[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Is there a quiz to measure obsessive thinking? I’m walking down the street in downtown Seattle and I just keep thinking, surely I’m crazy.
But we all think that lots of the time.
It seems like I jumped off a train a few years back and I’m still floundering around in the bay under the tracks. Are you down here, too? Dog paddling like a motherfucker, certain the veil is a little too thin between you and every gosh darn preacher on the corner with an amp and some passion.
How many times will that boy with the flag play that same song?
It’s sunny here in Seattle this week. Like, global warming sunny, and dang if it isn’t beautiful.
I’ve sworn off social media (again) due to intense overwhelm (hey, old friend), so writing on my website that no one reads seems like a solid way to ease this need to SHARE. Just pour it into a public black hole. Who even visits website blogs anymore? There’s not even a video in this thing, for god’s sake.
Which, by the way, is the message the young preacher boy with the red flag, standing on the amp on the corner of Pine & 5th in downtown Seattle, would like EVERYONE TO KNOW. God’s sake is the word.
A lot of people crossing at the corner laugh, bemused by his earnest lip syncing. He looks a bit like he’s floating on a spectacularly small boat, balanced on the top of his amp, hugging a 9-foot bamboo pole—a red flag flying atop—the same song booming on repeat across the pedestrian intersection in front of the Nordstrom Rack.
I’m guessing he’s not in the habit of second guessing himself. His brain probably doesn’t loop, ad infinitum, on the me he thinks he’s supposed to be. In fact, I’d wager, he’s downright certain that his boat ain’t sinking.
Where’s the line between introspection and self-obsession?
Am I crazy? Please send the quiz.
*I tried to find him again after seeing him three days in a row, to take a picture for the very post he inspired, but he’d vanished. Hence my artistic rendering.*[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Searching for flattering bronzer and blush for redheads with over 40 skin? Do the usual bronzers and blushes for redheads give you clowny blotch face? You’re not alone.
As my skin has aged to a fine, new configuration and my freckles have begun to merge, my go-to shimmery blushes have betrayed my newly ‘mature’ skin. Hoping for a solution—surely the internet can help!—I searched millions (!) of keyword combinations like fair skin + ruddy skin + light skin + over 40 skin + over 40 freckles + bronzer for redheads + blush for redheads + warm skin tones + red hair + redhead + blush for aging skin. I had no luck.
TL;DR Bronzer + Blush for Redheads
Seven blushes and bronzers for 40-ish skin that give good glow, not clown vibes or ‘I want to be Forever 21’ vibes (which, we can probably all admit none of us want anyway given that company’s terrible track record of human and environmental abuses). Here are the products in the order we photographed them:
Alamar Brighten & Bronze Complexion Trio in Light/Fair (Pale Where? and Cafe con Leche)
Hip Dot Blush in Solstice
OFRA Highlighter in Rodeo Drive
Arbonne Blush in Blossom
Milk Lip & Cheek Stick in Werk
YC Collection Blush in Fresa
Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer
The Very Sexy Backstory
Obviously, ‘redhead with red undertones’ is not a hot market, as my obsessive searching resulted in little more than listicles titled “BLUSH FOR REDHEADS!” Which, in fact, were listicles of many blushes for many skin types, featuring one porcelain-skinned young ginger wearing Nars Orgasm. I have never been described as porcelain-skinned.
Once I hit 40, the Nars Orgasm standby just didn’t work for me anymore. The peachiness, the shimmer, the pop of it all just read as too fake on my face. I wanted a natural glow, not an obvious attempt.
For those of us over 40 with fair or light skin, freckles, ruddy undertones, and (probably) red hair who struggle with blush and bronzer, LEXANN AND I ARE HERE FOR YOU. (Also, I need to be clear that Lexann is only 39. Okay? She’s a model with redhair and red undertones.) All this to say, whatever your age, you, too, should enjoy the wonders and false youth that a subtle, yet fabulous blush provides.
Let it be known: I am not a as challenged by blush as I am by bathroom remodels. However, without Lexann who spirit-guided us through this process and supplied all beauty products except the Butter Bronzer, this post would have never happened. In fact, I had hated my current go-to product (Butter Bronzer) until Lexann gently suggested using a different brush.
This led me back to the internet where I found this video, and now I feel like a goddamn pro when I bronze (is that a verb?). The bronzer looks so different when I apply it correctly with the appropriate brush. Like a healthy glow instead of a grey mud streak on my cheek. So, thank you Lexann. Please read her funny blog about bras and birthing and other stuff.
