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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Beige Blues

Olivia has never had a proper girlie quilt for her bed, which I really haven't been in any hurry to find for her. I figured one day I would be out and about and it would find me. Besides, she has had this great toddler-size quilt that my friend Lucy made for her when she was a baby. Lucy and I met when we lived in Las Vegas and we both went to some newcomers' tour they offered at the base. She was large with child and Olivia was still a distant blimp on the future horizon. That child is now a daughter of six who has been joined by a sister who's three. Lucy and her husband are kind of like intellectual bohemians: they're both very educated and Lucy is the kind of homemaker who sews her own curtains and makes bread from scratch (like, with a rolling pin) and said making that baby blanket was "no big deal".

Lucy and her husband left Vegas and came to Wright-Patt, where they have been living in rural Ohio and tending a HUGE garden ever since. Yea, small world. (Or small Air Force.) They are leaving soon, though, because Bill got RIFed (RIF=Reduction in Force). But that's another blog.

So, going back to the girlie quilt. It found me! In Wal-Mart, of all places, the perfect place for our budget right now. It was even on the clearance shelves at the end of an aisle, which is the only way it could've found me because I wasn't even looking for it, remember?

They had a couple different designs, so I checked myself with Olivia and asked her which one she liked best. She confirmed my instincts by picking the same one I thought she'd love. One reason it stood out to me is because the highlighted color is red, her favorite color. Now I feel like I have a starting point for eventually finishing her bedroom, the first one she's ever had to herself. In Vegas, where she was born, she actually slept in our closet. Yea. (I guess that's better than a dresser drawer.) That was supposed to be temporary, but then John's tour got extended a year. It was a walk-in closet, but still. Then in Italy, she did have her own room for a short time, until Sean-Peter graduated from his parent's room. From then on out it was pretty much a game of musical beds. She slept in Conner's bottom bunk for awhile, then back in the room with Sean-Peter, then with me when John was deployed (after she got whooping cough), then again in Conner's room after a brief stint back with Sean-Peter who had forgotten that he knew how to share a room and decided that so long as someone was in there with him it was party time.

Finding a four-bedroom house was a priority when we moved here. We did think, moving back finally to a lower cost of living, that we should at least hold to our guns on that.

Even when we first moved into this house I was sure I didn't like the wall color in Olivia's room. However, the more tired I got, the more it grew on me.

But since then, I have realized that I just can't live with it. I'm still too tired to do anything about it, but the time is getting closer. It's just that everytime I look at it I have to resist the urge to scrub off the tobacco stains. Not that there are tobacco stains on it. But that's what the colors look like to me with the painting technique they used. It doesn't help that everything else in the room is beige, too. You can see the beige carpet in the picture -- which is quite stained and well-worn, but will have to $tay that way for the time being. What you can't see in this photo is the trim and the doors, so I'll save you the suspense: they're all beige.

So Olivia and I are thinking the walls should go green. She suggested red, but there are a myriad of reasons that would not be a good idea, and she's cool with that. She also said she'd like a rainbow in her room, which I think would be all kinds of fun to paint, but I don't want to overcommit myself quite yet. After she suggested it she must have determined by my lack of immediate response (in which I was thinking, "That would be fun, but will I get to it? Is that really something I should agree to right now?") that it kind of stressed me out, because she backpedaled. "Just joking, mom." Sheesh.

Now that I have the quilt for inspiration I have colors to pick from. So for anyone still reading this, what do you suggest? A green from the quilt? (And I know I need a new camera already!)What if I do end up painting a rainbow, would green still be okay? And how dark should I go? I tend to like to experiment with dark, bold colors, but it is a pretty small room, and a little girl's room, so I should probably go lighter here.

I already picked up some green paint swatches from Wal-Mart (when I was still excited about the quilt) but I don't like them, not a single one. Carmen suggested Benjamin Moore. Any others you guys have loved?

I'm planning on painting the trim and doors white no matter what. (What's the no-brainer "white" for trim?) Once that's done and the room no longer looks so much like a smoker dwelled there, I might be able to stomach thinking about a yellowish color? Like, (gasp) a light beigish yellow? But without the tobacco-stain streaks?

I'm also planning on getting Olivia some white furniture -- a 5-drawer dresser and a simple headboard, maybe a footboard, too, if it's a low profile. Right now she has my old dresser (which was my grandma and grandpa's old dresser) which is short and wide and takes up a whole wall in this small room, and really isn't the most practical size for a little girl who may still move around and have God only knows how much space from place to place. The bed she has now will be Sean-Peter's bed. You can kind of see the frame in this photo. Right now Sean-Peter is sleeping on the trundle part to this bed. He's been crib-free for about a week now! (sniff) This bed will be great for him right away because it has the built-in rail that we can face on the opposite side from the wall to guard against The Falling Out of Bed Syndrome.

Please practice your commenting skills (or develop some already) and tell me what you think!


Jerilyn said...

I love the quilt. It looks like Olivia.

