Grade grubbing

Because of what I do for a living, I must admit that I was perplexed for a few moments when I got an email from our GC with the subject heading “Grading.”

Grading?! I just handed back that last set of homeworks, and the students don’t take their midterm until Monday… what do you want from me?!?

Of course, that’s not what he meant…

This past week the foundation guy was back to work on the rough grading to improve drainage around the house. It is tough to tell in that bottom photo, but they are knocking down part of the very steep hill and creating swales to move water away from the house. We will likely also end up with a couple of retaining walls, since the house is built into the side of a hill… the exact plan is still up in the air, but we’ll have to make decisions about this shortly.

Speaking of decisions, there’s also been some progress inside in preparation for the tile installer coming next week! Our master bathroom now has the beginnings of a real shower stall…

This meant, of course, that we really needed to stop procrastinating on making paint decisions, since we wanted to paint BEFORE there was brand-new tile on the floor. So this morning we got up bright and early (for a Saturday), and headed over to the house to prime over all of the various paint samples that we’ve put up over the last couple weeks. Blank slate! Then we headed over to the paint store to pick up a couple gallons of our choices for the downstairs bathroom and guest bedroom. The guest bath is the room that has changed the most from my original paint scheme. I really love several of the burnt orange-y tones that we tried out there, but they were all just too dark, especially given that the room is an odd s-like shape and part of it won’t get much natural light. I tried going lighter with these types of colors, but was aghast (aghast!) to realize that they turn into peach! Which basically made the whole main floor take on a tropical cabana sort of vibe. Much as I dig pina coladas and palm trees, it wasn’t really what I was going for.

Sooo, I needed plan B. Luckily Mandi (interior design guru) met me at a paint store last week and listened to me whine about colors and made several fantastic suggestions – including the idea to let the bathroom be a lighter version of the blue in the guest room. Because of its odd shape, the room needs something light and airy, and going with a blue would sort of visually join it to the guest room… so y’all, now we have a GUEST SUITE. Look out!

We ended up trying several blue combos, and I did my best Goldilocks impression… “too bright… too gray… juuuust right!” The color we loved for the guest room was Benjamin Moore’s “Tranquil Blue” (2051-50) – even the name is perfect for a space predominantly used for sleeping, right? So we went two steps lighter in the bathroom and used “Crystal Blue” (2051-70) – although we actually got this paint sample for free when the paint store employee mixed it by accident when I asked for the Tranquil Blue… so we started calling it “Accident Blue” or “Mistake Blue” and now we can never remember the actual name. I just had to look it up.

So this afternoon we bit the bullet and got a coat of each of these up on the walls. We bought the new low-VOC interior paint by Benjamin Moore, called Ben, and it is aaaaawesome. We are going to head back tomorrow, but I actually suspect we may not even need a second coat – the coverage is fantastic. The sad news is, I couldn’t manage to get any photos where the colors actually looked true-to-life… The Crystal Blue is so light that it just looks really washed out in the photos. Here it is next to a white wall (hallway) for comparison:

I promise it’s really pretty and not at all as boring as it looks here.

And here are a couple shots of the Tranquil Blue in progress in the bedroom:

I am really happy with both of them, and they should look great with the other colors we picked for downstairs – Summer Lime (2026-60)  for the kitchen/living room, and Silver Fox (2108-50) for the dining room. Upstairs colors are still up in the air a bit, but we may use one of the lighter versions of Silver Fox for the bedroom or bathroom… pending tile decisions… which have to happen by Monday. Eek! I have to say, though, despite the short timeline – it is a total blast finally seeing some color up on the walls!

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