Read on for pictures of each product and the brushes we used; a blurb about how to apply each; and then one or two photos of Lexann and I each wearing the product.
A Guide to These Important Blush Learnings:
FILTER FREE: There are no filters OR edits on any of these iPhone pictures, just natural light and a hand-held ring light. Of course I overlaid text, but there are no edits to blemishes or color, etc. About half of the pics were taken in portrait mode and the others in standard photo mode.
EVEN SKIN TONE: We both have smoothing stuff on under the blushes. Lexann is wearing Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation in Y225 Marble. I’m wearing Elta MD tinted sunscreen and a little Mac Studio Fix powder (color NC10) under my eyes and on my nose. (Totally relatedly: I really hated blush until I evened out my prone-to-red freckly and ruddy Irish complexion. I don’t like foundation, but think that Elta MD’s tinted sunscreen is a miracle machine. In the morning I apply moisturizer, then the (oh-so-gently tinted) sunscreen over top and it evens my skin out. Great for preventing that drunk clown look that occurs for me with blush or bronzer without an even base. If I’m feeling really fancy I’ll spot check with Mac Studio Fix, but that’s maybe twice a month. I’m not a celebrity. If you’re new to all this business and have red skin undertones, bronzer and blush for redheads can look kinda sad when starting with a splotchy base. Just something to consider.)
ON DECISION MAKING: We applied the blush like we were living life, not walking a red carpet so it’s not overly visible in the pictures. WHICH WAS A BAD CHOICE FOR A MAKEUP BLOG. Admittedly they all kind of look the same in the pics. But they’re not! And hopefully you think, “Oh my, what a nice, healthy glow those gals have, I’d like that, too!” And then our job is done because although I am in no way getting paid for this random post about blush for over-40 skin, I feel deeply in my heart that at least one person will be happy. That’s because they’ll find exactly what I needed all those lonely nights ago, when my black-hole internet searching for “best bronzer and blush for redheads over 40” resulted only in creamy-skinned young maidens wearing Nars Orgasm.
NO TEAL: If we did this again I would not do it in front of a teal wall. Teal’s pretty and we’re vain and know redheads look nice against this color but for a makeup blog, it pulls attention from the blush color. Next time. We learn.
LEXANN: Whenever I say “we” regarding makeup application, I mean Lexann. The makeup, magic brushes, and application knowledge were all her.
DON’T PANIC: I have ONE blush/powder/blending brush that I got for free so if you don’t have all these tools you’re gonna be okay. Just get you one. Or even use your finger if you have to. We’ll get there.
So, dear reader, I welcome your cheekbones which may be migrating south, the fact that glittery blush has turned on your newfound wrinkles, your absolute lack of knowledge about blush brushes and bronzers. Or maybe you’re just bored. In any case, I’m glad you’re here.
Alamar Brighten & Bronze Complexion Trio in Light/Fair
I loved this three-piece contour / bronzer kit with matte colors. It was really natural and I just happened to look sun-kissed and healthy. The colors didn’t read as muddy on my face, which is often the case with contour. I vote yes! Here are the colors we used and how we applied them:
Pale as Where?: Applied as a bronzer on the cheeks, a light dust along the hairline on the forehead, and a light touch along the jawline with a powder brush.
Cafe con Leche: It’s a darker powder that we used as a contour in the hollow under the cheekbone with a contour brush.
Heads up: Lexann explained that the colors in this case can come across orange-y if applied heavily or paired with an orange-y peach blush, so proceed with caution.
Hip Dot Solstice Blush w/ OFRA Highlighter in Rodeo Drive
The Solstice powder blush looks pretty terrible in the case (direct quote from Lexann) and even on our skin swatches, but she loves it on. Heads up that the loose powder blush can wear off quickly, too.
Solstice: Apply to apple of cheek. Smile, dab, blend! Then, pull it back down your cheekbone toward your ear. Use a blush brush to apply then a powder brush to blend.
Rodeo Drive: Use a pressed powder brush to apply the highlighter lightly above your cheekbones, and on your temples.
Solstice was a little too pinky peachy for me, but still nice and something I would wear without being super crabby about it. The highlighter is also pretty, but doesn’t look as happy and glowy on my skin as on Lexann’s. The blush looked different on Lexann, less obvious and gave her more natural glow. In the photos, Lexann also has more highlighter glow than I do.
