February 25, 2018

Pantry Makeover: Beadboard Walls + A Checkerboard Floor

How do you know if you really like a design or if a design style is "yours"? Pay attention to the rooms that make your blood pump faster, your brain light up, your nipples get hard and the goosebumps rise on your spine. Oh, is it only me who gets that excited about rooms? Well, then, I don't know what to tell you.

But there are two things that always have that effect on me--beadboard and checkerboard floors. (And now that shiplap has gotten through-the-roof popular, I think beadboard is a less trendy and less expensive way to get that classic country cottage look.) At the old house, I painted a green-and-white checkerboard pattern on my closet floor, but I guess I never blogged about it because I can't find it anywhere.

A few years ago I discovered designer Alison Kandler, who is based in Santa Monica. Her gratuitous use of cheerful poppy color has all of the aforementioned effects on me. Like, just have a look at this breakfast nook and tell me it doesn't bring you all the joy? This is in her own kitchen, but she has done checkerboard floors over and over again because you love what you love.

Another of Alison's signature moves is to bring an outdoor architectural element indoors--she often puts screen doors on pantries and scalloped/fish-scale siding in interior rooms (which is something I plan to emulate in Livvy's room this year). It was probably Alison who inspired me to swap my hollowcore pantry door for a door with character. Last summer I found this old lead glass door on Craigslist and talked its person down to $100. It somehow fit the dimensions of our pantry perfectly. Thus began my whole-pantry makeover.

Old door on pantry

First off, I LOVE this pantry, and I love HAVING a pantry. It was one of the things I was most excited about in the new house. But because the whole pantry was painted the color of the trim in our house (Sherwin Williams' Intellectual Gray), it was dark and it didn't reflect the appreciation I felt about having it. (Fun fact: Intellectual Gray is also the color of Joanna Gaines' bedroom.) There was also a very utilitarian light fixture in there that cast a harsh light. A new fixture was a must but it was a little tricky to find the perfect one because A) any flushmount fixture would have been jutting out crookedly on that slanted ceiling and B) any pendant would have to be very short because Nekos and I are not short people. 

Pottery Barn pendant light

The dimensions and price were right on the Pottery Barn Whitney Pendant, so we swiped it up and installed it ourselves. (It's for sale for $55 on the PB website right now.) Then I bought sheet after sheet of beadboard from Home Depot (it's super cheap) and cut it to size using my newfound skills with a circular saw (I taught myself how to use it when I was doing the barnwood paneling in our kitchen a few months earlier). At first I was gluing it onto the wall with this tile glue I had, but halfway through the project I started just nailing it up with skinny nails, which saved a lot of time and worked well. All my imperfect cuts got shellacked over with caulk and more caulk. And I painted the whole pantry from top to bottom with Sherwin Williams Alabaster, which is the color of our kitchen cabinets and just one of my favorite whites. 

Obviously, the finishing touch needed to be a checkerboard floor. I decided to copy Alison Kandler's blue-green color scheme: The turquoisey-green I picked out is Sherwin Williams Larchmere, and the periwinkle blue is the same color as my front door, Sherwin Williams Celestial.  

Sherwin Williams Celestial and Sherwin Williams Larchmere

I put the Larchmere on first. It was so lovely.

Sherwin Williams Larchmere on pantry floor

Then, I made a mistake. Or maybe I should say I took a risk. I decided instead of two colors, maybe I could use ALL the random colors I had on hand. I spent the better part of a day taping off this design and painting this hideous floor. I promise I wasn't even smoking grass (as my parents call it). I hated it right away, but I lived with it for a few weeks.

Painted floor fail

Then, I went back to Plan A, the plan where two bright colors is plenty.

Blue and green checkerboard floor

Success! Cheerful cottge-style pantry of my dreams complete.

February 21, 2018

For Realz This Time: My Kitchen Tour

Last time, I was all like "my kitchen is the room that feels done to me in the house" and then two weeks later I dramatically altered it by hanging House of Hackney's London Rose wallpaper and moving all the art that was downstairs upstairs and moving all the art that was upstairs downstairs (because: snow dazzzeee). And by hanging wallpaper I mean having it hung because I draw the line at DIYing wallpaper.

When I ordered this wallpaper a few months ago I intended it for our master bathroom but since I have a remodel of that planned that involves adding a copper bathtub from my peeps at Native Trails I didn't want to paper its walls yet. When my wallpaper guy finally texted one evening at 9 p.m. to let me know he was available the next morning, I made a game-time decision to stick this in the kitchen and frankly, I'm fucking thrilled about it. The morning after it went up, I sat in the kitchen chewing on my cereal and mooning over it in every sense of the word. If I could move into this wallpaper and just frolic around in it forever, I would.

So here's take two of the kitchen blog post, with more grandma wallpaper and less blabbing, since I talked about a lot of the stuff I did to the kitchen in the first post.

