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8/22/14

JUST PEACHY


About 17 years ago my father passed away.  He's the handsome guy on the left in this late 40's photograph.
That's a real dimple in his chin, and the hat tipped a little rakishly over his eyes was a signature style, too.
That beautiful woman on the right is my sweet mother, Afton.  She was devoted to him for over 60 years.  
We lost her yesterday.

Afton was nearly 98 years old and mother to 9.  
Mom and Dad were married in the depression era, she just shy of her 17th birthday and he a robust 22 year old.  They married young in those days...
They also sewed clothing, made quilts, canned fruit, baked bread, ironed clothing, milked cows, gathered eggs and shot the occasional pheasant out the back door for dinner.  The depression and a large family made her thrifty and clever.   She had a great capacity to love, a thirst for knowledge, an appreciation of beauty and a talent for needlework and homemaking.  She gave home perms to her girls, and sewed all their clothing.  She became so good at it that she won ribbons at the county fair for her skills. 
I look at my stainless steel appliances, my gas dryer, store bought clothing and zippy little car that takes me wherever I need to go and wonder how she did it all.
When I was a teenager, she added 'teacher' to the mix .  She taught English and Social Studies at a school in Pesega, Western Samoa; just one of the many countries in which we lived.  She loved the South Pacific. She could sit all day and watch and listen to the ocean. 
 She loved to travel.  I was astonished to discover she climbed the Eiffel Tower at age 91.  

    In her last years she had begun to depart from us.  Her memory retreated to the past and we weren't always recognized.  Sweet Afton, we will miss you, but are so happy you can be reunited with Daddy, and brother Boyd who left us 7 years ago.  You live on forever in memory.  I love you Mom.



Sincere, heartfelt thanks to all of my wonderful friends, readers and family who have reached out with love, hugs, prayers and kindness.  I am touched beyond words.  



QUESTION FROM A READER:

Hi Claudine -

My husband and I are in the process of a closing on our very first home.  The main level of the home is a peachy cream color and the basement is a mint green.  At this time, we can only spare enough cash to paint one level and I chose the basement b/c it's just so horrible.  I feel like I can live with the peachiness of the main level, but I'm having the hardest time deciding on a furniture color/color scheme to match the walls. My dream would be to start over and paint the entire house in a silvery grey with some darker grey rooms/accent walls splashed in, but we can't afford that right now. 

I have attached a couple pictures of the living room and adjoining breakfast area/kitchen to get your thoughts.  The pictures are from the listing so none of the furniture/d├ęcor will remain....thank goodness! :)  I was considering a heather grey or very light taupe color living room set, but I just don't know that it would work...maybe with an area rug with a splash of peach? 







ANY help/suggestions you can provide would be greatly appreciated!!!  
Thank you.
Julie

Hi Julie,
You said your dream would be to repaint in a silvery gray palette, and I would definitely work towards that goal as you add rugs and furnishings to this area.   Try not to get stuck in the peach zone.  These rooms above are far too warm - the walls are warm, the rug is warm, the fabrics are warm the woods are warm. Results are an overheated color scheme.  Peach tones will work nicely with a medium to dark gray sofa, and you can pretty much ignore the whole peach color scheme, as it will become a neutral and a background as you add more of your gray tones and your accent colors.  When you can eventually repaint with the colors you prefer, you won't have to redecorate again.  Find a rug that has colors you love but that will also look nice with the wall color - Here's an example of what I'm trying to explain...

House Tweaking
Grays are a natural with peach and coral tones...  The cool grays look great against the warm peach and coral tones.

Be Colorful

 You can even accent with deeper coral.  It looks amazing with gray.
Find a rug you love that will look nice with the wall color,
 and the color you want to live with in the future...
Be Colorful
 Gray and peach really play nicely together...
Decoist


Escorial Design

Home Ideas

Interior Home Decor
 Peach and coral are making a huge comeback right now - mainly because grays go so well with them and it doesn't have to look like the 90's anymore...
Nieseology
 Coral and peach are always flattering to a woman's skin tones....
something else to consider...
Sally Jensen
So, you might fall in love with an 'updated' peach and gray color scheme.  I kind of love this combination!  Add some dark woods, painted finishes and deeper shades of peach (coral and russet) to the gray and you have a completely updated look.  
Good Luck!