Also, we layered Solstice and Rodeo Drive over Pale as Where? and Cafe con Leche. As you can see, Lexann’s application has a little more depth. This is a pro makeup move and one that’s way beyond my one-step reality. So if you are also a pro, Lexann has great strategy. If you are a newbie/have no time/don’t wanna, you’re totally okay only using one thing.
For all the upcoming products, we removed color before applying the new blush or bronzer. So, no layering from here on out.
Arbonne Blossom Blush
We applied Blossom with a blush brush to the apples of our cheeks (Smile, ladies!), then dragged (gently) the brush back along the cheekbone toward the ear.
Funny how different the colors look against the different backdrops and with natural light vs. bathroom lighting. This color is really pretty and very natural. It reads a little deeper on Lexann than me. I’d use this as a daily go-to.
Milk Lip + Cheek Stick in Werk
Okay, this is both a lip and cheek stick, but we didn’t do any lips because this is a blush blog, but it seems important to do one in the future, against a non-teal backdrop.
Werk: Don’t be scared! Just dot the product on the apples of your cheeks directly from the stick, then blend out with your fingers. Be gentle! I tugged the heck out of my cheeks by accident. This one is mauve-y-er than I’d typically wear, but with the tinted sunscreen under it didn’t make me cranky, but it wouldn’t be my go-to.
Fresa Liquid Blush by YC Collection
This product is a doozy. It has a lip gloss type applicator and, boy, is it pigmented.
We each only did one dab on each apple of each cheek and it packed a punch. Might want to start with dabbing it onto the back of your hand and then applying it sparingly from there.
I finger blended and Lexann blended it with a powder brush.
My Favorite: Butter Bronzer by Physician’s Formula
This was the bronzer I landed on after my aforementioned blackholing about possible bronzer and blush for redheads with reddish-toned fair skin. My research led me to Benefit Hoola Lite or this, and this was cheaper, so I tried it first.
I don’t love the fake coconut smell of this bronzer. And the weird sponge pad that came with is what led me astray originally, thinking I hated this bronzer. That’s because I was applying it wrong (with the wrong tool) and it gave me mud streaks down the hollows of my cheeks. Don’t use the bonkers applicator (not pictured) it comes with.
But once Lexann told me the novel idea of using the right brush, I started using my one and only powder brush to apply it like this I really like it. It’s very natural and I feel like I look sun kissed naturally.
Goodbye For Now, Bronzer + Blush for Redheads
That’s the end of this blushy tale. What do you say friends? Have you tried any bronzer or blush for redheads you love? Tell us your secrets if you having something fabulous up your sleeve (or in your makeup bag).
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]True to form, our bathroom renovation (with fabulous bathroom wallpaper!) took 6.5 months longer than necessary. We do love to avoid suggestions like: have all the materials on-hand before starting the project. If you also would like a two week bathroom remodel to take seven months, read my handy how-to guide![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”3049″ img_size=”795×597″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Step 1: Gut the bathroom before all the materials are in your possession.
You may choose to have one item on-hand, like we had our vanity base, but don’t stockpile any other finishes. This means, don’t have the tile, sink, faucet, lighting, accessories, wallpaper, new door, door handle, door hinges, or…pretty much anything else ready and waiting before you take your bathroom apart.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3072″ img_size=”241X320″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3101″ img_size=”320X241″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3109″ img_size=”241X320″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The 15-year old mauve paint in our (only) bathroom was weathered. The wood vanity was looking pretty beat, too. We worried what we would find under the white shiplap on the righthand wall, or under the built-in vanity, but fortunately there was no rot or damage. Once the vanity was out, the shiplap and mirror off, our contractor dry walled everything smooth and painted it all Super White by Benjamin Moore.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Step 2. Order items piecemeal as the project goes along.
This can be wildly satisfying and prolong the renovation process many, many months beyond all expectation. Your contractor will also get a real kick out of this. For example, it’s pretty fun to assume that you can easily find square, white tile to fill the hole left where the vanity was removed.
Wrong! Turns out those f*ckers are elusive. So, we either had to install non-matching white tiles (the scandal!), remove the entire tile floor and install something totally new (no thank you to the cost), or go rogue. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Step 3. Don’t consider measurements when ordering lighting.
