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Teal for the Entryway?

I like the way open-concept homes look but I prefer to live in a house with separate rooms, and Victorians are certainly known for having lots of rooms. Ours has the entryway, double parlor, and dining room all open to each other with wide doorways (the pocket doors of which are nearly always open). If you sit in the center of our teal sofa, you could see all four rooms, and into the kitchen too.

I See Everything!

I like thinking about the design for the first floor as a whole, since you do see multiple rooms at once. The dining room will likely get Fornasetti’s Chiavi Segrete wallpaper once we can afford to do it. (The nursery and second floor renovation is getting top priority right now.) It would look a little something like this.

Dining Room

Now that both parlors have been painted and I know what’s likely going in the dining room, I’ve been trying to decide on a color for the entryway. The window and door face East, but the porch and large tree out front block a lot of the light for much of the day. And there’s a whole lot of oak paneling and trim. I’ve had it in my head all along that I want to bring in more teal to that side of the house to reference the sofa, but I was going to do it through accessories and keep the walls neutral. Maybe teal on the walls is the way to go though?

BHG Teal Paints
BHG Teal Paint Colors

Another option is Sandberg’s Raphael wallpaper in dark blue.

Sandberg Raphael Wallpaper

I have a sample and it looks perfect, but it doesn’t work with the other wallpaper. I think that between the two, I’d rather go with papering the dining room — which brings me back to teal for the entry. I’ve been playing around with my design boards in Photoshop (you’ve seen them in various stages on the blog before), virtually rearranging things and trying out different combinations. I shared this screenshot on Instagram the other day.

I would probably go a little deeper and darker than the paint colors in that BHG palette above, but not so dark that it competes with the black in the back parlor. What do you think?

A Good Travel Camera?

I just got back from my trip to France and Morocco! I’m so eager to tell you about it, but I need to get over jetlag, go through and edit my photos, and of course cobble together a few cohesive thoughts on the whole thing. So today, can I ask for a recommendation? I’d love a good camera for traveling. Something between my iPhone and my DSLR.

I brought my Canon 7D with two lenses (a wide angle 10-22mm, and my favorite, the 35mm f/1.4L prime) in a leather camera bag from ONA. Altogether, my camera gear was at least 10 pounds which I’m normally happy to carry for the sake of better quality photos. While six months pregnant though? I was jealous of my travelmates with small lightweight cameras. And really, I’ve been looking for a good travel camera for a couple of years now — it just took this trip to really make it seem like I ought to finally find something.

Traveling With My Camera Bag

I’m aware of a few options… Jordan bought a Sony NEX on the recommendation of a friend, and coincidentally it was the same model that both Carol and Dave were using, though theirs were provided to them by Sony. I was sent a Samsung Galaxy Camera to review for Babble in 2012, and I had high hopes for it but it was buggy and not as great as I’d hoped. I liked the quality of the Canon G10 that I used to own (I gave it to my sister a couple of years ago, but it looks like the new G16 might work for me now), and I’ve heard great things about the Fujifilm X100S, but I worry that the fixed lens is limiting and it’s expensive.

Since I’m not a professional photographer and I don’t need to carry all of my heavy, expensive gear with me, I’m still looking for the magic camera I was two years ago. Good in low-level light, wifi or bluetooth connection with my iPhone (or maybe just Eyefi compatibility?), manual and a variety of automatic modes (shutter or aperture priority), nice depth of field, a wide optical zoom range, and of course, something that can take good quality photos. Do you have any recommendations, or an impartial review site to check out? Thanks in advance for your help!

The Playroom’s Accent Wall (Featured in HGTV Magazine)

The playroom is sporting a different look from the last time you saw it! I showed a couple of shots while the wall was in progress a couple of months ago, but then I couldn’t show any more until the feature with Glidden ran in HGTV magazine this month.

Playroom Accent Wall in Progress

I write for Glidden, so when they asked if I had any painting projects coming up that they could share, I told them about my plans for the playroom. Typically, I’m not one to do an accent wall, as they can seem kind of arbitrary. In this case though, I really liked the white walls on the third floor for the most part, but wanted to bring some of the color over from the curtains on the other side of the playroom. A big block of color (like a traditional accent wall) could have worked, but I thought this would be a good place to try something a bit more playful.

Accent Wall in the Playroom #makingitlovely

Playroom Accent Wall #makingitlovely

The feature is inside a peel-back front cover in the June 2014 issue of HGTV magazine, along with projects by Kate and Eduardo, who also write for Glidden over at My Colortopia.

Making it Lovely  for Glidden in the June 2014 issue of HGTV Magazine

Initially, I thought about creating a more orderly polka dot wall, but I changed my mind the day before I started painting and went with a bunch of falling bubbles instead. The walls on the third floor are textured, so the design couldn’t be too intricate. I started with the quick marker sketch you see at the beginning of the post, and then drew large circles for the design on the wall, freehand with a pencil. I used an inexpensive art/craft paintbrush to outline some of the smaller circles, and used a 2″ angled paintbrush for the rest, and to fill everything in.

Circle Outlines

The other side of the playroom has those floral curtains that I made years ago from Moda’s “Mom’s Couch” fabric. They hung in my stationery studio initially, and were also used in Eleanor’s bedroom in the last house.

Playroom #makingitlovely

I chose Glidden’s Red Geranium because I wanted to pull in that bright orangey-red color and bring it to the other side of the room.

Playroom Accent Wall #makingitlovely

There are bookshelves for toys to the right of the easel, and along the left side, I hung cubbies to keep art supplies within reach, and also put up three large wall clips to use for rotating artwork on display from the kids.

Playroom Accent Wall #makingitlovely

Art Supplies in Reach, and Display

I’m glad I’m finally able to share this updated space with you! We spend a lot of time in the playroom, and the added color has made it even more fun for the kids. And thank you, Glidden and HGTV magazine for featuring the project!

Playroom Accent Wall #makingitlovely

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