Life

Architects of Air: Katena Luminarium

Katena3

Happy 50th birthday, Columbia! (And happy belated Father’s Day, dads!)

This past weekend was the annual Columbia Festival of the Arts and this year’s festival had a special treat as part of the city’s birthday celebration: the Katena Luminarium.

Katena1.jpg

Katena was designed by Architects of Air. It looked like a giant, enclosed moon bounce, but instead of jumping around inside, visitors walked through tunnels illuminated by red, green and blue lights. It was beautiful!

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I had heard of the Luminarium a few months ago and was excited to go. I wrote about another light installation a few years back at Longwood Gardens, and with that experience in my mind, I took the baby to walk through Katena to see how it compared.

Katena_panorama

It was over an hour to get in, but it was well worth it. After all, it’s not all that often that a giant art installation opens up in my backyard!

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Home Improvement, Interior Decorating, Paint

So fresh and so clean

Our master bedroom is the perfect display of what it means to be indecisive, something that has plagued me my entire life. Dramatic, yes. True, yes.

I remember waiting in line at the grocery store when I was little and my mom let my sisters and I each choose a candy bar. Well, I couldn’t decide on what to get, so I ended up getting nothing. That’s scarring for a small child, folks. Scarring!

Anyway, back to our bedroom. We wanted to paint most of the rooms in our house before we moved in three years ago (this march, holy smokes!).  I don’t think I’m ever as indecisive in life as when I have to choose a paint color for something. There are sooooo many choices. The master bedroom started off beige, and that was never going to work. The folks who updated our house before we bought it painted everything terrible, boring beige. It all had to go.

First, I bought teal. And I love teal. But it was sooooo bright for a bedroom, so that got nixed before I got farther than a sample coat. I ended up using the color in my craft room, which is in the basement with no windows and needed something super bright and cheery.

Second, gothic amethyst. I should have known from the start that a color with “gothic” in the name wasn’t going to work in my bedroom. It’s a gorgeous purple, and since we are Ravens fans I thought it was a color B could get behind. He liked it. I didn’t. I ended up using the color in my bathroom. I get so many compliments on this color in my bathroom, too! And my stepmom actually just took the remaining paint for the bottom half of her chair rail in my parents’ new house. It looks great, but I’m still glad it isn’t my bedroom color.

That’s the funny thing about me and color. It’s not that I don’t like the colors I choose. I do. It’s just that they don’t seem right for the space.

On to color three: darkish, bluish-gray. Ugh. This was the only color B and I seemed to agree on (he wanted hunter green….) for the bedroom. So I took it as a win that we painted another room in the house a shade of blue and we actually painted the room this time.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_bluegray

Well, this should come as no surprise…. I wasn’t ever super happy with this color. It was just. so. dark. and. gloomy. And I’m not a dark and gloomy kind of person. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. I love the brightness of white, but cannot stand the lack of color. So most every room in my house is a light, bright color of some sort.

So yeah, the blue/gray color didn’t work.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_bed before

I finally persuaded/annoyed Brian that I’d we’d be happier with a more cheery color, and after years of badgering he acquiesced.

So I wasted no time. I sampled five colors, thinking I wanted a bright neutral. But like I said before, the neutrals lack color (duh) and I seem to always end up not choosing a neutral no matter how hard I try.

So we ended up with Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, a beautiful, super light green that sometimes looks gray.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_In Progress

Here’s the room in progress. Don’t you love my style of painting? No tape, no drop cloth, no furniture removed? Hey, it works for me.

The other exciting thing I did in our room while doors were off closets and clothes were out – I painted our closets a bright white. Check this out:

Before

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_open closet

After

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_closet after

SO FRESH AND SO CLEAN! Minus the dirt in the corners… I painted the doors, the trim and the insides of both closets white and it made such a world of a difference. The whole space felt bright and airy. And clean. So very clean.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_Closet

Once the paint was dry and everything was put back together, I happily shopped at Target for a new duvet cover. I actually ended up keeping the old, dirty-looking duvet we had and simply buying a beautiful knit blanket for the top of the bed. I threw some matching pillows on the pull in the green and blue, added a pop of pink. And voila! Love it.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_pillows

The final step that I’ve done so far is to treat myself to a new bed. I looked for months on Craigslist and at Habitat Restore for a bed I liked, but I couldn’t find one. So I bought us a brand new bed online. It is so pretty 🙂

A Smith of All Trades_Bedroom_final1

There is still quite a few things I’d like to do in our room:

