Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Earth Day and Daly's

Saturday, the 22nd was Earth Day and the Friends of Cowan Park chose that day for a park project.

In the Roosevelt neighborhood many local residents have adopted Cowan Park, trying to keep it clean and family friendly. They have even partnered with the Roosevelt Starbucks to help maintain it and have received some park grants from them.

On Saturday, a large mural was painted behind the cable swing (which many children LOVE) on a wall that has been hit numerous times with graffiti. If there is graffiti present, it encourages more of the same. If it is covered quickly it discourages the taggers. Best of all is when there is a mural in place - because they are largely left alone. Not only that, but it looks better too!

Daly's donated all the lovely bright paint colors for the project. Many people participated in painting the mural, so it was a great group effort.

Kudos to the Friends of Cowan Park! What a great community.

I'll add photos as soon as I get them.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Choosing Our Own **** Paint Color!

Oh. My. God.

I soooooo relate to people who have trouble choosing colors. We are walking proof, and we live it all the time! I should have just hired a designer for some help! :)

First we tried C2's "Radiate" - Too bright, and it blended with the cabinetry too much.

Then we explored 5 different shades of green - NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. Even my contractor was telling us he didn't like the green. Any of them. Actually, I thought if the contractor didn't like it, we were probably on the right path...

Finally, closure. We FINALLY found the color! It's C2's "Alhambra", a deep reddish-brown. Won't my mother be surprised when she comes over? She still thinks we painted the kitchen a light mossy green. And she HATED the green concept too. And let us know it.

Half the appliances were installed yesterday, the others go in tomorrow. Need to get glass for some windowed doors, tile needs to be installed and floors refinished. That's about it. But we will be able to move in the room this weekend, if all goes well. YAY!!!!

I'm getting ready to cook up a storm. And clean the house.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Colors and Classes

Next week I'm giving a lunch presentation to the Fremont Chamber of Commerce on how to use color to create a better selling environment. I think I'll talk about color trends, how "coffeehouse" colors have influenced us all and the different effects each color has on us emotionally. Should be fun!

I am going to San Francisco at the beginning of May to help our 3 new C2 partners get rolling with C2 paint in their stores. My New England partners Harry and Shaun are also going. We will give a class to the staff and an invitation-only designer presentation at the Design Within Reach Store in SanFran.

Kitchen update: Counter are installed! It's interesting to watch the process. Those rocks are heavy, no doubt.

We finally settled on the tile for the backsplash. Unfortunately, it will delay the completion by two weeks, due to the order time. Rats! But I'd rather have a slight delay now and get the right material then to live with the wrong choice for years to come.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Eating in the Basement is Getting Old

The kitchen remodel is getting into the drag-on phase. It no longer feels like we're camping out in the basement. Now cooking in the utility room and eating at the coffee table in the TV room just feels annoying.

All whining aside, the countertops are getting installed on Wednesday! So, progress is happening, it just feels so sloooooooooow.

The GREAT PAINT DEBATE is winding down as well. Apparently this Princess of Paint cannot choose her own paint colors! How ironic is that? I almost resorted to a beige, but good sense kicked in with plenty of time to spare. What will we end up using? I dunno yet! We had a change of plans with our tile backsplash which put the paint color into nowhere-ville.

Tile is back on track (almost!), and then we will settle on paint. We have probably tried 6 different paint colors, 5 of then various tints of the same green. Once the counters are in, we must commit to tile and paint. Yet another case of impending deadline being a wonderful motivator.

Over and Out until Wednesday.

Monday, April 03, 2006

April Fools Fun

Christian and I wrote a newspaper column that was axed by our dear editor (I don't blame him, he has to keep us in line now and again). It was supposed to run on April Fools Day, and we had so much fun writing it - I was laughing so hard I was crying when we wrote it. Since we couldn't run it in the paper, I sent it out as a newsletter to our Daly's email list.

Here is is:

Dear Robin and Christian -
Over the years my wife and I have developed different collections; my wife passionately collects orca whale figurines while I like to display the trophies from my hunting expeditions. How can we best display our two collections in the same family room?
- Bud and Starr (the second R is silent)

Robin: Consider a Surf and Turf theme. Think of your room in terms of the eco system. Visually divide the room to represent the different layers of the earth: start with an ocean blue shag carpet to represent the water; If you have hardwood floors, consider an area rug in the shape of a whale. There are many custom rug artisans who can make one to your specifications. The closer to life-sized, the better. This will help balance out the scale of the heads that will be mounted above, on the walls.

Christian: When choosing paint colors, paint everything from the floor to the wainscoting in blues and greens. Above this, paint the chair rail red to represent the transition from cold-blooded to warm-blooded mammals. Paint everything above the chair rail brown to represent the **** you scared out of the last deer you shot.

Robin: The ceilings should be faux painted with white fluffy clouds.

Christian: This room presents many opportunities for fun accessorizing: First and foremost, don't forget the antler chandelier. A classic touch that no trophy room should be without. This will also come in handy during the holidays when you can hang orca ornaments from the different antlers of the light fixture for a festive look.

Robin: If you are feeling crafty, have lampshades made out of camouflage fabric and glue-gun spent shell cartridges around the base of the lampshade for a homey touch.

Christian: Make sure to display her Orca figurines in the lower half of the room. Get a hold of some Greenpeace t-shirts or flags and have them made into throw pillows for the sofa. These colors will contrast nicely with the camouflage accents you've already established.

Robin: Of course we suggest large overstuffed furniture to pull the whole room together. As you can see, this room will really make a statement and allow you and your wife to enjoy each others collections for years to come.

Christian: Don't forget to vacuum the animal trophies on a regular basis. And invest in a good shag rake for the carpet!

Robin: Thanks for your question, we really love to hear from you. We take your design questions very seriously, and answer them all to the best of our ability.

Christian: Did you really think WE were serious? If haven't guessed already - this is our nod to April Fools Day. Have a great day and if you are looking at combining orca figurines and hunting trophies - quite honestly interior design should be the last thing on your list of things to be concerned about!

There must be many people who have as poor taste and judgment as I - I have gotten more positive responses to the article than most other things we have written!

Speaking of Paint

There was in interesting article in the New York Times on April 2nd about the Lead Paint Case in Rhode Island.

Some people feel this is the Next Big Thing since the tobacco suits. Others feel that it's all manufactured fear-mongering since most homes have been repainted and very little lead is exposed.

Lead-based paint was banned from being sold in the US in 1978, but for homes built earlier, especially before the 1950's, there is a pretty strong chance there is lead present. If it's painted over, then it's probably encapsulated. But if the paint chips and exposes the old surface, then lead may be a concern.

How do I feel? I think manufacturers are in a pickle. They feel extreme pressure from their customers to make products that perform, and the lead helped do that. But there is an implied brand confidence that the consumer has in the product, and they certainly don't think it will be harmful to their health. But are they willing to give up performance for better health? Not always, I've found.

The question that I keep coming back to: Did ALL paint companies use lead back then? Was that the norm of the day?

If they made the best choice they could at the time, then I think this is wrong and it's attacking them for the wrong reason. If they had better options, then I understand the lawsuit - at least a little bit.