Hicks House

From Builder Basic to Beautiful


Silver Mink you Minx

We’ve actually had the TV room painted for a couple of month you saw a sneak peek of the wall in this post, but I have been putting off writting about it because I didn’t have any photos. Bad Blogger!

This is one of the most used rooms in the house and it’s also Chloe’s bedroom (that girl just does not pick up her toys) and therefore has the most, lived in look and we don’t like any of the furnishings in here – it’s ALL on the to be replaced list so needless to say my motivation to show this room was lackluster. But hey in the long run it will make a great before and after.

The only other time I spoke of the TV room was in this post last summer when we mounted the TV.

Testing out the TV Mount | Hicks House

One of the best photos of me ever testing the weight limit of the TV mount. The photo also showcases the blase white walls that originally made up the entire house (we’re slowly chipping away at that.) You may also remember from this post that we had selceted Benjamin Moore’s Silver Mink for this room. It’s one of the darkest color choices we made for the entire house as this is the room where we relax and watch TV and we purposefully didn’t want it to be too light.

I was slightly nervous because it seemed so dark and the rooms we’ve painted so far looked so dark when the paint first start and this room was no exception:

Silver Mink You Minx | Hicks House

But we’ve learned to keep going. We LOVE it

Silver Mink You Minx | Hicks House
Silver Mink You Minx | Hicks House
Silver Mink You Minx | Hicks House

This room still has a long way to go as far as decorating goes here’s the list:

  • Mount TV
  • Paint Walls
  • Hang curtains – purchased need to hang
  • Create custom three canvas art piece for over the couch – canvas purchased need to paint
  • Get a new sectional – Ken’s TV room DREAM is to have a reclining sectional so we’ve been on a look out
  • Get a more substantial lamp for the top of Chloe’s crate
  • New coffee table maybe a cool repurposed trunk that could double as storage?
  • Get a cool lamp for the corner of the sectional – one of those bowed ones that overhang your furniture?

Here is a super crude mock up of all of the suggested changes:

Silver Mink You Minx | Hicks House

And the classic side by side showing the difference between Silver Mink and the Revere Pewter in the hallway.
Silver Mink you Minx | Hicks House

So what do you think of the color? What’s your favorite paint color we’ve used so far?
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Custom Art for the Living Room

If you’ve been following along with the blog (if you haven’t then shame on you!) you’ve read about the The Living Room Plan, and The Living Room Becoming Livable. As its starting to take shape we we’re talking about what kind of art should go above the fireplace. The builder wired for the cable and TV to go there but we had decided to move the wiring to the adjacent family room which was much bigger.

We both really wanted something abstract and cool. I saw this painting on Joss and Main and we fell in love. With everything but the price and the verticalness of it.

Inspiration Painting

Inspiration Painting

It was just so cool all the random shades of color. But for over $100 plus shipping and no returns I wasn’t sure. And before I could decide how unsure I was the sale was over and it was gone forever. But how hard could it really be? I mean the painting isn’t really of anything so how can you mess it up? So I measured the space above the fireplace, headed to Joann with a 40% single item coupon and bought a huge canvas.

I set up a small folding table in the craft room and covered with some scrap paper to protect it, broke out a 2-inch paint brush and some .50 tubes of acrylic paint (most of which I had at home left over from high school – it doesn’t go bad right?) and got to work. Using the inspiration painting – propped up on the iPad – as a guide I started painting. The great thing about the abstractness of it was the ability to simply paint over areas if I didn’t like the way they looked. The bottom of my canvas has much more paint on it because of this, it was coming out to dark so several extra coats were added to get the effect I wanted. Due to less use of paint on the top you can see brush strokes where I went back and forth real quickly but I kind of like the way it looks.

here's the finished product

here’s the finished product

I actually like it better than the original inspiration. It looks much better in our space. I had to place it up on the mantle to admire it.

The statue on the left of the painting we fell in love with while out running errands one day, It helped jump start the painting process and inspired the color choices. The vases were a gift from my Aunt’s who surprisingly had not seen either the statue or the painting, but they look like they were custom chosen for that spot.

actually hung!

actually hung!

We loved it so much we actually hung it, despite not having paint on the walls yet. Ignore those pillows they came with the sofa and were so over-sized for both the sofa and the chairs they will be finding another home. I’m thinking getting a new cover and going on the Guest Bed.

one more view with the fireplace lit

one more view with the fireplace lit

I think its the perfect compliment to the space! So now our living room list looks like this:

  • Find and purchase two chairs a-la inspiration room style
  • Find and purchase sofa a-la inspiration room style
  • Ground the space with an area rug
  • Decorate the top of the mantle
  • Paint the art masterpiece for above the fireplace
  • Find or make coordinating curtains
  • Hang curtains
  • Get an ottoman or coffee table to put in the center
  • Get end tables
  • Make pillows for the sofa and chairs
  • Pick a paint color that will work in both the kitchen and the living room
  • Paint the walls
  • Get a fabulous light fixture


A Splash of Color

What color to paint the front door?  It’s such a big decision it sends the first impression that visitors and passerby’s see of your home.  It was such a big decision in fact that when the builder offered to paint the door for us before we closed we couldn’t come to a decision.  I even went so far as to PhotoShop different colors onto a picture of the house to help us decide.  In the end we decided to live with the house for a while and just had him paint it white.

white house with a white door - how ordinarily boring

white house with a white door – how ordinarily boring

close up

close up

After several months we finally came to the consensus that we wanted yellow. It’s such a happy color, how can you come home to a yellow door and not become instantly more upbeat? Now the only question was what kind of yellow?

