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Category: inspiration

The Power of Paint Compels You

I am possessed by the urge to paint EVERYTHING.






Kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen cabinets.

I’ve visited Benjamin Moore so frequently of late that Sanders is probably wondering if he should set up a cot for me.

Yesterday when I went to the high risk doc, I frantically interrogated him about the possibility of harming the baby from SO MUCH PAINTING. I mean, I use the fancy low VOC Aura paint, but still… there are nights I go to bed with paint in my hair. And under my nails. And who knows where else — I can’t see down there anymore.

He said not to worry one bit, to paint away.

So in case you were wondering, our little peanut probably will probably come out with only two eyes and sans vestigial tail.

Although extra parts could come in handy someday?

Gotta peruse some paint chips. See y’alluns later.

[House and Home, Mary MacDonald, Veranda, Jamie Meares, Laura Day, unknown kitchens all via pinterest]

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Ohm Mani Padme Hum

Hello fine friends, thank you so much for all of your comments (and mockups!!!) on my lighting score and dinette drama post. There was kind of a lot of feedback to process there… so I got overwhelmed and did absolutely nothing towards addressing the dinette/kitchen problems last weekend. Instead we painted ceilings and stair risers.


Not really, but it feels nice to get a neutral base going so I can hear myself think around here. I’m getting the tiniest bit closer to solving all of the (my) worlds’s problems, so here are my responses to some to your questions and comments.

1) The dinette is the dinette and the front room is a playroom because the front room is kind of secluded and will never ever get used as a dining room. Also it is very very wee.

Hi, front room! Don’t worry, paint for the shelves is still on the docket. It’s looking like wall color in high gloss.

I am the decider. Boom.

2) I am feeling very wiffle waffley about our current dining table. I hate to put time and energy into painting it properly (it will have to withstand childocalypse), so I am trying to decide between leaving it suburban brown and saving up to buy this:

$1100 shipped. On one hand, I am a little gun shy about the quality… it has a cast aluminum base which is a plus, but that sucker really has to be heavy to stay upright when tiny monkeys hang off the edges. On the other hand, I think a simple pedestal table would solve a lot of problems. In all white, this guy would go with almost any chair, bench, settee, etc, imaginable.

3) You may have steamrollered me into painting the kitchen cabinets. MAYBE. I have about 800 things to do before I propel a watermelon sized human out of my vagina in a few months, so this is low on the list. But it’s on the list.

Now I will just have to decide on a color. I will tell you now that I want cream, and you will probably tell me to go gray green. It’s going to be an epic struggle.

4) Speaking of baby, if you think the dinette drama is a hot mess, you should see all the paint swatches in the fetus’ room. Sanders has been very patient with my umpteen sample requests, but he probably secretly (or not so secretly) wants to kill me.

This was my inspiration, and while it’s very cute I just can’t find a green I like in that room. It gets a lot of light and everything goes neon pastel babytown in there.

Meet my new inspiration. It’s perfect — well, except for the sharpened obelisks of doom. But I think I’m going to go creamy neutral tone on tone, with a pop of cobalt. Lots of texture.

Ok, so that’s only four things but it’s four more than I had last week.

Now you can decide whether I should splurge on the table and what color to paint my cabinets.

But fair warning: despite the fact that it’s now covered in paint swatches and the ceilings are painted with raggedy unfinished edges, that area is kind of on the back burner (until I start tearing my hair out over its horrificness). My ever expanding belly is urging me to prioritize…

Baby here in T-14 weeks. Also car #2 is dying.

Deep breaths.

[nursery via Apartment Therapy, amazing room via Wendy Schwartz Designs]

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How Many Colors Can You Paint a House?

It’s getting nervous up in here. I love to make decisions for other people, but when it comes to myself I will waffle endlessly if given the chance. So, on one hand it’s probably a good thing that the baby is theoretically coming in four months. On the other hand, I’m starting to panic that we’re going to end up with a patchwork quilt of insanity because I have to make too many choices too quickly.

Mostly I’m freaking about all the colors I’m slathering all over the walls. Teal, coral, peach, navy, oh probably some green while I’m at it… how many colors can one house reasonably (gracefully) hold?

I’m kind of a colorphobe. My downstairs closet is full of gray and black and navy. But my secret upstairs closet (the going out closet) is full of orange and pink and gold and turquoise and acid green. It seems that I almost always chicken out at the 11th hour when deciding if I should slip into something more colorful — I pretty much have to be hitting the bars at midnight to fluff my peacock feathers.

But I know that while there’s definitely an allure to cool and aloof, everyone wants to party with the crazy girl in color.

Am I right?

Still, I don’t want to go berserk in here. Crazy should not equal slutty. I just don’t think I’d be comfortable most of the time dealing with that much stimulation… from color. Duh.

I will admit to loving just a restrained shot of color — that perfect foil for an otherwise neutral and serene palette.

But I don’t know… once I get going I kind of can’t stop myself.

luxe interiors

And then things get interesting.

I’d like to know what you think about “the rules” regarding color in decor. How many colors can you balance in one room? Three? Five? Infinity?

What about in a whole house?

I mean, we’re definitely going beyond light beige, medium beige, and dark beige here.

But can every room be a different color?

Please discuss.