We brazenly ordered (non-returnable!) lights from our local Berkeley Lighting store. The Berkeley Lighting crew is incredibly helpful and we love the lights, but we didn’t consider how much space the two, 7-inch diameter, mid-century wall sconces we chose would occupy on our vanity wall. Of course we had our contractor install them as soon as they came and we quickly realized that (with our non-returnable lights installed), our mirror size options had become extremely limited. Turns out, there aren’t a ton of mirrors that are 20 inches wide and 32 inches tall. Hmmm.
The lights we selected were the Stella wall sconces and the Nadia ceiling flush mount, both in aged brass and both by Mitzi Hudson Valley Lighting.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3098″ img_size=”241X320″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3056″ img_size=”320X241″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3106″ img_size=”241X320″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Step 4. Attempt to defy logic via endless hours of online shopping.
Even if your wife tells you (repeatedly) that you may have to get a custom mirror (due to your lighting snafu), really clock those hours trolling Wayfair, AllModern, Target, heck, even Amazon, for a not-ugly (heck even an ugly) 20W x 32 H mirror. Persist despite all odds. Seek out any and all home furnishing and thrift stores open in a pandemic, hoping for that mirror miracle. Then, after weeks of looking, ordering, trying, returning, ad infinitum, surrender to the custom route. For our custom mirror, we used Top Glass Co. in West Oakland to realize our arched vision. They did an awesome job, the mirror is gorgeous, but of course custom is never cheaper. So! Perhaps be more strategic than us? Or not! [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”3096″ img_size=”241X320″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”3097″ img_size=”320X241″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Step 5: Make design decisions as you go.
Nothing’s more fun than a game of chance, right? Why not base your whole bathroom on brassy gold hardware only to discover that no one makes double rocker light switches in the right shade of brassy gold. And, similarly, no one makes the proper brassy gold sink faucet so you’ll have to have more shine than you want in your sink or sacrifice an ungodly (ungoldly?) amount of money that you can’t really stomach paying.
If we had ordered everything before installing anything we would have decided what worked and didn’t. But instead we plowed bravely ahead, wily-nily as the kids are saying these days, ordered piecemeal, became disappointed, returned and waited for deliveries, were dis-pleased, returned and ordered again, over and over again. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Step 6: Ignore the finish on your lighting.
Bet you didn’t even think of this. We didn’t, either. Turns out the Mitzi Stella wall sconces we chose have frosted glass globes. But the Mitzi Nadia flush mount ceiling light (which appeared to have a frosted white globe light cover and is by the same brand) looks totally different and is actually milk glass. This means when the lights are all on they don’t really match.
All this may seem like splitting hairs when there’s a global pandemic and racial injustice is rampant (P.S. this newsletter on anti-racism is a wonderful resource!) and people are truly suffering and so I recognize the utter insipidness of these quibbles and yet, I feel compelled to share these lessons learned. How was I to know? Well, apparently, the internet knew. Also, I knew! [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”3040″ img_size=”597×795″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column][vc_column_text]I used to write home renovation articles (for 3 years) for a well-known home improvement services site and I always wrote about how to be prepared for your remodel. Specifically, I interviewed countless contractors who told readers to have all their materials on-hand before starting the work. Turns out in the midst of a national crisis I forgot the simple facts. Next time! For now we’ll be gentle with ourselves.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
What we should have done.
If I could time travel to July 2020 Annie and tell her one thing, it would be: ORDER ALL THE MATERIALS BEFORE HAVING THE CONTRACTOR COME AND RIP OUT YOUR BATHROOM. We had months of a shell of a bathroom because every “32-inch” sink top we ordered arrived too small (not our fault!), or the cool, glass-paneled door we decided we needed last minute (definitely our fault!) would be on back order (because, pandemic). Stuff like that.
I would gently shake that naive girl and say, “July 2020 Annie, focus! Do a little cut and paste, get your vision in place. Then order the parts! You can do it! I believe in you! Then, wait for it all to arrive (!) and see how you like it all together. Why, you might even go ahead and order the tile now because surely that special, celadon penny tile you want will take weeks to deliver. Just think about it, July 2020 Annie. As January 2021 Annie, I don’t want to boss you around or anything, but I do think it’d make your life a little easier.” Or something along those lines. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
The only real disruption to life was the the sink and vanity coming out (and a solid two months of no bathroom door). This means that despite our backwards approach to remodeling our only bathroom—and a good amount of tooth brushing in the kitchen sink—we didn’t have to forgo basic sanitation and pee in a bucket or hose shower in the backyard.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Let’s talk bathroom wallpaper.
