Monday, January 26, 2009

Fresh Paint

I love new paint! I'm getting bold with colors now. This is my computer room and the paint is called "Corn Husk" by Behr. I was terrified when we first started rolling it on because I was in a "mood" when I picked it out one Saturday. I went looking for a nice turquoise, but after looking at one too many turquoises, this funky green caught my eye.


I love it! Especially with the red lamp. Don't ask me what kind of mood I was in when I bought that red lamp...

If you've noticed that my interiors are rather "spare," you're right. Kauai, although a lovely place to live, is full of red dirt, humidity, bugs, pooping geckoes, and sticky sea air when the surf is high. Our windows are open all year round because air conditioning is too expensive and we don't have heating in our homes. It is hell on furniture, draperies, and don't even talk to me about knick-knacks! Can you imagine having to wash every decorative item in your house at least once a month? So most everything is put away and kept off off the floor. Clutter attracts bugs and more mold. Nice furniture fades in the sun and the veneers bubble and crack. The pulls, mirrors, and drawer hardware rust within a year's time. Hawaii is very hard on your stuff!

Nice furniture is very expensive here. We don't have any chain furniture stores, and our department stores do not carry furniture. Shipping charges added to large items make them outrageously expensive, as you can imagine, and why pay for nice furniture that will look terrible in a year or so?

It is for this reason that most of us furnish our houses with disposable furniture a la Wal Mart. I decorate for cool air flow to minimize bug-attracting clutter. The more minimal my interiors, the less cleaning I have to do, the less bugs build homes in my stuff, and the more the air can circulate and keep us cool. It took me several years of living here to give up on lush decorating styles--but now, I know what works.

I also try to keep a minimal stash because fabric molds pretty quickly. This is a peek into the walk-in closet in my sewing room:


This is it. The sum total of my stash...and this is even too much! I'm working on reducing it.


This closet is perfect for my stash. It's in my sewing room (shown below), but it's dark and I can open up the doors and let the air flow through on dry days.

I'm having a sewing day tomorrow with my dear friends. Here is what my "work room" looks like the night before my friends arrive:

I have six fold-away tables, three of which are set up for tomorrow. We have lots of room and plenty of light. Windows open all around and overhead fans keep the air circulating on hot days.


When I don't have guests, I store all those fold-away tables and have LOTS of floor space. My homemade long-arm quilting machine acts as a cutting table for two mats with plenty of room to spare.

This is my sewing station. My Bernina is for quilting and my Pfaff is for piecing.

One of the reasons I'm showing you these pictures of my sewing room is that I'm about to give it a little face lift. These are "before" pictures. I've always considered my sewing room a "workroom" and never decorated in here. Can you believe those horrible morgue curtains (courtesy of the house's previous owners) are still up?? I've been gazing at those horrible curtains for TEN YEARS, people! Enough!! New curtains...or at least shades...are imminent.

Okay...so here's where YOU, dear reader, come in. I need your opinion. What color would you paint this room? I'm going to leave all the trim white because I would have to spend five years painting those windows and baseboards and moldings. It takes me days just to clean all that woodwork!! So they stay white.

Think of a cooler color. It's hot here most of the year, and even when it's not, I'm still having those 50-something "personal summers." So even though dark red would be fabulous, it would feel like the fiery furnace of hell in here to me. I'm just sayin'...

The curtain question is a poser. Look at all that yardage it would take! Expensive fabric...or even colored curtains are out...they would fade within a year. So it's blinds, shutters, lace, or something...ugh. See why the morgue look has persisted? It's a problem.

So there is a peek into my minimalist interior. As you can see, I am not a collector of "stuff." I get rid of everything I don't use very quickly. I am not overly fond of gifts (I know...gasp!!) because I only want a few things that I actually want and will use. Right now, my foyer is filled with my latest purge of stuff--ready to be hauled off to the thrift store (or perhaps I'll have a garage sale). I'm a hopeless non-collector--my house gets emptier of stuff every year! But it also gets easier to keep clean. More time for sewing!

30 comments:

Catherine said...

What about a wonderful silvery sea blue? Not too bright and not too dark -- it would keep the room feeling cool and airy. As to window coverings, what about something like bamboo blinds? Airy, yet some shade from the sun?

Your workroom is heavenly!! All that fabulous natural light!!

Renee said...

Love your workroom... what I would give for all that natural light! I also really like the Corn Husk color. I will have to remember that. As for as color ideas, what about a Tiffany blue... or a really pale turquoise... I think either would go nice with white plantation shutters.

