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Manolo for the Home: House, Home and Lifestyle Advice - Part 50

Going Gray for Under $25

Like the post title says, going gray for under $25 is easy. Just click on the pic for more info about any of the ginchy grey gear below!

grey storage bingrey teapotgrey french press
grey bowlgrey clockgrey doorstop
grey utensile holdergrey grey greygrey poster
grey spoonsgrey scrapbookgrey cutting board

Going Gray

gray grey

I’ve had a love affair with gray since my teens when I painted the walls of my bedroom varying shades of gray. As a color, gray is frequently associated with neutrality — being neither white, nor black — and cool self-control. Because of its versatility and ability to harmonize with a variety of other hues, the color gray often serves as a backdrop to other, more vivid colors. But shades of gray can be their own perfect palette instead of highlighting bright yellows or pinks. Used on their own, shades of gray can make for a dramatic and bold or calm and soothing space, depending on how they’re used.

According to Wikipedia: “Most grey pigments have a cool or warm cast to them, as the human eye can detect even a minute amount of saturation. Yellow, orange, and red create a “warm grey”. Green, blue, and violet create a “cool grey”. When there is no cast at all, it is referred to as “neutral grey”, “achromatic grey” or simply “grey”. The color grey is often associated with aging or the passage of time, likely due in part to the decreased pigment-production of hair follicles in time, corresponding to the greying of human hair. In this context, grey is often used synonymously with “elderly”, as in “the grey pound” or “grey power” (when referring to the economic or social influence of the elderly), or as used by groups such as the Gray Panthers.”

You have your choice – go gray on your walls, go gray with accessories, or go gray down to the smallest detail. It’s easy, when there are so many different grays to choose from! Here are some inspiring images to get you started, and tomorrow I’ll show you how you can go gray for less than $25!

gray bedroom

gray bathroom

gray dining room fromdesignsponge

gray living room

gray office


gray living room 2

Color On High

When it comes to plain ceilings (i.e., not tin, decorative plaster, or good-looking wood), you have a limited number of options. You can paint them ivory or cream or eggshell, or whatever incarnation of white looks best with your chosen paint color scheme. You can add embellishments like vinyl wall stickers, though that sort of thing can look a bit juvenile and typically works best in kids’ rooms. Or you can go against the grain and paint your ceilings a color other than white.

People are generally afraid to do this. They’re used to painting walls, so when they think of adding color to a room, their thoughts turn to vertical surfaces. It’s also more difficult to coordinate furnishings with accessories with floor colors with wall colors with ceiling colors, omg, but really, it’s not impossible. It’s even easier when you start with a nice neutral for your walls. One option involves painting all your walls the same color, then varying the color of your ceilings by room. Or you can go all-out and have coordinating wall and ceiling colors that differ entirely from room to room.

The best way to approaching painting ceilings is to look for inspiration (some of which I have thoughtfully provided below) then play with color combos using Paint or Photoshop or The Gimp until you find something that works. You can even paint a small test area on one wall and an adjoining bit of ceiling just like you should do with the wall only so you see how the colors influence each other and the room in different sorts of light. To begin, check these out. And if you’ve painted your ceilings a color other than white, tell us about it!


(via Domino)

painted ceiling Sills Huniford


painted ceiling yellow

painted ceiling dark light


painted ceiling Sara Story


Because You Need Somewhere to Put Stuff In the Necessary Room

Friends of mine are remodeling their master bath, and part of that remodel involves switching out a very old fashioned (think grandma, not hip retro) bathroom vanity for something new. I cannot, of course, hear about anyone’s remodel without thinking about what I’d like to put in my home given the chance. Unfortunately, my own bathroom is quite narrow and none too long, which means that anything other than a simple pedestal will look monstrously out of place. Still, a girl can dream, right? There are so many ways to do bathroom vanities, and here are just a few to inspire those of you with bathrooms bigger than my own.

bathroom vanity Fratelli Branchetti

A bathroom vanity might be modern and colorful and in keeping with an overall decor theme, like this one. (via)

bathroom vanity classical

Or rather feminine and romantic, like this one. (via)

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An Eight-Hour Day I Can Actually Enjoy

Aren’t these prints cute? I know, cute isn’t for everyone, but if you have the right sort of aesthetic already in your home or you aspire to adorableness, then cute could be for *you*. For wall-ready adorableness I’m currently digging on EightHourDay, creators of, among other things, letterpress and screen print art featuring vintage-look designs in bright, eye-catching colors.

pink print

Did I mention that they’re cute? Because they are!

yellow and gray print

Eighthourday is a Minneapolis design boutique and a husband and wife team. You can find selected prints on Etsy, where the price is definitely right (though you’ll have to find your own frames). Their Flickr page is definitely worth a look. Fair warning: It’s not ‘stuff for the home’ but rather plain old good design.

The Quarter Bath Problem

One of the strangest things in our house is the room we like to call the Quarter Bath. Think a half bath without a sink. Basically, it’s a closet with a toilet installed down in our finished basement. We’ve just added it to the list of strange DIY projects that one of the house’s previous owners decided to tackle, badly. Anyone else have this problem? Because we have it in spades.

As it stands right now, there’s no room to add a sink, even one of those tiny corner sinks. What we’d like to do someday is expand the room, finish the walls properly, and add something like this:

half bath

Inspiration provided by Kristen Buckingham. I think something like this could really cheer up my sad basement half bath (which as I said is currently a quarter bath). I’ve thought about scrapping the project altogether as rather ambitious, but really, it would be nice to have somewhere to wash one’s hands after using the facilities instead of having to pop back upstairs to use the kitchen sink.

Purple Chair, Five Ways

As you know, I love purple. I painted my kitchen cabinets a deep, bright purple. Come springtime, I have plans to repaint the trim on my house a sort of eggplant color that will eventually highlight a sort of pumpkin color. Go, Team Purple! So when I came across a beautiful purple chair at a local consignment shop, I was inspired to see what else is out there. Here’s a sampling:

purple chair 1

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Sit On It. Store In It. Stare Out.

It is truly an unfortunate thing that there is no room in my home that could currently accommodate a proper window seat. Where the windows are large enough, they are far too high up. Sure, I could find a tall bench and place it under a window, complete with plenty of soft, punched pillows, but it’s not really the same thing. A real window seat has storage underneath, and is a quiet, sturdy place to relax and read or watch the world.

Someday The Beard and I are going to do all sorts of interesting things to our little Cape, but for now I have to be content posting pics here of all the things that float my boat. Perhaps you like window seats as much as I do? If so, you’re going to love the following pics.

window seat 1

Love the lamp, love the view. I have no clue where this is, but I want to believe it’s in one of those cities that feels more like a town. Maybe somewhere by the water? I’m ready to move in.

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