Our guest bath was one of the first painting projects we tackled in the house because we knew a little facelift could turn this bathroom from groddy to “eh that’s kind of cute!”  We decided to do all the bathrooms with the same paint, Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Swan Sea so we wouldn’t have tons of half-used gallons of semi-gloss sitting around. Also the since the tile and fixtures in our guest bath are tan/pinkish and the fixtures in the master bath are gray, the color palette is a little different anyway. In a few years (hopefully sooner than later) we’ll completely demo this bathroom and start over, but for right now the budget required us to work as much as we could with stuff on hand.

As a reminder, this is where we started. 

bathroom sink before

Whole Bathroom Before

One of the first things we did was remove the old shower doors. Think black dirty caulking holding that thing onto the shower.  I have nothing against shower doors. When they’re sparkly and new and go with the design of the bathroom they can be gorgeous, but these had to go!

Luckily removing shower doors is SUPER easy. Usually you just have to unscrew the rail from each side where it’s connected to the tile and then use a putty knife to pry up the bottom rail which is most likely caulked REALLY well to the tub.   Easy peasy! (If you’re worried about scratching the tub make sure you use a plastic putty knife!)

Montana Removing Shower Doors

Sorry ladies. That handyman is locked down.  He also did most of the painting for this project. *Swoon*

Guest Bathroom After

The shower curtain we had in the condo but was originally from Bed Bath and Beyond.  The floor mats are also leftover from the condo and from BBB. The towels are Calvin Klein from Marshalls.  The chrome hardware came as a set from Costco. I forgot to take a picture once we put the white blinds back up. Those will stay until I have time to make some curtains. I’m thinking roman blinds.

Here’s facing the sink from the shower…

All together this temporary facelift cost about $100 since all we bought new was the towel set and the hardware. We didn’t even use a half of the gallons of the white or Swan Sea.  Most importantly, while we save for a complete remodel, it feels much more serene than before. What do you think? Worth a Benjamin?


We’ve finally gotten around to starting to paint out house and its so nice to see what a huge difference some work and a few cans of paint can do for a room! Choosing the right paint color is hard. Mistakes happen even when you think you’ve really got the shade pinned down to exactly what you want. The good thing is that a can of paint is relatively cheap and so you can always start over.

choosing paint colors for your home

How do you go about picking colors for your house? Designers recommend that you choose and stick to 4-5 main colors for all the rooms in your house. That way it’s easier to make everything flow well from room to room.

Montana and I (ok, really just me) had a general idea of what colors we wanted to paint before we even moved in since I’d been thinking about it constantly for the last year. In general I wanted a soothing neutral in the hallways and bedrooms, something spa-like for the bathrooms, and something bright and cheerful in the living room, dining room and kitchen. I settled on gray, teal, green, yellow, and pure white. I’m a stickler for uber bright pure whites. There’s nothing that drives me crazy faster than a dirty looking white.

I ran across this palette from a great blog called Design Seeds and LOVE it. It’s basically exactly what I was imagining.

Rachel from Lovely Clusters also does a great job putting together palettes from pretty photos.

Maybe you already have a favorite pillow or painting that has great colors you want to use. John and Sherry from Young House Love based their color palette off a clearance napkin. Anything goes.

If you have a favorite brand of paint, most of brand websites will let you upload a photo of your inspiration and tell you what colors of their paint are found in the photo. I know a lot of professionals swear by Benjamin Moore. Honestly, I was going to give their paint a try, but the only time their local store is open and I’m not at work is for a few hours on Saturday. This girl needs to be able to shop for house stuff in the evenings, so BM lost my business. If you love the BM their tool is available here.

choosing benjamin moore paint colors for your houese or home

Glidden calls their tool “My Colortopia“.

choosing glildden paint colors for your home or house

My personal favorite brand of paint is Behr. Montana actually laughed at me when I said I wanted to try BM a few months ago. He’s very much an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” kind of guy. Me… not so much. I’m always wanting to try different products. But anyhow, as I told you above BM didn’t fit my schedule so I’m staying forever with Behr. They have an awesome free iPad app that is great for wasting away your evenings.


Same as the other brands you can upload you’re own photo or choose from one of their stock photos…

choosing paint colors for your home

look at paints in color families…

choosing paint colors for your home

get suggestions on complementary colors and save your favorites….


and even preview your selected colors in the room type and style that you’re planning. Its fabulous!20120911-083957.jpg


Major time suck! I told you so! But it’s also nice to save your colors and come back to them. That way if you’re painting furniture and you want to have a slightly different shade of a complementary color to your palette without using the exact colors of your palette you’ve got help!