Ok, I am jealous... can I come for a visit????

Michelle said...

My first thought was pale turq or blue, then lilac, or even pale seafoam. Cool colors. Then I saw the pastel dots on your header... one of those colors!

mau said...

Love your room and so much fun. Please let us in the fun..ha ha. Don't forget pictures, I think we would all love to see what wonderful ideas come up.

Vicki said...

Lisa,
I'm thinking that bold colors might get reflected in your fabrics as you work in the room, But at the same time, white get a little old. What about beige walls, with the ceiling being either a couple shades lighter (if the ceiling is low) or darker (if it is high), with the white window and door trim. If beige is too blah, maybe a very pale purple? I can't wait to see what you do!

Denise (Nour) said...

What about Bridal Blue B54-1 from Olympic paints? It's a lovely pale blue and it goes nicely with the Corn Husk green. Sorry to be so strangely specific but I had these paint samples from Lowes in my drawer for future projects!!!

Joyce said...

I'd continue with the green from the computer room. I love your spare look. And less cleaning sounds fabulous to me. I am trying to move in that direction.

Melinda said...

A bright happy blue looks great with the white trim. I see the perfect color in your stash. LOL

I'm glad to see you posting again.

Hugs,
Melinda

Pat said...

I'd go with a light orchid or lavender color and maybe some lacy valances with your new shades. My other choice would be to stay with a green or a blue (as those are MY personal favorite colors). :) You sure have lovely space but the environmental problems sound so difficult. What does that constant humidity, dust and all the bugs do to your machines??? (I shudder to think about that.)

Valerie said...

Lisa,

What about Roman shades for the windows? I made some for these long, stained-glass windows in my old place, and they were easy and didn't use a ton of fabric. Also, I lined them with Blockout Curtain Liner, so the fabric was saved from bright sun.

Just a thought...

Howdy said...

I love the corn husk too...
As far as your studio goes I'm thinking white or a close neighbor of white would still be the best choice so it doesn't alter what your fabric looks like as you are working. One way to add color to the walls would be to add it at the lower level of the room... add some decorative molding 3 ft up from the floor and put your color on the bottom part of the wall. Or You could just add color to the long wall where you ironing board is. How about adding colorful design elements on the walls in various places. Pick a design element you like from fabric and enlarge it and paint it on the wall... I'd probably grab something from Moda's Posh line. Or how about giant quilt blocks tumbling around the room? When you get tired of whatever you paint you can just paint over it... bahh, bye!
Windows... light sheers to diffuse the sun - otherwise nothing... just the glorious view!

Nancy said...

I would paint a pale silvery blue to bring in the ocean colors. I agree that shades would work best for the windows. We ordered shades from JC Penneys, but you could easily make them...
I am jealous of your wonderful large light filled space and can't wait to see how you finish it.
I will come help paint if you pay for the plane ticket from the Midwest (where we are in the midst of an ice storm)

Kelly Ann said...

You could paint just the outside walls a blue/green (the color of the ocean), leave the windows with blinds, no curtains, but make sure the blinds are white to match the trim. By accenting the outside walls with a color and keeping the windows bare you'll still have a clean look with some freshness.

Nancy said...

I just came across this studio redo....love this wall color...

http://whipup.net/2009/01/26/studio-tours/

Quiltersal said...

Well, Lisa, while reading your post I had a brilliant idea for the new color for your sewing space...then I came to read the comments and, it seems as though I'm a day late and a dollar short on this one. I, too, thought of blue to bring the ocean inside. My studio is painted a pale blue with a lavender tinge...very soft and soothing and doesn't clash with colors on the design wall at all.

I have a large space to work in...at least I thought I did...till I saw yours...Do ya need a sister??????

The Calico Quilter said...

It would be best to keep the walls in the workroom white so that your color perception isn't distorted. I would definitely use white wooden shutters on the windows, the kind that will fold back on themselves to the sides to let in light when you want, but will close to control too bright days. The moveable louvers would let in the air flow even when closed. I can see what you mean about the funeral home window treatments! BTW, love love love the green. It's gorgeous! I'm soooo utterly jealous about the size of your sewing room!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely airy room. Too bad about your insect/mildew/blowing dirt problems. Love the "corn husk" with the red!
Well, white is probably best as far as not interferring with your fabric colors, but what about a very pale peach with some white sheers that could be thrown in the washer often? You could always sew a strip of some lovely island print on the top or bottom if you wanted more color. Can't wait to see what you do with it. Judy B.

