Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Basement Metamorphosis, Continued

Now that two walls and the "screen" are painted, it is time to move around to the remaining two walls. We began by painting with Benjamin Moore's Light Khaki. But there is a problem here, it is way too green for our tastes. At least we have visualized something more mocha / hot chocolate / cafe au lait than this. Although not as clear in these pictures, it was really more greenish, tending toward olive, than these pictures show.

We dragged out the fan decks, squinted a bit, then noticed a wallpaper sample that I had never used, leaning up against the Library Mahogany and a light went on. Let's head up to Homey D and just color match this in Ralph Lauren! Which is exactly what we did! The results are better than the pictures show, lending a richness to the space without being overly dark.



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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy Bastille Day!

Le Chat is not so happy, she knows she is not getting any of our celebratory food! All of which is from Julia Child, Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One (1) (Fortieth - 40th - Anniversary Edition) (Vol 1)

The white plates are from Portugal. The red are Johnson Brothers that I found at TJMaxx. The blue are W. A. Adams blue willow.

The blue and red bowls were removed for the onion soup and entree service.

They were returned for the dessert of fresh berries, chambord, freshly whipped cream and a sprig of mint. I wish I could say that was the mint from my garden, although there is a lot of it, it isn't especially fragrant. I prefer my dessert implement, fork, spoon or both, at the top of the plate as Amy Vanderbilt. My mother is a Post girl, but I was always an Amy fan. The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette : 50th Anniversary Edition

Bon appétit!
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Basement Metamorphosis in Progress!

The basement metamorphisis has begun!
We have lived with builder white in the house longer than I care to admit. I love space planning, but color can keep me up at nights! I tend to blame my "color hesitance" on my husband, he is far less adventurous than I am. When we were first married, he me talked out of a certain gorgeous Salmon I had in mind for our first house; based on his objections, the color went down a couple of tints, to what ended up an insipid pale peach color. I never really liked it. At least, that's my story and I am sticking to it.

Now, many of my painting adventures are accomplished when he is on a business trip.

The basement, which functions as home office, home theater and craft space, needed color. Frankly, it needs more than just paint, it also needs bamboo flooring, improved lighting, cable management and better furniture. But the first start was to paint. Why start with paint? Several reasons. For one, paint unifies the room, making a room feel more complete. Another reason to start with paint, rather than say, floors, is that you can drip on the worn carpet that is leaving the building without worry.

Of course, before an ounce of paint can go on the wall, a plan had to be developed. The plan includes changes to the floor, paint and furnishings. I searched for photos in the plan on rate my space on HGTV's site and other sites, to find a style similar to what was in my head. Then I combined paint chips and rug samples to complete the plan.

As mentioned earlier, the basement functions in part as a home theater, therefore a dark paint is needed to improve the picture. Of the five paint finishes, gloss, semi-gloss, satin, eggshell and flat, the last two are good choices for a home theater. If the room is painted in a higher gloss, the purpose of painting the room dark is defeated by the light reflection that the glossy paint provides. Home theater purists would argue that only matte is appropriate for a home theater, but I prefer the softness of the eggshell over matte.
We considered several shades of grey, all the way down to charcoal. Ultimately, we wanted the basement to be a little warmer, so we chose Library Mahogany by Ralph Lauren in an eggshell finish.

The other difficulty was what to do about the screen, or lack thereof. We have been using a blank white wall. We considered purchasing a home theater screen, about a $2000 option, painting the current wall with expensive specialty paint, about a $200 option, leaving it white, an ineffective option. Finally, I googled "home theater screen diy", one more time just to see if threre were any new ideas. Behr's SilverScreen, E770-E2. One quart, a fifteen dollar option, okay $20 with a brush. Here is the screen, with Mr. Smith goes to Washington and a Washington Nats game for comparison.

This "Nine News" is an image from before the SilverScreen paint, not bad, just not nearly as crisp as the after.

Woops! I forgot to add the image!