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Glenn and I love sushi.  We started going out for it when I was in college, and every time Glenn came to visit me he had to go out for sushi!  And we always try to find some when we go out of town.  No fun when I was pregnant, but going out for sushi is still fun even if you can’t eat any!!  Well…no sushi bars in Likely, or anywhere for 100 miles.  Before we moved here, we actually bought a book on making sushi, as well as a nice set, and we haven’t gotten to use any until now!!  We saw they had fresh sushi grade tuna at our local grocery store, so we tracked down all the ingredients (we had to go to 2 different stores for all of the pieces!) and decided to have a sushi lunch the other day!  It was fun…a lot more prep work than we anticipated, but we weren’t in a hurry and we enjoyed the whole process!  Especially eating it!

The mini cookbook that we have is simply called “Sushi” and it’s by Ryuichi Toshii, Brigid Treloar, and Hideo Dekura (find it here).  We bought our sushi set at Cost Plus World Market, and our rice cooker was a wedding gift!  I really won’t go into details on how to make it, we’re not pros (yet, hee hee!) but I had to share the pictures of our yummy lunch!!

1st attempt -- not too shabby!!

We made some Classic Thin Tuna Rolls (Tekkamaki), but we added some avocado. Mmmm…
Sushi chef

Along with some pink lemonade…that’s Japanese, right?? 🙂
Our homemade sushi lunch

Mmm...I wish it was in focus

We’re definitely going to have to do this again soon! Maybe we’ll make a night of it with some friends!!

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I love our striped dining room wall.  I think my favorite part about it is that it was super easy to do and it was our first attempt at painting stripes.  Plus it turned out great!  My husband had the genius idea of using the green from the kitchen (I thought we’d use the gray from the living room to tie it in) because they are two different finishes of paint and because our dining room chairs have green in them.  The ivory is a satin, and the green is a semi-gloss = instant wow factor…like wallpaper.  But without the glue.

So what is the secret to painting stripes?  The answer is math…and gravity.  I knew I wanted an odd number of stripes so that the ivory was at each end.  I measured the length of the wall and did a little figuring.  I took the length of the wall in inches, and divided it by 7.  This gave me about 16.75″ per stripe so I decided to up the width of the green stripes to an even 17″ so that they are wider than the ivory.  17″ x 4 = 68″.  I then took the width of the wall, subtracted 68″ and this gave me the total width of the ivory stripes, which I then divided by 5 and now I knew how wide each ivory stripe would be (10″ in the center, and the corner ones are a little narrower but you can’t even tell!).

I’m not sure how others lay out their stripes with tape, but this is how we did it!

First step:  Paint the entire wall the lighter color (in our case – an ivory called Acadia White by Benjamin Moore in the satin finish).

Before I show you the next step, here is the little journey from where we started to where it is today.  Here is my husband, Glenn, on the walk-through with the real estate agent.  Notice the wagon wheel light fixture and nasty carpet in the dining area!

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Here it is (below) with the carpet ripped out, deciding which flooring to use.  We chose the darker laminate.

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Okay, now fast forward a little more and here we are.

Step Two: find the center of the wall and make a small mark.  We did all the marks at the ceiling because we used a weighted string to make sure our tape was straight.

Step Three: measure half the width of your center stripe to the left and right of your center mark.  Our center stripe is green, which is 17 inches, so we measured 8.5″ either way.  Make your mark at the ceiling.  We then made more marks alternating 10″ and 17″.

Step four: Tap a small nail or brad into your mark, attaching a string that is as tall as the wall, weighting it (we used a heavy screw).  This will give you a perfectly vertical line to tape against. If you’re working as a team, one person can hold the string while the other tapes, or you can tap another brad into the other end to hold your string tight while you tape.

Step five: Tape along your string.  Make sure your tape is taped down in the base color (ivory) so that you’re painting in the correct stripes.  It can get a little confusing!

Step six: Fill in any nail holes that you made with putty and then paint your colored stripes!  We used “Misted Fern” in a semi-gloss by Benjamin Moore.  Touch up the base color where the holes were if needed.  I used a tiny paintbrush for touch-ups near the stripes.  We also always make sure to remove the tape as soon as possible for the crispest line, and you don’t want it to dry too much so it doesn’t peel off with the tape.  We were pleasantly surprised with how crisp the lines were (taping trim can be messy sometimes – ugh!), even with a textured wall.

