October 31, 2013


The art director in me cringes at how unfinished and unstyled these photos are, but "in-process" posts are my favorite to read, so I know I just need to get over it. I also need to remember to take similar before and after photos...

Like most houses for sale, ours was painted in a limited palette of light, unassuming, unprovoking creams and tans that have been mercilessly provoking me with their utter nothingness. I envision our house in fresh whites, with crisp black accents, lots of wood and plants, and a mustard yellow chair here and there. Last weekend, I was itching to change something - anything! - in the house, so it would finally feel like ours. And what could be more definitively altering than black paint?

We bought a gallon and a quart of Valspar's interior eggshell latex paint in Cracked Pepper (the darkest, truest black we could find), and I sanded down, taped off, and painted:

1. a butcherblock island from IKEA. I bought it while I was living on Iredell to nearly double my kitchen counter space. It's solid birch, and has totally stood the test of time, but has stayed unfinished for too long. So, I've naturally sealed the top with mineral oil, and the rest of it got a coat of black. Now it looks all grown up, and functions better, too (meaning I could chop things on it now if I wanted).

2. an accent wall in the living room. It's the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. I can't wait to hang some art on that gorgeous inky wall now, and I love how the credenza pops off of it.

3. a large mirror that was left by the previous owners in the den. Photos of that soon. It was huge (and probably expensive), but the frame was a bit ornate for our taste. So, BLACK.

4. the 3x6' half-bath off our kitchen. Small space, big impact. I could see us wallpapering this room in the future - something bold and dark and crazy. But black paint achieves the same effect nicely for the time being. I pulled out the wall-mounted cabinet above the toilet, and am currently looking for some nice, patina-ed slabs of wood to hang from wall to wall as floating shelves, and a huge aged mirror to replace the current oval one. This is the bathroom people will use when they're over for dinner parties and late-night whiskey-fueled fireside chats. I wanted the corners to disappear, and the whole room to be a sexy extension of the evening they're hopefully having. I love how it turned out - just as I envisioned.

This weekend, I'm buying a 5-gallon tub of white paint, and starting to erase the rest of the oatmeal travesty that's currently covering the rest of our interior walls. I'm enjoying having paint under my fingernails at all times, and waking up impossibly sore each morning. Homeownership!