Under a House

White to Gray to White to White

Living RoomChrista CardoneComment

I was pretty averse to white walls when we moved into this house, which is likely because everything had been painted white, except for the parts that were painted brown. 

That's hard to look at.

Round 1: Cement

Right after we moved in, I painted the living room gray and tried to cover up that brown banister with white paint. I had a vision based on a Pinterest photo and to no one's surprise, it didn't pan out. What fun is homeownership if you don't do everything twice, or in my case, three times?

The gray paint made my walls look like slabs of cement and the couch blended right into the cement-y walls. This was also before the fireplace got a white wash. Brown, gray, more gray. Not a good round.

Round 2: Meh

I read somewhere, probably on Pinterest, that if you want a white room, you have to go for a very pure white. After painting half of the room a very pure white, I am here to tell you that I believe this sentiment to be false. Like the gray, the stark white did nothing for the room. It added no dimension, didn't embrace the nice light this room gets in the afternoon, and bored me so much that I went a full year before deciding what to do next, stuck with half gray and half white walls all the while.

Round 3: Disco


Success. Once again using the internet as my guide, even though I should be saying "fool me once, shame on you..." etc., but I really spent sites I admire on the whole, not just one picture posted to one lifestyle blog. I'm a long admirer of Door Sixteen and Manhattan Nest, who have both successfully painted rooms white without washing them out.

After lots of research, I settled on Benjamin Moore's Moonlight White, which has just the slightest tint to it. I have to admit, even with endorsements on my side, I was nervous that it would turn out too yellow or too creamy, but it is just perfect. It really does look like the moonlight is always bouncing off of the walls, which is lovely.


A little furniture rearrangement helped things along, too. The room feels a lot bigger without the couch tucked into that corner. More on that later. For now, I can put my paint brush to rest.

There will be no Round 4.

Scavenged: Danish Lounge Chair

ScavengedChrista CardoneComment

If you hang out on Craig's List long enough, you'll get lucky. You'll also see a lot of overpriced plastic furniture, but hey, that's what makes the hunt so much fun.

I struck gold last week when I came across this Danish chair. I put my negotiation skills to use and got this guy for a pretty good deal. Best Craig's List advice I can give you: always negotiate the asking price.  

It's in very decent shape and at some point, I might touch up the blunders on the leg and a few dents in the arm.


I ordered a set of navy cushions from cushionsource.com, which I've heard good things about. For the price point, I'm willing to give it a go. Until then, this guy is hanging out in the corner, waiting to be sat on.


Do Your Best

Christa CardoneComment

If you watched Terrace House: Boys & Girls in the City, you might recognize this phrase. The cast is always encouraging each other to do your best in their work or in general. I love the phrase because man, we should all just really do our best all of the time, whatever that means to us individually.

I love the phrase so much that I wanted to see it in front of me every day. I'm not one for tattoos, so the next best thing was to make a banner that I would be forced to look at every day upon waking.

Turns out, there's a reason people charge a pretty penny to make lettered banners. They are quite tedious and difficult to get right. Ironically, I was trying to do my best at making a banner for the first time, which wasn't the world's best, but it was my best, so it all came full circle.

I based my project on these instructions, doubling the dimensions to make the banner bigger. I used tracing paper to draw the Helvetica letters, then used those as a stencil to cut out the felt letters on adhesive felt sheets.

The fabric is a black hopsack linen and I used a wooden dowel rod (any hardware store will carry these) to hang it from. It's resting on our pipe shelves right now until I buy some twine to hang it in the bedroom.

It's not perfect, but I did my best.