Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Word of Advice

I have sage wisdom for you:  Never buy paint samples online.

It seems like a duh.  I know about monitor displays showing slight variations in the colors.  This is why I chose my four colors and then checked them on my monitor at work (different display) and then again on husband's laptop (different computer than my home laptop).  Three different monitors showed three slight variations in color.  From here, I picked my poisons. 

Here were my choices:

Green Energy

What Green Energy really looks like:
Athenian Green

What Athenian Green actually looks like:

Athens Fail.

Geranium Leaf
This is the one I was most excited about, thinking it was going to be the perfect fit.  However, the color is actually closer to:


I was going for a longshot blue-green because of the aforementioned Texas Leather (from the last post), so I chose Cactus Garden.  Witness the Behr color:


Shockingly, this was the only one that actually resembled the original color I wanted - Olive. 
It's still a colormatch-fail though:

 I don't know if it's just a BehrFail or if it's the computer.  It's interesting that the colors I see online (regardless of what computer I use) in NO WAY reflect the actual color.  It leads me to believe that Behr fails in the premade sample department.  Or maybe slapping the paint on the wall is what's going to give me an idea of what these will actually look like.

What's the verdict?  Is it a fail on my monitor display's part, on Behr's part (for mixing wrong), or am I just jumping the gun because the color will actually magically turn into the color it's supposed to turn when I paint with it?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Halpz! - Kitchen Paint

So one of the first place that's getting painted is the kitchen.

Before I start throwing paint colors at you, let me tell you what's going going to happen to this room:

  • The tile's staying.  it's a light tan color
  • The cabinets are most likely remaining this color, though they'll need a good refacing and possible staining when we go in for...
  • The counter tops are getting ripped out.  Like, as soon as I can convince Donny to do it with me.  Wood?  Really?  On top of wood?
  • The backsplash is clearly going away as well.  Die, wood backsplash!  Die!!
  • The appliances will be replaced with stainless steel.  First up will be the fridge, since it's missing currently anyway.
  • Paint.  As in, many coats of.
In terms of counters/backsplash, both husband and I are in love with a friends' DIY kitchen project.

Shout out to Ray and Ashley!
The picture has bad lighting (and was from when they first finished the renovation), but strangely enough, it's virtually exactly the color scheme we want to utilize in our kitchen.  The cabinets and floor are very similarly-colored to ours, and they have stainless steel as well, so we know that the colors all mix well together.

Close-up of the tile and backsplash
When you step into their kitchen, it looks professionally done.  Which is shocking when you find out that he did the counters and backsplash for himself for under 200 bucks.  Total.

So knowing that this is the basic look we want, I propose to you a few color choices for painting.

Given that we aren't changing the color of the living room, I want to pick a color that complements the neutral tan/brown color AND make it a paint color that will sell a house.  Which means, no magenta.  (Darn!!)

A popular paint color right now for kitchens (and bedrooms, and bathrooms) is olive green.  Fortunately, I LOVE this color, particularly when in combination of the above colors (particularly black/stainless appliances and decorations). 
The problem I have with this color is that I have no idea how to find the EXACT color I want.  There are a million shades of olive green, from pale to dark and everywhere in between.  I have the image in my head, but I don't really want to go through twelve samples of paint to find it.  (But I will if I have to.)

Witness other variations of this color:

I love all of them, so I have no idea what color to chose.  The room is large enough that a darker color won't make it feel cramped, but I also don't want to get into the same mess that we're currently in (which is, an overwhelming color).

I am also putting a random nod in to a bud who suggested the below color (called Texas Leather).  I'll be honest, initially I was like, WHOADARK.  But it kind of has grown on me.

So, thoughts?  Any of these colors that you particularly like/think would look great?  Is green a complete thumbs down in your book (and if so, please suggest colors)?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sound the trumpets!

We got news back from the mortgage broker that our loan was approved.  We're set for May 5th closing date.  :)

An update to my previous post:  After numerous (awesome) suggestions offline and on the blog, we've decided on white azaleas.  Initially these were said to not grow well in zone 9 but did well in zone 10 (southern Florida), but there are TONS of websites about the Houston area being a thriving zone for azaleas, so this one is a definite thumbs up.  Plus they bloom three times a year, which is great!  I don't want a plant that flowers only in spring.