Colorful eclectic kitchen with wallpaper - Black and White and Loved All Over blog by Ellen Mallernee Barnes
micentury bar Black and White and Loved All Over blog home of Ellen Mallernee Barnes

micentury bar

Colorful eclectic kitchen with floral wallpaper - Black and White and Loved All Over blog by Ellen Mallernee Barnes

House of Hackney London Rose Smoky Rose wallpaper

Benjamin Moore Van Courtland Blue kitchen island

House of Hackney London Rose Smoky Rose wallpaper

House of Hackney London Rose Smoky Rose wallpaper

pantry with painted checkerboard floor

Photos: Caroline Sharpnack 

February 11, 2018

The Baby Turns 5

Back in November, Livvy turned 5. Nekos took a treasure trove of precious pictures of her party, but we lost the photo card for a couple of months. We were so happy to find it recently (tucked inside a deck of cards?) because they say so much about her vibrant, fun little party and her sweet girlfriends. 

Livvy Lara is my JOY. We still call her Lou most of the time. Or Livvy Lou. Or Lou-lee. Or Lou-gal. Or Livs. She's the kind of girl who commands a nickname because she's so darn cute. 

She is carefree, hilarious, messy, expressive, stubborn and tender. She likes peanut butter and jelly just as much as I do, and that's saying a lot. She likes playing in my jewelry box and pretending to read home design magazines with me. She's shy and slow to warm up to people initially, but then her extrovert shines through and she'll talk your head off. She loves going to her pre-K (kindergarten next year!) and has made lots of friends, many of whom request a hug from her before she leaves for the day. She's just started to learn to read some words and startles us every week with new vocabulary words she slips casually into conversation. She's a mama's girl. When I pick her up from school, she still runs to me and yells, "Mommy!" and hurtles herself into my arms. And sometimes I still get kind of teary about it. 



Here are posts about her first birthday and second birthday

January 22, 2018

Room Tour: My Kitchen

There are only a few rooms that feel "done" to me in the house. The kitchen is one of them. (Howevs, I have a feeling I'll paint the island a new color at least every couple of years. It's already been three shades of blue, which is totally normal.)

This is what the kitchen looked like a few months after we moved in, before I got to work on it.

Those counter stools were my dream stools--from Restoration Hardware. I ordered them for the new house before we even moved into it. They were so regal and comfortable. They were rich-folk stools. I don't know WTF I was thinking with them because I have two young kids. They soon turned into a nightmare of splotches and stains that just kept getting worse. I literally lost sleep over them. And when other people's kids came over and ate at the island I had to pretend not to worry that they were smudging their Kraft-macaroni-and-cheese hands on my RH stools. Anyway, I couldn't take it anymore so I sold them on Craigslist to a lady who had to recover them because they'd gotten so gross in such a short period of time.

But I was FINE because I copied Emily Henderson and ordered the Era Stools from Design Within Reach. My favorite part about these chairs (besides the fact that I can spray them down and wipe away every last morsel of peanut butter and milk and booger) is that they've been in continuous production for more than 150 years. They were designed by this dour-looking fellow (God, does he need a hug, or what?!) all the way back in 1859. So they bring some history to the space. 

Here are some of the other things I did to make the kitchen my own:
  • Swapped out the light fixtures for these pendants by Feiss (they're a knockoff of the fixtures I really wanted, but I love them just as much). Plus, I hung these bastards myself, which saved $. 
  • Painted the island Benjamin Moore's Van Courtland Blue after I saw this pin and was like DONE. (The island was also Sherwin Williams' Naval for about a year, but so was everyone's kitchen island it seemed.)
  • Painted the wall of cabinets Sherwin Williams Alabaster, an old standby for me. Those paintings are all from the Nashville flea market. I eventually want to move them to my bathroom and put this enormous print here instead. 

  • Drove out to bumfuck Tennessee to pick up a stack of barnwood from the late 1800s. I wore overalls that day. Look how happy I was with my wood. Then, I taught myself how to use a circular saw and cut all the pieces to shape. Nekos and I just screwed them directly into the wall above the backsplash tile. That was a fun and gratifying day. 
  • Had the roman shades custom-made with a John Robshaw fabric that still makes me weak in the knees. On these, I copied Holly Williams' farmhouse kitchen. See? I copy all the cool people, but then I mash all the copied things together and they become my own. At least that's what I tell myself. 

  • Swapped the more contemporary cabinet and drawer pulls for cheap-o brass pulls from Home Depot. 

  • Swapped the hollow core pantry door for a vintage Craigslist find that cost me $100. (Full pantry post coming soon.) 

That piece of art by the pantry door is by Chelsea Petaja, a local Nashville artist.

And how lucky were we that the midcentury bar we've had forever fit exactly into this nook by the back door?

This is Grayton, our 10-month-old mutt. This marks his first appearance on the blog. 

Stools: Design Within Reach Era Counter Stools
Pendants: Feiss Cadence Mini Pendant 
Main cabinet color: Sherwin Williams Alabaster
Fabric on roman shades: John Robshaw Baris Chambray
Drawer pulls and cabinet knobs: Home Depot Bedford Brass Cup
Bob Dylan poster: Milton Glaser