A Cry for Help

I’m almost done getting all that wretched wallpaper off the walls. The girls were a huge help the other day – they got to work peeling the top layer off (which, of course, is the fun part), wetting down the remaining paper and then taking turns using the putty knife to scrape it off:


This is what the walls look like now (I’ll go out during Finn’s nap and finish off the edges with a razor blade):


But now we kind of have a problem. And by “we” I mean “I” and by “problem” I mean “personal issue with choosing decor.” As in, I’m terrible at it (for a more in-depth look at such a problem, I fully relate to this article by Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy). I don’t know why this should be, because apparently all the other women on my mom’s side of the family have an amazing knack for interior decorating. I somehow missed the boat. Darn genetics.

At any rate, I have sort of limited options because we got an amazing deal on some interior paint in a pretty light off-white shade. And when you get 10 gallons of paint in an acceptable shade for $40 that’s what you go with. So that choice has been made for me. Which is kind of a relief, to be honest.

Same with the floors. We got almost 700 feet of laminate flooring for $250 on Craigslist and even though it’s not my favoritest in the whole wide world – that’s where we are. It KIND of looks like this (my husband and I weren’t able to find the actual kind online even with the original packaging):


But the trim I would like to change. I’m not a fan of light wood, a la what’s on the walls now, plus it clashes with the flooring. I’d kind of like to be daring and go with a bright, punchy color. But then I start thinking that it’ll be TOO much and we won’t have time to change it. And I freak out a little inside.

I kind of like the idea of like a turquoise and red/salmon-ish theme… liiike… this (our paint color is much lighter and more beige-y):

photo credit: www.studiodiy.com
photo credit: www.studiodiy.com

But then I’m like “that person is using those colors for a CIRCUS theme. I don’t want my home to look like a CIRCUS.” Plus, there is a lot of wood trim. I would like to just pick one color and then use another color as an accent color with the furniture (throw pillows, curtains, etc.)

Also, it should be noted that there are other considerations to take into account, like the fact that I can’t paint any of the lower cabinets because they are these thin, almost balsa-wood-like things that slide and any paint would just get scraped off the bottom and so would have to be stained.

So, my question for YOU is: do you have any suggestions? Palettes? Ideas? Pinterest boards I should go scour?? Leave them in the comments and I’ll love you forever.

Help a sister out here, friends! The sooner the better, too, because we would like to get the bus out to the land by the end of the week because once it’s out there we have a lot more work to do to get it ready!

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32 thoughts on “A Cry for Help

  1. I personally would paint the entire thing white.
    Due to the small space, plus all the stuff you’re going to be bringing in there.. leaving it white is your best chance at making look larger, feel cleaner, etc.

    By the way.. I like the laminate! 🙂

    1. Also.. please take notice that the beautiful painted dresser is also sitting against a white wall. You bring color in with your furniture and decor..

      1. Yes, I see what you’re saying, and normally I’d be totally with you because I LOVE white walls. Love them. But I think that having the trim a different color would also make it look a bit more polished and homey and make it so that I don’t have to bring in a bunch of stuff to add decor. But I don’t know… maybe you’re right…
        I am awash with indecision.
        Positively awash.

  2. Just paint it all white and give yourself a break! Save all your ideas for the beautiful new home you will soon be in !! Just keep the ” BUS” simple. White will make it look larger, and you won’t have to spend any money on trim paint. You will have your hands and mind full of ideas making your new home Homey and Polished!

  3. I think white too. If you want a little “punch” pick an accent wall for color. I have paint here I will look through and see if there are some that have a generous amount and a pleasing time and I will being them tomorrow.

  4. White trim! And what about some color in the curtains?!? I’d go with breezy looking ones, maybe a calico or stripes?

  5. I have to tell you, Sarah, that the reason I “found” your blog (thru Modern Mrs. Darcy’s) is because we’re going to be building a “Little House on the High Prairie” this summer and so your title caught my eye!

      1. I hadn’t thought about it! Maybe I’ll think again as soon as taxes, etc., are done (which is what I should be working on right now).

        1. I’ve obviously just started this one, but it’s been a lot of fun so far. I’ve been reading blogs for years but never wanted to start one of my own until I felt like I had something to say or a story to tell, and well, there’s a story to tell now!