These look really nice in a row (these are staggered with red/white) along the front of a home, so I can really see bringing these all the way around the front of the house on the left side and if they're cheap enough, planting them around the sides as well.

So thanks for everyone's input!  I'll have a follow-up for the rest of the flowers I'm thinking of planting later.  :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Halpz! - Part One (Exterior Bushes)

SO I spoke with the mortgage guy, and he said we're all but a go.  :)  Yay!!  I'm still not considering it ours until it comes out of underwriting with a stamp of approval, but I'm letting myself get excited again.

And in honor of this, I've decided to start plotting.  I already sort of have an idea of the interior, but the exterior is kind of all over the place.  So I need your thoughts/advice/personal choices.  I'm focusing on the front right now, since that's going to be one of the first places I tackle on the outside.

The painters pretty much destroyed the palm tree up front, and it didn't really go with the whole theme of the house.  i can't figure out what the theme is yet, but despite my love of palm trees, I agree with husband that it just didn't quite...fit.

It wasn't in the best shape before...

...and it's in even-worse shape now.
Plus, it wasn't the sago-palm look I like anyway.  It just looks sad and mopey.  And the rest of that area is barren:

So...what to plant here?!

I spoke with husband on the matter, and his words were pretty much, "I don't care.  The less I have to mess with it, the better.  I trust you implicitly that you'll make it gorgeous."  Which is awesome in terms of letting my creative juices flow, but sucks in terms of having a HUGE range of options to go with.

So I'd like to plant two bushes on either side of the breakfast nook (last photo above), replacing the sad palm.

Me and husband both agree that we want to bring color to this area, but keep it pretty neutral in terms of the paint colors that are already present.  Meaning, I don't want to have a bunch of vibrant colors going on that take the eye away from the house.  I'm intending to stick in the blue-purple-white category.  Thankfully, this keeps a pretty wide range of available stuff to plant!

Here is where I would like some feedback.

1) What bushes should I plant?  I'm pretty much trying to decide between two.

A) Mandevilla are gorgeous and bloom from spring to winter (which is great), are heat and drought tolerant, but I believe their cold tolerance only goes to 35F(ish).  I'd probably have to worry about these babies when it dips into the colder weather.  This one is probably my favorite.

D) White Annabelle Hydrangea don't require a lot of work for the area they'd be planted in, and I think they'd bring a bushiness to the area when they aren't in bloom.  They can get overrun with flower-balls (that's what i call them :P) if you don't prune, but they're apparently otherwise very hearty.

So vote! Mandevillas or Hydrangeas!

Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm all in

So after weeks of "I need this, can you submit this, why is that on your bank account? Why is this number different? Why is there a two week gap in your employment history here? Can i please have a blood and stool sample for our records", we're finally finished.  Paperwork is in.  From here on out, we're just waiting on underwriting.

The appraisal went great.  Survey is done.  Literally, we've paid almost all of our money (save final closing costs) and every step of the process is finished.  But we STILL don't know if we'll even get approved.  So I am just sitting here, worrying every day, wondering.

I am trying to stay positive, but with 50+ hour work loads (with really stressful items on my plate), tons of chasing down papers from eons ago to fax off to the mortgage guy, and being questioned on every breath I take along the way, I'm just ready for the process to be over.  Husband and I both are just completely over it.  At this point, despite how much we love the house, if something comes up and we don't get it (the only reason would be that the underwriters were complete jerkfaces), we're both ready to just say "Eff it.  We'll rent."  If we get it, we'll both be very excited, but I just don't have any more energy to devote to the process.  I can't even think about it without my blood pressure growing.

So, you know, send out plenty of positive thoughts our way!  My gut says we'll get it, but I can't focus on it right now.  Feel free to send good tidings our way. 

Thanks to all who are reading this!

PS - New photo from the appraisal, after all the paint is done!