My Benjamin Moore transformation

When we purchased our forever home, it was quite the project we had undertaken. The home itself is in good condition for being built in the late 80’s but everything from the original appliances to the wall papered rooms needed updating. It is a large Georgian home, so we expected to tackle room by room over the course of the next five years. After living in it for a few months and staring at bubble gum pink walls that gave us aneurysm every time we passed through the room and orange brown walls that made us feel like we were prehistoric, we decided to choose a few rooms and hire pros to paint it nice for years to come. It’s amazing how something so simple as a paint color can change everything from your mood when you walk into your home to the whole energy of the space.

In the past, I used cheap basic paints of an array of colors and painted the rooms in our starter home myself. I did them as quickly as I could because once I started painting I was all in, yet I regretted starting in the first place. My husband insisted we hire a professional team of painters so it would look sharp and we wouldn’t have to do it again. At first I was hesitant spending that amount of money on something I could do over time, but with 10-14 foot ceilings, a toddler, and new pregnancy I gave in to the hired labor.

I knew I wanted a timeless neutral palette of colors for our home, and I chose Benjamin Moore for the quality and discount we got at a local store. When it came to narrowing down the most basic of neutrals I was flabbergasted. I felt as if I was in design school. I was reading up on natural light, southern vs northern exposure. The undertones of colors. Like who would have thought there was actually over 50 shades of gray? Green undertones on an off white? Not to mention the light reflective value. You’ve got to be kidding me, one white can out bright the other. I was getting dizzy reading up on all the blogs reviewing the Benjamin Moore neutrals. I found one color that had a great LRV but the wrong undertones. Another color was great for southern exposure…next…moving on. To top it off our house is finished on all four floors with a reddish orange oak trim. Every detail from the interior doors, molding, and windows has it so it is tricky to find colors that compliment the wood instead of making it clash or blend in. I even hired at the request of my husband a local interior designer to ensure we were on the right path. She actually gave me other choices. She suggested we paint our living room deep teal, which we almost did but got cold feet- thank God we didn’t, but I might use it for our dining room one day. She gave us a few other suggestions, but at the end of the day I went with my gut and chose what I thought was perfect for our space. While I was nervous watching the first few layers of paint spread across the walls the end result was exactly what I wanted! We get many compliments and I’m glad we not only hired painters, but chose colors that spoke to us even if they were possibly boring or not typical.

Here are the before and afters of some of the rooms we painted, the color we chose, and the runners up. So many shades to chose from it was hard. Like Collingwood and Edgecomb gray are very similar, but a slight undertone can make all the difference in the finished product.

Living room to the master/ my office

It was the most blinding stomach wrenching shade of bubble gum pink. From the changing room to the main room the color was painted ceiling to floor. How just how could they live with this for thirty years? The owner was astonished I didn’t like the color as he claimed it was very feminine. They even left me a gallon in case I wanted to do touch ups.

The interior designer suggested Halo, which I found to be dull and murky. I chose a classic Ivory White. It is warm and inviting and adds brightness to the room which lacks not only natural light but a ceiling light fixture.



Photos do not do the transformation justice. It is really night and day. It feels like a normal space versus a trippy time machine warp to Barbie world. The ivory really enhances the wood trim and doesn’t feel sterile like a hospital ward.

Living Room

This room drove me nuts! Some may disagree, but the brown orange drove me nuts.


We almost went with a dark teal color Dragonfly.

poplar jade.jpg

I researched high and low for the perfect cream. Gentle Cream is what I chose and I highly recommend it. Whether it be a bedroom, main open space, or a cozy room that needs brightened up, this is a solid go to color. It is THE perfect cream! It has a lower LRV 67 which makes a richer cream versus a lighter off white. The undertone is warm without being too yellow and goes well with grays too. I’m so happy with this color!



Runners up were: Balboa Mist, Albalone, Classic Gray, Navijo White, and Wind’s Breath.

Powder Room

It wasn’t awful but the room was dated and not our style. It’s a room we as well as guests use often, so I wanted it to have some flair. I almost went with a calm blue green and chose Healing Aloe, which I still adore and will someday find the space for. We ended up going with a deep blue and chose Van Deusen Blue. It is deep, rich, and soft without being too harsh. I absolutely love it and it still looks good with minimal natural light.



Runners up were: Hale Navy, Newbury Port Blue, and Gentleman’s Gray.

Our entry lobby has barely any light as well as our second floor mezzanine. It was painted the same murky blah taupe color ceiling to floor and made us want to crawl under a rock and die. We  have wainscotting throughout, and I know it is custom to have it painted white, but my husband wanted a darker color to shield the marks of kids and scuffs. I wanted an earthy greige or gray without being too loud. On the top I chose an off white with classic white ceilings in Oxford white.

