Category Archives: Paint waffles

Chessie’s Waffle: Exterior Paint Color

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Chessie’s House

As long term Waffler readers may remember, I had quite a difficult time picking out a paint color for my laundry room (you can see the before and after here).  Choosing a color for my little laundry room is one thing; choosing a color for the outside of my house might just make my head explode.

Chessie, however, is up to the task.  She just needs a little help narrowing down her choices.  Here she explains:

When we bought our two family in Somerville, MA three years ago, we gutted and updated a lot of the interior. We love the inside now–the outside, not so much. It’s a “classic” 1970s light green vinyl that I guess was considered  modern and low maintenance then but is just ugly now.

We can’t afford to re-side with wood or a modern siding like hardy plank right now, but we recently learned about vinyl safe paints that could work to update our exterior. We have narrowed down the color options to yellow, green, and blue. The front of our house is lacking in a lot of architectural detail so we are wary of painting a color that will overwhelm. What do people think?

Take a look at the bottom three color swatches in the picture below.  Do you think Chessie should paint her house yellow, green, or blue?


And while you’re thinking about exterior colors, Chessie would also like you to weigh in on whether you like the idea of adding panels to the front of the house to boost its architectural appeal. It might look something like this — though the interior blocks would be whatever color they decide to paint the house, not the green in the image.

What have you been waffling about lately? Let me know and readers can help you make that tricky decision.


Janette’s Waffle: Painting the Armoire

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How would you feel about co-writing a blog with a family member? Do some of you think it would be a fun way to keep in touch? It’s obvious from their picture that the mother and daughter duo behind the great blog, The2Seasons, enjoy each other.

Janette — the mom in this team — has a waffle regarding her mudroom.  As you know from my fantasy mudroom post, this area of the house is a real turn-on for me so I was happy to help out.  Here’s Janette describing her dilemma:

My waffle is that I have this huge, wonderful armoire in our mudroom, and I store my shoes in it (we wear slippers in the house and store our shoes in the mudroom). It is mahogany with burled insets in the front. I have thought about painting it but haven’t had the nerve. I would love a vote from your readers.

Here’s Janette’s mudroom:

mudroom, armoire-in-mudroom


mudroom, armoire-in-mudroom


And the armoire in question:

armoire, armoire-in-mudroom


If Janette paints it, she is thinking a soft gray with a white glaze to match the gray in the rug. Do you think she should go for it — or keep the armoire as is?

Would you like to be a guest waffler? I’d love to feature you on The Waffler! Click here to find out more about waffles or on the button below to contact me and get started.

Today’s Waffle: Yellow Front Doors

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Yellow doors seem to be all the rage these days.

yellow-front-door, bold-front-door-color, yellow-doors

Dr. Catherine's Old-Timey Tonic

yellow-door, yellow-front-door, modern-house-yellow-door, bold-front-door-color

Sara's Party Perfect

yellow-door, bold-front-door, yellow-front-door

Apartment Theray

yellow-door, yellow-front-door, bold-front-door-color

The Waffler

yellow-door,young-house-love-yellow-door, young-house-love-door

Young House Love

And why not? Yellow is so cheerful and welcoming, it’s hard not to smile when you see one. But would you be bold enough to have one for your own house?

Do you have an idea for a no-waffle, fantasy waffle or just a regular old waffle? Click here to find out more about waffles or on the button below to contact me and get started.

Kelly’s Waffle: Painting the Inside of a Billy Bookcase

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Do you know Kelly from refresheddesigns? I’ve been reading her blog for a while now, and I’m always impressed by her spot-on styling, lovely pictures, and tips about how to create sustainable design.

Kelly is turning to us to help her resolve a waffle about a bookcase. A very stylish bookcase.

black-brown-billy-bookcase, ikea-billy-bookcase, wallpaper-bookcase, DIY-wallpaper-bookcase, wallpaper-on-billy-bookcase

Maybe you recognize it. It’s a black/brown Ikea Billy bookshelf, but Kelly added a wallpaper backing to it as you can see in this close-up:

wallpaper-bookcase, wallpaper-backing-bookcase, wallpaper-billy-bookcase, wallpaper-Ikea-bookcase

The bookcase is great as is, but Kelly is wondering if she can make it even better with some paint.  She explains:

I want to keep the bookcase black outside, as it balances some other black that I have in the room, namely the large flat-screen TV. However, I wonder if it would be more interesting to paint the inside of the cubbies an off-white and make the wallpaper backing stand out more. I’m not sure if the cream and black would be too much of a contrast though. I’d love some opinions.

wallpaper-bookcase, wallpaper-backing-bookcase, wallpaper-billy-bookcase, wallpaper-Ikea-bookcase


So what do you think? Should Kelly paint the inside of the cubbies off white — or leave them as is?

Would you like to be a guest waffler? I’d love to feature you on The Waffler and post a link to your blog, if you have one. Just click on the button below to get in touch.

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Jessie’s Waffle: Paint Color for the Basement

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In my house, the basement is the place where furniture goes to die, so I was all ears when my sister told me she was going to try to breathe new life into her own.  Jessie has lots of elements for the basement already figured out. New sectional: check. New flooring: check. New paint color: nope.

