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Monday, October 4, 2010

When Does White Make Right?

If my post today seems wobbly
and not quite all there,
it's because of these:

 Baby Calvin

Baby Luke

Born this morning to my niece and god-daughter Maggie, and her husband Garrett.
Twin boys. . . their first!  Calvin weighs nearly 7 pounds, Luke just over 7.
I am over the moon, and just wish they weren't way out in Michigan.
Anyway, I need to settle down and get my head together, and make myself useful.
That useful part?  It involves this:

But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Let's begin at the beginning, which in this case would be this past Friday,
when two lovely gentlemen came and tore up the old dirt-magnet white conservatory carpet:

 And the old padding . . . goodbye old stuff, hello cement subfloor.

 And bless their hearts, they brought in brand spanking new padding and carpet.
All done!  And the first vacuuming accomplished.
 It's a tough Berber, and it's pretty much just what I wanted -- dirt color.

Not that I don't vacuum, but when you have a room like this, which opens right out onto the patio,
all sorts of dirt and mud and objets d'schmutz get dragged in on people's feet..
And paws.

 Especially paws.

I would have liked to put a slate floor in this room, but
1) it would be cold in the winter.
2) it could be noisy -- not very good acoustics.
3) it would have cost $3000 more than carpeting.

Maybe someday I'll get a slate or brick floor in there.  Not now.


On Saturday morning, Howard began to move the furniture back into the sunroom.

"Hey," said I, "as long as there's no furniture in the room . . . why don't we . . . paint it?"

Painting the conservatory means painting the kitchen as well.
No problem.  I had an inspiration kitchen in mind, that I'd seen in a decorating book.
I first saw it years ago, and it's still my favorite -- I think it looks timeless and non-decorated, if that makes sense.

I loved that the wallpaper is so non-kitchen.  And while miles of old wallpaper were stripped off 
That Old House, we haven't put up any.  But I was ready; I'd already picked out one for the kitchen.

So at nearly lunchtime on Saturday, Howard and I were at The Home Depot, getting paint.
I am usually a Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, or Ralph Lauren gal, 
but I fell for the Behr paint-plus-primer they've been advertising on TV.
We would be covering a quite dark gold with off white; the built in primer sounded like the way to go.

My mother taught me that if I couldn't say anything nice, I shouldn't say anything at all.
So, I won't.  Say anything at all.

Anyway, as we began to put the paint on the walls, it struck me:
It was awfully white.

Remember learning from your parents or teachers that might doesn't make right?
Well, sometimes white doesn't look right!

I am not a white walls person.
I can admire them in someone else's home, or in a magazine.  But to live with white walls?

Houston, we have a problem.

I chose the color -- Table Linen -- to match the background of the wallpaper,
and now that it is up, it seems too light.
So I'm pasting swatches of paint and paper all over the wall, trying to find that perfect match.
That elusive color that is white, but not too much so.

I'm sorry these pictures are so dark.
When they were all taken, it was either pouring rain, or getting on to dusk. 

Well, I was going to finish up a second coat of what has turned out to be very expensive primer today,
and then get out to the paint store and buy some samples of other colors . . .
but Calvin and Luke have me walking in circles.

Yes, our conservatory and kitchen are undergoing a metamorphosis, but that is so insignificant
compared to the miraculous metamorphosis of my dear Maggie into a mama.
And my sister Peggy into a Grandma.
Twice over!

Happy Monday to all!  -- Cass

 Linking today to Metamorphosis Monday,
Susan's terrific blog party at Between Naps On The Porch.
Click here to visit!


  1. Congrats Cass on the twins how fun for your Sister...
    Now girl I'm not a white person..well I'm white but not for paint ha ha!! anyway you know what the dang I mean...I love that wall paper girl and I'm one of those nuts that just love wall paper...Can't wait to see it all done...Now the berber is just wonderful and it wear so well you'll love it Cass...Hugs and smiles to ya my Dear friend...Gl♥ria

  2. The babies are absolutely perfect! (I can't imagine delivering over 14 pounds of baby in the matter of a few minutes - - - I'm just sayin'!)

    I love the new carpet, and the other decor changes you are making look great up to THIS point - - - can't wait to see the rest.

  3. Congratulations on twin great nephews!!!! Can't wait to see the finished conservatory. And I admire that kitchen as well -- it is lived in and loved and doesn't seem "decorated" at all!

  4. Hello Cass, Congratulations to your niece on her new additions, oh, my oh my, what a lot of joy!
    SO sweet!

    I also love your 'dirt colored' carpeting, my husband always says we should take a bag of our dirt from home along when we go carpet hunting to match. All of your choices look fantastic to me, I wish I had your ambition and creativity. I keep watching your decorating expertise hoping some will rub off on me!

  5. Those babies are adorable! Cute puppy too.
    I love what you are doing in the conservatory-it will be such a lovely room when it is done.


