Buh bye, beige! Room makeovers

bye bye beige. hello color

When it comes to room makeovers, some blogs would have you believe that rooms go from craphole monstrosity to stunning, catalog-cover ready in like 24 hours. This is not one of those blogs.

This is real life. Where people have jobs and kids and laundry and dirty dishes. Painting is done in 8-ft. by 8-ft. sections at 11:30 p.m. on week nights. No one bothers to tape anything off because, honestly, it’s easier to touch up baseboards and scrape up dried paint with a razor blade. Paint gets on the carpet and the cat, and cut out of both.

Rooms are “collected over time” not because it’s the cool thing to do. Because real people don’t have the time or the budget to go shopping every single day to find the “perfect” pieces. And because we know our kids are just going to ruin everything anyway.

So yeah. None of our rooms are “done.” Hell, half of them are only 50% painted. But I wanted to share them anyway because OMG it feels so good to get rid of that beige.

Here’s what they looked like before.

And here’s how they are now. Just a tease, not the whole room. Because if I took a picture of the whole room, I couldn’t crop out the laundry and the dirty dishes and the kid toys and all the messiness of real life. More pics will come—once they are closer to “done” (and semi-clean).

kids' rooms paint color makeover

There is nothing sadder than a beige kid’s room. Jacob and Nicholas both settled on green and blue for their rooms. [Their original ideas were "light red" (pink), red, black and some crazy murals.] The green didn’t work with Jacob’s bedspread so I flip-flopped the ceiling and wall colors. Nicholas’ ceiling is also a different blue because we ran out of paint.

I love the way these turned out, but it still feels like they are missing something. Maybe it will be better once some art goes on the walls. Or maybe a crazy mural will happen.

bath and laundry room paint color makeover

The kids wanted their bathroom to be pink and green stripes. Yeah. I painted it a dark grayish blue.

The laundry room is sort of a light dreamsicle orange. The original color (a mistint) was a little too in-your-face ORANGE! so I ended up mixing it with another almost white mistint. It’s still pretty orange, but honestly, how much time do you spend in a laundry room? If you saw the pile I moved to take this pic, you’d know I spend approximately 45 seconds a week in here.

bath and living room paint color makeover

Yes, the brown in the master bath is dark. And it does look like you’re inside a chocolate bar. OR someone smeared poop on the walls, but this is the adults’ bathroom so we hope that isn’t the case.

All the crazy colors are on rooms with doors. The main living space—entry, living room, kitchen—is a pretty, neutral gray.

Buh, bye nasty, bland, builder beige. You will not be missed.


    Why I’m NOT doing the ice bucket challenge. And you shouldn’t either

    Don’t get me wrong. I support giving to the ALS Association or any charity. As a marketing person, I think the ice bucket challenge is sheer brilliance. And do I love seeing all you idiots dump ice water on yourselves. But it’s time to stop.

    Heres’ why:
    In my Instagram feed, a visually arresting photo. I stop scrolling.

    It’s a black and white photo of a a woman filling a bucket from an outdoor spigot. The sort of scene you expect to accompany an article about poverty in the developing world. Or on a late-night, feed-the-hungry Sarah McLaughlin commercial. Only it’s not. It’s right here. In America.

    The woman in the photo by Danny Wilcox Frazier for National Geographic (Instagram: natgeo) is filling a bucket at an abandoned house. She has been living without water for a month because her landlord has not paid the bill. She is one of more than 19,000 people who have had their water shut off by the city of Detroit. Shutoff without warning.

    Detroit is bankrupt. Yes. It’s also a city where more than 40% of residents live in poverty.

    The city’s controversial efforts to reduce bad debt have have left many elderly, disabled and working-poor Americans without clean water for drinking and bathing. The United Nations has warned this is a possible human rights violation.

    Seems pretty stupid to dump a bucket of perfectly good water on your head, now doesn’t it?

    Think for a moment about that woman filling a bucket at the abandoned house in Detroit. To date, the ALS ice bucket challenge has raised more than $100 million. How many buckets of water is that?

    I’ve always thought that when given the opportunity, we should give to a charity that makes the greatest impact in the daily lives of those it seeks to help. And so I won’t do the ice bucket challenge. I won’t waste water when there are so many without it. I will take my bucket of icy water and give it to the people of Detroit in the form of a cash donation to the Detroit Water Brigade.

    I challenge you to do the same.

    Read the article. Skip the ice bucket challenge. Give to the Detroit Water Brigade.

    #ShareWater #DetroitWater


      Sorry kids, summer’s over

      first day of school -- first grade

      You know those cute back-to-school pics where happy kids with wide, toothy grins and perfectly coordinated outfits hold chalkboards proclaiming the “first day of school!” And everyone is so excited to be in whatever grade that they barely contain their enthusiasm.

      That’s totally what it’s like here…In my first-day-of-school fantasy land.

      Reality is more like this:

      Good morning! It’s the first day of school!
      Get up. First day of school.
      Try to put Cypress Hill’s “Jump Around” on.
      Something’s messed up, and the computer won’t play music.

      Get up. You don’t want to be late the first day.
      GET UP!
      Get dressed up.
      Brush your teeth.
      I don’t know why it won’t play music.
      Get dressed.
      Are you dressed yet?
      Get dressed or you’re going to school naked.
      Get your shoes and socks on.
      Shoes and socks.
      Shoes and socks.
      Crap. I have to make lunches.
      I should have prepacked the lunches.
      I don’t know where your shoes are. Wherever you left them.
      Did you brush your teeth?
      C’mon time to go.
      School supplies. We forgot the school supplies.
      Why didn’t we think to put them in the backpacks yesterday?
      Time to go. Get your backpacks on.
      Grab the school supplies. We’ll do the school supplies in the car.
      Time to go.
      Time to go.
      TIME. TO. GO.
      Get your backpacks on.
      Get in the car.
      Get in the car.
      Hurry. We’re going to be late.
      “No 2 pencils” means Number 2 pencils.
      Get ready to get out of the car.
      Okay, get out of the car.
      Get out of the car.
      Get your backpack.
      We’re late.

      first day of school -- third grade

      sad first day of school pics

      And no one will let me take a picture unless I trick them into it. And if they do, they won’t smile. Because they’re not sure about being there.

      As “ready” as we are for school, we’re not really ready. Not ready for waking up early. Not ready to fill out all the same forms all over again. Four times. Not ready for homework. Not ready for class projects. Not ready for the onslaught of papers that come home every single day.

      Then again. We are ready. So very ready for school to start.

      poop you

      One of many notes between the boys. Nicholas: “you suck!!!!!!” Jacob: “Well your a crap”
      The one on the right by Jacob says, “poop you you smell like pee!!!!”