This is my seventh midwestern autumn, and I've learned that we need those colorful leaves, because, for the most part, the outsides are yuck. After living in a small, one bedroom apartment in an old building with "historic charm" (historic charm = crap plumbing and walls) we moved into another old building. 'Cause that's how we do. It's a duplex in a decent neighborhood. Ian calls it blue collar, I call it a lil ghetto. Our landlords are a renters dream, and before we moved in we asked if we could paint. They said not to worry about it, just send them the colors and they would have someone do it. So I had an hour to figure what paint colors I wanted. Not nearly enough time. So I scrambled, and after months of living with off white walls I wanted grey. grey. grey. grey. This tonta didn't have her head on straight. I chose grey for the two north facing rooms. I never, ever, thought about the direction a room faces and the light quality/paint color dilemma before. So we lived with grey walls that looked extra grey against the lovely grey backdrop of the longest and greyest Minnesotan winter I've every lived through. And I've lived through six. Kind of. I "winter" in California because my parents let me.
This summer I had a baby and now I feel like I can do just about anything. Like paint our walls. And we did! It only took about 3 months to sort it out, and I really owe my husband an apology. But he knew what he was getting himself into. So I take that apology back, buddy! I went to Sherwin Williams, picked a million little cards, taped them all over our place, stared at them, talked about them, moved them around, threw them away, took them out of the trash, tapped them back on the wall. It was fun. In the end, my amazing sister-in-law suggested I use the same color that her parents have up in their family room. I love their home, so I went with it. I had the color matched (because it's actually a Benjamin Moore color) and we taped everything off and went at it. I hated it. But only for a day. I even cried about it. Raise your hand if you're surprised. I love it now. It's warm and inviting and a whole lot of "Fennel Seed" goodness.
We did end up painting both rooms the same color because I just couldn't handle the agony of choosing a second color. As you can see, everything had to be moved from one room to another when we painted. I also decided to deal with this monster.
This past August our downstairs neighbors were moving out. Someones mother had given them this armoire and they kept it in the basement. They were going to take it with them to their new place, but after moving it up from the basement decided it wasn't worth dealing with anymore and they left it on the curb. Now, I'm usually the one that screams in the car for Ian to pull over so I can load up whatever free stuff has been left on the side for the road, but this time Ian went all crazy. He decided he wanted it, and employed the help of our poor neighbor downstairs to move the darn thing up. And there it sat, in all its glory, taking up precious space in our living room. I decided to go ahead and tackle that too. Call it providence, but I happened to stumble upon this little post and basically played copy cat.
I used a Martha Stewart color that's a deep navy. I was surprised by how much I hated this project. I love the finished product though. It's not perfect, but it was free and that works for me.