Thursday, July 23, 2009

The perfect white paint

If you've tried to choose a white wall color, I suspect that you've sat in front of the display and felt like you wanted to throw your hands up. How do you choose? Who knew there were so many different shades? And what if I (gasp) pick the wrong one?

When it was time to choose ours, I took to the internet to get opinions, but that was equally as confusing as you consider individual preferences and styles. Back at the store, I selected my top 5 (of course it took me an hour to get down to 5) to trial on the walls. I was astounded by how different each "white" was on the walls. At the end of the day, we settled on Benjamin Moore's White Dove (OC-17) and I love it. (As if my life would have been turned upside down if we were one shade different).

Benjamin Moore's White Dove (not in the best lighting)

This morning I came across the incredibly talented Vicente Wolf's blog. He was posed this exact to choose the perfect white. He consistently chooses Benjamin Moore's Super White, as he feels it is the most neutral white. I thought this was a good little insider tip from the top of the design world. (Oh why couldn't he have blogged about this before I spent far too many hours of my life worrying about the right shade of white?).

Benjamin Moore's Super White (notice a difference? didn't think so)

So no, I'm absolutely not worried about our white. It's great in our house. But apparently I did feel compelled to contribute to the internet chatter on finding the perfect white. If anyone is facing this dilemma, just thought you might be interested. This is also a good article on the different hues on the most popular whites if you're still not certain. Good luck!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Inspiration vs reality: driveway pavers

Throughout our build, I was set on taupe and grey pavers for our driveway. No questions, don't fight it, this was certain. Right. The day that we were scheduled to place our order, I came across this image on the Hanson Hardscape website.

The deep brick color surrounded by green grass was so fresh (to me at least). Gorgeous. With Mr. Big shaking his head in the background, I changed my mind completely and we changed our order completely. I secretly hoped that I wouldn't regret this impulse.

After living with the finished product for a year, we're both really pleased with the last minute change. We went with the Hanson Abbey Road pavers, which combines larger and smaller pavers. It provides an imperfect, but interesting pattern.

Our workers were cursing us throughout the project (talk about a puzzle...), but we ended up with a driveway that we really like. And thank goodness, the brick red color did exactly what we were hoping for.

So there you have it, another "inspiration vs. reality" summary. I've been slow to post them all, but they will begin making their way here once again. And if anyone out there is looking for pavers, we certainly wouldn't hesitate recommending Hanson.

Backyard fun with the camera

One year later

The majority of our landscaping went in exactly one year ago today. It's amazing how it has grown in, so much so that I can't wait to see what another year will do. Our landscapers, Vigoro Nursery, have been wonderful to work with.

Here are the original photos from that day. And here we are today...

It has been a real treat seeing everything come in. There's always something new that surprises us. I'm beginning to learn that there's nothing like enjoying your garden.

Great docking station

A real cedar solution from etsy seller woodtec

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dont' even ask

Over the past few weeks, I've been considering ways to update a slightly outdated golf condo. It's on the course, two levels, and requires a face lift soon. I was pleased to see the following image on Desire to Inspire today.

Designed by Christopher Gaona

Just go ahead and plop me into one of those chairs. This may kick us off in the right direction.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ideas for friends: Feature wall

New home construction is so exciting, especially as the walls have gone up and you really begin visualizing your spaces. A friend of Mr. Big's has an amazing opportunity to do something really cool on a feature wall that is visible from the front door. Ever since visiting his house in May, I've been secretly watching for neat ideas that he could consider. Hope there might be something in here that catches his eye.

As a handy guy, he probably could mimic this textured, modern wall.
Styled by Glen Probestel

Painting that mimics a concrete look would also be sharp with his existing decor.
The round bookshelf would look fab on his wall as well, especially if it was 3-4 ft in diameter.

Again, styled by Glen Probestel

Love this idea of subtle color changes.
Surprise, styled by Glen Probestel

A ceramic or tiled wall. Because it's not to the edges, it looks more like artwork.
By Katie Blee.

Paint it an accent color. Krakvik & D'Oazio

Wallpaper it in a monotone, modern, and masculine paper.
Designed by Sheldon Keith Trimble

A funky mixture of molding and mirrors (without the girly touches of course)
Photographed by Tom Leighton

Anyone else have interesting thoughts for an accent wall?

Can you smell the surf wax?

Growing up in Southern California, I woke on endless mornings to the sound of our '49 Ford Woody getting fired up in the garage. My dad's long boards would be perched out the back window with my brothers' short boards hidden beneath. In the blink of an eye, my mom and I would be left behind (with the exhaust) as the boys spent another day searching the perfect wave. Those boys and surfing...what great memories.

There's even a story where my dad pulled over a dump truck traveling down the freeway because he saw a somewhat battered, but salvageable, board peeking out at him. No word of a lie, he refurbished and road that board for years. Talk about love.

When I saw this image, my heart went straight back to my teenage years. I can almost smell the surf wax...

What a wonderful way to honor a pastime.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bathrooms to enjoy

These lights are fab. Photographed by Ken Gutmaker

Simple and stunning bathroom in designer Jill Crawford's home