Step seven: Stand back and admire your faux-wallpaper wall!  We were surprised at how easy it was, and how nice it turned out.  Sorry for the lack of “during” pictures, but we did it before I even started this blog!!  If I would have only known…

This is what it used to look like, before the new pendant and sideboard (below):

Dining Room

And here is what it looks like today!  Some of you are probably sick of me talking about my dining room, but it seems like such a huge impact using leftover paint, a $50 antique store sideboard, a discounted pendant lamp, and a free table and chair set!

Dining room

Do any of you have a striped wall project (or any fancy painting project) you’d like to link us to?? I’d love to see it!  Thanks again for stopping by!

I love blog parties! I stumbled across this blog (via Hooked on Houses) called 320 Sycamore today and saw she was hosting a Paint Color Party and I just had to join!


She’s asking for some paint color photo inspiration today so here goes!

Here is the new “reading nook” in my living room. The walls are Ashley Gray by Benjamin Moore.

Reading Nook
This ivory wall is actually old wood paneling, but we just painted over it with Acadia White by Benjamin Moore.

Hearth and entertainment center
My kitchen has white cabinets (High Hiding White door, trim and cabinet paint by Ace Hardware), and the green is called Misted Fern by Benjamin Moore.

Kitchen

Someday I’d like to paint the kitchen a color called “Sulfur Yellow” by Benjamin Moore, but that has to wait until we get new countertops.  We have the fake blonde wood laminate right now and it won’t go together, but I really, really love Sulfur Yellow (#1).

Paint Color Consultation

The dining room stripes are using the Misted Fern from the kitchen and the Acadia White from the living room in two different finishes.  The green is a semi-gloss and the ivory is a satin, which gives it a wallpaper feel.

Dining room details

The bathroom is painted “Pumpernickel” by Ace Hardware paints.  If you’ve been reading lately you’ll know we’ve been very busy on that project!!  Click the link for more pictures of the surrounded-by-earthy-brown bathroom.

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The bedroom’s upper 1/3rd is painted “Pilgrimage Foliage” by Benjamin Moore, and the lower 2/3rds are in the Acadia White (like the living room and dining room.  We have a TON of it!)

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My daughter’s bedroom is painted in “Everlasting” by Benjamin Moore and the bottom is..you guessed it!  Acadia White!

Harper's Room

My very unfinished office is painted in one of my very favorite colors: Old Salem Gray by Benjamin Moore.  It depends on the light, but it can look beige, gray or green.  As you can see this picture looks very green, but if you choose this color you won’t be sorry!  It’s so pretty!  I wish I would have gotten the office painted before the kitchen because I would have picked this for the kitchen instead of the brighter green.

Our office (in progress)

And Melissa at 320 Sycamore showed a wall that she painted “Danville Tan” by Benjamin Moore…I had a client choose that color so here’s another shot of it paired with “Branchport Brown” by Benjamin Moore as well.

Ann & Gene's "After"

And there you have it – all the colors of Casa Christensen!  The next room I’d like to paint is our laundry room, which I want a very light, barely there robin’s egg blue or light sage-y green like this photo.  Mmmm…you know how I love pretty laundry rooms!  And paint!

(image linked to flickr source)

Have a good weekend, everyone and thanks for stopping by for some color inspiration!!!

If you’d like your very own paint color consultation, then feel free to contact me (lindsay @ lindsaychristensendesign.com) or click here for more information!

My dining room is finally a room that makes me happy. It started out as a tiny little bright nook with an ugly light, and now with a hand-me-down table and chairs, an eBay find, a marked-down pendant lamp, lots of wedding and Christmas gifts, a little paint and a new $50 antique store score (yippee!) it has turned into a lovely little room in our house.

Here is the move-in condition – yuck:
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And here is what it looks like today!  We picked up that sideboard at the antique store the other day for $50!  We inherited the table and chairs from my husband’s parents after the table couldn’t withstand being outdoors in the winter here.  They originally purchased it for their deck but the grout started to crack when it froze (yay for us!).  The chairs go with a wood and green vinyl card table that they weren’t using, but we thought they went nicely with the table.