After many swatches taped on the walls for months and studying them as if they were a CIA case I chose Dune White on top and Collingwood for the bottom. The color combination rocks! The Collingwood is the perfect subtle greige that works with all types of lighting and has minimal undertones although the undertone is faint purple. Dune White has very soft gray undertones without making it gray at all, but it works well with gray counter colors. My space went from drab to fab instantly!

Before dark and dull.


Before and after.


Off white runners up: White Dove, Paper White, and Ivory White.

Wainscotting runners up: Edgecomb gray, Gray owl, and Dove Wing.

Our kitchen was another lovely shade of putty taupe. While it wasn’t horrible by any means, my husband begged and pleaded me to paint and change it to something bright and cherry since we spend most of our time in the kitchen. Even when we have parties, we may have a great space set up in the entertainment room to chill, but everyone seems to always gravitate towards the kitchen. He really wanted yellow but not a soft or subtle yellow. He wanted some energy. He wanted a fun and vibrant yellow. I threw caution to the wind and chose Mellow Yellow. It is not so mellow and the color pops with our white cabinets. It is one of my favorite rooms. We can’t have a totally neutral house, and we wanted our personality to show through some of our interior choices. We have minimal natural light in the kitchen due to an attached solarium and this really makes the space feel alive without giving one a headache.  It is a rich solid yellow without orange undertones. Depending on the lighting it can look a bit brighter than the picture.



Runners up: Yellow Rain Coat

Our bedroom was painted a bright powder blue with floral borders with one wall a floral wallpaper which we decided to keep for the time being to add some character and taking down wall paper seemed like a pain. We chose to paint the three walls and take down the border to freshen it up and cover the 1,000 painting nail holes that took over the walls. I chose a neutral color I thought would blend well with the floral and navy wall paper but after the first coat I aborted the mission. London Fog looked great online. It’s a few shades lighter than Thunder (see below)

Image result for benjamin moore london fog
London Fog

Image result for bm thunder

It made the room look depressed We quickly reverted back to a blue and chose Benjamin Moore White Rain, which is a chalky soft powder blue. It isn’t a color you would normally see in a kid’s room. It is cheery in the morning when the sun beams in and soothing at night in the shadows. I love it, and the color goes well with the wood work too!

Image result for bm white rain benjamin moore bedroom colors 2017 Unique Spring 2017 Paint Colors Photos

If you need more color guidance for your own projects check out this interior designer’s blog

She also gives reasonable over the phone consultations!

Spa bathroom inspirations

Our bathroom, it’s one of the places we spend most of our time. We bought our home a year ago, and while it’s a century home, it didn’t need much updating. The kitchen is new and bright, crown molding trails throughout our home and the wooden floors are polished. Somehow when we purchased our home we over looked the dated and dingy bathroom.

We have a in-suite bathroom and it was just awful. It was super tiny and there wasn’t even a door, just an opening. The bathroom itself is tiny, maybe five feet by 9 feet, not much to work with for a “master bathroom.”

We had the luxury of having an old cream pedestal sink and no cabinet space or towel racks.

The tub could barely fit a toddler, and my husband and I are both tall and lanky. It was one of those tub and shower combos with cracks in the bottom and that water level would only get three inches high. Our shower head was an ancient plastic piece of junk that trickled water on a good day.


Our light above the sink broke, and a friend managed to break our mirror so we had no mirror or light for over eight months. Talk about roughing it, but somehow I got used to not looking at myself as much and procrastinated the major renovation. Finally my husband forced us to get it going before summer and it was up to me to design, measure, purchase, and over see the entire renovation. So off to the drawing boards.

We had a few things in mind for our new bathroom.

  • A sliding track door to allow ample space
  • A bathtub no less than 6 feet long
  • No extensions to the room leave the structure as is
  • A spa like natural yet modern vibe
  • Marble flooring

At first I wanted a giant tub with a cool back splash of tile behind it, and a stone shower in the corner, but the space wouldn’t allow it. I had to re-plan.

When starting a bathroom renovation the first and foremost thing you want to do is measuring of the basics, tub, toilet, sink. You will want to order your tub first since it could take 2-4 weeks to be delivered. It was the first thing I did once I found the perfect tub, and it sat in the box for three weeks while they ripped out our bathroom. The day the renovator was ready to install they noticed a corner of the tub was chipped! I had to do a complaint, resend the tub back to home depot, pay for a second one out of pocket while we waited for a refund. This set our whole renovation back three weeks. It was painful!

The tub we chose was the Kohler Windward 6 foot tub with apron attached. I wanted a clean look and didn’t want to spend more on tile. This is an awesome bathtub and it works amazing for showering applications. Compared to other brands and models with a price range of $2,000-$4,500 we found this model fairly reasonable. In Canada it cost $1150 and in the states you can find it for $800.