Karen said...

I was going to say robin's egg blue.... and then I glanced at many of the comments and see that is popular!
I live in HI too (Big Island, Hilo side) and I know all about the dust, mold, see breeze, etc.... Of course I live with 4 males, so we're not so minimalistic as you are!
I noticed you had carpet in one room. I'd ditch that in favor of hardwood flooring or tile... makes ALL the difference!

Andie said...

I painted my quilting room a supernova-bright safety yellow. It was supposed to be a soft gold. Oh well. I absolutely panicked while I was painting, because I'm not a bright yellow kind of gal, but now I love it. In the morning it brings in the sun and in the evening it darkens to a rich orange that's just beautiful. Good luck!

anne from finland said...

I like very much that green colour. You could choose either that green or cream colour. If the colour on the walls is too bright, it is disturbing when you are sewing. I´ve noticed that the older I am the less I need stuff around me. Sometimes I even think I have too much fabrics and all kind of craft material in this house!!!:-)

tina said...

oh sistah, I am on my way ovah r'now!!!!! What yu tink? Good ideas, yea?

I paint wi'me........ mebbe a nice striped wall? Green of the land & blue of the ocean? You a fun girl, have fun walls! :)

Mokihana said...

Ya don't like the cockroaches, huh? Man, I remember them well from small kid time.

I would say bring in the color of the ocean.. but in a pale color rather than bright ones.

Anonymous said...

Evidently I just missed you when I was at Kaupai(SP) Stitchery last Friday the last full day of my cruise. The shop is super and when I mentioned that we had walked from HH down to the shop the store manager drove us back up to HH! Wow what service.

I loved every minute of it and bought one of your patterns and fabric to bring back to snowy Oregon with me.

Thanks for the info on your link to shopping in Hawaii. I printed it off and managed to get to three of the stores. Two in Hilo and one in Kuai. Our cruise was wonderful and the Napali Coast incredible. I could move there but would miss the seasons (but I could get used to it!).
Thanks much,
Shirlene

Gretchen said...

I have to agree about the blue.. it would make it feel cool and airy.

I hunted up your blog because, in rereading your book you asked a question that you claim to actually want an answer to... what else do you do while quilting? My answer is audio books. They keep me interested... but there is nothing to look at so I have to keep looking at what my hands are doing.

Hope this helps for times when your Mom is not available...

Thanks for all the laughs!
Gretchen

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Hi Lisa, I love your workroom. WOW that is one big room. And I do love the open unclutter look. Quite unlike what I have. lolol Too much stuff. I'm sorta feeling like you and wanting to declutter. With moving in my near future now is the time I'm thinking. I love your green room and you know I love that RED lamp. Perfect. I would leave your workroom white but that's just me. You cant get much cooler feeling that white.

Colleen said...

Wow- how great to have all that room! I'm with you on leaving the trim white. Way too much work to paint it!
I'd put simple sheers on the windows since cleaning blinds or shutters is also not fun. Whatever surface holds the design wall I'd leave white, but on the other walls a nice pale color would be refreshing. How about a pale green -something to be a good neighbor to your Corn Husk. Maybe something further along on the color swatch? Then there would be smooth transitions in the house as well a soothing color in the sewing space with all that great natural light. (wishing for some of that light here in cloudy Seattle!)

ladydi said...

So glad to see you back in blogland! We've been missing you. I wonder what the previous homeowners used that lovely large room full of natural light for? I'm with the very pale aqua group - such a nice, cool color, and will look wonderful with the already existing white trim.

happy zombie said...

You're back! I was so tickled when I got a comment from you. I was jumping for joy... I've missed you!!!! I've got a whole bunch of delicious posts of yours to catch up on. Oh happy day!

My 2 cents... and I so can relate about the bugs, and humidity... a soft butter yellow. I think yellow works with any color and any season (even though we both know there's only one season in HI). It's light and bright, yet still soft, cozy and warm. Ok, I think I've just put in 7 cents.

PS... I googled the lyrics for America the Beautiful... and it IS "fruited"! That pattern I used was wrong. Oh well... it's different at least. Next time I get the little red squiggle of doom under a word... I will trust it!

Kristin said...

I agree with Renee -- Tiffany blue, but slightly more pale than the true color of the box. It would be calm and relaxing, and blend with the outside view. Can't wait to see the choice you make!

Angie said...

OH I LOOOOOVE YOUR ROOM! Totally awesome! I'm definately in awe!