Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Yellow, White, Blue, + Brown + More on the Bathroom

When thinking about the title of this morning's blog post, color is what came to me. Color comes to me a lot, admittedly. When I scroll through my photos over each calendar year, I see a certain pattern in the colors that come back year after year in certain months. 

I tend to take more photos in the winter when our sheep are lambing and I am more involved in the farm. During January through almost mid April, most of my photos are very neutral based with the majority of the colors being brown, white, gray, and ecru - the colors of the mud and manure, hay, snow (very little this year), and ewes and lambs. 

Scroll to the end of the post to see a little 15 second video featuring The Farmer, Kate, the sheep, and the mud!

It is no wonder I crave color in my home --- all that brown and white and gray. It is all a bit depressing if you ask me and I cannot understand why in the world people will decorate their homes with those shades. Look through Houzz and decorating mags and all over there are homes covered in these boring shades. I guess it is easier for people to pick white because it is a no brainer and lots of people don't have the interest to go outside the beige box. UGH. Give me some real color inside PLEASE! I have enough brown and gray and white in my life outdoors. 

I have been working on my bathroom decorative painting project in fits and starts because things have been busy personally. Yesterday, I finally finished painting the walls. Here is a little more of my process. And as you can see - it isn't beige. 

Our bathroom started like this. The yellow color on the wall was done with a colorwashing technique which I explain in my latest book Crafting A Colorful Home.  I plan on keeping the Victorian tiles I have collected on the walls as decoration. 

First I added white based stripes using painters tape as guides (see this post). It was all a little too boring for me. I fooled around with a floral idea.

I decided it was too busy. 

I used Photoshop to continue fooling with motifs. This was a great revelation to me - that I could build up layers of ideas on a photo that I had. Very cool. After doing this, I was sure that flowers would make it all too busy with my floral tiles. I like the large circle thing.

That evening I thought about it some more. I decided to try an undulating curving ogee stripe to cover the white. 

I cut out the shape from some large paper I keep in my studio - figuring out the placement of the curves when placed on the wall. 

I tested 3 different colors of bluish gray that I purchased in the small test size containers at the paint section at HD.  By painting the cut-out shapes and taping them to the wall I got an overall feeling of what the ogee shape would look like. I looked at the colors in the evening with the lights on and during the day with natural light. I chose the most lively of the blues. 

To actually add the pattern to the wall, I made a full size scale pattern out of a mailing envelope. I then traced the shape onto the wall with a regular old pencil. 

The painting went extremely fast. I used a cheap china bristle brush and one of my pottery brushes. After I painted the outer edges with the pottery brush (these are my favorites), I filled in the center with the china bristle brush. I like to use these because I am going for an aged antique effect and it is easy to leave bits of the base color showing through. 

Here is one wall. 

On the opposite side of the room, there is a sloping ceiling. This is where you have to be a bit creative and fold the template when pencilling it in so that you can paint into the diagonal.  

The end effect looks like wallpaper and seriously - this project didn't take very long at all, once I decided on the design. I cannot imagine how much wallpaper would have cost and the trouble it would have been to put up. For the blue - I used less than half of a jar of the samples you can purchase at big box stores for $3.47. Today I will rehang the tiles and see how it all looks. Then it is on to tackle the tub. 

Here's the 15 second video of the mud I promised. Have a great day everyone. 


Linda Pratt said...

Glad you are painting again, KN - can't wait to see it finished!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the 'standard' indoor colors. Every time I look through our Saturday newspaper 'home' section the thing I notice is the bland wall colors. I guess people are afraid to make it too wild for fear of not selling the house and I will confess my living room walls are beige (I swore after living with my mother's beige walls I'd never have any of my own). The rest of the house is more colorful, including our office with orange walls and a muted purple ceiling. Love your colors. Helen

Auntie Shan said...

I really don't worry about wall colour around here, because *MOST* of it is covered with furniture and *STUFF*!! - Actually, I'd kill for a bit of wall SPACE! I've got stacks of ART that I'd like to "hang" *some* day... I could do with having an area the size of "the side of a barn"!

BTW, I'm still at the 2-plus-feet of road-debris-sprinkled-SHAVE-ICE everywhere stage! You need EXPOSED earth for MUD-Season. We aren't THERE yet!

Anonymous said...

Love this whole idea! I am going to try it in my powder room. I was wondering what "cheap china bristle brush" means?

Also, I love the "artwork" on the tub. I wouldn't cover that for a million dollars:) As a mater of fact, I would HIGHLIGHT it in some way to make it the focus of the room.

Thanks for sharing.

PS I ordered ordered the picture of the one day old lamb with the knitted sweater on and it is hanging in my craft room. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

Jean said...

Love it Love it - very Bloomsbury.
I too am waiting for the brown wood/grey look to disappear. I cannot see the appeal and I am tired of looking at it in so many publications. When I open a mag or book to find pages and pages of brown/grey rooms black clouds descend. Do that many people go along with it just because it is trendy? Sad.
Keep up the good work and color love.


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