Let’s get a sense of the room before looking at specific paint colors.  See this corner?

basement-decorating, basement-before

Here’s the sectional that is going to go there:

visions-sectional, sectional-for-basement, corner-sectional, corner-sectional-for-basement


The TV will be moved in front of the cubby area under the stairs:

Jessie's basement

And the gray carpet will be replaced with this:

hardwoods-by-floorcraft, hardwood-floors-replace-carpet, Busket-Lane-Floorcraft


So now we can turn to paint colors. Jessie’s oldest daughter, Lucy, is pushing for a warm, orangey color to make the room feel less cold and dank. Her youngest daughter, Anna, likes pink, and Jessie is drawn to the blues, blue/grays, and gray/greens. Here’s what Jessie says about the dilemma:

I am in a quandry about paint. Nobody in the family loved any of my initial samples, so I mixed and doctored and got all these other colors. Some are in better favor than others. My plan right now is to just paint the back wall where the large windows are or maybe the back wall and the wall below the stairs.

Here are some paints she is considering from the green family:


the blue family:

blue-colors-besement, blue-benjamin-moore-colors-basement, blue-basement, blue-paint-for-basement

and here are some from the red, orange, yellow and pink family:

red-paint-basement, red-pink-yellow-for-basement, warm-colors-basement, choosing-paint-basement

Here’s a look at all of them:


The basement will be used primarily for TV/movie watching and sleepovers (which Jessie notes are really just extended sessions of movie watching). So what do you think? Which color family should Jessie adopt to make her new basement fabulous?

PS — if you like one color in particular, let Jessie know which one in the comments section.

What are you waffling about these days? Whether it’s spring sandals or a new rug just click on the button below to send me your waffle and get help.

Today’s waffle: stenciled stairs

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Okay, so I knew stenciled stairs were a hot design trend, but I didn’t realize quite how popular they had become until I saw these stairs on a television commercial for Lowe’s new “Creative Ideas” ipad app:



I tured to Ken and said excitedly, “Look, more stenciled stairs — it’s becoming such a big trend now!” Unfortunately, my design acumen was lost on him and he gave me a perplexed look; I might as well said, “I’ve radioed the giant potato and it says we need to get into the bunker.”

A few days after seeing the commercial, I received the new Serena & Lily catalog in the mail. And what’s on the cover?

serena-and-lily-catalog, stenciled-stairs, navy-and-white, DIY-painted-stairs

Serena & Lily

The yellow and white stairs below have been making the rounds on Pinterest for a long time. I remember seeing the original article they appeared in — from this Boston Sunday Globe article — because I actually went to elementary school with the owner of the house.

It turns out that Carol Leonisio, the artist who painted the stairs, does not always receive credit for her work, which is a shame.  You can check out Carol’s portfolio and other work at her website, Paint It!

stenciled-stairs, yellow-white-stenciled-stairs, diy-stenciled-stairs

Paint It!

Some stencils are done to resemble traditional runners,

stenciled-stairs, blue-stenciled-stairs

Arte Styling

others use numbers,

stenciled-stairs, number-stencils-stairs

The Happy Haven

or words,

stair-riser-decor-ideas-, stenciled-stairs, word-stenciled-stairs, DIY-stenciled-stairs

Apartment therapy

but I think most common are the geometric designs.

stenciled-stairs,blue-and-white-stenciled-stairs, diy-stenciled-stairs, stair-stencils

The Decorative Paintbrush

So what do you think of this trend?

Do you have an idea for a no-waffle, fantasy waffle or just a regular old waffle? Click here to find out more about waffles or on the button below to contact me and get started.

My waffle: painting the dining room/living room yellow

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Yesterday I wrote about the cheery yarn bombed trees I saw in downtown Seattle; today I’m debating whether to bring some of that same sunniness to my combined living room/dining room by painting it yellow.   Eventually I would like a larger piece of art on the back wall and a drum pendant to replace the current lighting, but right now I’m thinking about color.

dining room

The main color behind the table is Kelly Moore’s Creamy Natural — a whitish green; the darker color it meets in the corner is Beach Bum — a gray green.  The built-in bookcase is a high gloss white.

dining room, built in bookcase

The living room is mostly Beach Bum as well:

living room, painting a living room yellow, kelly moore beach bum

living room

Now you may remember how I was completely waffled (yes, waffled is not officially a word) by what color to paint my laundry room. My first impulse was blue, but after many readers encouraged me to try yellow — and after many trips to the paint store — I fell in love with Benjamin Moore’s Moonlight.

laundry room, yellow laundry room, moonlight benjamin moore, benjamin moore moonlight laundry room, yellow benjamin moore laundry room, black and white rug in laundry room, yellow walls black and white rug

So what if I painted my living room/dining room Moonlight as well? Or maybe even going a bit lighter than Moonlight? I love the pops of yellow the cushions on the green couch provide and I think it would be nice to tie the walls in…but would a whole yellow room be too much, too intense?

The truth of the matter is that the sagey green colors are nice — and even nicer on a sunny day, so maybe I should just add a few yellow accessories rather than going whole hog yellow. But when Seattle is particularly gray and rainy I think about painting this big room and bringing the sun indoors. What do you think?

Do you have an idea for a no-waffle, fantasy waffle or just a regular old waffle? Click here to find out more about waffles or on the button below to contact me and get started.

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