[Pinterest, Porter wallpapers/fabrics, AD, Jeffrey Bilhuber, Pinterest, World of Interiors, Luxe Interiors]

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State of the Office Address

I’m a jacked up nightmare of snot, plus Ike is home for the “holiday” today (seriously?! Jesus is already risen — back to work, teachers!) so I’m not sure how witty and entertaining I can be this morning. However, I really wanted to say thank you for your comments regarding my shelving dilemma. I read each and every one, and thought very deep thoughts about them. Here’s what I came up with:

#1. I think the tan leather couch would look better in here, but I did some measurements, ran some calculations, assessed the wind speed, etc, and Alexis the hot uncomfortable couch just won’t work in our family room. It’s way too low. So for now, tan couch stays where it is, and someday (hopefully maybe this year) when we replace it with something bigger and sexier, tan couch can move into here and I will pimp out Alexis on craigslist.

#2. I decided the painting wasn’t working in here. I love it on dark colored backgrounds, but you were right when you said something horizontal would look better. But how about something round? Cuz that’s what I came up with.

#3. For now I plan to go with gloss wall color for the shelves IF they stay on that wall… I’m still a bit undecided here. I think we may need to address the door situation first and see if the shelves intrude on the walkway. If the shelves don’t go there, they can go on the opposite wall — just as soon as I figure out what to do with the thousand pound limed oak hutch currently holding court on that wall.

#4. Exit coffee table, enter rug.

#5. I realized all I want in the world is for the office to look something like this room by Amy Howard (minus the wtf roses):

Mmmm mmmm delicious. I love the dark, low contrast wall paired with light sofa and peachy pink pillows/rug.

erin williamson

So here’s my mockup, designed to head in that direction. I painted one shelf charcoal and the other wall color… I think wall color wins. I replaced the lady painting with a large round brass tray I already had (how to hang this behemoth?!), flanked by some small vintage lithos. Don’t hate my peachy salmon pillows because they’re beautiful. I already own the vintage malayer rug, but it’s redder in real life and I fear it may overpower the space…

erin williamson

 Plan B

I think this may be better — more masculine. The rug is definitely lower contrast in real life, so I think it will blend with the floor rather than chopping up the tiny space. And you’ll just have to imagine that both shelves are wall color. Don’t worry — my paint job will look better than that in real life. I HOPE.

Just to mix myself up a bit, I tried painting the shelves green since I like the teal/jade/coral color combo, a la Kelly Wearstler:

My version:

erin williamson

I got lazy with the photoshop… sorry. So, the green isn’t quite right, but it doesn’t really matter because the wall color isn’t accurate either (it’s darker and greener in real life). I don’t care for this much color on this wall, but I think muted jade shelves might look nice on the opposing wall, flanking the window with a neutral desk setup in front.

So maybe that is Plan B.

And that’s what’s happening with the office — largely lots of photoshopping, head scratching, and fondling of paint chips.

Speaking of paint, I got a zillion samples from Sanders this weekend. We painted an attic closet that Matt enclosed for us, and I also started the process of selecting a whole house color palette that includes every bedroom plus wallpaper. So you know… I’m not overwhelmed or busy or anything.

Don’t worry — you’ll be hearing much much more about this business later.

T minus 17 weeks until my due date…



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Split Personality Throwdown

Hi, my name is Erin, and I’m two people. Ok, well to be perfectly literal I do in fact have another person growing inside my belly (weird!), but what I’m talking about is the other person inside my brain — her name is Stacy. You can blame this identity crisis on my mom, who called all three of her darling children by their middle names, thereby ensuring an uphill battle to maintain a consistent persona. Mostly I have learned to answer to any name by which I’m called, but still I cringe when I hear “STACY!” barked out at the Dr’s office and know the clueless registrar means none other than Yours Truly.

Let me tell you about Stacy — she’s a nutcase. She thought her name was really Anastasia and someone (talking to you, Mom) made a terrible spelling error. Stacy revealed herself in high school, tired of finally fighting the good fight to just be Erin, dammit. Stacy was kinda grungy, dyed her hair purple, got a nose ring, went on to college and did, ahem, the things college kids do — namely pull in a near 4.0 in between partying. Hard.

She likes a lot of color and for you to feel slightly uncomfortable in her presence.

Because there is a special kind of cognitive dissonance that occurs in the push/pull between organization and entropy.

She’s a wild child, but the floors better be clean or she will whip your ass.

And of course you know me, little ol’ Erin. My last house was pretty much black, white and gray, with a hefty dose of brown, because that is where I feel safe and comfortable. I am a rational being, and I don’t need any overly decorative crap chintzing up my life.

That’s not to say that Erin, I, whomever, doesn’t have a sense of humor.

She just thinks you might feel more comfortable if the lines are clearly drawn, if things are proper and orderly.

Nothing wrong with that, right?

Now, if you can’t yet tell, there’s a hole in my brain and I’m struggling to balance the two personalities within. For a long time, the neutral, sensible side has been in control. But lately the crazy party ho has been yearning to break free.

Don’t worry — no part of me is actually a ho. That was just a little poetic license.

Anyway, I learned long ago that it’s better to balance Jeckyll and Hyde, lest a monster break free and run rampant all up in my house, or it get so dreary and overly polite in here that no one feels free to do other than take tea and eat crumpets.

Not that I would kick a crumpet out of bed.

And there you have it, I AM a ho — a carbohydrate ho.

At least there are some things all my personalities can count on.

Stay tuned to see how the other issues resolve themselves. My house is a battleground.

Advice (both decor and mental health related) is always appreciated.

[little blue deer, Poppytalk, Kriste Michelini Interiors, NYTThe Aestate, NYT]

Please go to my Pinterest to visit all the wonderful friends I stole these images from.

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