Monday, February 25, 2013

If you give a mouse a cookie {Or, if you give a girl some flooring…}

***Check out our progress on this project HERE***

I feel like my mind is a little caught up in dreaming about projects these days, so I thought I’d share a little bit of what I’ve been pinning and what I’m hoping to do with it. I’d also love some input from you about what color/colors to paint the buffets I have pictured at the end of this post.

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This is what my KITCHEN and LIVING ROOM look like currently (well, these are cleaned-up versions of what they look like and I’ve added some extra decorative elements to both spaces). For the last several years Nolan and I have been wanting to replace our very low-grade carpet with laminate flooring. The carpet is falling apart and we regularly get poked by carpet tacks. When Jace was crawling he had little pin point size bruises all over his knees from pressing on those tacks.

It’s a bit of an “If you give a mouse a cookie” scenario though… if we replace the floors we’ll want to paint the cabinets. And if we replace the cabinets we’ll want different counter tops. And if we’re doing all that work anyways, why not finally paint all of our downstairs walls? Currently, we only have three walls painted and the rest is a low grade, flat white paint that is in horrible shape. So with our tax return on its way to us, we’ve been making some plans…

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I’m liking the idea of a light, neutral greige for our entire downstairs. I think Behr’s Wheat Bread is my favorite so far. The floors will be a little lighter than Pergo’s Highland Hickory and all our trim will be white.

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I love the look of white cabinets and black granite counters. A Thoughtful Place’s kitchen perfectly shows the floor/cabinet/counter/backsplash look I would love to achieve. Granite counters aren’t in the budget for us, so we’re planning on refinishing our current counter tops.

Faux Granite Countertops

My brother and sister-in-law refinished their counter tops a few years ago and they turned out beautifully! They followed a tutorial similar to THIS ONE. They are in the process of selling their house now, and they’ve fooled three different real estate agents that they have granite (don’t worry, they’ve fully disclosed what the counters really are). We can do all of our counter space, including the bar, for about $100. And as much as I’d love a new tile backsplash, it kind of comes down to being able to paint all of the downstairs, or do the tile. So I’m going with paint. I’m going to try painting our current backsplash. Anyone have experience with that?

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And I wouldn’t mind painting our front door. Right now it’s just white and shows scuff marks and dirt like crazy. The only details I have left to really figure out is a rug for the living room and a change in curtains. But shopping around for those will be fun. What I’m really happy about is that aside from the flooring, we’re thinking we can pull off the rest of the upgrades for around $300-350.


I also have two buffets—the one on the left is in the entryway and holds Jace’s toys, and the one on the right is in our dining room and holds miscellaneous dishes and dĂ©cor items. We’ve planned all along to paint the buffet in the entry way, and now that we’re putting in the wood floors I think they’ll both need a coat of paint. I’m just not sure about what color/colors to use. I think the one in the entryway would look nice black with a little distressing, but I also think it would be really cute in a color. But I’m worried about painting the one in the dining room black. I feel like we’d just have too much black in there at that point. The wall behind it will be painted at that point, and it’s right next to the kitchen which will have the white cabinets and black counters. As far as other colors in the space go—the couches are a dark red, the recliner a faded sage green color (seen in the picture of the living room above), and a black coffee table. In the kitchen I have different shades of red, black, and stainless steel.

I’d love your ideas for what color/colors you think would be best for the buffets.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I totally understand the remodeling snowball. I think you are on the right track with your color choices, your inspiration picture looks great with those colors.

    I can't wait to see how your counter turns out. I've seen a lot of people do that and it usually looks great. If we had been able to keep our counters, I was going to do that, but we had to rearrange our counters so we opted for granite. It looks nice but I'm not sure I'd do it again.

  2. We did the same with our counters. We used the gianni counter granite kit. LOVE it! Also painted the door coming in from the garage black. Huge difference and no more finger prints!!!

  3. Isn't the buffet in your dining room an antique? Check into that before you do anything as you might lose value on it depending on what you do with it. I love the look of the front door. Are you thinking of doing the curtains too? Those really dress it up if Toby & the cats wouldn't ruin it.

  4. Your dining room is very similar in colors to mine. We just painted walls a gold/brown color and got a black dining table and I painted my buffet a muted brick red color and glazing it with brown to antique it. It looks beautiful! I understand the hesitation, I just painted all rooms on main level and had awful time, ended up hiring interior designer to help! Buffet in hallway could be distressed/antiqued black or white, but don't choose until after you get wood floors and everything else changed, so you don't have to repaint it (like I had to do with one of my buffets!) Good luck!

  5. For the dining room buffet (if it isn't an antique?) I'd paint it a color with a stencil to give it a more fun side but also match the decor. So, you could pain it sage, with green stencils, or black with white stencils... the combinations are endless depending upon what you'd want to achieve!

    As for the entry way buffet.. I think it depends what you want the space to be. It could be a number of colors, but a darker one will make it seem larger and more bulky, with a lighter/brighter one being more playful, space lightening. Personally, I'm not a fan of distressing, and I would probably paint it all one color and then the handles another. Possibly turquoise and black? Yellow and grey?

  6. We painted some tile in our windowsills, but I'd be nervous to try it in a kitchen. With the traffic and moisture, it might end up chipping or bubbling. If you do an internet search for it, most of them will all tell you to go about it the same way, sand the tile, paint it, coat it with something practically impenetrable.

    I hate sanding and refinishing furniture. I'd forgo the bright trendy colors and keep it neutral so you won't tire of it in a few months when that's not the cool color anymore. Maybe a light gray or an ivory?


I appreciate comments so much! I'll do my best to reply to you here in the comments section, especially if there is a question so future readers can see the answer.