Here we go…

April 5, 2010

Let their be “greige”!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 4:08 pm

I have good news and bad news.  We started painting the outside of our house.  The good news is that it looks SO MUCH BETTER!  I love the colors so very much.  The bad news is that we made a rookie mistake that cost us about 8 hours of our precious lives.  I started out rolling the brick with a masonry primer.  Yes, I said “rolling” the brick.  You see- the sprayer we had did not spray primer because it is too thick.  I swear to you, when i say my arm was about to fall out, I am telling the truth!  It was ridiculous.  Then, we started painting.  It was really hard.  you see- with brick you really need 2 coats minimum.  After hours of this, Kyle went and rented a commercial sprayer and honestly it saved us so much time!  So tip of the day- use a COMMERCIAL sprayer!  It was totally worth renting and we will do it again when we move to the back of the house.  I’m pretty sure you can prime with a commercial sprayer too.  We used Acrylic paint rather than latex for durability.  Oil is just too complicated.

I selected a Benjamin Moore color called “Clarksville Gray” for the outside.  It is perfectly “greige.”  (gray + beige).  For the trim and the wood wall under the carport, door frame, side doors, shutters, etc. we will be using “Texas Leather” also Benjamin Moore (you can see this color in the 2nd pic on the wood adjacent to the brick).  I’m still leaning toward a blue door.  Here are some pics!

Curtain Drama

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 3:21 pm

I had a change of heart about my blue-gray curtains that were in the front room that has become my orange and green and white room!  The blue were fine when that room was going to be more “serious” but after I hung Lori’s paintings, added the white planters and bamboo, etc.  they just were not cutting it.  So, I went back to the FIRST curtains i loved for that room and ordered them.  I am not sure what I am going to do with the blue ones but I have a feeling they will show up on the windows in kyle’s “man room”.  haha.  I’m sure he’s thrilled 🙂

Here are the ones I ordered from Anthropologie.  I appologize for the dark picture!

April 1, 2010

My New Dream Home (for spring at least!)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 7:34 pm

This little gem is located in Sydney.  Who’s surprised??  The Aussie’s always get it right!

Tips on using the color BLACK in you home.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 1:58 pm
“Use the color black to convey elegance, sophistication, or perhaps a touch of mystery. Dark charcoal gray and very dark brown can sometimes stand in for black.” -unknown
We all think about black as a classic, wonderful thing, but not always as a “color” per se.  I have grown to absolutely LOVE black as a color, and wanted to do a post to point out some of the reasons behind its awesome-ness.  The little black dress, the black tie, the black and white cookie, oreos, black cars, the bat mobile and batman’s suit (who doesnt love the bat mobile??), black lined eyes, black suits, black and white photography… you get the point!
Translating this to interiors can be a little intimidating.  It is just not something we are really used to, if that makes sense.  When used correctly, black has a very powerful way of making a room feel more complete.  It can serve as an anchor.  Here are some images that show that and then we will move on to some helpful tips!
Tips for using black in your home:
Do not be afraid!  Do not be afraid to paint a big wall black- maybe even chalkboard paint?  It is a very bold, yet classic color, so there is nothing to be afraid of.
Doors love being black.
Make sure that you have some lighter colors in the room to make the black really work- not necessarily “bright” but “light.”
Do not paint your ceiling black unless you are really really brave, or want to create a cave.
If you are painting furniture, use a semi-gloss or gloss, but if you are painting walls, do a matte or eggshell finish.  Doors should be semi-gloss or gloss.
I would usually advise against black trim.  It is just really not fun if you change your mind!
Black accessories make shelves come alive!  (as do white!)
Have fun with it- just like the litle black dress, black will never go out of style as an interior color.

March 30, 2010

Open to Suggestions…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 9:41 pm

Are there any specific things that you would like to see featured on this blog?  I am open to suggestions!  I want it to be about more than just our renovation, although I’m sure the renovation will still be a big driving force in everything here since it has a tendency to consume my life at times 🙂

Decorating tips?

Good deals and sales on home decor items?

Common mistakes in decorating and interior design?

Accessories and the mysteries that surround selecting them?

