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Month: January 2019

DIY: Wood Shelves + Brackets

Two blog posts and it’s still January… impressive. One of my goals / hopes for the year is to share and showcase more of our brick ranch fixer upper projects + in-progress and completed client projects… there’s always so much to show you!

Onto today’s DIY… I shared a picture on instagram the other day of the finished living room. The space has been complete (well nothing is ever done as I’m always moving, adding, or removing little details) for about 6 months and earlier last year, I finally decided what to do with the nook to the right of the fireplace.

We needed more shelf space to display books and accessories, so shelves were the ideal solution for the setback wall space. I originally envisioned floating wood shelves, but I was worried about the length of the shelf and the potential of them bowing + floating shelves seemed very involved to build, so I decided on using shelves with simple brackets.

Here’s the before…

1 / To start, I removed everything in the space. Then I figured out the number of shelves + the heights. 1

> I wanted the one shelf to align with the top of the fireplace mantel, so I determined the shelf heights starting from that point.

2 / BRACKETS – Using a measuring tape, I determined the bracket locations and made marks for the screws. Then with a drill, I installed toggle anchors and screwed the brackets in to the wall.

This is closeup of the finished brackets (I used regular screws and still have to paint the screw paints black).

3 / SHELVES – For the shelves, I chose 2×12 – I like the thicker look of the shelf.

When I purchased the wood at Lowes, I had them cut the boards to the desired length (about 1/2″ less than the exact wall length so there was some wiggle room to install the shelves in place).

4 / STAIN – For the stain, I used special walnut, which is the perfect medium brown. I poured a small amount on the wood shelf and spread it out using a cloth. I covered the entire board (all sides) with the stain. In about 10 minutes all 4 boards were stained. The process is really easy.

This is a closeup of the finished shelf in place…

5 / INSTALL – With the brackets in place and the shelves stained, the project was almost complete. The last step was to set the shelves in place. The shelves were set on to the brackets and screwed in place to the underside of the wood.

Done! This project – start to finish – took about one hour and was fairly easy to execute. The important part is to ensure the proper anchors + screws are used so the brackets are secure!

This is the finished result…

Definitely a big change from when we moved in and the space looked like this…

And now to this…

Next up is sharing pictures of the entire finished room… Maybe another post for January?!?

Color Trends 2019

2018 was a busy year hustlin’ and bustlin’ with projects.  Unfortunately though not on my home, but for others (my home upgrades have been minimal and I still have so much to share since moving into our brick ranch fixer upper a year ago.  All in due time.)  The real focus for ’18 was on my client roster of about 40 for the calendar year.  This breaks down to about 125+ rooms that I designed, so I’ve had my fair share of time flipping through paint color swatches.

Throughout the year of choosing paint colors for kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and beyond, I found that I keep gravitating toward the same specific colors or a general color palette.  I thought it would be fun to share a post of what’s trending now (in my world) and what colors I love…

Note: All the paint colors I’m sharing are from Benjamin Moore, but this isn’t a sponsored post.  I just typically use BM as my-go to paint company.  I know their colors the best and I personally have used their paint and love them.  Other designers + pros use other companies, which I’m sure are equally great, but I’ve found my niche with Benjamin Moore.