  6. First of all - those babies are gorgeous :) My beautiful Goddaughter Taylor turns 18 in a week or so and I have been nostalgic lately thinking of her when she was as little as those two cute boys - sigh :)

    Seond - I'm not a white person either - I tend to look at all the design blogs with their white, sleek spaces and think - "oooooooh, that's nice!!" But then I look at my home and know that I could never live without warm colors and patterns. That's what feels cozy to me and I don't care if it's not "in" at this point - LOL!

    I can't wait to see your room finished :)

  7. What an exciting day! Twin boys, new carpet, and fresh new paint and wall paper. You are a busy lady with lots of wonderful news to share. Good luck with the paint project. Love the wall paper sample. ~ Sarah

  8. "objets d'schmutz" Laughing out loud here!! What a great phrase! I can't say it out loud without laughing! This might just become my favorite decorating term!

    Your niece makes great looking babies!! Two 7 lb. babies? I thought twins were usually small!

    There are so many varieties and shades of white in paint. You'll be sure to find one that is perfect, but it may take a while!

    Having our families spread all over the map (literally) doesn't do much for staying part of each others' lives!

  9. Awww! Congratulations!! Two beautiful baby boys! Over 14 lbs. total - Wow!. Really like the new carpet. Dion - You would not track in mud would you ? :-D Looking forward to seeing what paint color you end up with. I have a hard time picking out paint colors.

  10. Those babies are adorable! So is the pup face. And.. the carpet is a good choice... slate is COLD. Your feet will thank you. And so will your dog, even tho they end up on the furniture anyway.

  11. Congratulations on those two perfect babies!!! Good luck with the you, I'm always "in the woods" when it comes to choosing these things!!! It shouldn't be so difficult, but it always is!!!

  12. Congratulations to all of you.
    Adorable babies they are.

    I'm sitting here saying to myself....Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!
    New carpet and now painting.
    Maybe you are just not the clutz I would be. :0)
    Painted my entire house in Opal by Ben Moore.
    Love it.
    Even though I live in N.E. I don't like the look of cut off rooms ( boxed in feeling).
    Not a wallpaper person either, but can't wait to look at your pictures when you are done.
    Love that room. Lucky you!

  13. Hi!! First comment here and just had to say that I love you house and your blog.

    Such sweet babies!!

    We have recently moved into a 1890's Queen Anne house and I have just started a blog. Hope you can visit :)


  14. Hi Cass, Congratulations on the twin babies. Your sister must so happy. It is going to look great, can't wait to see the after.

  15. Congrats on the twin babies. What a blessing to your niece and sister! And I must add that I love the name LUKE as I am a proud momma, myself, to a 9-week old baby boy we named Luke!

    Can't wait to see the transformation of your conservatory.


  16. What a bee hive of activity your Old House is! I can't wait to see what you end up with....

  17. Congrats on the twins, how wonderful!
    And 7lbs each? Oh, goodness!
    The conservatory looks so nice with the new carpet.
    And we have a new baby over here too, come see the pics when you get a chance.

  18. Precious babies!!! No wonder you are excited. Congratulations to your family who is twice blessed!

    Have fun with your decorating project. Your choice of carpet looks to be perfect!

    Becky K.

  19. Aunt Cassy-
    Those boys are beautiful, can't wait to meet thanksgiving to soon for them to make it out?
    BTW I never thought I'd say this, but that wallpaper is gorgeous. I guess there IS wallpaper out there which is not the ememy. Hmmmm....

  20. How adorable. And the babies are cute too.
    Lose the white. Ugh.
    Good to know about the paint.

  21. Congratulation Cass! these babies are so cute!
    love the wallpaper and color of paint, love the kitchen in the magazine, all match and all is perfect!Good luck for the painting and wallpaper! Catherine

  22. Congratulations, your twin nephews are gorgeous. Looks like you have your work cut out for you with all the painting and such. I know all is going to look fabulous in the end. Meanwhile, have fun! ;)

  23. The new carpet looks so fresh and delightful and the twins are just beautiful. "I'm" having twins myself next month (that is, my niece is!) Can't wait!

  24. This mama of twins, who's also married to a twin, who has twin sisters - thinks twinsies are the BEST ! Congratulations to your goddaughter and her hubby !!!!!

    The wallpaper looks beautiful, I don't like white walls myself, but I can't think of anything that would look as good with the paper.

    Can't wait to see the finished results !


  25. I also fell for the ad for that paint with the primer. Should have known better by my past experience with that brand of paint. Let's just say I will now be painting over that with a different brand.

  26. First of all, those babies are adorable. Congratulations!

    Secondly, who knew there were so many shades of white. It is so hard to find the right one. I wonder if you should go darker white than you think just because that room is so light. And then pick a lighter white in the kitchen where it will be right next to the wallpaper?

    Good luck!


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