My new work space

So, I've been doing some painting the past few days.  One end of our dining room has a fireplace in the corner and I think is set up to be like a family room.

Except we don't use it as a family room.  I'm not at all a big fan of having a TV in the kitchen and/or dining area, and besides I needed a place for my huge desk.  

This is how the space looked when we moved in:

Very bland.  Very white. 

Here is how it looked after I put my desk and bookshelf in:

Not much different and pretty much how it's been the past 8 months.

Except for the printer on my desk.  I moved that to the kids' desk.  And I cleaned up the junk on the hearth.

When we moved in, the Land Lord told us he didn't care if we painted, and since then I've had an idea for the long wall the bookshelf is on.  Just before the bookshelf (which is not in the picture) is our arcadia door, but the area I had the idea for was that whole wall the shelf is on.

First step was to remove the cheap, crappy leftover hardware from curtains a previous tenant had hung, then patch all the holes.  Once that was done, it was time to PAINT!

I wanted to do something in the brown family on the wall to go with the floor tiles, but not like a chocolate brown, which would be too dark.  Lucky for me Mom had a gallon of "oops paint" (if your not familiar with what "oops paint" is, it's paint, usually custom colored, customers have returned.) in a brown that could best be described as maybe Desert Moss from the Behr website.  I used it for the wall behind the stove top; adding some white to lighten it.

I used it straight from the can on the long wall with the arcadia door.  Although the decorating idea I had was just for the area past the door into my work space, I had to paint the whole wall in order for it to look good.

Now, this wall isn't very long; about 25', with about 9' of it the door, so not a huge paint job.  But when you're not quite 5' tall, have 8' ceilings and no ladder, that wall can take much longer than usual to paint.  Especially when I wanted to tape off the baseboard and ceiling molding so they remained white before I slapped on the brown.

Anyway, that took me the good part of a day and a half, and while I waited for the paint on the walls to dry, I painted some empty frames I had.  I never knew how many until we moved here and unpacked boxes that were in storage!  Simple white.  I wanted them all uniform in color for a clean look.

Once the wall was dry, and all my frames painted, I did this:

I saw this on HGTV, except is was on a smaller wall.  When I saw it, I thought it was so cool, but what would make it even cooler is if just a few frames had frames in them.

You know, a framed frame.

I had no real plan on how I was going to place them.  I had an idea of how I wanted it to look ~ planned, but not.  And none of the frames "even", but that was the extent of it.  I started in the corner with the first 4 frames and basically picked the next one I thought was the right size and orientation.  I would hold it up where I thought I wanted it, stand as far back as my short arms would allow to get a good look, then go from there.

It turned out exactly how I visioned it.

When I got the frames all hung, then stepped back to get a good look, I noticed some scuffs and dinginess on the baseboards.  I was almost tempted to leave it because most of it will be covered by furniture.  But the obsessive compulsive in me just couldn't let it be.  What if I decide to one day re-arrange things?  And all that  dirty, dingy baseboard is now showing?  I just couldn't sleep with it left like that.

I found 2 - 5 gallon buckets of white paint that was used on all the other walls, and spruced up the baseboard.  The wall look so much better.   (The ceiling, however, could use a fresh coat of white as well.  But I have no ladder & refuse to tackle that job without one!)

I was going to carry the brown all the way to the very back wall with the shuttered window, but ran out of paint.  But that was okay because the brown made the room look just a bit darker, and painting that wall the same color would really darken my corner of the house.

But now, like that baseboard, the wall looked dirty and dingy next to the fresh coat of brown paint.  I wanted to leave it a light color ~ the white looked okay and brightened the corner ~ but I had ALL THIS PAINT to play with.  Ten gallons of white, plus 1/4 gallon or so of leftover brown I just couldn't NOT use it.  So, I poured some white into an old coffee can and added a bit of brown, and voila!  The perfect tan to keep the corner light and still coordinate with the brown.

This wall took less time, and by 2:00 yesterday I had it done and my corner complete.

Well, almost.  I still had to put everything back in place and vacuum the floor!

 I'm pretty proud of myself!

Wonder what room is next??


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