  • Iron the curtain I put up for Brian’s closet door. So doable, probably won’t ever happen since I hate ironing. Hey, just keepin’ it real.
  • Get taller night stands for next to the bed. The ones we have a so short it drives me a little nuts. But I haven’t found the right thing yet. Plus, I’d really like to redo these myself.
  • Get B a new dresser. His is old and clunky. And while I actually like the color against the Sea Salt walls, it is time for something a bit larger and more in-line with our style. I’m waiting to find something I can paint in the same color gray as my dresser.
  • Art for behind the bed. I’ve tossed up the idea of doing several gold mirrors or framing some botanical prints. I think this will have a huge visual impact when you walk into the room.
  • New duvet? I still might change up the bedding. I like the knit blanket a lot, but knit doesn’t hold up great. The problem is the dog gets on the bed, so we don’t want to splurge and buy really nice bedding on the off chance it gets dirty. Because it will get dirty.
  • Build a long, skinny console table for under our painting. It is lonely on that wall. Or do something completely different on that wall altogether. Only time will tell.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_another view

On the whole, I am loving the update to our room. B doesn’t seem to miss the blue, that’s a win in my book.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_final2

P.S. This is actually what our room looks like. Notice the stick of deodorant on B’s nightstand and Remmy’s oh-so-dirty doggy bed. And his sweet stick bone. You can also see the basket by my dresser to hold dirty towels to wipe Rem’s paws. The only thing I changed in here for a nicer photo was not adding our duvet under the blue blanket so it laid flat. Arguably I should have added it since the banket hangs over so long, but whatevs. Perfection is overrated.

Proof: Here is our duvet stuffed nicely into the hamper for this photo shoot hehe. Back on the bed it goes!

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_hamper shot

Other than that, this is it, baby. Far from perfect. Not even close to matchy matchy. But it’s ours and we love it.

OK, OK…. this is really what it looks like 😉

I couldn’t write a post about our bedroom without including Rem. It is his favorite room in the house, after all.

What do you think? Are you a fan or darker walls or do you like the light and brighter colors?

 

Furniture

Console Table Magic

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted on the blog and I’m happy to share that my tomato tally has crossed the 100 tomato threshold! Yes, this weekend we hit a Tomato Tally of 102. I probably have a dozen more needing to get picked, too. Craziness.

Anyway, this isn’t actually a post about tomatoes. Shocker, I know.

Ever since we rearranged our living room to accommodate my slipper chairs, I’ve wanted to get a console table for our living room.

Slipper chairs

The room is starting to really come together. New chairs, new pillows… and now, new table!

Console before

I found this console table on Craigslist for $25 and an office building 4 minutes from my house. I emailed and was super pleased to hear that I was the first person to reach out and the table was mine if I was interested.

I left work in a hurry to make it to the office complex before they closed at 5, bargained them down to $20 and left with a new table!

The table was wobbly and a bit dated with the gray glass, so I took the glass out and tightened all of the bolts with a ratchet set. Then, I whisked myself off to Home Depot to buy some wood to replace the glass.

IMG_0434

I roped in this kind gentleman to help me cut the wood down to size since we don’t have a table saw (and 51″ is too long to cut even remotely straight with a circular saw). Twenty minutes later, I walked out with two new shelves and some scraps.

IMG_0435

I set up shop on our patio, sanding and staining the wood. I mixed a walnut brown with a light gray stain to lighten the brown color a lot. I ended up with a light brown with hints of gray in the knots of the wood. Two coats of stain, two coats of poly, one light sanding and voila!

Console After

Love love loveeee. It fits perfectly against the wall opposite our bay window where the couch used to sit.

Console In the room

It even matches the style of our coffee table (You can see the style better below when we used them as end tables).

End Table

I waited a day to let everything dry and cure completely before staging it.

Console2

I’m still working on that, but this is stuff I had all around the room just waiting for a home on a nice console table like this one.

Console3I just love having a spot to put out pictures and flowers 🙂

All in all, this project cost a little less than $70 — not too bad for a new console table, especially when it’s twin at Ballard goes for $350!

Next up, a mirror for right above the table, which is centered with our bay window. The mirror will bounce the natural light around the room and really anchor the table with the wall. Now I just gotta find one I like!

Hope you all had a great weekend! Between the console table (I did this whole project in one night after work last week), a BBQ and a river walk, my weekend was a blast.

RemRiv

Rem had a pretty good weekend, too.

Happy Monday!