Dining room

If you’ve been reading recently you know that the pendant light was a Pottery Barn markdown, and I am so happy to get the old light out of there!  The bamboo sliding panels in the background cover our sliding glass door – I found those on eBay!  I despise vertical blinds and didn’t want curtains there so I looked to eBay.  We painted the stripes on the wall back in December and love the look.  The best part is the paints are different finishes so it gives it a wallpaper feel (the green is a semi-gloss and the ivory is a satin – a great trick for painting stripes!).

I also picked some lilacs from my backyard for some fragrance…I love fresh flowers!  Especially free ones from my own yard!

Dining room

Almost everything else (except the sideboard itself) was a wedding or Christmas gift so this room was made-over for about $200!  And that includes the cheap wine in the wine rack.  It sure was yummy, though!  We filled it with our wedding china, table linens, serving platters and specialty glassware.  I don’t have a lot of white in my house, but I have an abundance of white dishes.  It’s a great base for entertaining, plus it doesn’t compete with the colors of the food!  And it never goes out of style!

New sideboard for dining room

And last night my sister-in-law told me she saw a big truck being unloaded into our local antique store…I guess I have to make another trip this week to see what else I can score!

I’ve had my eye on this pendant lamp from Pottery Barn for months!  I actually mentioned it in an earlier post, proclaiming my love for “faux bois” and tree prints.  It was already on sale, so I kept checking and checking on it to make sure that it didn’t sell out.  As you might know, we went on vacation for a week earlier this month, and when I got back I decided to check on my pendant to make sure it wasn’t sold out and to my surprise it had DROPPED $30 MORE IN PRICE!  Woo-hoo!  So I bit the bullet and a few clicks later it was mine…I mean ours.  🙂

Here it is in it’s Pottery Barn loveliness.  I love the lamp with the black, white, neutral, cool and warm tones.  I can’t make a decision on my favorite design styles, so I like to mix it up!

Here is the “before” shot (that is not the actual light fixture, that is a paper lantern from our wedding that Glenn cut to fit over the hideous “wagon wheel” fixture with broken glass – bleh!):

Switching out the dining room light

And here is my wonderfully handy husband installing it for me!  Wasn’t the paper lantern an improvement??  I’ve been dying to get that thing out of the house since we bought it last July!

Switching out the dining room light

To switch out a light, first of all – turn the power off!  And all you do is re-connect wires.  If you have an extra set of hands, connect them as you disconnect them so that you know you’re getting the correct wires.

Switching out the dining room light

Here is Glenn connecting the ground wire (the copper wire, screwed down with the green screw).  That is very important!

Switching out the dining room light

And that’s it!  Now he’s screwing the housing back onto the mounting plate.

Switching out the dining room light

It works!  Yay!

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As a general interior design rule, a pendant hanging over a dining room table should hang at least 30″ above the top of the table.  Our pendant came with a few different sized bases and we chose the one that hung the bottom of the shade 32″ from the top of our table – this thing is pretty massive!

Switching out the dining room light

Ta-da!!  I’m so glad to have that old one gone…I did a happy dance as I took it to the trash!

Switching out the dining room light

Switching out the dining room light

I even like it when it’s off.  🙂

Switching out the dining room light

See, I told you it was massive!  Harper looks teeny underneath it!

Switching out the dining room light

Aawww…he installs my pendant and then cooks me dinner!  Thanks, honey!!

Switching out the dining room light

Now I can’t wait to finish the dining room!  On my list:  1). A slipcover for the loveseat that is at the table.  We were going to sell that loveseat, but had no luck.  After I was sick of it in Harper’s room I had Glenn help me move it to the dining room and I love it there!  It’s just ugly!  2).  Some kind of valance to cover the top of the sliding panel system that covers the sliding glass door.  3).  Some white shelving to replace the poster and candle sconces that are above the loveseat.  The black is too harsh in the kitchen – it needs to go back to the living room by the pool table.  I think I’ll actually try to keep a corner of my house light and airy instead of dark and dramatic!  4).  After I get my shelves, I’ll need some knick-knacks and candles, photos, etc. for the shelves.  Like the lovely Pottery Barn photo.  Ahhhhhhh….

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