holding my wrist in the picture above is my husband Doug. Here's his adorable face.


Doug works for the government. If we told you any more than that, we'd have to kill you.

Doug and I met in April of 2009 when both of us signed up to play with the same Dungeons & Dragons group. Hence the nerds. We married in August of 2010.


Here's the other member of our family: our puggle, Chester. Isn't he cute?


Now we're slowly renovating Doug's condo, which I moved into after the wedding. Hence the nesting.


Sadly, HOA rules mean that we cannot paint or otherwise de-suckify the exterior door. But wait until you see what we did to the inside!

Anyway, I was tired of annoying all my Facebook friends with pictures of paint swatches so we decided to start a blog. We figured it was better to annoy the internet than to annoy all our friends.

So this is a blog about our condo. We promise the next post will actually be about nesting in it.
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