art project with miss bef

last night, beth and i completed the second-to-last step of last weekend's art project. the mission was to do something on the walls in the tiny half bath to mimic wallpaper. i've been loving wallpaper lately, as there are tons of modern wallpaper options these days. my favorites are from walnut wallpaper. here are some inspiration photos i've collected.

but wallpaper is expensive, and kind of a commitment. we were in a hurry to finish whatever wall treatment we were going to do because we had to install sconces for our electrical inspection.

now, beth has serious artistic talent so i enlisted her in my art army. i thought we might be able to mimic something natural-looking (like trees) with paint. recently, i saw a design*sponge post with a similar project that encouraged me that we could pull this off. so with these pictures as our inspiration, we set off.

i had already painted the adjoining mudroom in "dorian gray" by sherwin williams, so we carried that into the bathroom, too. (of course, i had a semi-brief period in which i was convinced we should paint this bathroom bright kelly green...but i realized the error of my ways. but i guarantee green will appear throughout our home...i love it!)

beth just sketched some tree outlines in pencil right onto the wall. then we filled them in. i initially bought the shade of white that was at the top of the paint sample strip, but when we put it on the wall, it was too stark (i think it was four shades away). we went back and bought the shade right next to dorian. after a few hours of painting last friday, beth finished up the details last night with a small brush. here she is in action:

and here are a few shots of the bigger picture. (we only painted the tree silhouettes on one wall - the one that is visible from the mudroom.)

in morning light (and with the green tape removed):

i am really pleased with the results. we need to do a few touch-ups, but it is pretty much finished. once we get the window painted white, some trim, a toilet and sink, and a few accessories, i think it will look really sharp.

thanks for your help, beth! now i'm off to tile the floor for the mudroom and bath. pics to come!


i was scrolling through the blog and realized that thus far, the pictures have been REAL ugly. like poor lighting, lots of dust, and power tools galore.

so, in the effort toward beautifying the blog, i'd like to change my tune and talk about what we'd like the kitchen to look like. i've been trying to hold back the inner decorator until we have walls in place, but it's good to think ahead, no?

(plus, a special friend named kaylee gave me this fantastic domino book last week for inspiration. squeal!)

but first, i have to do a "materials list" for those interested. when ben and i decided to buy this house, a huge plus (in my eyes!) was that the kitchen would have to be redone. there was no salvaging it. it was a total bust.

i love white kitchens. for the new kitchen, there was never a question in my mind about what color of cabinetry to choose. it was all white, all the way. i'm so picky about wood - i only like really dark or really light, but that is for the time being. i'm too nervous to commit to either of those. so while white cabinets were my first choice, they were also a safe choice, making it a win-win situation.

the door style was pretty easy, too. nothing fancy, nothing ornate. straight lines. simple. not too modern, but not too country, either. these shaker-style doors are just right. and ben and i could agree! these aren't the exact cabinets, but they are pretty close. we've been in touch with a place called designed cabinets, and they've given us some very reasonable estimates. we'll likely order maple cabinets and have them painted white.

our condo had laminate countertops. not inherently evil, but they had this dark brown granite-like pattern. my real beef with them was that it was very hard to tell when they were dirty. i had to lean down to get the light just right, then i could see where there were spills and such. no fun.

again, my love of all things white played into our countertop decision. i want white countertops. call me crazy! they always look clean, and they will always be somewhat current. i really liked marble countertops like these:

but marble is way out of our budget, and very porous to boot. ben's parents have corian countertops. i really like how they look. no, they are not the trendiest option. but they are both classic and current looking, which is what we are going for in the kitchen - a kitchen that we will like five, ten, and even twenty years down the road.

i pulled this image from domino's web site before it shut down. i think it is what sold me on corian.

love it! it looks so clean...which wasn't the case with our dark brown speckled laminate ones. so that is what we have chosen so far: white, shaker-style cabinets and pristine white corian countertops. ben has put a veto on the all-white kitchen, so i'll have to decide on some paint/textile colors to keep things looking punchy. i'll leave you, dear reader, with some serious kitchen eye candy.