8/14/14

40 YEAR OVERDUE KITCHEN REDO AND CARMELITAS.... YUMMM

I just peaked at Aimee's blog and she had posted these Oatmeal Carmelitas, which just happen to be one of the recipes I've wanted to try for a while - so I'm posting the link for the recipe (above).  According to Aimee, they are best warm with vanilla ice cream...
I'm convinced.... how bout you?

QUESTION FROM A READER:

Claudine,
Redecorating my kitchen after 40 years. The cabinets are a soft creamy white with hint of grey. The backsplash is cambria quartz darlington. The backsplash is shell white glazed porcelain mosaic tile, the floor is linen travertine. All appliances will be stainless steel. Light from south in front hallway, west facing kitchen window and north facing large window. Would like a paint colour to bring it all together without yellow undertones. Thanks Maura 


Maura, 
You are LONG overdue for a beautiful kitchen.  Congratulations on the redo!  So far, I think your choices are very good.  Drawing from the description of your cabinets "soft creamy white with a hint of grey" I would go to the gray side for your wall color.  Take a look at these white kitchens with gray toned walls.





I do want to caution you on allowing your kitchen to become too sterile.  Adding some warmth in the form of wood tones, baskets, greenery, etc. makes a kitchen more appealing and a place your family and friends will truly want to gather.  I posted about that very thing not too long ago here. Adding a gray tone can tip the balance either way as some grays turn very chilly and others have a warmer undertone.

In the Benjamin Moore palette, (without yellow undertones) I would look at Revere Pewter, Collingwood and Rockport Gray.   Sherwin Williams has Perfect Greige, Essential Gray and Dovetail.   Make sure you test a few to see how they perform in your specific light.


FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD... and paint glorious paint...

MEET MY FOODIE FRIEND (UPDATE)
This is Aimee.
Adorable, right?

she is my 12 year old blogger friend and a fellow foodie
who has, appropriately so, a food blog

I don't have the time to blog about food,
but I do have years of collected recipes
and then, well, there's Pinterest
my food bulletin board is huge!

oh, how will I ever get the chance to try these recipes, let alone share them?
I know,
I'll have Ms. Jones try some out for me.


She has been baking since she was 3....
she is probably better at it than me...
and she's getting darn good at photography, too...


check out one of her delicious blog posts here
(we may make this a regular feature - especially if I get to taste test!)

***************************************


QUESTIONS FROM READERS....


Hi, Claudine.
I've been sampling grey paints (BM) for the better part of a year with no luck ... working on a driftwood/beachy feel in my master. Every gray I have tried either goes beige or is too dark. The room has north and west facing windows (that are typically kept closed with matchstick blinds). Any suggestions? Right now I'm considering Gray Mirage, possibly cut 50%..... KATHY

Gray Mirage - Benjamin Moore (full strength)
Kathy,
If everything is looking too dark or turning beige, it is probably the lighting in your home.  First make sure you have adequate lighting that you can control - most of us don't - both overhead and task lighting.  

Next, look for a gray with a slight green to blue undertone - not enough to actually look green or blue, but enough to stop it from turning beige.  Gray Mirage may work for you because it has a slight green undertone.  Here are a few more to try that are both lighter in hue and lacking a beige undertone - but that still have that beachy feel:

Gray Owl, Benjamin Moore
Horizon - Benjamin Moore

Harbor Gray - Benjamin Moore
Classic Gray - Benjamin Moore
Halo - Benjamin Moore

Moonshine - Benjamin Moore

Pale Smoke - Benjamin Moore

Silver Crest - Benjamin Moore

These are all lighter and for the most part have less beige undertone in them.   Try some on the walls.
Good luck!
    