Three green colors I've experienced:
River Gorge Gray, Benjamin Moore; this is the color of our downstairs, a darker sage green.

Escape Gray, Sherwin Williams; this is the color Susan used, I told you about it, and you used it in Vegas in your bedroom I think.

River Gorge Gray, Benjamin Moore; kind of the same as River Gorge but lighter, probably between that and the Escape Gray.

Do you remember the quilt I have in the basement bedroom? The colors remind me of your picture of Olivia's and the Northern Cliffs went with my quilt.

Jerilyn said...


Third color I mentioned should be Northern Cliffs, Benjamin Moore(I repeated River Gorge Gray)

Kathy from NJ said...

The quilt is beautiful. Benjamin Moore has a new line called Aura that a lot of housebloggers have used and loved. It is pricey. I'd go with one of the greens.

In other news, as of yesterday afternoon my nephew is an official C-5 pilot. He's on his way to NJ (from Lackland) to get his car, then next week he reports to his base.

Cherilyn said...

I vote for pink walls, white trim. Are Carmen's antique dressers still available? They would be perfect and would fit in the back of dad's pickup if he was willing to drive it. I wonder what it would cost to ship? Might be cheaper than new furniture.

A Military Spouse said...

Kathy from NJ,
Congrats to your nephew! Hope he enjoys his first base! I've never heard of "Aura" (I just don't get to read all the blogs out there that I would like!) so I'll be sure to check it out.

PINK?? Actually, it did occur to me, but it's just not as "Olivia" as green is, or yellow with a rainbow. But I think it would look nice. I might ask Olivia about pink specifically and see what she says. I do like her feeling like she has some say in this. (Although we all know we only give them "our" choices!)
What antique dressers?? Carmen?? You out there?

I think I'm picturing a more pastel-y green, but definitely subdued. And Wal-Mart definitely didn't have it. Sounds like I need to find Benjamin Moore around here.

Hey everyone, what about the white trim???

Jerilyn said...

I still love the white we painted our time and the hutch. It's Porter paint, Velvet White. It's exactly the right color white.

Judith and I have found out that some paint stores can look up on the computer the formula for other paint brands. So, for instance, if you tell them Porter paint, Velvet White, #6889-1, they can sometimes look that up and then mix up their own. If you do a pastel green, be sure it has a touch of gray in it or it will be too pastelly (new word).

Kathy in NJ said...

I love a shiny white enamel trim. It's easy to clean, too.

My sister & I shared a pink bedroom growing up. We also shared a pink bathroom - pink tiles, pink fake marble laminate vanity, white tub, toilet & sink. I would definitely go with a palish green (if Olivia agrees).

I just found out tonight that the Air Force is not going to let my nephew loose with a C-5. He'll be doing a lot of training flights and will have a lot of sim time before he takes off on a trip around the world (or more likely to Italy, Spain or Germany).

Carmen said...

Here I am! I vote for pale green. Benjamin Moore has a web site where you can paint a room a color and get an idea of what it will look like. Try to plug in HC-115. HC-116, HC-117, HC-118. HC-119 and HC-120. Also, HC-114,HC-113, HC-111 have a little more gray in them and might match the bedspread better. Or just take the bedspread in and tell them you want the green matched (and the red while you are at it in a quart to paint cute flowers or polka dot accents. Also if you get on Pottery Barn Kids web site sometimes they tell you what color is on the wall in their pictures.(These pictures will also give you good decorating ideas.) I ususally love the colors Pottery Barn uses. Another idea is to use a part of a white picket fence from Lowe's or somewhere as a headboard. Oh, another cute thing would be to get those wood or metal letters and paint them the white or red color, spelling out her name. Under that you could hang a picture frame with five or so openings with differnt pictures of her making different faces. And, you could get some toole (SP?) and a round ring. Attach the ring with the toole wrapped around it to the ceiling and it will create an airy canopy. Oh my goodness, the possibilities of a girly bedroom!!! I could go on and on! BTW, my white color is Sherwin Williams Dover White in Proclassic (hard drying enamel). I might like mom's color better though, but also in Proclassic.

As far as the furniture, a few weeks ago I gave mom our shorter antique dresser with the mirror on top. I think she has it in the spare bedroom upstairs. You can ask her how strongly she feels about keeping it. I still have and am using the upright taller one.

Happy Birthday to John! I have a box packed, finally, with a little something for everyone.

Love to all!

A Military Spouse said...

OH MY GOSH!! Carmen, just got on my blog today and saw your comment. You need to come do this for me! Okay, it all sounds so fun -- and those ideas!! -- but I want to do it all RIGHT NOW and I just can't! I'm so proud of myself just for getting stuff on the walls! But those are GREAT ideas; I really like the picket fence idea, and the letters for the name. Never thought of them. The canopy I have thought of, but not thoroughly.
You needed a girl so you could use all your girly decorating ideas!! (That's why you need to come and do this for your niece!)