One of my favorites of the year is Wythe Blue, which is a soft green hue with blue undertones.  Years ago, I used to adore sage green, and this is an updated version of that hue, but with slightly more cooler blues included. It’s ideal for a mudroom, bathroom, or bedroom!
This green-blue hue is very similar to wythe blue, but whereas wythe blue is green with slight blue undertones, wedgewood blue is more blue with green undertones.  The blue is more dominate in this color, but mixed with the green it has such a rich tone.  Perfect for a bathroom or bedroom, this color is so versatile and serene.
If there is a now color, it’s Collingwood.  I first used this color in my own living room last year and I’ve used it in at least a dozen applications since.  It is the most beautiful soft gray that has slight warm undertones so it isn’t too cool. It’s light enough in color, but gives great contrast to white mouldings.  In my book, this is the best neutral and color of the year!
Another favorite paint color that I’ve used over and over… baltic sea.  This turquoise hue is so engaging and strong, yet isn’t gaudy or overwhelming.  The deep color is so striking, yet inviting.  Recently, I’ve used this color on an accent wall, on the front door (inside and outside), in a laundry space, and on a bookcase built-in.
There is no such thing, as just white.  When you flip through the paint colors, it can be overwhelming.  There are so many whites to chose from.  Snowfall white is one of my favorites.  It’s a very true white with no real warm or cool undertones, which delivers a true white.  Some whites can be very warm with red undertones, while others are very cool with blue undertones, but this hue is a great mix giving a gorgeous balance resulting in a true white.
BLACKTOP / 2135-10
Opposite from above, this black hue is amazing and striking, but not harsh or confining.  Blacktop is one of my favorite black paint colors because it’s ideal to use to balance lighter hues in a space, but it has a soft feel so it’s not overwhelming.  I recently used this color on my garage door and on the brick fireplace .  And let’s not forget the black wall in my previous home.  I most definitely heart black!
This is a new hunter green hue is a new color for me this year.  I am so drawn to the rich, dynamic quality of the green color and it appears amazing with soft tones like blush, cream, and lilac.  I recently worked with a Client who had a sofa with a floral fabric that had a feminine aesthetic. To balance the soft hues, I introduced darker elements in this hunter green palette along with lighter layers like soft creams.  The result was a mix of darks and lights which created depth and intrigue to the space.
In all honesty, I started this blog post over a month ago and life got in the way.  In the meantime, the Pantone Color of the Year was announced and the in-trend color LIVING CORAL made it’s debut.  It’s slightly brighter, but similar to this next favorite of mine…
Hues of coral have been in my pocket for a long time.  The vibrant color range that mixes red, orange, and some brown to create a striking coral hue is so unexpected and engaging.  Tomato Cream Sauce is a favorite for layering or a pop of color on an accent wall or door. This is the perfect hue for layering and pairing with navy, turquoise, or lime green!
Let’s stay in the family and turn a little more orange towards a peach hue.  I used this recently in a girls bedroom and paired it with this fun wallpaper.  This popsicle peach color was ideal for pairing with navy, coral, and truly any color in the rainbow.
Be still my heart.  My love for navy is still so strong.  If I had one color to choose of all out there, it would be navy.  A favorite navy of mine is Hale Navy because of it’s bold, rich quality.  I stand by this color for so many applications.  It would work on the walls of any room complimented by white mouldings and furnishings.  In my house, I used the dynamic color on my kitchen cabinets and the barn doors.  Again, contrasted with white or light layers, this deep blue is so striking.
This is one of my favorite colors this year.  I’ve used it so many places! From cabinets to garage doors, this color is incredibly rich and savory.  It’s an amazing hue that is grey mixed with undertones of brown to bring warmth.

SUNBURST / 2023-40

Certainly the boldest of the bunch, I’m rounding out my favorite colors for 2018 with a punch!  Yes, it may be too bright for an entire room, but this striking yellow is amazing.  I love color and this bold hue is perfect in small doses.  You’ve seen my vibrant yellow in our pajama lounge.  When I first told other that I was going to paint it yelloe, they thought I was crazy, but look at the result.  The yellow door makes the room.   Sunburst is striking, hands down.  It’s a winner!

All these colors have a quality that are rich, striking, and engaging!  I have the luck of choosing paint colors daily and I feel blessed to have the experience of pairing colors that I know will work with each other.  Over the last year of flipping through many paint fan decks, I have found these 12 hues to be my favorite.

My school of thought and mission for design is to incorporate classic, timeless, unique, and eclectic elements that are in – trend, but not trendy.  I think all these colors evoke that philosophy.  BUt as always, trends are continually changing and influencing our likes.  It’ll be interesting where the next year takes us in the world of color.