My next 2020 home project was an outdoor project. I have been wanting to put a flowerbed in our back yard since we moved into the house six years ago, and since we finally have a fence I could get it done.
It was quite a bit of work to tear this grass out but that was the hard part. Once the grass was out. I laid the stone, which I absolutely did not do properly; I didn’t take any precautions to stop shifting.
Once that was all done it was as easy as planting the flowers! It really doesn’t look like much now, but once it all grows and fills in…it will be so good! It will an ongoing project this summer as I see how the flowers work together as they grow. This spot gets quite a bit of light during the day and since it is up against the fence, I really wanted flowers that will grow tall and be kind of a whimsical cottage style with a ‘Kelsey’ twist. I also I wanted at least one climbing vine.
I got clematis to climb the fence. I put tall flowers in the back; delphinium, monkshood, lupin. Medium height flowers in the middle; irises and some sweet william. Then I put some low to medium height flowers in the front; a columbine, common thrift and a phlox moss. I sprinkled some poppy seeds in the empty spots and will likely grab some other annuals to fill in space for the time being. I will also be on the look out for a really good piece of drift wood this summer because it definitely feels like it’s missing something. The hanging basket on the fence post has black petunias in it, which is a staple flower for me.
I don’t typically like pink flowers, but I instantly fell in love with this common thrift. It gives me major Dr. Seuss vibes. The rest of the flowers are purple, blue, black, dark red.
If you’d like to follow along and watch my garden grow, make sure you are following me on Instagram.
All my life we lived in beige houses. It was my mom’s neutral of choice, beige and brown. So in 2014 when we bought our house, I knew I wanted to do something completely different. Something cool, unique, and bold. I felt even more strongly about this when I looked at home decor pages online and everyone’s houses looked the same. We went to a local paint store and I showed the owner a picture of my inspiration. We went home with two galleons of Cool Blue from Benjamin Moore. We started painting, and it was a huge shock. It was not the colour I wanted, but we went with it. I wanted bright blue yes, but I wanted something more…muted.
I kept the rest of my decor pretty neutral; lots of grey, black and white. And for the most part the blue really grew on me. It was cool, unique and bold. The vibe went kind of boho with a witchy touch; which worked well for us because my partner’s taste isn’t quite as “dark” as my own. But one problem area was our kitchen. I HATE our kitchen floors, and the orangey brown tones marbled throughout it didn’t vibe well with the blue walls. This was only made worse when we got our backsplash installed. I wanted to bring the grey subway tile right up to the ceiling on one wall but couldn’t because the cupboard door wouldn’t be able to open properly on the one side. I started to brainstorm ways I could minimize the blue in our kitchen, I found wallpaper (black and white) and I wanted to finish the wall I couldn’t tile with the wallpaper.
The idea of painting the entire upstairs of our house made me tired.
But as 2019 passed, I imagined all the things I wanted to do with our house and the decor possibilities a change in wall colour would open for me…I decided it was time.
We had two shades of grey in the house already; Storm and Pewter. Both cool toned greys from Benjamin Moore. I wanted to stay in that colour family so I knew the shades of grey would blend well together, particularly with Pewter since that is the colour in our back entry way and the new colour would directly be blending into that area. I would have liked to have gone for a medium grey but since we have a medium grey backsplash in the kitchen I decided a shade lighter than Pewter would be the new direction. I looked at the little colour card for Pewter (that’s the technical term, isn’t it?) and Silver Half Dollar was the colour a notch down from Pewter, so I searched for similar shades. I went into Modern Paint and Decor in Peace River with my mind set on Silver Half Dollar and Sidewalk Gray, these are the colours I wanted to get samples of. When I got to the store I told Kyle what I was looking for; something lighter than Pewter, in the same colour family, a little less blue. I came home with samples of Silver Half Dollar and Eternity, they fit all of my requirements and Kyle was a huge help in finding shades that wouldn’t bring out the blue in Pewter even more. Silver Half Dollar is directly correlated to the shade Pewter, it’s just one shade down. Eternity is a similar colour but slightly less blue, more purple. It’s honestly amazing how two colours can look so similiar in their cans and be so different on the wall.
Once I got the paint samples on the wall they were so, so different and it became pretty obvious to me which colour I wanted go with. I asked my Instagram followers for their opinion and they were pretty equally divided but Silver Half Dollar came out on top; which I found particularly funny because I wanted to do Eternity…it definitely made me question myself. The reason I chose Eternity is because Silver Half Dollar was just that; silver. It was very light and bright and was also very blue. Eternity still had lots of blue/purple undertones but since it was grey and not silver I found it to be a lot more forgiving. The kitchen and the way the colour looked with our grey backsplash was a big deciding factor, as well as our couch because it is also a shade of grey. I took my time painting, doing it bit by bit because it was so boring. I also decided to do a black accent wall in our dining room. My go-to black has been Twilight Zone from Benjamin Moore.