This was our inspiration that I found our Pinterest.  We both loved it.  It’s from Beautiful MattersBlog

Inspiration Door

Inspiration Door

So we went to the paint store and looked at all the options of paint swatches and came to a decision.  I was slightly worried it may be on the bright side, but hey it’s only paint and the whole point is to get the door to “POP” right?

So I got to work cleaning the door with some mineral oil to get off any dirt and grime that was on it. (I read this is extremely important in order for the paint to adhere properly.) It turned out to be a LOT dirtier than I could have imagined.

look how dirty!

look how dirty!

Then I got ready to start painting – shook up the can to mix the paint properly and popped it open…

the first sign this might not go so well...

the first sign this might not go so well…

It looked awfully bright, but hey the inspo door is bright and you can’t always tell by what the color looks like in the can right? After all there is way more of it concentrated in a small little area and it always looks different once its dry. So I got to painting. Here’s the finished product:

close up

close up

far away

far away

My eyes! MY EYES!!! We couldn’t have possibly picked a color this bright! the swatch must have lied to us…

oh but we did pick it

oh but we did pick it

What were we thinking? I’ll tell you what I’m thinking now, I’m thinking I need a re-do. As its now the end of October and its getting too cold outside in New England I may have to wait until spring. It’s possibly it may grow on me in the next couple of months – stranger things have happened.

The bright yellow on bright white is just too much – the inspiration door is bright yellow on gray which helps tone it down… Rookie mistake!  We should have known better!

So what do you think is it too bright or just right? I’d love to hear your opinion!


News Flash! We’re No Longer “Flashing”



This may be the single most exciting thing that has happened since our offer was accepted and we closed on our house. It’s amazing how something so small can make such a big difference. I didn’t even realize how much it bothered me until the blinds were up. The house is instantly more homey.

Apparently once I’m not subconsciously worried that the neighbors are spying on us with binoculars its much easier to relax and enjoy being home. I was pushing hard to get the master bedroom and bathroom blinds up – as far as I was concerned the rest could wait. But Ken is a doer and he outfitted the entire house in one weekend.

Our first weekend guests post blinds will appreciate it as well. Especially since the guest room is the only bedroom whose windows face east… now they will be able to sleep past sunrise.

Was there one small but impactful update to your home that suddenly turned it from just a house to a home?


The Living Room Plan

If you’ve been reading along with me by now you have probably realized I find my design inspiration in many places.  Most of my interior design inspiration is found online on either Pinterest or Houzz.  I see something I like and aim not to re-create, but to emulate the style and feeling of a room.

I found such a room that has set the wheels in motion for the living room.  This is the only room in the house that when we bought it, had absolutely zero furniture in it.  Most rooms we were able to furnish with things we had – although not necessarily what we want long term it works for now.  The living room housed nothing, nada nilch – thus became a holding tank for boxes we had yet to unpack and things we didn’t know where to put.

This is the room we found for inspiration:

We loved the streamlined sofa, the swoop arm chairs and I’m pretty sure we have almost the same fireplace.  The walls are pretty dark (not that we’re anywhere close to breaking out a gallon of paint yet) but the overall feel is welcoming and has the contemporary yet comfortable style I am looking for.
Here is another view:
Pretty huh?  We weren’t a fan of the skirt on the chairs so we were looking more for a similar swoop arm style sans skirt.  I actually looked up the identical couch and found a furniture store in the next town over where I could buy it… for about $2,000…. yeah not happening.
Then magic happened while out shopping with my mom.  We were in the gold mine of HomeGoods stores and not only did I get chairs, but also a rug.  And the furniture store down the street was having a half off sale and I got a sofa!  (ok a loveseat – the space is really tight and a full sofa would have just been too cramped).
The sofa was on backorder but here is a look at the beginning stages of the room.
no longer a big blank hole in the back of the house

I am in LOVE with these chairs and this rug! So much so I thought you needed close ups:

side of chair

side of chair

back of chair

back of chair

How awesome is the nail head trim and the cute little detail on the back? Especially since these won’t be pushed up against a wall it’s nice that the detail carries through the back. The original inspo couch had nail head and the one I ended up ordering does not, so I got it on the chairs instead. 🙂

rug close up

rug close up

And this rug, I am completely and utterly in love with this rug.  It is quite possibly the most beautiful rug I have ever seen in my entire life, and its in my house – and from HomeGoods no less!

So there is the beginning stages of the room, we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the loveseat.  We’re hoping it will cut down on some of the empty feeling as well as the echoing.  The entire back of house is one long room, so the kitchen turns into the living room.  Once we have a sofa facing the fireplace it will provide a little separation sort of “creating a room”

So what do you think?  Are you as in love with it as I am?


Signed, Sealed and Delivered

It’s official, we FINALLY closed yesterday!  After two delays and many many headaches the house is officially ours!  We still have quite a bit of work to do in order to get the condo ready for the market and then rent it out, so there will be several more condo work posts before we start really delving into the new house.

For now let’s just admire:

The Hicks House

The Hicks House

When we stopped by yesterday (you know just to make sure our new keys worked) grass was already sprouting!  Pretty soon that large dirt pile will be beautiful green grass, we’ll be grilling out on the back deck and enjoying our new house.

We can’t wait until we’re all moved in!