Choosing a Home Color Palette

Our home has an immense amount of charm. Charm can also be synonymous with requiring a great deal of work, at least if you want an updated home. Our 1920’s English Tutor has only had three owners (including us) and has been very well cared for, though not always updated. Before moving in we had three big projects we needed to complete, redo the bathrooms, update the basement/living room, and get rid of rooms full of wall paper, refinish the walls, and repaint. The handful of rooms that had paint were recently done and were fortunately in a color palette complimentary to  what I envisioned.

For our home, I wanted light neutral colors, but for the environment to feel warm instead of the harsh sterile feel too much white can bring. A lot of people subscribe to a certain formula for the ideal home, I don’t really believe that to be necessary. Keep it simple. Don’t choose too many bold colors and don’t forget your neutrals. Not every room needs to be a different color, but you should have different colors. You can easily switch up your colors with different finishes, like semi gloss – better for humid environments like bathrooms – versus matte. Below are the colors of our home, all of which are Benjamin Moore.

Creating a Home Color Palette

Antique White is our primary color for the hallways, stair well, and living room. I prefer more color in the bedroom, that is where we used Pigeon Gray. Sea Salt was used in the kitchen and bathrooms, and Simply White on all painted trims and an accent built in bookshelf. Public Service Plea: PLEASE do not intentionally paint the trim, especially in an older home with beautiful wood work! A lot of the trim was painted red and we obviously weren’t going to leave it that way, so this white made it pop against the Antique White. However, any room where the trim was unpainted, we left the natural wood. I wiped all the wood down with Murphy’s Oil Soap for a little TLC.

Tip: Save all extra paint and buy a small paint brush. To touch up any dings, start with a small amount and add layers as needed. Happy painting!

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – Two Ways

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

While I am admittedly not the best baker, there is one dessert I make better than the rest. My oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Below I am including the two recipes I use. One is more traditional, a modified version of a classic recipe. The other is an undeniably healthy option. Both, I promise, are delicious.

Betty Crocker’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (modified)

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips

  • Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir brown sugar and butter until blended. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon, and egg until light and fluffy. Stir in oats, flour, baking soda and salt; stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  • 2 Onto ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.
  • 3 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Modifications: 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla instead of one, old fashioned oats in replacement of quick cooking oats as it makes for a chewier cookie, milk chocolate chips instead of semi sweet, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Feel free to sprinkle more cinnamon on top as well!

Healthier Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
1 1/2 pure vanilla extrace
1 teaspoon cinnmon
1 egg
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

  • Mix brown sugar, butter, and yogurt. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and egg. Beat together. Last stir in oats, flour, baking soda, and chocolate chips.
  • Scoop onto ungreased cookie sheet with a spoon. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon!
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Makes 30 cookies
Calories per cookie: 115

Whip up a batch for your loved ones or be the hero of the next office party by bringing in a fresh plate of these cookies! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Home Favorites: Man Approved Decor

Man Approved Decor

When we moved we had minimal furniture. By minimal I mean five pieces of furniture, no exaggeration. Having so little to move was a blessing and a curse. The fun part was picking out all the new items and being able to decorate our home however I wanted. The annoying part was being without any furniture for five days and certain pieces not fitting (literally) where I had envisioned them. With all but a couple of items in place, I am glad to say this place really feels like our own home and our own space. I won’t lie, I don’t have overly feminine tastes in terms of decor, but I have zero desire to live in a large scale man cave. So I tried to make my purchasing decisions with both my husband and I in mind. While I love everything we picked, and even the pieces from the previous owners, I do have a few stand out faves I think every home would benefit from owning.

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  1. Sleeper Sectional / 2. Coffee Table / 3. Cable Knit Throw / 4. Thirstystone Coasters / 5. Bamboo Flatware Holder

(1)The sectional will double as a guest sleeping space once our guest bedroom is overrun by our future offspring. (2)The coffee table is probably my favorite piece of furniture in the entire house, it’s beautiful yet manly and really cool. (3)As a person who is always cold, good blankets are crucial and this one is my favorite. (4)Thirstystone is the best coaster brand I have found, reliable coasters are a must to protect new furniture! (5)While a great flatware holder may sound trivial, we don’t have a lot of kitchen storage so I am loving any and all organizational items!

As you can see I bought a lot from Wayfair. I liked how everything had reviews and a number of pictures. I did not like their lack of shipping methods on a number of items. For your own reference, if it does not specify in room delivery or inside delivery, they will leave all six pieces of your couch on your front step and leave you to drag it in, assemble it, and dispose of the oversize boxes on your own. Certainly not a mistake I would repeat. Do your research, remember to take ALL measurements into account (such as the stairwell your sectional is supposed to fit down…), and have fun with it!

A ‘Fixer Upper’ Inspired Bathroom

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Chip and Joanna Gaines, is there a more perfect couple in the world of home makeovers? The answer is very obviously, no. After we closed on our home in December, we knew we had to channel our inner Chip and Jo to make some home improvement decisions. Our 1920’s tudor is brimming with charm. While charm is marvelous, an outdated living environment is not. We are rocking one and a half baths in our new home, aka ONE full bath. This meant we really needed to maximize our bathroom space and functionality. Weeks, and a number of home improvement stores, later, I am thrilled with the results.

Marble look alike floor tile & shower wall floor tile

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LOVE this medicine cabinet mirror

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I wanted the room to feel spa like without being too sterile. I chose white subway tiles for the shower (Fixer Upper anyone?) and a really unique marble rectangular tile for the floor. In order to bring an additional touch of color, all the grout is a light gray instead of your standard white. Plus, gray will stand the test of time better than pristine white! We kept the sink and the toilet, but upgraded the medicine cabinet, which is just the coolest piece ever. We also bought this bamboo cabinet for storage and a neutral color addition. For the past couple of months I’ve been upgrading our towels. My favorite is Nate Berkus’ Target line. I purchased bath towels (not the bath sheet) and hand towels in true white. On the walls are Benjamin Moore colors Sea Salt and Imperial White. Sea Salt is a perfect accent, not too bland and not overpowering. We also redid our half bath with the same tile and paint colors. It feels bizarre to say I am in love with how our bathrooms look, but I am. We managed to brighten up and streamline a relatively small space without making it too modern or too anything. Happy decorating!