The Farmhouse Painting Has Begun – Some Blue And Pink (Plus The Two Things Brian And I Didn’t Initially See Eye to Eye On)

A LOT is happening at the farm while we are in California. We always planned on going to Lake Arrowhead for the 4th of July, and then when ARCIFORM told us that painting and sealing the floor would happen on July 11th we figured we’d stay until most of it is over. The plan is for us to move into the house mid-August and live upstairs until the downstairs is ready. It won’t be a construction zone and might even be ready, but either way, we will be living there. Before we left we chose paint colors for the entire house (eek) and they started upstairs. Now as a recap – we are trying to basically create a farm version of the mountain house – a quiet, calm, Scandinavian home full of warm minimalism but less contemporary and modern, more traditional. We want more color and pattern than the mountain house – not a ton, but more. So today I’m taking you upstairs, where it’s all painted and ready to show and tell/give my thoughts and feelings after seeing it all done.

A caveat – I typically like to choose paint colors last – after I’ve chosen rugs, furniture, etc. My philosophy is that there are more paint colors than there are rugs, and knowing what those major pieces are will dictate the color on the wall. But for this house, we haven’t even lived here yet. And I’ve been so focused on the renovation that I haven’t even thought about the decoration part yet (fine, I’ve thought about it, but I’m just taking it much much slower this time). I want to live there, use what we have, integrate vintage, etc, and that all takes time. We aren’t even totally sure if the kids are going to share for a while, or have their own separate rooms. So I did have to choose paint colors with the knowledge that some of them might need to change. We played it relatively safe with a lot of white upstairs but figured it’s easier to paint a light color darker than a dark color lighter. We almost left the walls just primed but it would save us so little money (the prep work is always more than the actual painting) and it would be chalky so we just let them actually finish the job, knowing that we are hanging wallpaper in Birdie’s room and likely painting Charlie’s room a color (should they stick to their claim that they no longer want to share a room – during the day they want their own rooms then at night they say they aren’t ready).

upstairs landing before

Blue Doors – All Around

This is the landing – it has 3 bedroom doors, a bathroom door, and two laundry closet doors – so it’s really “door heavy”. The floor here will be painted (doing it last and not sure what color) and I might even paint a harlequin pattern on it in two tones later down the road. We decided to do all the casings and baseboard white semi-gloss, and then painted most of the doors up here in a super soft sweet blue called Upward by Sherwin-Williams. We are EXTREMELY happy with the color both in photos and in person when I saw them drying right before we left. Brian and I decided on this color quickly and he was firm that it was the right one. The light is not accurate up here because the skylight and all the windows are covered on the exterior, but Kaitlin was able to shoot it in a way to get a fairly accurate reading.

When I first saw the photos my immediate reaction was OH, WOW I LOVE THAT COLOR. Then I was a little, hmmm did I play it too safe? Should we have done the casings and baseboard? But knowing that the floor is going to be painted as well makes me feel like we did the right thing. And there are 5 doors on the landing so painting the casing the same blue would have looked great in photos, but I fear that it would have been a lot in person. Maybe not, but I think that using restraint was probably smart.

The Kids Bedrooms: Shared or Separate? We Don’t Know.

As you can see we didn’t change much up here – just improved it all – bigger closets, new carpet (eventually), simpler moldings, new ceiling…oh yah and we installed electricity :). Note how the cords for the only light fixtures, the pull string sconces, coursed outside the wall through the ceiling. Remember when Brian and I were like “we can restore this ourselves, like a YoungHouseLove DIY project!”. Haha. The upstairs didn’t really have lighting and each room had like 2 outlets. And not to digress too much but you know what happens when you start opening up the walls of a 110-year-old house… ANYWAY, that was over a year ago. Look where we are now!

All the doors are vintage 5-panel that were either original to the house or salvaged at an auction to match. We are putting back on the original hardware (which are vintage crystal knobs, I believe). Now seeing the photos, I kinda wish we had sourced a new knob…But between decision fatigue and not wanting to be wasteful, we were like, “just put those cute knobs back on”.

