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How cute are these? June 28, 2010

Posted by Emily in a few of my favorite things, design, moving, new house.
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Now that my house is all painted, something I didn’t think I’d be able to do (or have done, and choose colors) in a rental, I apparently want what I can’t have and have been strangely interested in pendant lights lately. Go figure.

These caught my eye:

I can’t decide if I like the yellow or the turquoise best….

(via Remodelista)


down the (white) rabbit hole May 19, 2010

Posted by Emily in colors, design, moving, new house, Spain.
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I have this weird thing about making decisions. I would consider myself fairly decisive, but when it comes to buying things, or making random commitments, I like to know that I’m making the right decision via process of elimination. I research. I read comments online. I stew a little. I ask most of the people I know for their opinions, even if it’s sometimes just to clear up in my head that I was right all along. I may be capable of decisiveness, but I am very rarely impulsive, especially with big purchases.

And so I’m trying to figure out the right paint colors for my new house. This process is inexplicably exciting for me, as it’s something I’ve been dying to be able to do for a long time. But now that it’s here, I want to be sure. If the paint goes up and ends up looking yucky, we’re probably going to be stuck with it, since I doubt we’ll be able to pay for it twice. (even once is a little overwhelming)

I have made up my mind that I want light gray walls in the living room and dining room, with white trim. Seems so simple, right?

Well, then I started reading about “the right white” and all my confidence went to hell. I read all 94 comments on this post. (RIP, Decorno) Read through Apartment Therapy’s take on white paint. Then their tips on choosing paint colors. Then read through Colour Me Happy’s take on paint choices (and have to agree with the starkness of the cinnamon color against the bright white – arg.) While I was there I also read her post “What everyone should know about gray” (because I really don’t want to screw that up, too. Gray is tricky.)

Then there’s the eggshell/semi-gloss/flat/who knows what else question. Semi gloss for the trim seems to be the consensus. But ceiling? Walls? Everyone has a different opinion, and everyone seems to feel very right.

I know I read even more musings on whites (not to mention the section in the book I bought), but I closed those browser tabs in a moment of feeling a bit out of control. I came to realize that most of my normal life/purchasing choices are highly governed by budget, which is an issue here, but not SO much since all of these cost the same or can be color matched. And generally there’s a finite number of choices – you go to Target, see 10 stereos, and you choose one.

But goodness, there are a million colors of paint! And don’t even get me started on how many freaking whites Benjamin Moore carries, not even counting the million other companies!

But somewhere along the way, I pretty much decided to paint my bedroom Benjamin Moore’s “Quiet Moments” (or its color-matched equivalent, depending on my budget at that point.) This felt like a huge victory. Every time I see it, I like it. And I even like the name, which seems to have strange emotional pull (yet another reason why BM’s “Mayonnaise” is not my white).

(photo via design*sponge, clearly. I love her Sneak Peeks and find them hugely inspirational [and laid out better than Apartment Therapy house tours].)

Does anyone have any paint choosing tips? Know the perfect white? Have a color in their house that they just love?

I seem to like yellow kitchens, but that’s a whole other issue. We don’t want day-glo. But we also don’t want weird Easter pastels. It can easily look dingy, the opposite of what you want in a kitchen. Colors, I love you but you treat me badly. At least when I’m trying to decide which of you to put on my walls.

Palette love July 6, 2009

Posted by Emily in a few of my favorite things, Blogs I read and like, design, moving.
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It has recently come to my attention that I am obsessed with palettes.

Strange, I know – especially coming from a person whose paintings are often taken for early grade school projects. Really embarrassingly bad.

But a nice palette makes me giddy. I only just recently pulled together lots of my favorite things to make that connection.

Exhibit A:

The mother of all palettes: Pantone. When feeling stressed in high school journalism, I used to crawl into a corner and flip through the Pantone chart. I still find spreading the fan of colors incredibly high-inducing. I’d like to have one, just to look at it when I’m on the phone or while I’m waiting for the water to boil, but unfortunately, they cost a couple hundred dollars. (yes, for a bunch of pieces of paper with colors on them – but it’s Pantone!) To tide me over, I am still contemplating adding a couple of mugs to my collection, but one or two just can’t compare to the full chic rainbow.


photo from yumsugar.com

To continue the color choosing fun, Kuler. It’s a little-known Adobe online application that is invaluable for choosing colors – whether for a website, a wedding, or just trying to decide on something fun to wear for the day. I also love the palettes people can save and share. With titles like “Christmas in Italy” “Venezuelan Beach” or even “Chocolate Mint Coffee” – I find them incredibly transporting. You can also get colors based on an uploaded photo. This has saved my life during more than one boring period at more than one boring job.


As part of my move, I’ve been spending more time than usual perusing paint palettes at Lowe’s and Home Depot. One dresser I painted a classic Decorator’s White, but the nightstand will gets its last coat today of – Tucson Teal (the darkest shade)! So fun!


I recently came across this blog, Creative Holly Color, where she posts palettes based on people or events, personal or famous.

I am convinced that I was an artist in some past life, as my favorite shopping might possibly be art supply stores, where there’s very little my art-incapable self can actually use.

green palette, scrapbooking

scrapbook store, Great Falls, MT

So many colors, so many shades!