Friday, October 14, 2011

Going Green

I've shared with you the fact that pretty much every room in my house is in transition - some more than others, but basically I'm in a mess. That's ok, only because I know the end result is going to be worth the mess.

What I'd really like is to go all white and neutral, but realistically that is not possible. I bought a green sofa and love seat from Sofa Mart a few years ago, and it's not in the budget to buy a white one now. 

After my roomies move (aka my son and his adorable but very messy lab) white might be an option. Now, it's just not. This sofa will move from the den to the living room to replace the red one the adorable lab has enjoyed eating over the past two years. 

My plan: 

  • Paint a nice neutral color that will work with greens now and with whites later on
  • Decorate my living room with a wide variety of greens
This is a very realistic goal, since I like green and I already own and love plenty of interesting green things. 

This is a different approach than I have ever taken before. I usually go for rooms with a full palette of color. Now, I'm isolating one color in each room - a red den, a green living room, a white bedroom, a brown guest room, etc. This is an experiment, using the items I already own, just mixing them differently. (And probably painting a few!) I'll let you know how it turns out when I figure it out!

Since the dining room is open to the living room, I'll mix some greens in my all white scheme there. Green napkins, serving pieces and glassware and plant life might be all I need. 

Now for the meat of this post:  A green chair. Well, NOW it's green. It's another freebie from my church. It looked like this when I lugged it home:

The finish was in very rough shape, but the shape is interesting with a mid-century modern vibe. It's an interesting piece to try to integrate into the eclectic mix planned for my living room. I want to have a cottage-industrial-eclectic vibe; cozy but offbeat and interesting.

Remembering my recent gut-wrenching experience painting a rare Heywood Wakefield table before I discovered what it was, I inspected the chair for identifying maker marks. It is from the now defunct American Chair Company of Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  After searching Google for about an hour, I decided it probably was not a sin to paint this chair.

I purchased a can of Rustoleum Farm Implement Green - AKA John Deere Green. The color fits the chair's personality. Next, I patched a couple of places on the arms and sanded them. 

One can was the perfect amount for this chair, but after painting it, I decided it looked a bit plain and flat.

I rubbed a thin layer of Minwax ebony stain on it to add a little sump'n sump'n. It was subtle, but it worked.

My plan of action involves more than just painting. This project will probably take a few weekends. It includes:

  • removing two windows, 
  • patching and texturing where the windows were,
  • patching and texturing a mailbox hole,
  • painting the door and the front window with shiny black oil-based paint
  • filling lots of nail holes from hanging previous decorative items,
  • framing a large mirror over the fireplace, 
  • replacing 3 light fixtures,
  • spiffing up the wood floor,
  • painting the walls the right neutral color

With Thanksgiving drawing near, I have my work cut out for me! It is of course all dependent on my roommates moving, too. I don't want to move the sofa into the living room if the dog is still here. I also can't paint the window or the door she has scratched up until she's gone. 

You might be asking why I'm removing windows; I LOVE windows. (I have no covering on the front window, since I love the look of a bare French window.) 

My house began as a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1 car garage home in 1945. At some point, a master bedroom and 3/4 bath, a den and utility room, and another garage were added. Adding the second garage covered two windows in the living room. The outside of the house was re-bricked and it is all cohesive. But, inside, they never did anything with the windows. They are still there, with sheetrock behind them. I chose to cover them with drapes and cornice boxes when I moved in. I have painted 7 rooms in this house so far. It seemed like the easiest option when I moved in. The time has now come to do it the right way. 

Word for the Day:

They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

May you plant yourself near the source of living water, and may your leaves be evergreen!


Linking to - Piece of Work Wednesday

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Humble Life

You've seen this humble guy before. He has played a supporting role in many of my posts, though he has never been featured. He's the strong, silent type.

He's been with me from the beginning. Simple and versatile in his lowly state.

He's always there - ready to serve, a nice size on which to display some project recently finished. His height is good for taking photos. He travels inside or out. Sometimes, I've left him outside overnight without a thought.

Still, he is there for me, waiting patiently next to my white hutch. He is ever ready for his next assignment. 

He came into my life in a slightly different state. I met him at a yard sale; he was covered in a layer of rose-beige enamel. I paid two dollars for him - a bargain. He had nice legs, and I've always been attracted to a fellow with nice legs.

He sat in my garage for a year or two. Finally, I brought him inside and slapped a coat of paint remover on him. Off came the rose beige, and underneath was a coat of creamy white. Peeking out beneath the white was a coat of light green. I stopped, not wanting to go further.

It pleases me to see the all the various layers of paint. There is also a crack where the two pieces of wood meet that form the seat of this humble stool that serves as a table. It adds character.

I love the tiny flecks of rose beige among the creamy white and green paint layers. All the colors this stool has ever been can be seen at once in varying degrees. 

This stool is a visual metaphor - revealing how all our layers all come together to make us who we are, with varying amounts of each visible to those who know us. It is our layers that make us beautiful, our different colored layers give us our own unique character. 

Our seeming imperfections do not keep us from fulfilling our intended purpose. They do not keep us from going beyond our intended purpose. Our patina only makes us more beautiful. Even if we only serve a humble supporting role in the eyes of the world.

Word for the Day:

Ephesians 4:2

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

May you happily find your intended purpose today and every day!


Linking with: Furniture Feature Friday