*******************

Can you recommend a white to match bottom cabinets in kendall charcoal as well as a  warmer neutral for the walls?  BM has so many paints and I want to go with a safe combination.  
Michele H

Michele,
My go to white with Benjamin Moore is White Dove.  It never turns yellow and it isn't a stark, cold white.  It looks especially nice with grays, so Kendall Charcoal should be great with it.


Try Revere Pewter on the walls.  It is a light gray with a beige undertone - it will have that warm undertone, but still be neutral and in the gray family.   

Another to try is Ashwood.  Both should go with nearly everything you throw at it!  Good luck!


Claudine







 












8/12/14

A THING FOR WICKER...

I have always had a fondness for the warm texture and that rustic touch 
that wicker can bring into a room.  

Lately, I've been thinking that wicker is exactly what I need to warm up my dining room.  
Here's why...

look how just a touch of wicker brings texture and warmth
in this slightly minimal room, wicker warms and invites...


it blends with nearly any style of decorating..


the rest of the room needn't be rustic or country

it even has a certain elegance to it, and is equally friendly with fine furniture 
or rustic antiques

 I'm especially fond of these gray kubu wicker chairs with the skirted legs
 these look a little new, but could easily be taken down a notch with a little gray paint wash

I love the rustic kitchen dining look, but they also look pretty fantastic

in a more formal setting...



 Now picture a hard wooden chair in place of these...
these are better, right?




this is so cute for the bathroom...

and I like wicker storage pieces, too.

but my most favorite still has to be dining room or kitchen chairs...

they just look so right.


Do you like wicker furniture?


QUESTION FROM A READER:

Hi, Please help with a paint color.  I've attached pictures of my Kitchen which opens up into my living and dining area.  The cabinets are creamy white with glaze and very yellow undertone. Uba tuba granite and tumbled marble backsplash (which unfortunatly have a pink undertone! Mistake)  


Right know the rooms are painted BM Wilmington Tan. Im looking to lighten space up with one color for all rooms that are open to each other.  I've tried BM Manchester tan (looks gray next to my cabinets and makes them look dingy). Also tried Monroe Bisque but its too yellow in my sunny room.  Tried Bleeker Bege, Revere Pewter, Edgecomb gray but the all seem to look gray and make cabinets and dining table look dingy.   I'm going craaaazzzy. Please help recommend a neutral color.  I have the BM Fan deck and can't seem to pick the right one.  I've also tried the above mentioned paints on the wall using samples.  The current color Wilmington Tan seems to work with my cabinets, granite and living room furniture but I need a change. Something Lighter.  One last note; The living room and dining room are very sunny.  Thank you in advance.
Audrey

HI Audrey.    I know how hard it is to blend existing colors with a new color.  You have been going in the tan, beige to beige gray family and it isn't working - have you considered a gray green?  Your cream cabinets should love green, the travertine backsplash and the granite should also blend well, and wood tones love it too.


Benjamin Moore GRAY WISP
 Try Benjamin Moore Gray Wisp.  It's a lovely gray green - more on the gray than the green side.  Its not too dark and it is really soothing.
It works nicely with cream tones and wood tones and dark tones like your granite
Here is an example of a kitchen that has much the same color palette as your with the gray green on the walls.
The Endearing Home


Another gray green, with a little more gold in it is Guilford Gray - far left on this photo.

 Another possible is Hancock Green (Benjamin Moore)
or Nantucket Gray - (Benjamin Moore) 
My final suggestion is Benjamin Moore QUIET MOMENTS.  I love the name almost as much as the color.  It is soothing, and has less green -  more gray, and just a touch of blue in certain light. 
All of these colors should appear lighter than the color you now have, if only because they are cooler colors and will recede more than your current color and feel lighter.   As always, never choose a color without trying it out as a sample first.
Good luck!