Holiday decor?

Personal fun stories and horror stories regarding the renovation and life as a designer?

What is coming around the corner as far as trends in interior design?

Entertaining with style?

Color theory, the psychological affects of color on our senses, etc?

Inexpensive do-it-yourself ideas?

Inspirational photos of fab rooms and homes?

Those are just some ideas I have, so let me know if any of them peak your interest!!  I have so much fun with Ranch Dressings, and always want to make sure it is filled with things that the readers enjoy!

Movin’ Outside!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 3:18 pm

This weekend I am going to attempt to start painting the outside of the house.  As of now, it is a horendous peachy orange brick.  I am going to paint it a real creamy neutral.  Sort of off-white, and will be getting shutters and painting them a little darker tan-ish color, and of course we’ll probably have some dramatic bright blue door.  I have contemporary stainless house numbers and the stainless mailbox, so hopefully i’ll end up with clean/simple/updated!

I’ll take pictures all along the way.  Speaking of pictures, I am going to get a new camera so you dont have to live with these iphone mobile uploads anymore!  This week I got these delivered from world market!  I love Adirondack chairs, and I love  yellow!  They are adorable, especially on the cluttered back porch with table saws, construction materials, and one big fat mess 🙂  not for long though!

March 29, 2010

accessories are in place!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 2:23 pm

We had a busy weekend, but managed to pressure wash half of the outside of the house – TO GET READY FOR PAINT!!!  I plan on starting painting the brick this Friday since I am off of work.  Also, I made a trip to Zgallerie to grab a few last minute accessories to complement the painting and orange/red sofa.  Basically, I’ve been totally stuck on what to put on either side of the sofa.  End tables are all too short b/c of the sofa arms being so high.  Lamps were my other thought, but i thought the room may have too many light sources considering i have 2 8 light chandeliers and a pharmacy lamp will be going by the chair and then a little lamp on the desk.  So… lamps were ruled out in favor of these big huge white vases with bamboo!  I love them.

They really make sense with the white coffee table, but arent cliche’ or matchy matchy.

Bromeliads are my favorite indoor plant for the center of a table.  How nice that they are usually orange and green- my color scheme!  I got the bowl as a wedding gift, and love it dearly.

Kyle had fun pressure washing the front porch with his little “Ash ❤ Kyle” hehe.  PS. it is still there, and im sure at some point this weekend i’ll be re-washing it but it was a funny surprise!

March 24, 2010

Mother’s Day Paintings

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 3:29 pm

Fits like a GLOVE!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 1:01 pm

March 23, 2010

God’s Little Gift to Us Every Autumn

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 6:08 pm

I ran over to Lori’s house to see the painting at lunch and was reminded of how God gives us that beautiful color every fall- just like a gift!!  This painting is a documentation of His Gift!  …a reminder of Him sustaining us through life’s changes.  The change that happens in the lives of those trees is such a beautiful display of that.  Beauty LITERALLY comes out of the leaves death- to the point of people from all over the planet booking flights every fall and charting the “color” as it crawls south from Maine down into Connecticut.

Kyle and I were in New Hampshire when we took the picture that Lori used as inspiration.  We were specifically on the Kancamagus Scenic Byway.  The day was overcast and very cold, but the warmth of those reds, oranges, and yellows was enough to offset that by far!  WHAT BETTER WAY to remember that trip than to have this hanging above my fancy paprika red ZGallerie sofa??  No better way!

If you are interested in having one of these commissioned for your home – either to commemorate a special trip or just to add a bold splash of color to a room, please feel free to email me and I’ll let you know how the pricing works.  This one is about 5′ wide and 3′ tall, but she does lots of smaller work as well- if you aren’t able to afford a really huge one, consider that.  I see the artist every day at work and we at least talk 100 times every week 🙂  She is one of my favorite people in the world- by far.  So not only is the painting a reminder of New England, it is a reminder of our friendship- and how it helps sustain me on even the most stressful work days!  THANKS LORI!!!  So… drumroll….

This is Lori on the left in Super Mom Mode at my wedding!

Here she is with her beautiful daughter, Brooke.

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