Behr has two main lines of paint. Premium Plus, the more economical line, we’ve used for our ceilings. We buy it in the two gallon cans because it’s slightly cheaper but not as heavy as the five gallon. So far in our experience it took three coats to cover over a green ceiling without any primer, and two coats for cream or white ceilings. Side note: the Premium Plus is No VOC which is exciting because you don’t feel like you’re going to pass out or kill too many brain cells while painting. 🙂

For our walls we’re using the Premium Plus Ultra which is their Paint and Primer in one. We love love love it. In our old condo rental we used it to cover over a dark orange with light tan and it covered in one coat. It was a miracle. In the house we’ve been using two coats just to ensure we haven’t missed anything since we own it (well the bank does for another 29.5 years but you know what I mean). It’s Low VOC and I don’t notice any smell. Another happy face. 🙂

I’ll back soon with photos of some newly painted rooms. Yay for pretty walls!

Who gets stuck picking out colors? Do you jump right in and commit?

***This is not a sponsored post. I just love me some Behr. I feel bad that I almost cheated on them with BM. Thank you Home Depot for being open until 10pm so I can fulfill my need for your lovely aisles of paint when I should be sleeping.***


Can you believe it’s already Labor Day Weekend!? This summer flew by!

Montana loves doing “man” stuff outside like cutting anything with a chainsaw, sleeping on the ground… you get the picture.  I’m outdoorsy in that I like to drink Mojitos on patios.

When we moved in to our house in mid April we immediately set about tearing out ivy that had taken over the fence line, digging up bricks that had been randomly half buried throughout the yard and doing general cleanup. As I’ve mentioned before we have big plans for redoing the patio area in the future when time and budget permit, but in the meantime I wanted to get some outdoor furniture that would fit our lifestyle and we could use now, but also would be nice enough to hold onto after we redo the patio.

We love to entertain at home and usually eat on the couch so decided that a lounge set was probably more practical for us than a table and chairs. We’re fans of eating outside, but unless the chairs are really comfortable, it’s not so great to hang out at a table for hours after you’ve done eating.

My search began in early May for a set that would be high quality, durable, and attractive.  Something like these would be perfect…

Pottery Barn Palmetto All-Weather Wicker

Crate & Barrel Ventura Lounge Collection

Restoration Hardware Majorca Collection

…but then I forgot to mention the last requirement. I didn’t want to spend twice our mortgage payment on some furniture that would sit outside. Seriously? Do people really spend over a grand per chair for their patios?  I must be in the wrong line of work.

So my search focused mainly on craigslist, Target, World Market and Pier 1 for a while. I found a few sets that looked like they might work such as this one from Pier 1:

It was a great price, but I didn’t like that the individual chairs didn’t have armrests. I thought they might be uncomfortable for sitting for long periods of time.

I almost pulled the trigger on this set from Target but was scared off because of the reviews saying that  it had arrive broken and returns were difficult. Love the general look though.

Well, I finally found the perfect set!  I don’t even remember what made me decide to look on Amazon, but wow am I glad I clicked over.  Introducing the new patio! It’s called the Strathwood Griffen All-Weather Wicker Set. The best part was that it’s Prime eligible! That’s right, free 2 day shipping!

Remember when we first moved in and our backyard looked like this?

It’s ok to shield your eyes. I’m so happy those days are behind us. More pretty pictures?

On the left side/corner of the deck are my last remaining veggies from this summer. We got a new addition to our family in June named Thunder and he likes to eat things.  Things = zucchini plants, green bean plants, melon plants, cucumber plants, and spinach. Apparently he doesn’t like Basil, Mint or Lettuce because that’s all he left us. Brat.

The wine barrel table was a gift from our neighbors after we helped them clean up the jungle of fallen trees in their backyard from the Derecho* that came through the Mid Atlantic the last weekend of June.  I asked them where they had purchased the barrel since I am on the lookout for them to build a rain barrel** and they gave us their extra half barrel!

The candles are citronella I found at Home Goods and the pillows are usually on our couches inside but are outdoor pillows from a few years ago at Pottery Barn.

We love it! Here’s hoping the humidty goes away for the fall sooner than later so it’s not so painful to sit outside!


*No joke…I’ve pretty much taken the derecho as a sign from God that he’s cool with us cutting down the trees that used to be in the backyard. That storm was no joke.  All our neighbors called us genius the day after.

**I’m still looking for wine barrels! If you hear of anyone in Northern Virginia selling them for under $200 each let me know! That’s the best price I’ve been able to find so far online.