  1. It is long. It fits my husband and I and has room for more! It sometimes is so long we slide.
  2. Both sides are oval which is great for resting your head
  3. There is an arm rest.
  4. You can only fill it up partially if you want a quick bath.
  5. It has a ledge for shower application and further more the ledges slightly tilt inward to keep water from seeping out. You can still place candles and wine glasses around the ledge but it has a slight tilt.
  6. It is wide! Normal tubs are only 22” wide but this piece of work is 46”. Needless to say our bathroom is all bath.

We went with brushed nickle finishes, so everything isn’t too shiny. We chose a glass sink to modernize and went with a wall installation to maximize space.


For tile we took our chances and it looked like a hot mess in the boxes, but once installed it all came together.

We first fell in love with the flooring. I found a surface marble that was 24” x 24”. Everyone tried to talk us out of it. The floor guy said it wouldn’t look right in our tiny space, the renovator said it was a tricky installation. We had him re lay the floors for an even finish. Now it is the thing people notice when they see our bathroom. For such a small space it was worth the extra money and it has so many colors to work with.


Our door opens up left of our bed and the first thing you see is the toilet and back wall. We chose natural Italian stone for an Organic backdrop, it is so relaxing to look at.


I wanted a funky white texture of tile for the bath, but my husband wanted black tile, which I told him wouldn’t go with our whole theme and floor color combo. I brought home samples and he chose an Italian ceramic of dark brown (he still thinks it’s black haha) and beige. I was hesitant at first, but it definitely brings the whole room together. It creates a warm spa like atmosphere.  White on white would have been too much.


Finding a shower curtain for large tubs is painful. I didn’t want lots of bars and something hooking into the walls, so I opted for a smooth track on the ceiling. It maximizes light and space and has a clean modern look and feel.


We accented with rocks and bamboo and and orchid plant. Our bathroom is my favorite room in the house, it’s a girls dream.

Here are some bathroom inspiration you may enjoy.

Something simple


This is my dream outdoor shower ahhh  :}


A bit masculine and modern

dream shower


 daves bath

Natural elements with a modern

earth bath 3

earth bath2

earth bath


                  ladies bar girl bath girl bath2

girl bath3

                                                                                                       Vintage chic

vintage bath

Bachelor pad penthouse style

baht bach


A vacation home retreat

Don’t forget the kids


kids bath


What style speaks to you? I wish I had more bathrooms to renovate!

Small outdoor spaces

Small spaces can be tricky to furnish and decorate, but with the right colors and furniture choices you can turn a once dingy balcony or patio into a special space for relaxation and entertaining. When revamping a small space, first look at the space available, the electrical outlets you have to work with, and eye sores you may want to mask. Your next step is to choose what type of vibe or theme you want out of your small space. Just because you have a tiny balcony that barely fits a chair and tiny grill doesn’t mean it has to be boring. After moving into our house and tackling major home renovations for a year, our tiny balcony was the last thing on our mind. After all we rarely used it and it didn’t have much space for more than 3 people. One hot summer day I finally quit procrastinating and turned my small space into a cozy outdoor office I could write, eat, and hang out with friends comfortably. I originally wanted to line the balcony with giant pillows and pillar candles, a low table to end on, a bit of a Moroccan feel, but my husband pointed out the negatives. Rain, wind, bugs, etc. I was still determined to do something a bit different than just a table and a chair. I wanted a lower table for eating, and we needed some sort of blind for privacy from our neighbors who like to chain smoke and loiter to the left of us. One hot summer day I managed to whip my balcony into a new living space in under four hours and for under $175 bucks. I went to a furniture leasing store just to see if they had anything similar to my vision. To my luck when I walked in there was a sheek wooden glass coffee table, with two black leather ottomans that slid under for storage. It also came with a giant side table, all for the price of $50. Apparently there was a tiny bit of damage on the table, a little sanding and paint fixed, but what did that matter, this was an outdoor table. I scored a bright green fold out chair at Walmart for $12, and two large palm plants for $10 each. I got some extras at the dollar store, bamboo floor mats, vases, fake flowers, and candles. I finished off the space with securing a grey fabric shower curtain that serves as a privacy curtain. The water repels off of it, and it can easily be taken down for winter and summer thunder storms. I simply hammered in a few nails matching the shower curtain holes and voila! Perfection. I tack in the bottom corners for added suppport. I now have a cozy place I can drink my morning tea and work from home outdoors on warm days.


More outdoor inspiration

Office zest

I revamped my boring beige basement room into a bright office. While most people either love or hate the color, I find it energizing and positive. I painted the walls Thai Teal, and opted for clean white basic office furniture, with a few yellow vintage touches. The dresser I found on the street, quite the steal! I was pretty pleased it fit into my Subaru hatchback. The plushy chairs were refurbished from my Grandma. She had them since 1940 and ironically the colors are teal and yellow. The pull out futon serves for an overnight bed for guest.

What colors are your office?

officeoffice 3office 4office2chaire

Do you love it or hate it?

More inspiration