My husband LOVES projects. (*smirk*)
Well, he actually does...but sometimes my tendency to push up the timeline and expect the world can add some element of stress to our marriage. :) So, we've learned to communicate better, work with each other's personalities, and tackle things that are realistically doable for the two us and my sometimes unrealistic expectations. I maintain that all that seems challenging about "being one flesh" is meant to draw us closer to Jesus, himself. Marriage is sanctifying for so many daily reasons...and home projects is just one. And really, I'm grateful we don't accomplish them easily. Because: We're a work in progress, and that's a good thing.
The dining room in our new house (we moved in a year ago), despite being a hub of all that goes on in this house, has always been my least favorite room because of it's place in the house. Because it is in the center of the house, it has no windows, and can feel dark with no natural light. Painting it white wasn't a good option for us since I wasn't prepared to tackle all the off-white ceiling and trim in the whole house...yet.
So, I decided to do the opposite to white, and go dark and dramatic. I originally hoped for exquisite wallpaper, but after pricing out some of my favorites...it simply didn't seem worth the hundreds of dollars it would take to add a little drama. Don't laugh, but that's when I realized I really could paint a mural on the wall, myself. The key was to make it look classy and not a preschool classroom wall. :)
I painted the feature wall "Poppy Seed" from Behr, in matte. It is inky...the deepest navy-gray, a shade or two from being black. And from there, I knew I wanted something beautifully dramatic on the wall. I took the decision to Instagram, asking people to weigh in about painting big florals in jewel tones (mural style) or gold paint marker outlined flowers, and folks there had SO MANY OPINIONS! It was fun to read through the many many comments there.
In the end, I decided to do the gold paint markers, mostly because it was two days before Thanksgiving and I wanted it DONE. Also, there's something simple and sophisticated about gold outlining...it feels almost like wallpaper.
I went with a Sharpie gold water-based paint marker because I wanted to easily paint over it if needed with latex (also water-based. *You can't paint water-based over oil-based!)
I had a general plan, but in the end, I just free-handed the flowers with images for reference on my phone in hand. It was too difficult to sketch out with chalk and not leave a residue, the removal of which would potentially compromise the gold if a wet towel was used. So, some small mistakes were made...but easily fixed with a small paintbrush and a cup of the latex paint on hand.
To be honest, even as an artist, it felt daunting at first. But, in reality...it's not risky: You can always paint over it. Who knows how long it'll stay like this, but for now...the dining room just might be my favorite room in the house.
Because we are CRAZY...we also remodeled the bathroom a week before Thanksgiving. We painted the bathroom the same wall paint color, but it looks more deeply navy in there due to lighting.
The dark brown vanity was painted with chalk paint (I usually use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but this time I picked up a small 8 oz. of the Home Depot brand "Americana Decor" Chalk Paint in pure white and it did well. I waxed with leftover Annie Sloan wax after sanding and distressing edges.
The biggest risk we took was to replace the vanity top with ceramic faux-wood tile to look like a rustic wood countertop like in the bathroom remodel we did at the last house. Instead of using a solid piece of wood, our choice to use ceramic made it easier on upkeep and not worrying about the boys splashing or soap getting everywhere.
Is there a room in your house that could use a little splash of drama? I know it's not for everyone or for every house...but you never know: a can of paint + a gold marker could change your world, too.
Because of grace,
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