          Also, if you’re building a house, be prepared for everybody asking for status updates – it’s nice to be able to just direct them to the blog instead of having to repeat things over and over: “Well, we’re moving into a bus now…” always elicits a plethora of questions on its own 🙂

          1. Thanks for suggesting it – I think you may have talked me into it, because it really is going to be a story to tell!
            I’ll let you know if I do decide to write it, and you can be one of my 6 followers!

  6. I agree with all your other commenters 😉 Paint it all white with the paint you have. It will just take the stress out of it! Once you’re no longer in a rush, and maybe even living in the bus, maybe you’ll be inspired to paint that accent wall or change the trim (you can paint it a section at a time to make it easier while living there. That’s how I painted my living room while both kids were underfoot. I’d only tackle as much as I could do in an hour, including prep and clean up. It took me a week to paint one room, but I kept the brush and roller in the fridge in between sessions, so I only had to deal with cleaning those once.)

    1. Yes, I think everybody is right and that DOES take the stress out of it. We might just do the trim in a brighter white to make it pop at least a little, but I think we’ve put the kibosh on the colored trim 🙂

  7. hey Sara I am the paint specialist for Lowes. Been in the business of paint for about 25 years. You can change your paint colors in the paint if you choose to. you can turn each 5 gallon into single gallons if you need different colors. I do it all the time with my art.. first you need a base color..could be a area rug with colors..bed covering with colors…. here we had a formal area rug in the living room area.. I choose all my colors for each room out of the colors of on the rug and use a off white with brown tone for all the trim.. Lowes has samples colors .. any color you want to get.. even custom colors.. they are 1/2 pint size.. for $2.98 each pick your color ..buy the darker value in the color you want..pour unto a gallon buck from the 5 gal. then pour 1-2 sample cans of color depending on how dark you want your color to be.. if you are after light colors 1 sample should be enough.. stir and wella you have a color..i know you are on a budget also check for misstints at Lowes a gallon is $5.00 a quart is $2.50 you might see colors that that will work for you and mix them in your 5′ gallon buckets. Home depot also have mistints at cheap prices. I t must be exciting getting your home ready to live in while you are building your home and it will be fun to watch the new house rise up in front of you. backto colors.. since the kids are sharing a room.. maybe you can pick the girls choose the color for the wall their bed is going to be on..you can still coordinate the balance of the colors so they look good together by staying in the same shade family.. you of course will have to pick your sons color..make their room fun.. that shouldn’t be hard to do after seeing the pictures of the dianasours in your yard..downstairs take 1 color make it lighter in the living area and go a little darker for the kitchen..possibley make your cabinets ulta white semi gloss finish so your kitchen area will always look clean and fresh. We wish we were there to help you. We are hoping to come out there sometime later this year if I retire from Lowes this fall.. Looking forward in meeting Grady’s family .. and doing a little spoiling on his grand children too.. 🙂 I don’t have any grandkids and I am missing out on the fun of being a grand ma.. If you have some colors that are going in the areas take a close up picture and send it to us maybe I can give you some more direction from seeing a picture.. hope this helps linda and grady

    1. That is a great idea, Linda! I never thought of having the white re-mixed into different colors to save money. I didn’t think Home Depot or Lowe’s would do that if you didn’t buy the paint there, though. I think for now we are going to stick with the white, but I will definitely be doing that for any other paint colors we use – like for the kids’ bedroom upstairs. Thank you for the fantastic idea! And yes, the white paint that we have is all a semi-gloss. And of course, we will definitely be posting pictures of everything we do 🙂

  8. Hi Sarah, Aunt Suzy chimming in. I am in total agreement with keeping your pallett neutral ,for all the reasons previously mentioned. Space will appear larger, cleaner. Your colors will be brought in with pictures( if you have wall space ) curtains, love the idea of a stripe, just not to narrow, yet not to wide. Ya know mama bear just in between. Bottom line accesories with color. One more thing,not to many . Keep it at 3 different complimentary colors xoxo

  9. Will you be using an oil base paint in kitchen and bath ? Oil base you can clean without the paint coming off along with the fingerprints etc. My experience with waterbase paint, is when you scrub it , off comes the paint !!

    1. I use water based paint because the fumes are less and it seems easier to apply. I’ve found that if you use satin or gloss on the trim, it’s quite washable!

      1. I know what you mean about the fumes! They can put your mind into a induced place where you can see all the paint colors you want,without one stroke of the brush lol

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