There’s lots to love about a fabulous bathroom. A makeup moment. Hair party. Hot showers. But let’s be honest when we admit that wallpaper really makes the party. I’ve wanted bathroom wallpaper since junior high when Jenny T’s parents remodeled and put a dark, floral, elegant paper in the half bath. I marveled. Is this even allowed? Glamour paper in the loo? Turns out as an adult you can do whatever you want. (Mostly. I also loved one friend’s bathroom in Ashland, OR, but as an adult I’ve come to see that carpeting and bathrooms don’t mix.)
The two keys to bathroom wallpaper success are:
Competent wallpaper installation
We got the paper fromMuralsWallpaper. They have interesting, modern designs, plus they’ll send three free samples, which I appreciate. We chose their ‘heavy-grade’ wallpaper, which they say stands up better in wet environments. The heavy paper is gorgeous, with almost a linen look. Plus the design has a full-on tropical palm, modern retro vibe. My wife’s sister said it best when we sent her a photo:
“It looks like a South Beach hotel bathroom.”
Nice. I didn’t even know it, but that was our goal precisely. Kind of a gay art deco Miami dream. Jim’s Wallpaper did the install, thankfully, and it looks amazing. [/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3093″ img_size=”241×320″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3100″ img_size=”320×241″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3094″ img_size=”241×320″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
We swore never to remodel again.
After our 9-month, no-kitchen heartbreak con man remodel disaster (wherein we were rescued by an amazing cabinet crew, our contractor friend, and my wife finally putting her foot down after a maniac swindler tried to take all our money and we had an empty hole in our house and a random dude in boat shoes showing up every odd Tuesday for the better part of a year) we SWORE we would never remodel again. *sigh.*
Turns out after that terrible experience, our amazing cabinet guys gifted us a bathroom vanity to match the gorgeous custom kitchen cabinets they installed. We hid it in the garage as long as could, but there’s only so long you can hide something that pretty away. After a year had passed with our kitchen complete, we started anew. So glad we did, it looks glorious! [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”3045″ img_size=”795×597″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Our original plan was to put wallpaper behind the vanity, but then we pivoted and thought, why not rip the funky-ass shiplap off the side wall, wallpaper the sidewall, and cascade tile down the sink wall down and under the vanity. We’re like jungle cats, nimble! Turns out, we loved how it looked. So, it all came together, far slower than we might have hoped, but fabulously nontheless.
My favorite touches were these square brass shelves. We added one to the left side of the vanity to hold our toothbrush (no one wants to ruin this gorgeous look with an electric toothbrush plugged in on top) and then we added two more above the shower to hold sweet little potted plants. We had the owner ofFlora Arte help us make wee little potted buddies. We love him, so all you East Bay folks, go visit his shop in Berkeley on MLK. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”3047″ img_size=”384×510″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”3036″ img_size=”384×510″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
That’s our latest home renovation saga. We make this house more over-the-top each year. Have you been doing any shelter-in-place home remodel projects? Tell me alllllabout it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
If you’ve always got the blues, you might have the wrong paint for your north-facing room. See, I learned all about paint while avoiding a kitchen remodel. It was the classic home renovation pick and roll; renovate the bedrooms instead of tackling the non-operational kitchen. I mean, why start on a truly urgent project when you can tailspin for months over paint colors for north-facing rooms?
I’ll show you pics of the fabulous coral and true teal we decided, on as well as giving specific color suggestions below, but if all you want are bullet points without the backstory, the key takeaways when painting a north-facing room include:
Stark white paint is no good in north-facing rooms. More on why below
Warm neutrals (and whites with warm undertones) are a solid substitute for bright/stark white
Dramatic dark colors give a north-facing room depth
Pastels with warm undertones work well
Pastels with cool undertones can look tragic
Room decor, flooring, and exterior foliage impact the undertones in your paint selection. I linked resources below for understanding undertones
A few years ago, our electric oven broke (bear with me, this does circle back to paint). The easy fix would be replacing the oven, but my wife really wanted a gas range—and that meant hiring a plumber. Besides that, our janky white shaker cabinet doors were constantly falling off and the footprint of the galley kitchen was tooooo small for two cooks; so if we were going to do one thing, we were going to do it all.