For two of the bedroom’s walls and ceilings we went with Sherwin-Williams Extra White – in a matte finish (a slightly higher sheen than flat), which is supposed to be super wipeable but virtually no sheen. Then for the casing, baseboards, and doors, we chose the same color in a semi-gloss which I haven’t done in a long time. Semi-gloss for all woodwork is super traditional due to its durability and washability (baseboards can get dirty with scuff marks) but the world was leaning away from shiny paint for a while, myself included. For this house, I thought that the shinier finish would be just classic and pretty, not to mention reflect light and be easy to clean. I can’t really tell a difference here, tbh. Always a reminder that the things you obsess about often go unnoticed. I’m curious if in person the gloss of the paint will make me happy.

What you don’t know is that these rooms are getting wall-to-wall carpet – similar to what we did at the mountain house with the 1/2″ memory foam carpet pad underneath. More on that later, but trust me – it’s going to be so Scandi and so cozy.

If you are wondering why those closet doors are so short it’s because ARCIFORM found those doors at an auction for $50 and thought they would be great for a kid’s reach-in closet. They are pretty hilarious and if they were in our room I would have switched them out, but for a kid’s room, we think it’s quirky and makes us smile every time.

The painters spent days prepping those windows around the diamond pattern. DAYS. Which is probably a good thing because turns out painting the entire inside of a house after renovation is one million dollars. So part of me is glad that it’s clearly more laborious than I had thought, therefore worth the high price, while the other part of me is nervous about how long the downstairs is going to take. It’s a big job, I know, and so far from what I can tell they are doing a fantastic job.

Debate #1: To Panel Or Not To Panel The Ceilings

Whether to panel either the walls or ceilings in these bedrooms was a huge debate, for months. I wanted paneling, always, but Brian felt it was unnecessary. The windows are SO pretty, the light is good, the ceilings are high and the doors are so cute. He felt that it was enough and that we’d be spending likely around $5k per ceiling (including wood + labor) and even more to paint it. So when you put it like that, that paneling the ceilings would cost nearly $20k…it was an easy decision. BTW if you did it yourself of course it would be MUCH cheaper. We kept reminding ourselves that we have certainly splurged in other rooms (our room haha) and that these kids don’t need paneling on the ceiling. But do I wish that someone else would have surprised us with free paneling on the ceilings? Of course!

Y’all – The Pink Guest Room

While we don’t totally know whose room is whose, we really think that this is going to be the guest room because it is attached to the new little bath. That bath has the dark rose/mauve tile so we wanted to tie it in. This color is called Artistic Taupe by Sherwin-Williams and it’s incredible – so warm, so calming, so soft. We painted both the walls and ceiling in the pink and while I haven’t seen this in person I’m VERY into it in these photos.

Debate #2: To Paint the Trimwork, Casings, and Closets Pink Or White

The one thing I questioned is whether we should have done all the casing, windows, and baseboards the same color but with a different sheen. I wanted to, but Brian was a hard “no”, and he is generally far more classic than I am because he’s not on the internet looking at trends like we are. I personally love this look and have not regretted it in the past. But erring on the side of classic and timeless is certainly not a bad thing. He tends to be right, long-term (not always btw). I let him take this one, but when I saw the photos I kinda wished it was all pink. I showed them to him and he still said “absolutely not,” which I appreciated. I trust him a lot and think his instincts are good. So while my preference would still be to paint everything the same color, I also know that this looks so good. Also, all of the windows are totally covered up on the exterior so this room is actually far brighter than it looks, meaning that the contrast between the pink and white is even less than it looks here. It’s a really really light hue.

This room is getting the same carpet and I think it’s going to be VERY VERY DREAMY. I’ve always wanted a pink room and I have a feeling that this is going to be the coziest room in the house because of that color.

For downstairs we have more colors coming at you soon – some soothing, some moody, none are too saturated, but all make me so very, very, happy. xx

*Photos by Kaitlin Green

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