Going grey would complicate our furniture situation a bit. I had a couple side tables I had painted grey when the walls were blue and those shades of grey would not look good with the new walls. They’d do for a while but I want to replace them with wood. We also have an old broken, blue recliner (the man chair) that I am so, so excited to get rid of. I have a charcoal chair picked out from Wayfair already!
But it wasn’t just the furniture that I wanted to replace with wood, I wanted to incorporate more wood tones in the decor to achieve that mid-century modern/boho feel. I had a friend made me a blanket ladder (Pieceful Patches on Facebook if you are local to the Peace Country) and before I decided to get rid of the blue my instinct would have been to paint it black, but I stained it a dark walnut in preparation for a colour change. You’ll notice some scratches, my cat got to it! It just needs to be sanded and stained again.
I also wanted to get some wood signs, but it is surprisingly hard to find companies that don’t make the rustic/modern farmhouse sort of wood sign. I found a company called Northwood Supply, they are out of Airdrie and you can find them on Etsy.
Now I am going to go off on a little bit of a tangent and tell you about my experience with Northwood Supply. They have on their Etsy page that there is a three week production time, which means it will take three weeks to make your sign after ordering. I read it, I saw it, I knew going into ordering that it was going to be a long wait. Just after the three weeks were up, they shipped my order and a month after ordering the sign I received it. I didn’t think this was a strange fact to share in my review, people want to know about timelines when they order stuff. But after I left my review I got a message from the company explaining their production time, and no matter how many times I told them I understood, they kept trying to explain it to me. Which, quite frankly, I found…condescending? They were talking to me like I was an idiot and it was as if they weren’t paying attention when I told them that I wasn’t complaining about it I was just sharing my timeline with other customers. My sign also had a small hole in the wood frame (which happens with wood, holes/knots, I get that) and I included that fact in my review because if I were to have chosen this sign out of a pile of signs I wouldn’t have picked the one with the hole. I have a tinge of OCD, and there are a lot of other people out there who would be bothered by that hole. So when I shared the fact there was a hole I was just letting people know about the possibility of imperfections. And when they messaged me they kept saying the knots and holes add to the charm and they love them and I’m like yea okay that’s great for you but what about people who maybe don’t want those major imperfections. It was…belittling, I am allowed to be slightly bothered by the hole. Overall, it is a beautiful sign but I found the exchange with the owner very unpleasant.
Back to what is important.
We also have a few instruments laying around the house I would really love to display; an old banjo that belonged to my Grandpa and a ukelele that Ty got me for our first Christmas together. One of the other things I am most excited for about going more neutral is that with the blue I always felt really limited with my seasonal decor. I never wanted to get too colourful with fall or Christmas decor because I felt like it was too much colour with the blue and it just didn’t feel like “me”.
I had been eyeing these two pillow covers for quite a while and when State of Grace was having their closing out sale, it was the perfect time to grab them. I had two black throw pillows and the fabric was a magnet for animal hair, so these covers were a great solution rather than buying new pillows, and the patterns fit in so well with my style.
Overall, I am super happy with how this drastic colour change has refreshed our home and completely changed the vibe. I am so excited for more changes to come.
I picked up this retro cabinet off a lady who posted it on Facebook for sale. I paid $20. And it is absolute garbage. It is made of only the cheapest of materials, it is warped in spots, it is wobbly and the paint is chipped. But I took it home and made it my own.
For this cabinet I decided to do it with grey and black. I used American Paint Company chalk paint in the shade Smoke Signal for the grey. I also used American Paint Company chalk paint for the black but I’m not sure what the shade colour is because the woman at the store didn’t have it in a small container so she just poured some into one for me; I think they only offer one shade of black and I think it’s called Cannonball. American Paint Company paints are all natural, zero VOC, eco-friendly, and solvent free paint. They contain no acrylic, no fungicide, no co-polymers. This paint requires essentially no prep, although I would personally sand down whatever you’re painting just a little before you begin.
One tip I have for working with this paint; it’s a little thick so some people may tell you to add water but to avoid watering it down too much, I would recommend just wetting your brush to make this paint easier to spread. You also really want to make sure you get a smooth finish; if you leave any big drops anywhere they will dry in clumps and be very easily chipped. off.
I used their clear top coat to make the paint more durable. This gave it kind of a glossy(ish) finish and made the colour really pop. You could also use their antiquing wax for a top coat which gives it more of a matte finish. The clear top coat I used was very liquidy. It’s also very fast drying so I was able to get 3 coats done pretty quickly.
The knobs I picked out at just black glass knobs I picked up at a locally owned home decor/gift shop.
The cabinet is still cheap, it’s still garbage, it’s still wobbly, I paid more for materials than it is worth, and I may never get the door open on one side ever again; but at least now it looks cool.