Renovating the bedrooms
As any novice home renovator soon finds out, just repainting the rooms does not suffice. The carpets were disgusting from years of doggies, the original 1950s baseboards were jank, and the original closet was a dysfunctional monster. So, instead of a quick paint touch-up, we embarked on a two-month bedroom overhaul. Classic avoidance technique (do you see how we artfully pushed aside the kitchen work?).
Choosing the paint
I thought the pale, icy blue of the guest and main bedrooms always felt cold and shadowy. Even when the sun was shining I’d wrap up in a depression sweater when I was back there.
We tend toward modern design and reasoned brighter and whiter might be a good choice. Boy was I wrong. After deep diving into blogs and paint sites, I learned that the type of sun exposure the rooms get impacts how the paint colors look on the walls. So instead of fabulously airy and light, true white looks grey and dingy in cool light, delivery dreary institutional vibes.
Counter to my ideas, light theory was teaching me that bold, rich colors bring warmth and life to dark rooms. In our shadowy room, deep colors could create a sense of coziness as opposed to the depression sweater vibe of our current pale blue.
A few years back when we painted the living room and dining room, we learned (the hard way) that paint color cards DO NOT LOOK ANYTHING LIKE what ends up on your wall. This is because the orientation of your room, your interior lighting, your decor, carpet color, and the amount of natural sunlight you receive all impact how the color looks.
Search Pinterest for paint inspo for North-facing rooms! Make a Pinterest board with colors you like
Consider your decor (bed frame, carpet/flooring, artwork and overheard lighting) and what colors would look good?
Bring your Pinterest boards to your paint shop and have them help you color match some of the paint cards to the pics
Buy no more than four paint samples to test on the walls
Paint large (at least 2 or three foot squares) swatches of each color on the main walls
I wish I had better photos of our teal paint samples, but thanks to the crap natural lighting in our main bedroom, photographing this room is like trying to bathe a cat. Never a good time with natural light and overhead light casts strange shadows. Here is my best attempt:
Curious how the rooms turned out? We chose Lei Flower for the guest room / office and Real Teal for our bedroom. I LOVE the coral paint and I adore the teal BUT I flubbed on the teal by choosing a semi-gloss sheen. In retrospect I would have done a satin sheen in the teal like I did with the coral. The semi-gloss is just too damn shiny. Here are the final pics:
Resources: Paint for north-facing rooms
Guide for finding the right paint color undertones for your decor, flooring and foliage from Diana Hathaway Timmons
Suggestions for whites with warm undertones and dramatic colors from Laurel Bern
Scooter, my old man dog, has recently embraced incontinence as a lifestyle choice.
Poor little dude. I took him to the vet, and they ran a $300 test to tell me if there’s a thing to do, but in the meantime my reactions to taking him out to pee every 30 minutes make me feel like an asshole
My kid parent friends are noble. They stay up nights and feed babies and tend to sick kids and clean barf out of beds and I never hear them say things like, “can I just put him in a kennel?”
I love him like crazy. I don’t want him to suffer, but I also don’t want to wake up three times each night to let him out to urinate. And those times that he doesn’t whine to be let out, he just pees in his bed. My mom friends (I don’t know about all dudes, but among my hetero couple friends, it is really only the ladies who are doing this work) seem to be more focused on their baby’s well-being than urine ruining their carpet, while I constantly am concerned about Scooter pee leaking through his bed.
It all started two weeks ago while my wife was out of the country. I was having an emotional melt (not directly related to being alone, but certainly the loneliness compounded it) and woke up wanting comfort (poor me!) and looked to Scooter for morning snuggles. Instead of a soft and fluffy coat I found his bed soaked and his fur drenched in pee. I felt it really lent a type of gravitas to the depths of my self-pity to get on my hands and knees and blot urine stains from our new carpet (!) instead of crying softly in bed over the weight of my feelings. Next, a de-pee fur bath. I even tried to blow dry him, but he was not interested.
Later that day, I face-timed a friend to recount my sorrows, and she happened to be at the doctor’s office. She was waiting for an appointment for her littlest one, due to the fact that her three kids, all under age seven, were up the night before barfing and she had spent the night comforting them, bathing them, and cleaning up vomit. She was tired but mostly just concerned about her daughters’ health. What I mean to say, she was more concerned with her kids than herself.
I feel like there’s a lesson here:
It’s great that I’m not a kid mom
Maybe I could pray for patience
*Just so you know, I am really sweet to Scooter and always tend to all his needs, but inside I secretly wish my dog brought me bed coffee and fed himself. *